Were we really expecting Khloe Kardashian to name her baby Kelly?
It's True: the stranger the celebrity baby name, the more fascinating we find it, writes Paula Andropoulos
Amid an onslaught of drama about her allegedly wanton boyfriend, reality TV mogul Khloé Kardashian gave birth to her first child, a daughter, on April 12.
The infant’s name was the subject of even more febrile public speculation than usual, as fans and onlookers wondered whether Khloé would react to basketball player Tristan Thompson’s infidelity by leaving his last name off the baby’s birth certificate in favour of her own (considerably more famous) patronymic.
Rumors were finally put to rest, however, when Kardashian revealed in an Instagram post that the baby’s name is … True Thompson.
As many slightly malicious commentators have been quick to point out, the name is somewhat unfortunate given the timing of Tristan Thompson’s public fall from grace: “True” is, after all, synonymous with loyalty and fidelity.
But beyond this unfortunate confluence of circumstances, there is nothing terribly startling about True’s moniker, given that she’s in the company of cousins North West, Chicago West, Dream Kardashian, Reign Kardashian, et al.
It is interesting that Khloé is the first of the Kardashian clan to embrace the alliterative trend established by her mother Kris.
And, while True might seem like an inane choice of adverb, it seems to be a reference to a tradition on Kris’s side of the family: her grandfather’s name was True Otis Houghton, and her father’s name was Robert True Houghton.
DESPERATION FOR ORIGINALITY
The peculiar world of celebrity baby names is an unerring source of fascination for us plebian masses, and the reality is that, the worse the name, the more engaging we find it.
There is a desperation for originality among the rich and famous that manifests in all sorts of bizarre ways where their progeny is concerned.
When Gwyneth Paltrow gave birth to daughter Apple Martin in 2004, I’m fairly certain that we all thought we’d reached the threshold of celebrity idiosyncrasy. But then, the cult of the bizarre baby name certainly predates Paltrow.
Frank and Gail Zappa have a whole brood of miscellaneous common nouns including daughters Moon Unit and Diva Muffin and son Dweezil. Actress Shannyn Sossamon called her daughter Audio Science; ex-Playboy inmate Holly Madison called her daughter Rainbow.
There are countless examples of children with names-that-weren’t-intended-for-people populating the strange domain of Hollywood.
COUNTRIES BAN BIZARRE BABY NAMES
Probably to deter commoners from taking a cue from their idols, various countries around the world have actually legislated against bizarre baby names.
In France, birth certificate registrars are entitled to inform the courts if they feel that a name will condemn an unfortunate newborn to a lifetime of suffering: Nutella, Prince William and Mini Cooper are all officially outlawed in this jurisdiction.
French birth certificate registrars are entitled to inform the courts if they feel that a name will condemn an unfortunate newborn to a lifetime of suffering
Germany won’t allow gender-neutral names, which is surprising given the state’s otherwise liberal outlook on LGBTQI+ issues – on the plus side, though, it also prohibits parents from naming their children Adolf Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, and Stompie.
Iceland’s rules are particularly strict: unless both parents are foreign, the baby’s name must accord with the structural and alphabetic systems indigenous to Iceland. This means no Cs, Qs, or Ws are allowed in names, since these do not occur in the Icelandic alphabet.
As it turns out, South Africans have a fairly eclectic tradition of nomenclature relative to the rest of the world. In 2016, ‘Junior’ was recorded as the most popular name for boys, overtaking the more conventional runners-up, ‘Blessing’ and ‘Gift’. In the same year, ‘Precious’ and ‘Princess’ predominated in the girl’s department.
In fact, I’d posit that the recent surge of royal names in the US – such as Kourtney Kardashian’s boy ‘Reign’ and rapper Tyga’s ‘King’ – are way behind the times, by local standards.