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Kim and Kanye's baby name 'Chicago' is unprecedented, says name expert

Elise Solé
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West named their new baby Chicago West. (Photo: Getty Images)

It’s Chicago West! Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have revealed the name of their newborn baby girl, delivered via gestational surrogate.

On Friday, the reality star tweeted “Chicago West,” then, with a separate note, her adorable nickname. “Chi.” Kardashian also schooled fans on how to address the girl. “And to everyone who thinks it’s literally pronounced as CHI. No. It’s “Shy,” she tweeted.

The baby sister of North, 4-and-a-half, and Saint, 2, was born on Tuesday, with Kardashian writing on her website, “Kanye and I are happy to announce the arrival of our healthy, beautiful baby girl. We are incredibly grateful to our surrogate who made our dreams come true with the greatest gift one could give and to our wonderful doctors and nurses for their special care.”

She also wrote of the baby, born Monday at 12:47 a.m., weighing 7 lbs., 6 oz., “North and Saint are especially thrilled to  welcome their baby sister.”

“Kim and Kanye surprised everyone by not choosing a one-syllable word name to match North and Saint, but also a ‘place name’ with ties to Kanye’s history — he was born in Atlanta but raised in Chicago and he strongly identifies with it as his hometown,” Linda Rosenkrantz, co-founder of the baby naming site Nameberry, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. Indeed, the rapper includes the line, “I’m talkin’ ’bout Chi-Town” in his 2007 hit “Homecoming.”

She added, “The nickname Chi is soft, feminine, and cute.”

Rosenkrantz says “Chicago” is a first — the site only entered the moniker on Friday with Kimye’s announcement — however, parents have been naming their kids after cities, states, and countries as far back as 1912 when “Virginia” was number 6 in the top ten baby names.

Think Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale’s son Kingston, Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth’s son Tennessee, David and Victoria Beckham’s son Brooklyn, Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson’s son Bronx, and Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky‘s daughter India.

Aside from Kanye’s roots, Rosenkrantz says that because Chicago was born via surrogate, her parents may have wanted her name to reflect their family history that much more.

Rosenkrantz also notes that while ‘place names’ are typically significant to parents, their meaning dilutes as they become trendy. “For example, Kingston may be special to Gwen Stefani but may not be as personalized to the people who use it next,” she says.

However, unlike Kourtney Kardashian‘s children Mason and Penelope Disick, whose names have dominated the baby charts for years, Chicago is unlikely to catch on, just like North and Saint.

Says Rosenkrantz, “Chicago passes the Kim and Kanye test for uniqueness.”

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