Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name North

North really isn’t a given name, but recently the celebrity couple Kanye West and Kim Kardashian put it on the map when they named their baby girl North West in June of 2013. We also discovered that 13 baby boys were given the name North in 2012 (so far, we can’t find any other evidence of this name for girls other than little Miss West). Still, given North’s recent media attention, we thought this was a name worth looking at. When asked by Barbara Walters on “The View”, North West’s grandmother Kris Kardashian had this to say: “The way [Kim] explained it to me, north means highest power, and North is their highest point together. I thought that was really sweet." We agree. That is sweet. Like “Sweet’n Low” sweet. Although we hate to be the bearer of bad news, Kimye, from an etymological perspective, your interpretation is arguably wrong. The original Olde English word for “north” was “norð”; it originated from the Proto Indo-European root “ner-“ meaning “below, down, under”, also “left” because when you're facing the rising sun (to the east), "north" is to your left. Supporting evidence can be found in the Sanskrit word for “hell” नरक (naraka) and the Greek word for “from beneath, under” (ενερθεν, enertha). Furthermore, the Olde English word “suð” (south) originally meant “sun, region of the sun”; “east” (east) came from “austra” meaning “toward the sunrise” derived from the Proto Indo-European root “aus-“ meaning “to shine”; and finally “west” (west) from the PIE root “we-“ meaning “to go down” in reference to the direction where the sun sets. Of course most people associate the directions north with “upwards” and south with “downwards” because of their respective locations when facing a conventional map as well as their symbolic positions in terms of where we conceive them to be. From an etymological perspective, North West actually has a double-dose of “down” when you consider the true origin of the words. Whoopsie-daisy! We don’t mean to be a “downer” on the subject, but those are the etymological facts.

All About the Baby Name – North

Personality

OF THE UNISEX NAME NORTH

The Three energy is powerful and enthusiastic. These personalities are cheerful, full of self-expression, and often quite emotional. They have an artistic flair and "gift-of-gab" that makes them natural entertainers. Their joyfulness bubbles over, and their infectious exuberance draws a crowd. The Three personality is like a child - forever young and full of delight. They are charming, witty, and generally happy people. The Three personality lives in the "now" and has a spontaneous nature. Threes seem to live with a bright and seemingly unbreakable aura that attracts others to them. In turn, they are deeply loyal and loving to their friends and family. Luck also has a tendency to favor number Threes.

Popularity

OF THE UNISEX NAME NORTH

Most people would agree that North points upwards, and that’s a fair interpretation. From this perspective, North is an “acme” sort of name, so we “get” Kimye’s name decision. We just think this name is a good example for the argument of fact-checking. The North Wind is the wind that brings cold weather indicative of winter (in the Northern Hemisphere). North is the direction where moss grows on trees (because it sees the littlest amount of sun). In one of Aesop’s fables, the Sun defeats the North Wind in an ancient contest (see literary references below). From a positive perspective, North is the “default” direction on a compass. The North Pole is where Santa Claus lives. Up is a metaphor for North, a perception established by the ancient Greek astronomer Ptolemy. It’s all just a matter of perspective.

Quick Facts

ON NORTH

GENDER:

Unisex

ORIGIN:

American

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

1

RANKING POPULARITY:

N/A

PRONUNCIATION:

NORTH

SIMPLE MEANING:

Below, left

Characteristics

OF NORTH

Communicative

Creative

Optimistic

Popular

Social

Dramatic

Happy

Cultural References to the Baby Name – North

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME NORTH

Nayeli is the central character in Luis Alberto Urrea's 2009 novel “Into the Beautiful North”. Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who journeyed to the US to find work. Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn't the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village--they've all gone north. While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go north herself and recruit seven men--her own "Siete Magníficos"--to repopulate her hometown and protect it from the bandidos who plan on taking it over. Filled with unforgettable characters and prose as radiant as the Sinaloan sun, Into the Beautiful North is the story of an irresistible young woman's quest to find herself on both sides of the fence.

Popular Songs

ON NORTH

North Dakota
a song by Lyle Lovett

Famous People

NAMED NORTH

We cannot find any famous people with the first name North.

Children of Famous People

NAMED NORTH

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name North

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME NORTH

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name North