To Kim Kardashian: From One Mom To Kids With Weird Names To Another

Kim Kardashian weird baby name is cute.jpgA big congratulations to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West on their healthy baby girl, who has been revealed to be named North West. You read it right: North West. I feel a strong connection to the new mom now because, before this, I definitely did not understand care for her but her baby daddy made many an appearance on my workout mix. It wasn’t that long ago where I had to decide what my first born would be named. Well, in all honestly, it wasn’t up to me to name him but a yellow sheet of paper from a legal pad with a dozen Laotian names on it. These names, depending on the day he would be born, ranged from weird to really weird to downright unpronounceable. Born on a Sunday, my son’s name falls somewhere between “how’s that spelled?” and “kid, you got a nickname?” My kids have unconventional yet cultural Lao names and I think it’s awesome that Kimye The Baby has a weird name too.

Rumor has it that the new celeb parents plan to use the nickname “Nori” for their daughter. It’s cute, playful and a special thing they have for her. It reminds me of the Laotian naming culture, where you are addressed by your nickname rather than your given name. If I were asked to provide simple information about my parents’ friends, I would, first, not even know their real names and second, not even know how to spell it. We’d all be screwed. Humnoy and Lanoy are the kids’ nicknames and not their legit names, which I have kept anonymous for privacy reasons and so I don’t get any lip from people who think I’m doing a huge disservice for their social well-being. The last thing I’d want the trolls to do is to troll my kids on a google search.

The common argument for these poor, poor children is that they’ll get teased and their lifelong fate sealed within their horrid names. I’m unsure where many of these naysayers went to school with their perfect names but kids get teased no matter what. I got teased for my weird name. I also got teased for my hair, grades, family, shoes, car. Michael’s, Natalie’s, Jared’s of the world get teased too. There is no correlation between how normal a name is and the likelihood of teasing. Is there even such a thing as normal anymore what with the melting pot of cultures, ethnicities, and offspring resulting from it and parents deciding how to forever incorporate multiple family histories into one child? Had I been named Penny, would I hate middle school any less? No but now at 27 years and two kids, I’m ecstatic I stuck to my guns and went with weird names. What’s a few years of people mispronouncing your name versus a lifetime of your family’s history?

It’s important to do away with what “normal” should be and accept unconventional names because they’re still attached to a human being with real feelings, both famous and non-famous. I think Kimye North will forever appreciate that South already ‘Wore It Best’ by the major airline or that they didn’t go with her mom’s suggestion of Easton West (“east and west;” get it?). Easton could easily translate into “easty” and then “easy”…You know what, never mind. Unfortunately for North as a celeb-aby to two, uh, famous parents, her weird name will be the least of her problems.

What do you think of North West’s name?

You can find me tweeting my hatred for pants on twitter, filtering the shit outta my kids’ mugs on Instagram, pinning food I’ll never make on Pinterest, and being a wannabe grownup on Google+

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23 thoughts on “To Kim Kardashian: From One Mom To Kids With Weird Names To Another

  1. I imagine in the world of celebrity where one is constantly followed and bombarded (even in the most private of moments) you want something for yourself. A child’s name, your child’s name is as personal as one can get. A moment where you can embrace your uniqueness and that of your child. I do think part of it is branding, they know their kids will likely have a future in the ‘business’ and why not give their children a leg up on the competition. Can’t knock ’em for that.

    It is their choice and at the end of the day they know what is best for their children. I actually like the name ‘North’. I went to school with a guy named North Skylar and the name has always stuck with me. While not uncommon in the Spanish speaking cultures Sol is not the typical name for a girl. Also add to that the fact I was raised around mostly Americans and people who grew up around Jewish folk? I’ve been relegated to being called ‘Saul’ rather than ‘Sol’. I used to HATE my name as a younging but now at 32 I love it. I don’t think I would’ve been better off as a Jessica or Melissa.

    • I love your name, Sol! I had never heard of North before and love “North Skylar,” so unique and blends well. I will admit I know it’s a play on words and not really much of meaning for Kim and Kanye but I think they should celebrate their new baby without people already making fun of a sweet new baby.

  2. Celeb kids are never going to blend in no matter what, so having a name like North or Blu or Apple isn’t really going to add any difficulty.

    And cultural names are fantastic.

    I do though, I have to admit, feel a bit bad for some of the kids at DS’s daycare. They don’t have cultural names, they just have have what is literally letter vomit. And you’re right, kids are going to get teased no matter what, but I do think random made up names can end up doing the kids a disservice down the line. Especially for girls. At some point your resume is going to land in a pile with a bunch of others and honestly, I think it’s entirely possible that Brenda might get an interview over Rainbow. And if you’re high up in a big company that has never had a female CEO before, is it going to help or hinder your chances of being that first if your name is Zabaeyeah (actual name of a child I know) and it’s a room full of Toms and Johns voting between you and another Tom or John.

    It’s not fair or right, but xenophobia, misogyny and straight up random prejudice aren’t going away any time soon and since your name is often the first thing people know about you I think it makes a bit of sense not to make it a silly one just because you can.

  3. I think North is a really cute name and hope that it’s spelled North and not Knorth to go with the Krazy Kardashians. Nori or Nora are really cute nicknames for North, but the full name is fine, too. What I do think is funny is that they named her North West, which she may keep her whole life, but she may also get married and change her last name…so she might end up having a rather humdrum name combo, or it might get even weirder!

    We chose a family name for our son, it was last name and then a middle name in previous generations. It’s weird, but not SO weird, and totally fits him. Our second (when we have one) will have as equally weird name if it’s a girl.

  4. As you know I like the cultural names … my little Makanaokaola πŸ˜‰ Weird is the norm these days. My cousins kids are Scout, River & Ryder. People think hers are odd. I know plenty of Stephanie, Shalonda, Mark & Eula’s…. Lets keep getting weirder!!!

  5. I love a unique name–but also don’t get the “letter vomit” names like Krissy mentions. I know plenty of kids who can do without the random Y or swapping a C for a K or what-have-you, because it just starts looking unreadable, and not in a cool, ethnic way. I LOVE ethnic names–I love the history and how much they mean to people. I really struggled with names when I was pregnant–it was hard to decide between a unique name or a family reference, so in the end we did both and I couldn’t be happier. Maren isn’t terribly weird or unique, BUT it is uncommon (at least in our area), which is what I wanted. We get lots of compliments on it and I’m so happy with her name!

    • Maren fitting for such a unique and beautiful girl! Yeah, the word vomit names make you super curious about what was going on in their parents thought process. There is a family member named “Acde” as in the first four letters of the alphabet pronounced “ab-suh-dee.”

  6. I’ll always have a soft spot for unique names πŸ™‚ but with all due respect, “North West” is not unique or ethnic, it’s a PUN. Not that it’s any of my business. Famous or not, people can name their kids whatever they want.

  7. Dude, my kid’s name is waaaaaaay ethnic and the whole thing written out is totally ridiculous.

    Her first name is a Filipino place name that is rarely used as a name– after some HARD Googling, I did find evidence of at least two Filipino women in the US with it as a first name, so there are probably some others in the Philippines. But it’s like naming your kid… Well, not even Brooklyn or Dallas, but something even a little more unlikely. And that’s just to Filipinos! Her first middle name is a not-uncommon name of Spanish origin, and her second middle name (they fit it on the birth certificate!) is my 13-letter hyphenated last name of both Scotch-Irish and Askenazi origin, which I’m pretty sure only me and my brother have ever had in the history of the universe. Then her last name is a native Filipino name (i.e., not Spanish, like most Filipino last names), which is fairly unusual.


    It was super-important to me to do all this honoring of family and culture (there’s some Jewish naming tradition in there as well, which I won’t go into). People love to talk about the “bank president” test (“does the name sound like it could belong to a bank president?” vs. a stripper or whatever)– but I find that hugely racist/classist/sexist for super-obvious historical reasons. I’m under no illusions– I know what studies still show about what resumes get plucked from the pile– but, hmmm… Condoleezza and Barack have done okay. Better than bank presidents, I’d say. And culture and heritage is WAY too important to us… (and both our families are full of revolutionary types that are excellent at telling everyone to kiss their azzes).

    That said, her nickname (which is a “short form” of her first name) is a 4-letter, obviously-phonetic, cross-cultural thing. I think she’s fine. Or she’ll hate us. Six of one.

    • Ya know, I’ll be super honest: I hated my name(s) growing up *only* because kids did make fun of it and I knew I was different. but as an adult and especially a mom now, I appreciate it because I know that uniqueness is important in a sea of conforming cultures in America.

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  12. I love reading your blog! I catch up when I’m reminded by an ig post when I also have the time to read. I love this post and feel I relate to in for more than one reason. My husband is middle eastern and you know terrorist live over there right? So at my baby shower when I finally decided to share the name with my family some aunt brought up how I should consider my son having such an Arabic name (first, middle & last) he could be made fun of or even worse have trouble traveling in an airport. 😩 yes! Sombody said that. Might I remind you this was the one day I was dresses in clothes and wearing mascara, my baby shower. It’s also tradition that the middle name is of the fathers name. Our son Amani Jamal Alaga was named by me. I wanted an Arabic name, I made the list, I picked the name, (that’s an awesome story bc his name means wishes, desires, & aspirations which after beating 7 years of infertility after losing a baby was just that) So another guest of my shower went on to say that I was only naming him that bc my husband was deciding, which as said is to the contrary. That he could be made fun of in school. To which I replyed you haven’t had a child since the 80,s take a look at school class list and you will see maybe a Princess, maybe an Ankith, or a Rainbow Rosy? It’s not all benjermans and Jessica’s. That it was a girl name. Kids can get made fun of for the clothes they wear, our job as parents are to make then feel confident and great in their own skin. Needless to say I left my shower in tears. Came home with black smeared make up all over my face and cried on my husband. I always wanted my children to have unique names. Names with a meaning. I was a Jessica where when I heard my name three heads turned. I chose my kiddos names after lots of ideas, thoughts, and intention. No time to proofread so I hope that translates into something. Bahhumbug xo

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