Dear Boring Normals, It’s Time to Start Naming Your Kids Like Celebrities


Hey, listen up you boring normals! Today, Cardi B and Offset announced that their baby girl has been born and that they’ve named her Kulture Kiari Cephus. And once again, your ham and cheese on untoasted bread baby names have been told to pack up their knives and go home. Normals, you need to start naming your babies like celebrities are naming their babies.

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Remember when Gwyneth named her children Apple and Moses and everyone was like, “We have to shun her”? Fools! Luddites! Apple and Moses were trendsetters and now your kid’s first grade class roster reads like mash-up between a grocery list and a farmer’s almanac from 1870. Meanwhile, Gwyneth is still getting third billing on Marvel movies she’s not even in. So, whose shunning now?

You gotta start getting extra juicy with these kids names. And not just grandma names, although I love a little girl named Ethel or Millicent. Love! But you have to be even more inventive than that. Celebrities are running the board on creative, Cool Ranch Flavored names. Calling your kid Jennifyr with a y just isn’t going to cut it anymore. People need to start naming their kids like they’re the lead characters in post-apocalyptic YA novels. Why? Because in 5 years Jennifyr is going to be in Kyndergarten with a bunch of Kardashians and a kid named Kulture whose mother is Cardi B. You tell me who is going to win show-and-tell day.

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The Kardashians are a great example of a family of normals who, through generations of hard work, celeb’d up their names. It all started with Kris, who begat Kourtney, Khloe, Kim, Kylie, and Kendall, eschewing some traditional spellings to go for alliteration. Khloe just begat True and the cycle of name celebritization leveled up. Not to be outdone, Kim, who is married to Kanye West, celebritized her kids’ names and also Kanye West-ed her kids’ names, hence North, Saint, and Chicago. We’re talking whole polar directions here! We’re talking metropolises! We’re talking religious iconography. How can your kid’s Brady Bunch name compare to religious iconography?!

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We have to get picante with these names. And it goes without saying (but I’m going to say it anyway) that for decades, perhaps even centuries, many people have been giving their kids names with creative spellings, roots in cultural traditions, or links to pop culture figures. But for years those in the dominant culture made fun of those names because they were spelled differently or were “hard to pronounce.” As if language isn’t fluid! As if the tongue weren’t meant to always be learning! And what’s the result of it? Misplaced shaming and generations of missed opportunities. You ever have a Beyoncé in your class? Probably not. And look at her now: she’s Beyoncé. She’s Beyoncé!

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So, bite your tongue before you talk about somebody’s kid’s extra juicy name, take a second to make sure you’re pronouncing it correctly, and trade in your baby name book for a thesaurus. Take it from me, a person with no kids and three two-syllable mayonnaise first names as a whole ass name. Do it for the Kulture.

Follow R. Eric Thomas on Twitter.


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