So Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have welcomed their daughter into the world and named her... North West.
"Another crazy celebrity baby name!" people cry over their gossip magazines and Facebook dashboards. Yes, we often wait with anticipation to hear what arbitrary names celebrities are calling their babies in the hopes of hearing what Celeb-land will churn out next. That being said their may be method in their madness. In fact I'd say, when considering the purpose of naming, that it's not really that mad at all.
After having a baby there is a push to choose a name, to bestow the child with a title to follow them for the rest of their life. Though the ceremonials of naming a child differ in their respective cultures, the purpose of giving someone a name is to give them a part of their identity by which we can mentally identify them against other people. This was we know that 'Sophie Alice Green' is different from 'Dorothy May Green'. Names are identifiers by which we attempt to understand in conversation who we are referring to or addressing. Giving a child a name from the list of most popular names from their respective birth year only means that they will be more likely to be confused with other people and therefore slightly less unique. Growing up I found myself rather lucky to have a fairly uncommon name for my area at the time. That said I would find there to be multiples of names in most classes. There would be two girls named Rebecca, two boys named Adam, a handful of girls called Hannah or a bunch of boys called Ben. I'd often find that when we had two people in a class of the same names we'd all have to find ways to establish which person was which.
Obviously the popular names will be influenced by sociocultural influences or media trends. After the popularity of Twilight names like Jacob and Isabella are incredibly popular. Unique names set children apart from their classmates. Their names will stand out when applying for jobs. A good name will make a person more memorable.
In fact if I were to reference "Apple" or "Blanket" then I'm sure you automatically know who it is I'm referencing. The celebrity world is full of children with unique names. Now such unique names aren't for every family but they certainly serve their purpose in identifying the specific person. There are millions of names and potential names out there. Perhaps we should applaud people, not just celebrities, who give their children more unusual or unconventional names. One may say it builds more character and gives an interesting impression of that person. They're setting their children apart from their peers and giving them an interesting moniker to frame their identity.
Sure, North West is pretty out there in terms of names but I'm sure there is probably no other child with that name in the world and therefore, in that sense, I'd say Kim and Kanye have done their job right in giving their child a unique identifier for a name.