The 10 Most Surprising Brand Names That Became Baby Names

May 28th 2015


Luxury brand names are always hopping the fence into baby name territory. Thousand of babies have been named Lexus and Armani since the '90s, and it's a safe bet that the '70s-'80s generation of Tiffanys wasn't inspired by St. Theophania.

But soft drinks? Cosmetics? Toilet paper? The everyday products of our lives don't serve as baby name inspiration...unless the name is just right.

Below are 10 brand names that demonstrate the power of pure sound and style, and parents' readiness to pick up an attractive name wherever they may find it. Each name has registered on the U.S. national baby name statistics, meaning it was given to at least 5 boys or girls in a single year. 

Charmin (F) — This baby name was most popular during the '70s heyday of Charmin toilet  paper's "don't squeeze the Charmin" ad campaign.

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Velveeta (F) — The processed cheese product that melts smooth as velvet. Made the name charts repeatedly in the late 1950s.

Pepsi (F) —The creator of Pepsi Cola named his drink after the enzyme pepsin, to emphasize its healthy tonic properties. As a baby name, Pepsi peaked in the mid 1970s.

Ikea (F&M) — The global pre-fab furniture maker opened its first U.S. store in 1985. The name Ikea hit the U.S. girls' name charts the same year, and rose for several years as the  chain expanded. At its peak in 1989, Ikea made the boys' charts, too.

Adidas (M) —The name of the athletic apparel maker comes from its founder, Adolf "Adi" Dassler. Adidas hit the baby name charts for a string of years in the 1980s.

Trivia (F) — This unlikely yet attractive name peaked in 1984, the peak year of the Trivial Pursuit game craze.

Clinique (F) —The Estee Lauder company launched Clinique as "the first dermatologist-created line of beauty products." The name is French for "clinical," but it has appeared occasionally on baby name charts as parents focus more on the beauty connection and the Monique-like sound rather than the literal meaning.

Dasani (F&M) —The name Dasani was created by the Coca-Cola Company for its bottled water product, introduced in 1999. The name debuted in the stats for both boys and girls that very year. More than a thousand babies have been named  Dasani since then, making it the most popular name on this list.)

Tonka (M) — The Tonka toy company was founded near Lake Minnetonka (from the Dakota for "big water"). The iconic toy truck name hit the boys' list in 1973.

Subaru (M) —The carmaker took the name Subaru, meaning "govern" or "unite," from the Japanese name for the Pleiades star cluster which is pictured in its logo.  Subaru made its first appearance on the American baby names list in 2013.

 

Comments

1
May 28, 2015 4:58 PM

My cousins played with a little girl named Shalimar (for the perfume). She's now in her early 40s.

2
May 29, 2015 1:11 AM

I could never imagine naming a child the same name as toilet paper.  That is just wrong and cruel.  I once knew a little girl named Nordica like the brand clothes. A silly name for sure for a girl.

3
May 29, 2015 1:50 PM

I love this. What's wrong with toilet paper? What, you don't use it every day?

Imma name my baby Taco Bell y'all.

4
June 9, 2015 2:17 PM

Tonka means big or great. The Minne part means water, as in Minneapolis (city of lakes) and Minnesota (clear blue water / sky colored water). 

5
June 9, 2015 2:45 PM

I was expecting to see Chanel on this list. I have had several students by that name. I have also known a Tonka and a Dasani, though I did not teach either. 

6
June 10, 2015 4:41 AM

I'm reminded of a piece on the New Yorker site, entitled "A Homeless Baby’s Sad Legacy".  A child was named Dasani after the bottled water, which her mother saw as 'aspirational'. 

8
June 25, 2015 11:56 AM

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