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Baby Names to Rival North West

Baby Names to Rival North West

Image source: ECYMCA

When news broke that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West named their child North West, the states of Washington and Oregon hosted angry demonstrations, because aside from the Space Needle, the Grey’s Anatomy subtext, and the lingering glory of the game Oregon Trail, being part of the Pacific Northwest are all those states have going for them. Many of us wondered how exactly a compass could be born prematurely, or more importantly, how will Kim and Yeezy’s little bundle of joy ever take a controversy-free trip to South Korea?

Image source: welcome2cali
Image source: welcome2cali

For myself, their spawn made me take a long, hard look at my reproductive future. I’m not planning on having any Pillsbury crescents in my oven any time soon, but being that I’m in the childbearing years and TMZ is my only source of guidance, celebrities have taught me that choosing a unique name that will cause merciless schoolyard taunts and numerous human resources representatives to spit out their coffee isn’t easy. It takes time, and it’s never too early to start planning on how I’m going to ruin my future child’s life by choosing something ridiculous to put on their birth certificate.

I’ve tried to keep my life in mind, so the names that I’ve come up with are pretty personal, but feel to draw inspiration from them:

Broccoleigh (girl): I love broccoli–every time I eat it, I feel like I’m eating the vegetable version of the Tree of Life from Lion King. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to love a daughter half as much as I adore broccoli, but I think this name might give her a fighting chance that will last right until her teenage years. Besides, in naming her Broccoleigh, I’m securing her future with a nice, vegan husband who has a secure job installing solar panels.

Cheesecate (girl): My other foodie love, only with one letter changed. When people aren’t seething with envy at how one simple letter change turned this delicious dessert into an actual name, they’ll be admiring how this girl reminds them of the scrumptious cheesecake their grandma Betty used to make. No one could possibly hate Cheesecate!

Chicageaux (girl): An hommage to the city I was born in, with a twist! Chicago, spelled correctly, is just one of those typical city names like Paris (which is so passé), but a simple change to Chicageaux? Now that has that has moxie. A similarly spelled name, Margeaux, means “Pearl.” I think Chicageaux’s meaning would be, “Odor of piss and exhaust fumes.” Classic and elegant.

Gerund (boy): The name Gerald has been around forever, but switch “ald” with “und,” and suddenly we have a hip new name that honors an often misunderstood verb form. I’m calling this trend right now: lexical categories and figures of speech are going to be trendy before you know it. Pretty soon Ava and Madison will be replaced with Noun and Metaphor.

Sir (boy): The likelihood that I’ll marry into royalty is diminishing by the day, but that doesn’t mean I can’t provide my child with a Don Quixote complex from the time of his birth. In naming my son “Sir,” I’m ensuring that he’ll command respect whether his full name or simply his first name is used. Wherever he goes, people will always call him sir, and that’s sure to give him the sense of entitlement that will help him become a negligent, future CEO with a passion for white collar crime someday.

I know North West is going to be hard to top in the history of ridiculous, pseudo-clever baby names, but I think I’m on the right track. If you sit down and really give it about three minutes of serious contemplation, I think you could come up with something truly great, too.

Katie Hoffman

Katie Hoffman is a writer living in the suburbs of Chicago. She enjoys leftovers, lunges, and laughs.

74 Comments

  1. MissTiffany June 24, 2013

    I am practically in tears over Broccoliegh…even more so because you feel like you are eating the tree from Lion King when you eat it. I so totally feel the same way. I also like to pretend I am a dinosaur from Land Before Time when eating broccoli. And I don’t care if I’m 22. There just some things you have to do.

    Now, as for the post, I am just looking forward to the day when they release the baby’s own perfume: North by North West. :p

    1. Katie June 24, 2013

      YES! Half of the joy of consuming broccoli are the various weird things I can pretend I’m doing while I’m eating it.

      I can imagine the perfume bottle now: it’ll be a compass pointing south with a big x through it, and the commercial for it will be all minimal with Kanye’s latest controversial track playing in the background.

      1. MissTiffany June 25, 2013

        Haha, it’s the reason why broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables. :p

        Oh lord…the sad part about that is…it’s probably pretty accurate.

  2. kokkieh June 24, 2013

    Our school had a kid enrol at the start of the year named Doctor. at the time I wondered aloud to a colleague what would happen if he actually became one.

    1. Katie June 24, 2013

      Dr. Doctor… I don’t think I could rely on the medical advice of anyone with that name. Where do people get these ideas?

      1. kokkieh June 25, 2013

        My theory is it’s a gentle nudge toward the profession for which they want him to qualify one day. Don’t know why more parents don’t try that.

      2. Katie June 25, 2013

        Engineer does roll off the tongue…

  3. littlemisswordy June 24, 2013

    These are great! Broccoleigh may be my fave on your list. I have recently discovered a passion for brussell sprouts. Thank goodness I’m done having children or poor little Brussel would get his ass kicked in school.

    1. Katie June 24, 2013

      HA! I was proud of Broccoleigh, I’ll admit.

      See, you could do Brussels and make everyone wonder if it’s after the city in Belgium or the vegetable. Very mysterious.

  4. freespirit424 June 24, 2013

    Katie, you are my morning cup of sunshine. You make my belly hurt from laughing so hard!

    1. Katie June 24, 2013

      I don’t think anyone has ever used the word “sunshine” in reference to me, so I’m truly honored!

  5. Wittyburg June 24, 2013

    Broccoleigh is pure genius! And if she’s on the petite side, you could always do Broccoleighnee.

    Basically, just make sure your kids can’t participate in The Name Game, and you’ve done your job. Great post 🙂

    1. Katie June 24, 2013

      The dreaded Name Game! I’m making it my mission they’ll be safe from the horror of bo’s and fo fanna’s.

      …How did you know I also love broccolini? It’s sometimes a little harder to find in the produce section.

      1. Wittyburg June 25, 2013

        I was kicked out of preschool for the Name Game, because I didn’t know what “Mitch” would turn into … beware!

        It wasn’t until moving to NY that I even saw broccolini available, but I like it much more than its big, leafy counterpart.

      2. Katie June 26, 2013

        Really? My problem with broccolini is all this stem business… That’s a lot of stem, you know? And it’s harder to chew up, I think. (I’m sorry for how lazy that sounds.)

      3. Wittyburg June 26, 2013

        Hahaha, no apologies needed. I’m one of those weirdos who doesn’t like the flowery part of broccoli, so the longer stems on broccolini make them edible for me.

        I know, I know. I’m a traitor to society.

      4. Katie June 26, 2013

        As long as you understand your crime.

        Not like the flowers…? So what you’re saying is you don’t like broccoli.

      5. Wittyburg June 26, 2013

        Exactly! Glad you get it.

  6. Gina June 24, 2013

    Alright, you’re so much more up on all this than me… I thought they named her Kaidence??

    1. Katie June 24, 2013

      Oh no! ‘Fraid not… That was just a rumor. They named their daughter North West.

  7. Dylan Hearn June 24, 2013

    It’s not quite the same but I worked with someone called Nancy Mancy. It was her married name. Now if you we called Nancy and you met a nice guy whose surname was Mancy, surely you would think twice.

    1. Katie June 24, 2013

      Nancy is totally at fault there. She should have kept her married name or dumped him before things got serious.

      I’ve often thought I’d think twice about dating someone with the same last name as me, too. You never know…

      It amazes me people with really awful last names get married and their name prevails. Some last names are meant to die out.

  8. Jennie Saia June 24, 2013

    PLEASE tell me you have, at least once, sung the Lion King “Circle of Life” song – specifically the “nah-karenya” part we all mumble our way through – while eating broccoli. Just lie to me, I don’t care.

    1. Katie June 24, 2013

      Every time before digging into a bowl of broccoli, I hold a floret up like Simba.

      1. Jennie Saia June 24, 2013

        You have given me everything

      2. Jennie Saia June 24, 2013

        …I was attempting to finish that sentence with, “…I ever wanted. Bless you!”

      3. Katie June 24, 2013

        I liked how that first response just had no punctuation. I really felt the emotion.

  9. Jennie Saia June 24, 2013

    Also, I’m sorely tempted to make everything about my kids’ names rhyme. My last name is Saia (it sounds like a karate-inspired, “Hi-yah!”).

    So, for a girl, I’m leaning toward Maya Kaia Saia. (There is a precedent for this: My car is a Kia Soul, and her name is Mia Sofia the Kia.)

    I haven’t figured out exactly how I’ll scar a boy-child for life yet. There’s time yet.

    1. Katie June 24, 2013

      Is that your married name, too? Or are you planning on keeping your name? I don’t know how to ask this question without assuming something or offending someone somewhere.

      My last name’s Hoffman, so there’s no good rhymes there even if I kept it, but I totally think you should do it since your name is perfect for it!

      I happen to like when first and last names start with the same letter. But the only decent H names are Hannah and Heather… Pass.

      1. Jennie Saia June 24, 2013

        Yep, this is my married name. I used to be an Orcutt. And I hear you – that’s totally a freakishly loaded question for lots of people – but it isn’t one for me. Good looking out, though!

        I feel like, upon changing your surname, you pretty clearly move up or down the coolness ladder. For me, I escaped a lifetime of being called Jennie Whore-cut by my peers, and also the terror of my mom introducing us to people as (no, really), “The Orcutts… like slice the ham *or cut* the cheese.”

        But imagine you’re someone who does plan to change their name when you get married… and you’re something nice and simple like Brown or Smith… and then the person you fall in love with is a Raper or a Blackhead or a Cockburn.

      2. Katie June 24, 2013

        Oh yeah! Saia is a lot cooler, and I think it flows better with Jennie. I’m pretty happy with my name… If I end up marrying the boyfriend, I’m getting another H last name with soft consonants. It’s the kind of name that you constantly have to repeat before people actually get it. …So I may be moving down the coolness ladder, sadly.

        Part of me really wished your mom had said that, because that would have been so awesome.

        I think if I was potentially marrying into a particularly bad surname, I’d think twice about changing my name. I mean, you can’t go from Brown to Cockburn. Especially if your first name is Ivonna or something.

      3. Jennie Saia June 24, 2013

        Oh, my mom DID do it. Frequently. But only about 75% of the time, which was the cruel part that made us live in terror. She STILL doesn’t understand why it’s messed up.

        *cringe*

        Ivonna Cockburn would be an amazing stripper name.

      4. Katie June 25, 2013

        Agreed!

        So I just tried thinking a little more closely about this whole thing, and frankly, I’m glad I stopped where I did.

  10. Daile June 24, 2013

    My biggest fear is falling in love with someone who has the last name Dale or Daley. It could happen.
    I have seen many a horrible name including ‘Dorkas’ and “Abcde’ But seriously, if I have to push out a baby I can name it whatever the hell I want!
    Really, people who want to name their kids something stupid should just buy a dog. Get the stupid out of their system.

    1. Katie June 24, 2013

      That would be pretty bad. I’m lucky in that Katherine or Katie isn’t a common last name (and by isn’t common, I mean I’ve literally never heard of anyone with that for a last name…)

      Seriously though. I think everyone should at least have a pet or two before having a child just to get all the bad names out of their system. This human being has to endure school and work for the rest of their lives with the shitty name you give them. At least with a pet, you only have yourself to be embarrassed of when you call its name at the park.

  11. antsrants June 24, 2013

    First of all, I see nothing wrong with a name like Habanero Hoffman. It has an even number of syllables and carries a nice ethnic flair! At least the Kar-douche-ian clan had the foresight to forego a rhyming first and last name. That always bothered me despite being very Seussian (the good doctor usually knows best.) Considering the ego of Kanye, I’m surprised they didn’t go with Best West although that would evoke thoughts of a bed-bug ridden stay at a low end motel. But hey, it’s no lamer than naming a baby after a point on the friggin’ compass. I mean, if you’re express a directional fixation at least be modern about it and name the kid after a GPS…”Hi, this is my son Garmin and his sister Tom-Tom. They’re very well-adjusted.”

    1. Katie June 24, 2013

      HA!!!!!!

      Best West… I bet if they saw this they’d have some regrets, but I see “Best” as more of a boy’s name, perhaps. There’s a local news anchor here whose name is Robin Robinson. I mean, really? They couldn’t come up with anything else so they just took part of the last name? Pathetic.

      Habanero… I’ll keep that one in mind. Sombrero would be a great middle name.

  12. gothicbeeza June 24, 2013

    My cousin recently gave birth and named her son…Braxton. Apparently he is named after a character in her favourite show (Home and Away for those playing along at home), but everytime i hear it, all I can think about is “Braxton Hicks”!

    1. Katie June 24, 2013

      When I hear Braxton, I think of Toni Braxton the singer.

      …Don’t judge me. I still have “He Wasn’t Man Enough” in my iTunes library.

      1. gothicbeeza June 25, 2013

        Ah yes I remember Toni Braxton – Although I remember her for “Unbreak my heart” lol

      2. Katie June 25, 2013

        OH YEAH. How did I forget that one? That’s classic Toni Braxton.

  13. bensbitterblog June 24, 2013

    I’m pretty bitter because you forgot one other thing that is good about the Northwest. Ben’s Bitter Blog is based in the corner of the internet that comes from Bill Gates hometown. Oh wait never mind. There’s nothing.

    1. Katie June 24, 2013

      Oh no, I didn’t forget. Have you ever heard that term “Bitter Ben?” Where’d that come from, anyway?

      1. bensbitterblog June 24, 2013

        Picasso is the “Bitter Ben” of awkwardness of bad metaphors. Benjamin means son of the right hand, so that makes Ben means Son of…so you fill in the blanks.

      2. Katie June 25, 2013

        If you were left handed Son of Bitterness would apply.

  14. Synarite June 24, 2013

    To take a page out of xkcd’s book, how about “Help I’m Trapped in a Drivers Licence Factory”?
    I also once knew a girl whose full name was Apple Gold.

    1. Katie June 25, 2013

      What the hell is with the name Apple? I swear the parents must be those people who grew up with the adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and were traumatized by it.

  15. Kitt Crescendo June 24, 2013

    Cleverly frightful names… Of course if you want to look at odd names, it’s always good to focus on the stars. Seriously, just look at the Zappa family… Moon Unit? Dweezil? I think the best Meme I saw today said something about Does that mean Kim is the Passage to the North West. Yeah, that got a chuckle out of me.

    1. Katie June 25, 2013

      Those are horrible! Whenever bad names comes up, my mom loves to gloat about what a good job she did. I can’t blame her–Katherine Eileen is a helluva lot better than Moon Unit…

      1. Kitt Crescendo June 25, 2013

        Most definitely…LOL! The Phoenix family was similar, but more on the hippie side so it didn’t sound as strange. Leaf really did seem to be a huge fan as he changed his name to Joaquin, unlike his brother, River, who kept his.

      2. Katie June 26, 2013

        Wait, Leaf!? …To be honest, if I was picking a new name from Leaf, I don’t think I’d be going the Joaquin route.

  16. Katie Renee June 24, 2013

    Wait, this wasn’t a joke? Are you serious?!?! What the hell is wrong with these people? That is a freaking DIRECTION. It was the name of an airline company… WTF

    Apple. Blue Ivy. North West. I weep for humanity.

    1. Katie Renee June 24, 2013

      At least she can get married one day and just be “North”. I’m not sure if that is better or worse.

      1. Katie June 25, 2013

        No, sadly this is legit…

        I think Apple is the one I hate the most, because I think Gwyneth Paltrow is one of the most overrated human beings on the planet.

        North just sucks in general. To be honest, I expected more from them. Kanye can lay down some sick rhymes, where was that creativity in the baby naming process?!

  17. kirstenhwhyte June 25, 2013

    So the baby has appeared then! Amazingly this is the first I have heard of it. It’s a boy right? It has to be. North (as crappy as it is) is a boys name. No? It’s a girl? A girl . . . ? Good grief and monkey nuts! What were they thinking. Oh, right, they weren’t. For once I would like some pseudo celebrity to give their child a proper name rather than scanning the room and using the first thing they see because they think it will be ‘cool’ (I bagsy umbrella, chair, carpet, window and road-sign).

    My favourite from your list is Cheesecate, because you can drop the cheese and just be Cate.

    On the topic of surnames – although mine isn’t spelt like the colour, it sounds like the colour. How can I hyphenate that? Unless my future spouse has the surname Christmas. How cool would that be – Whyte-Christmas!!!

    1. Katie June 26, 2013

      Agreed! What about Christina? Elizabeth? Jessica? Would that be so horrible? The kid’s gonna be famous either way, so why not do them a favor, and give them a name that everyone won’t roll their eyes at?

      Whyte-Christmas is awesome. I sincerely hope though, you don’t marry anyone with the last name Supremacy…. That might get you into trouble.

      1. kirstenhwhyte June 26, 2013

        Ha ha! I will make sure I stay away from anyone with that surname!

  18. The Hook June 25, 2013

    What can I say?
    You’ve outdone my North West post, Katie.
    Well done!

    1. Katie June 26, 2013

      Impossible, but thanks all the same!

  19. Katie June 25, 2013

    My boyfriend has twin uncles named Clifton and Liston, and an aunt named Lillette. Perhaps the greatest names ever bequeathed to children. How we will top them is beyond me. North has nothing on them.

    1. Katie June 26, 2013

      Um, those are seriously awesome. I just imagine them all living in some huge southern plantation sipping cool lemonade on the porch.

  20. Renee @ hypereclectic June 26, 2013

    Lol great post!!!
    I’m not planning on popping out any buns any time soon, but I am going to have to get working on my list if I am to create any names to rival yours – bravo!

    1. Katie June 26, 2013

      Thank you! When you just take into consideration some of your favorite things, and completely ignore the fact this name could impact a human being’s future, it’s easy!

  21. Zen A. June 27, 2013

    I’m still hoping that “North West” is a bluff. The poor girl. Celebrities should really get a grip; how would they like to be called “North” and “Suri” and whatever?

    Also, I love broccoli. But that name is just… oh my. She is going to be horribly bullied!

  22. Lily June 27, 2013

    Hahaha Katie! This is a gem of a piece and I want it to be FP’d right now. Gerund hahah.
    I’m actually really surprised they didn’t go with the made up K name trend. Something like Kandice or Karlie or Kjesus Khrist.

    1. Katie July 1, 2013

      I heard Kjesus Khrist was a contender until they found out it was a girl. Then there was a brief Kmary period.

    1. vrbridge June 27, 2013

      Uhh well my computer freaked out and posted “Bravo” without anything else. Oh technology (or maybe the operator for this one). I think anything you come up with will probably be better than North West. They are such assholes for doing that to their kid. As if children need anything else to get made fun of about.

      1. Katie July 1, 2013

        Agreed! Just about anything would have been better, including any of those trendy fad names of the moment.

  23. gisellegazelle June 27, 2013

    This is the best post I’ve ever freaking read. I wish I thought of it!

  24. Rohan 7 Things July 3, 2013

    Hilarious post Katie! I love Cheesecate, I wish you’d written this post when I was with my ex named Kate. That would have been the awesomest, most nauseating, cutesie, babytalk name I could have called her by in front of her parents. She would have loved (hated) it!

    And Sir is the best name ever!

    Rohan.

    1. Katie July 5, 2013

      I’m sorry I’m too late, Rohan. Hopefully another Kate will come around so you can use it!

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