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World Cup Inspires Unusual Baby Names

By paulabernstein |

Experts predict that nine months from now, South Africa will have a baby boom as a result of the month-long World Cup festivities. If recent births are any indication, it’s likely that some of those babies will be named FIFA.

World Cup Fever has extended to baby-naming in South Africa. In particular, many babies born during the opening match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup between South Africa and Mexico were given names that commemorated the auspicious occasion.

The website Afrique en ligne reports that one of the babies born during the World Cup’s opening game was named ’Ke Nako’, a World Cup slogan that means ‘it is time’.

“‘Ke Nako’ is also what the little boy from the ESPN promos keeps repeating while he waves to you in your creepy World Cup-induced night terrors. But I suppose it’s cool (?) to have a slogan that has probably been plastered all over the country for the past year as your name,” writes Carter Daly at Yahoo Sports.

One woman gave birth to a set of boy twins during the opening match of South Africa and Mexico. In honor of the two teams, the babies’ parents named their twins Bafana Reinhardt and Mexico Llewellyn.

The new dad, who admitted he wasn’t much of a soccer fan, reportedly said, “‘I’m giving them those names as a token of my willingness to know more about the game…For them to be born on this day was a wonderful surprise.”

So little Mexico is going to have to grow up explaining why he is named after another country.

A baby born just 10 minutes after the first World Cup game was named FIFA, after the world soccer’s governing body. FIFA Ntshinga was born at Rahima Moosa Hospital in Johannesburg. Yes, her name is in all caps.

It’s not unusual for babies to be named after sports figures. Shaquille, Kobe, and Beckham all broke into The U.S. Social Security Administration top 1000 baby name rankings after their namesakes (Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and David Beckham) entered the sports scene.

My fellow blogger, Sierra, recently wrote about how your child’s name can help determine their future income, educational achievement, mental health and overall happiness.

By giving their children soccer-inspired names, are these parents ensuring that their kids will be sports fans or that they’ll be mercilously teased?

What do you think? Are World Cup and other sports-themed names clever or ridiculous?

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About paulabernstein



Paula Bernstein is a freelance writer and social media manager with a background in entertainment journalism. She is also the co-author of Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited.

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0 thoughts on “World Cup Inspires Unusual Baby Names

  1. [...] a) fucking stupid and b) way too consumed with current events rather than future events.  You see, Mexico was a twin born in South Africa during the opening match of the World Cup.  That match was between [...]

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