Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, chose some unusual names for their five children:
- Track, 19
- Bristol, 17
- Willow, 14
- Piper, 7
- Trig, 4 months
Track and Trig are boys, while Bristol, Willow and Piper are girls. Todd explained the origins of the names in a recent interview with People:
Sarah’s parents were coaches and the whole family was involved in track and I was an athlete in high school, so with our first-born, I was, like, ‘Track!’ Bristol is named after Bristol Bay. That’s where I grew up, that’s where we commercial fish. Willow is a community there in Alaska. And then Piper, you know, there’s just not too many Pipers out there and it’s a cool name. And Trig is a Norse name for “strength.”
But wait…in an earlier MSNBC interview, a Palin spokesperson had stated that Trig was a Norse name meaning “true” and “brave victory.” (Was that a flip-flop?) The Bad Baby Names Blog takes issue with both definitions:
Trig doesn’t appear to be any kind of “Nordic” name, as the family claims. There’s “Trygg”, a Norwegian name which means “safe” or “reliable” – but there’s unfortunately no “brave victory.”
Regardless of its meaning, Trig was the name of the baby’s great uncle, KTUU News learned from Sarah Palin’s father. He also mentioned that one of Trig’s middle names, Paxson, was chosen in honor of Paxson, Alaska — home of the Arctic Man snowmobile festival.
Several sources, including the NY Daily News, have suggested that Piper’s name was inspired by the Piper Super Cub, a bush plane popular in Alaska.
Odd names tend to elicit strong reactions — mostly negative reactions, in this case. For instance, Rachael Brownell calls the names “bizarre.” Debbie Schlussel says they’re “[w]hacked out and pretentious. And frankly, stupid.” Nancy Friedman asks: “Do we want someone with such poor judgment in naming to be a heartbeat away from the presidency?”
How do you feel about the names? If you’re in the U.S., will they have any influence on the way you vote?