On the occasion of Saint West
Dominique Charriau/ Getty Images
I’m not exaggerating when I say that people have been waiting for this name all weekend and even before that. The name community, which by the way is growing robustly, according to recent reports, was wondering which way this was going to go. You don’t follow ‘North’ with ‘Matt’, but, even better, everyone knew they had no intention of doing so. It’s a lot more fun than speculating about the name of Princess turned-out-to-be-Charlotte. My friends at Nameberry even offered advice to Kanye in case they were suffering turmoil. (‘Winter’ got the top spot, though I really liked ‘Power’.)
Then today it was announced: Saint West.
Forgive me, all, because I do not hate this name.
In fact, I like it more than North by a considerable margin. First of all, it means something. Saint evokes an image, whether you agree with it or not, and immediately confers a tone. Whether it’s the beginning of a title or the cementing of an angelic-ness, I kind of like it. Full disclosure, I’m fond of telling people they are saints if, for example, they put up with annoying people – so I’m used to the word.
But there’s even another weird legitimacy here…I know, I hear myself too. My grandmother’s maiden name was ‘Singen’, as far as I knew growing up. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I saw it written out – St. John (as in SAINTJohn, filtered through an Irish accent). There’s precedent for using ‘Saint’ in names, and if other surnames have been used for first names, this is almost…almost inside the walls of convention. I’m always asking people to name their children equally, to have names with similar weight and importance, and they did it. The Wests. Are you not impressed?
I haven’t consulted the rest of the name people on exactly how long my exile is going to be for not denouncing this, but I’ve been sitting here mulling it over, and I’m still not mad at Saint. So I guess that’s how this week is going to go…