Behind the Baby Name Saint

Saint West

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have finally (though it’s only been two days since he was born!) decided on and released the name of their baby boy and it’s Saint, disappointing their legions of fans who had been rooting for Easton.

Saint makes a lot of sense for a son of the artist whose 2013 album was titled Yeezus and contained a song called “I am a God.” Yet baby boy West is not the only secular saint in the celebrisphere. Rocker Pete Wentz called his second son (the first was Bronx Mowgli) Saint Laszlo last year.  Selma Blair used it as her son Arthur’s middle name in 2011 and the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl named his daughter Ophelia Saint.

Saint was among the Defining Names we predicted to be the Number 1 Baby Name Trend of 2015.  Other names on that list included Royal, Noble, and Justice.  On the royalty theme, Kim’s older sister Kourtney named her son Reign a year ago, and names such as King and Duke are on the rise.

Last year, there were 32 baby boy Saints born in the US, but no recorded girls.  Over the past decade, 200 baby boys were named Saint. And lest you think Saint is a modern invention, in 1915 there were 12 baby boys named Saint and six girls.

In the past, Saint has rarely been used on its own, but it’s not that uncommon to be used in combination with another name, as in St. John (pronounced Sinjin). Just last month, politician Thomas Ravenel and Kathryn Dennis christened their son St. Julien.

No middle name has been announced yet for Saint West, though Kim has been quoted as saying she was hoping to use the name of her father, Robert Kardashian.

The couple made waves when they named their daughter North two years ago.  Jokes about directional names had been bandied about throughout the pregnancy.

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