The tradition of giving cute names to unborn babies

Raymond Chen

Many of my friends gave names to their unborn babies. Most of them were based on various objects that were the size of the adorable little parasite¹ at the time they discovered that they were pregnant:

  • The Peanut
  • Gumdrop
  • Jellybean
  • Blueberry
  • Mr. Bean

There were a few outliers, though.

That last one takes a bit of explaining. Having grown tired of people asking her what she was planning on naming the baby, my friend made up an absurd name and used it with a straight face. “We’re think of naming her Aubergine, if it’s a girl.” People would respond with a polite but confused “Oh, that’s an interesting name.” Then, still deadpan, she would add, “If it’s a boy, then we’re leaning toward Mad-Dog.” That usually tipped people off that she was just messing with them.


¹ A peek behind the curtain: I couldn’t decide whether to write fetus or embryo, and I knew that if I picked one, then people would say that I should’ve picked the other, so I decided to avoid the issue entirely by writing “adorable little parasite”. This is what nitpickers have turned me into.


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