This blog has moved! Please join us over at!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Baby Name to Consider: Kimbra

J. writes:
I was recently introduced to the music of New Zealand musical artist Kimbra aka Kimbra Lee Johnson and thought her name was ripe for using. It has the familiarity of Kim/Kimberly with today's popular BR sound found in fast-risers Aubree, Briella, Brielle and Aubrey (referenced on the Baby Name Wizard blog).

Although the bree sound is current, I suspect the -bra sound belongs more to names such as Deborah and Barbara. But combining the -bra of two generations ago with the Kim- of last generation does result in a fresh and surprising sound.

Other things that come to mind when considering the name Kimbra:

1. cobra
2. bra
3. Simba
4. limbo/limber

So for me, it's the perfect name for a pop star: distinctive, with sexy/wild associations---and, since she's an adult, no fears of middle school classmates repeatedly remarking on the "bra" element.

The Social Security Administration doesn't have Kimbra in their data base for 2011, which means the name was given to four or fewer babies that year. Since Kimbra's album appeared in North America only this year, we may see a change right away in the 2012 data. I can picture someone using it as a combination honor name for a baby's Grandma Barbara and Aunt Kim.

What does everyone else think about the name Kimbra? Let's have a poll over to the right. [Poll closed; see results below.]

Poll results for "Name to Consider: Kimbra" (354 votes total):

I love it! I'd want to use it! - 5 votes (1%)
I like it! I'd want to consider it! - 16 votes (5%)
I like it for someone else's baby - 55 votes (16%)
No particular opinion - 28 votes (8%)
Slight dislike - 146 votes (41%)
Strong dislike - 104 votes (29%)


M.Amanda said...

To me, this feels like it fits only a certain kind, like someone with strong ties to Africa or Australia. I'd think it was cute on those people. On a regular little girl from the midwest, like my daughter, it feels the kind of made-up name where the parents just started putting sounds together trying to give their child a Unique and Creative Name.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I can't get past other sound-alike words that pop into my head when I hear Kimbra: Cobra, Simba, Cymbal, Bimbo, the name Kendra that I'm not personally a fan of (and which in the south where I live is pronounced "Kindra"). But at the same time I can imagine someone out there pulling it off which how I voted. I think I like it better on an adult.

Ms. Key said...

This makes me think of 80s pop music... was there a Kimber or a Kimbra then? Oh, I know... on Jem and the Holograms, her sister was named Kimber. So, Kimbra makes me instantly feel transported back to the 80s. I'm just not feeling it.

Now, that's a personal opinion, and also... I never really connected with the name Kimberley to begin with, so it probably just isn't my person style.

Anonymous said...

it sounds like the name for a pet. i can see it as a stage name, but not as a name for a little girl.

Dree said...

Makes me think of the musician Kimya Dawson, whose name I always thought of as cute & unique.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh.....I bet I am the only one with a sister named Kimbra (hard to find in any sort of baby books!). I was pretty excited to see that song with the artist Kimbra in it. My sister Kimbra is 20 and I know my mom got the name from a Kimbra in my brothers class at school who was 10 at the time. Those are the only two Kimbra's that I've ever met.

I am not entirely sure why my mom went with Kimbra rather than Kimberly, but I do know that she would have chosen Jenny instead of Jennifer for me and Matt instead of Matthew for my brother. She had a very tough pregnancy and pretty much got her way on the names, I think :)

As a sort of funny aside, Kimbra is a twin. Her full name is Kimbra Lea (pronounced Lee) and the other twin is Kara Lynn. Say both names fast and you have a different full name!

As far as the name goes, I don't think it has aged as well as Kara's name, but I still like it a lot and like Kim.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised to be in the minority of really liking this name! It reminds me of Kendra and Ember in a very positive way. The Simba connotation doesn't bother me at all since I love the Lion King, and things like bra/cobra seem like quite a stretch. Also, I cringe every time I hear/see Ainsley because I think of another word for butthole so the bra in Kimbra seems inconsequential.


Anonymous said...

I think it sounds like an African or Asian name but still can be pretty if someone really liked it I'd say go for it!

Crafty Beth said...

So weird--I'd never heard this name before today, when a Kimbra who is a friend of a Facebook friend commented on a photo of mine. In any case, I see "bra" immediately and it reminds me of Kimber. I wonder if some variation like Kimbree would fit even better into this generations names?

Anonymous said...

I just read your post last night then today took my son to the playground and saw a car with license plates "kimbra-2"! So there are at least 2 of them in my state with personalised plates!! How coincidental!
I live in Australia, where Kylie, Amber, Kim, are common. It seems like a blend of those to me, but I don't fancy it as a girl or woman's name. Kimberley is the name of a famous region and landmark here (KimberleyRanges) so is common and for some reason was given a lot to boys until maybe 30 years ago (maybe when Kylie Minogue became famous they stopped?)
Kimber is very American to me, but definitely has a better sound than Kimbra.