letter K
letter K (Photo credit: Leo Reynolds)


Love ’em or hate ’em, the Kardashian clan’s influence is tough to ignore.  In the land of baby names, they’ve helped keep alternative K spellings alive, with the name Khloe getting a big boost from her family’s reality endeavors.

Kourtney gets kredit (couldn’t resist) for helping propel Mason to the height of heights.  In 2009, Mason ranked #34 and was climbing steadily.  Then Kourtney and boyfriend Scott Disick gave the name to their son, and Mason skyrocketed, reaching #12 a year later, and #2 in 2011.  I’m reluctant to attribute all of our madness for Mason to Keeping up with the Kardashians, but hey – they family is inescapable, and even if you would never, ever, ever name a child after a a celebutante’s kid, all that exposure for Mason surely put him on the radar of many more parents.

Now she and Scott have welcomed a daughter named Penelope Scotland.  The scenario is eerily similar.  The name has been trending up, up, up, with a few other notables using the name in recent months.

Does this mean that Penelope will follow Mason’s trajectory?

My suspicion is that she will.  Penelope went from #200 in 2010 to #169 in 2011.  And here’s the thing: she’s on everyone’s list.  She’s smart, quirky, undeniably stylish.  Like her big brother, this Kardashian kid has a flat-out great name.

I’m more intrigued by Scotland.  Clearly a spin on dad’s name, Scott, akin to Mason’s middle, Dash, from KarDASHian.  Scotland has never been a common given name in the US, but why not?  Now that Scott is firmly in dad name territory, Scotland feels like a fresh spin.

A handful of girls were named Scotlyn, Scottlyn, Scottlynn, and yes, Scotland in 2011.  Of course, Scotland also seems like a possible place name for a boy.


So if Penelope is the new Olivia, could Scotland be the new … Brooklyn?  And what do you think of the reality star’s choice?


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About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. I also dislike Mason (it’s always sounded bland and reminded me of mason jars, and now it’s too common). But I love, love, love Penelope. I love its sound, its slightly quirky image, its meaning (“weaver”), its connection to literature…such a great name. But– I wouldn’t use it, because I think as time goes on it will be quite dated…not in a way that tarnishes its appeal terribly, but in a way that it makes it very clear what generation its bearer belongs to. And I want to avoid that. I have a feeling it might end up a bit like Chloe (though Chloe had no extensive use in the English speaking world before current times, and Penelope did). Penelope is definitely headed for the top 50 now, and maybe even the top 20 or 10. But I think the latter will only happen if her general sound comes in style. Maybe whenever the frilly-ends-in-‘a’ era begins to wane– could be quite soon.

  2. I’m another who dislikes Mason but really liikes Penelope. I’d use it anyway, if I was having a girl this year (which I’m not). But I’d much rather swim in a sea of Penelopes than a lot of other names.
    All in all, a lovely choice that really surprised me, I too was expecting something horrible!