10 location inspired baby names
With the announcement this week that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s new baby girl has been named Chicago West, after her father’s hometown, we got to thinking about the number of destination-related names which have become so popular in recent times.
Like so many celebrity trends, names often end up replicated by thousands of fans and seemingly unusual names can become common at your average baby and toddler group.
We decided to delve into the world of celebrity and see which locations are leading the way in the name stakes.
The Beckhams hit the headlines back in 1999 when they named their first son Brooklyn. Victoria Beckham explained the inspiration behind the name in her autobiography:
“It was when we were in Marbella that we came up with the name Brooklyn. We already knew he was a boy and so I knew he could end up a footballer, so it had to be a name that was a bit blokey. I had always liked the name Brooke and then we suddenly thought about Brooklyn. I’d always like it as a place – it’s very multi-cultural, very grounded. And it was only afterwards that I realized how appropriate it was because it was in New York that I found out I was pregnant and where David came after the World Cup.”
It’s not just popular as a male name, though. American actress Brooklyn Decker is also the proud owner of this New York borough-inspired name.
The state of Dakota may have been a popular destination in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, as two US actresses were born with the name. Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson welcomed daughter Dakota Johnson in 1989, while Dakota Fanning was born in 1994.
More likely is the explanation that Dakota is actually a Native American name, meaning friend or ally.
One location-inspired name which has become extremely common is India. The latest celebrity to opt for this moniker is Made In Chelsea’s Alexandra “Binky” Felstead, who welcomed a baby daughter in 2017. Thor actor Chris Hemsworth and his wife, actress Elsa Pataky, also have a daughter named India.
The popularity of the name goes much further back, however. In fact, there was a character named India in Gone With The Wind, and it’s been prevalent on baby name lists for decades.
Singers Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale named their son Kingston after the Jamaican destination back in 2006, and it’s become a popular choice since then.
Back in 1981, Jane Fonda played a character named Chelsea in the movie On Golden Pond.
But it was the ‘90s when the name really gained popularity, thanks to the Clintons. It’s been said they took the idea from the Joni Mitchell song, Chelsea Morning, which was inspired by Mitchell’s time living in the New York neighbourhood of Chelsea.
Of course, there may be a whole new generation of Chelseas thanks to the hit TV show Made In Chelsea.
You may think actor Orlando Bloom’s parents were inspired by a trip to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland Florida, but he was actually named after a 16th century British composer, Orlando Gibbons.
American playwright Thomas Lanier “Tennessee” Williams wasn’t actually named Tennesse, but used it as a professional name, inspired by his father’s home state.
Actress Reese Witherspoon was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, the home of country music. So the name was a natural choice when she gave birth to her third child, a son, in 2012.
The Emerald Isle inspired the name chosen by Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger when they celebrated the arrival of their daughter, Ireland, back in 1995.
When asked recently why he chose the name, Baldwin tweeted: “Bc she’s beautiful but can’t manage her finances.”
Not so popular in the UK, but across the pond in the USA the name London has long been popping up on top 100 name lists.
Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash named his son London Hudson, after his city of birth. He went on to spend most of his childhood in Stoke-on-Trent, which doesn't quite have the same ring to it...
Paris Hilton is the most famous person with the name and it peaked in popularity as a girls’ name in her 2004 noughties heyday. Michael Jackson also chose the name for his daughter.
However, did you know it was actually a mythical and Shakespearean boys’ name?
Prefer flying to exotic destinations than naming your kids after them?
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