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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Baby Name to Consider: Kilo

E. writes:
I am looking to get opinions on a name I've been considering. I am only 6 weeks pregnant,  and we are choosing to not know the sex of our baby until birth. Our last name is Lawrence so I really do want a unique first name to go with our common last name. One boy name that I really like is Kilo (kee-loh) with a family name for the middle name. I got the idea from hearing a gentleman as a guest speaker on the radio,  he was named Kilo and I really like what he was speaking about. I also really like how the name is simple and still unique. At one time I also liked the name Keno but quickly dismissed that name due to its association with gambling which I choose to not gamble for my own moral beliefs. Now with Kilo, would people associate this name with anything negative? Like drugs? I kind of live in a bubble and not sure if drug dealers use kilos more commonly or grams or some other unit of measure? Possibly I am overthinking this but wondering what somebody's first thought is when they hear "Kilo"  I do love the name however I don't want any regrets if people have a negative association with its word form.

My associations aren't negative, but they're definitely measurement-related rather than name-related: Kilo is filed in my mind with words like meter, yard, inch, and gram. The name is not in the Social Security Administration's baby name data base for 2011.

If I saw Kilo used as a name, I would think it might be pronounced Milo with a K.

Another association was niggling in the back of my mind; I finally figured out it was reminding me of Cee Lo Green, who sang the huge hit "F**k You!" in 2010.

What does everyone else think of the name potential of Kilo?


Anonymous said...

As an Australian, I couldn't help but laugh at someone called Kilo. Just imagine coming across someone called Pound! I would also be inclined to pronounce it like Milo.

Anonymous said...

I agree, my first association was weight, even though I'm american, I understand British or commonwealth countries use kilo as an abbreviation for kilogram - as In 'I weigh 75 kilos'. (No idea if that's a reasonable number though).

Having just woke up this morning, it took me a beat to get to the fact that it's a generic metric prefix, but once I did it's a strong association. I can't get 'how big is a thousand Lawrence's?' out of my head.

Michelle said...

I work for my state's judicial system and I can tell you that "Kilo" would be associated with drug activity. In fact, I've seen that alias come across my desk-it's even kind of a joke around here of how stupid it is to use an alias that actually indicates the criminal activity of choice.

If it were spelled Kylo, I would think 'Milo with a K'. But Kilo reads 'short for kilogram'- and the first association is 'Officers found one hundred kilos of cocaine in the suspect's trunk.'

Maybe you live in Hawaii. It does sound a bit Hawaiian to me. If there was another OBVIOUS association that could eclipse the drug slang, it might be workable.

Anonymous said...

Imagine the teasing potential if he was overweight... I would avoid it.

Suzanne said...

I hear "Kilo" and think "Gram". Since most of the world uses metric, I think it should be crossed off the name list.

Sarah said...

Yeah, I thought of drugs right away. Dealers use grams and such, too, but kilos are right in there. I live in the city and a child going to school here would hear about it.

Have you thought of Milo? Or Leo, if you don't mind the alliteration of the L sound? Or Theo?

beyond said...

The US is the only country in the world that doesn't use the metric system, except in regards to drugs. I would avoid it.
Perhaps you might like a name that has similar sounds. Like Keena for a girl. Kylo (like Milo) seems like a good option, too.

LiciaLee said...

My first thought is metric sytstem. I don't think its usable.

Miranda said...

I immediately thought, oh no DRUGS! I wouldn't use it-- sorry.

Jaime said...

Truthfully, my first reaction was "cocaine". Though I like the idea of "Kylo", with the Milo pronunciation.

Anonymous said...

kilo - pound - weight (i wouldn't use it!)

Butterflyfish said...

There are other (traditional) names that evoke measurement when said aloud -- Graham and Millie come to mind -- but Kilo evokes it in written AND spoken AND its not an otherwise traditional name.

To me, its just not useable.

Michelle said...

This same scenario is posted on Name Candy's Name Lady, and someone on there suggested the Finnish Kielo (lily of the valley). I think that if a name that is gendered one way in antoher country sounds of the other gender in another, it's doable. Take Michelle for example. It's French for Michael, but to the English speaking, it sounds feminine. You might consider Kielo (Key-elo) for a boy.

M.Amanda said...

Kilo... of cocaine. I can't help it. I like cop shows and action movies. After that, I wondered if you perhaps were mishearing Cee-Lo Green's name. I think it's unusable.

If it's the -o ending and long vowel sound you like, what about Hugo?

Meg said...

I thought a kilo of coke

Anonymous said...

My first reaction was that's what you hear on the news when there's a cocaine bust. "X number of Kilos of cocaine were confiscated." Don't do it!

ambient said...

I did not think of drugs. However, I definitely pronounced it with a long i...pronouncing it the same as the metric prefix makes it feel substantially less name-y to me. I think Michelle's idea above is a great one — changing up the spelling could help reinforce it as a name instead of a noun or a drug bust.

Kaela said...

Yeah, I thought measurements first and drugs second-- and I am a fan of word names! (My faves include Echo and Story). Kilo is a bit too generic-yet-specific, and doesn't have any positive associations.

Since you like "Kilo" and "Keno", I wouldn't surprised if you liked other Hawaiian/Hawaiian-sounding names...both sound very Hawaiian to me. How about Kai (means "sea"), Liko (means "bud"), Keanu (means "cool" as in breezy), Kaleo ("the voice"), Koi ("to implore"), Kanai ("victor"), Kei ("joyful"), Malu ("shelter"). Do any of those appeal?

Or Japanese names... Ando, Ryu, Akio, Akira, Haru, Jiro (pronounced Jee-ro), Kaito, Kenji, Kiyo, Riku, Shiro, Tai, Kaizu, Koji.

Some of these names read as very Japanese or Hawaiian and that might be an issue for you...but others (Ando, Kiyo, Akio, Kai, Kei, Kenji, Kiro, Akira etc) are ambiguous enough to seem unusual but not unexpected or difficult-- just American.

I also know non-Japanese boys named Kenji (short for Kenneth), Ando, and Akira.

I hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Drugs are definitely the first thing that comes to mind! I wouldn't use it.

melissa.cureton said...

It reminds me of drugs - they say "Police confiscated 1000 kilos of drugs" in the news. That is my first and very strong association. I would not choose that name.

Anonymous said...

I associate Kilo with drugs If I heard my teenager talking about going somewhere with a boy called "Kilo" I'd assume it was a drug related street name-and they wouldn't be going. Changing the spelling but keeping the same pronunciation won't solve the problem. People will still hear Kilo. There are enough names with with similar sounds that you should be able to find something else you like, especially this early in the game. Leo & Theo are good. I looked at the suggestions over on Name Lady & there were some good ones there too.

Portia said...

I agree with the previous comments.

If the reason you're drawn to the name is that you liked what the radio Kilo was talking about, maybe you could pick a name that reflects the spirit of his talk? I think that would better reflect your positive reaction than just the name of the person who was saying it.

Alice said...

my first thought was to mispronounce it "KY-low" (i think because of the singer Rilo Kiley). If i heard it pronounced as kilo, i'd go straight to the metric measurement (although not to drugs, personally. maybe i'm sheltered!).

Anonymous said...

If he or she is chubby that sounds like a nightmare.

I also pronounced it Kyelo like Milo with a K.

SF said...

I didn't associate it with drugs, but just weight and measurement, and pronounced like the word, kee-low.

I wouldn't use it as a name, but here are some similar-ish names you might like: Nico/Nick (Nicholas), Milo (my-low), Leo/Lio, Kyle, Paco, Ringo.

Best of luck! :)

Christine said...

I thought of measurement immediately and then drugs. Once you get that association there it is THERE. I think Kilo is unusable, but I liked the suggestions given above.

Good luck!

Jessica said...

Huh. I didn't think of drugs (just measurements), but now that you brought up the drug association I can't not think of it. It makes the name completely unusable for me.

Christina Fonseca said...

Kilo is a no-go. Would be just like naming a kid Pound, Ounce or Ton. Don't go there.

Kimberly said...

Like many others, I first associated the name Kilo with drugs. But could it just be the spelling? What if you spelled it Kilowe? or Keylo? or Keelo? or Khilo? or Kheelo? and so on. To me, spellings like Kilowe and Khilo look feminine and spellings like Keelo and Kheelo look masculine.

Good luck, I hope you find something just as good or even better than Kilo!

Lisa said...

My first impression was that it rhymed with Milo, and it made me think of a trendy take on Rilo Kiley since K names are popular among a certain set right now. But actually pronouncing it kilo takes my mind straight to drugs (and I'm as straight-laced as they come). To me, it sounds like a baby name a dealer would find clever. But even moving beyond that, as a unit of measure and weight, that name could be quite cruel for a person with anything other than a fantastic body.

As someone who faced a similar struggle naming a baby with a (far more) common last name, I encourage you to keep looking. You will find a real and wonderful name for your child, I'm sure of it!

Megz said...

My first thought was weight (in general, not related to drugs) as I live in a non-American country. I would not use it but if I met someone by that name I'd accept it pretty quickly.

Second thought was that it is the letter K in the Phonetic alphabet.

Perhaps you would like the other Phonetic names:

Lima ?
Tango ?

Lima ?

Tara said...

I agree with all of the previous comments, it's not usable.

What about something like Kieran 'Kilo' Logan *family name*? It doesn't flow the best, but I think it would work.

Keaton is a name you may like, it has the same first sound as Kilo and Keno.

Bridget said...

I live in a non-american country and I find the idea of Kilo as a name a bit odd. So I agree with other posters, I wouldn't use it

OSquared said...

I used to work at an animal shelter. We ended up with two dogs that were seized during a police drug bust. The owner had named one of them Kilo. We changed it as we weren't comfortable adopting out a dog with the name Kilo.

Johanna Baker said...

I had a neighbor growing up that had a super cute little dog named kilo. He was a tiny chihuahua, and I assume he weighed about a kilo (I think two-ish pounds).

Great name for a pup. May cause problems for a human. What if he happened to have weight issues? I didn't automatically jump to drugs, but I'm sure a lot of people would.

Perhaps, if you really love it, you could use it as a nickname?

Stephanie said...

My first thought was poor kid, if he/she was even slightly overweight they would be subject to some nasty teasing. I live in Australia so drugs didn't even cross my mind, but I was overweight as a child so I would never name a child something that would direct weight-related bullying their way.

British American said...

My first thought was weight and then I thought of an overweight child / person. So I wouldn't use the name for that reason, personally.

I didn't think of drugs, but that would be another negative point for the name.

Claire said...

My first association is with the measure of weight - this seems like a pretty cruel thing to name a kid - if they are on the heavy-set side, you've done 98% of the bullies' work for them.

My next association is with a story I heard about what a drug dealer named his dog - yup, "Kilo." Don't do it.

Anonymous said...

Okay okay..I am scratching the name off my list. Thank you everyone for your thoughts I really appreciate it. Now what about this name for a boy: Zealand ??? I do have my heart set on this name. The only word/thought association I have with this name is the country New Zealand. My grandfather lived there for a period of tim e and had wonderful experiences there. I would also use my gpa's middle name as baby Zealand's middle name. And I feel like it goes with the trend of location names such as Phoenix or Brooklyn. Any other thoughts on this name. I tend to attract to unique names but I don't want to try to hard to be unique to where it curses my child with a lifetime of explanations. Thank you! -"E"

d e v a n said...

I also think of two things when I hear Kilo.
1 - drugs
2 - weight

I don't think it's useable as a name, but I liked the suggestions of Hawaiian names above.

AirLand said...

Nothing new to add, but these are what came to mind for me:

1. Weight
2. Drugs
3. Sounds maybe Hawaiian
4. Sounds like a dog's name
5. Sounds like a mashup of Rilo Kiley

Except for maybe being Hawaiian, I don't see any positives with this name. The only spelling variation that doesn't look weird to me is maybe Keylo. Maybe. But then people might pronounce it like Kay-low.

Anyway, this is a pretty accepting name crowd and if they're not into it... it's probably too far out there.

The Mrs. said...

Another name that is out of the mainstream is Helio. It is Greek for 'sun'.

Kilo makes me think of drugs. And chemotherapy. Sorry!

Rico, Nico, Zeke, Rio, Pete, Deke, Steve, and Timo all share the same long 'e' sound.

Best wishes to you and your husband. You'll find the best name ever for your little one!

A Textbook Case said...

My immediate association was drugs. The second was measurement. It's too bad, because I do like the sound of the name, but for me it would not be useable.

StephLove said...

Wow, a lot of comments here. I can't read them all, but here's my two cents.

I would probably guess the pronunciation was the same as for weight because it's a familiar looking word. The Milo pronunciation might pop into my head though.

It's the kind of name that might grow on me but my initial reaction would be slightly negative. It just seems odd.

Kathleen said...

I think of drugs. But I know it sounds pretty! I think it is a beautiful word...but it does bring drugs to mind.

Anonymous said...

def think of drugs

sad but true

Nedra said...

Interesting. I love the metric system, but when I saw this post a few days ago, it took me a moment to stop mentally pronouncing it as Milo with a K. Today I saw the title for this post again and again I initially pronounced it with a long "I" sound again. Even after I pronounced it with the long "e" sound, it still somehow didn't register as a unit of mass until readers pointed this out. I feel like the context -- seeing it on a name board and not a sack of flour -- makes a big difference. That said, when he got into more math and science classes in school, the context would be side-by-side with his name and I think it would feel awkward. Again, the drug reference never would have occurred to me, but since folks in the juvenile justice system say it's a common dealer nickname, I'd hate for that reference to follow your kid around. Especially accidents in a situation where he'd be in context with that system or other folks (disciplinarians at school, police officers, etc) who would know the reference and prejudge him for it.

Anonymous said...

to me this name reminds me of the phonetic alphabet, alfa, bravo, charlie, delta, echo... and k is kilo. i like it. a measurement for drugs does come to mind, but not as strong an association as mary jane. it does not ring squarely as a measurement however because it really just means 1000, but 1000 what? it would have to be kiloGRAM, kiloMETER to really mean a measurement. if you love it, go with it!