Schmoopy... Butterbutt... Pork Bun... What do you call your baby bump? Here are the most popular names for growing pregnancy bellies, state by state.
I've been calling the baby in my belly "Sugar" for the past 12 weeks or so. Why? It just feels right. It could be a boy or a girl in there, and the sweet sobriquet that I've been using is the closest thing to a unisex baby name that I've come up with so far. Plus, that Maroon 5 song has been playing on repeat every time I'm in the car and, lately, I can't get it out of my head.
Friends of mine have used other cute names for their bumps, like Blueberry, Poppy, and Sweet Pea. And it turns out, nicknames like these are pretty common. Ovuline (a company that offers mobile fertility and pregnancy apps) recently collected data from its 2 million or so users across the country and discovered just exactly what sorts of silly, adorable, or quirky monikers parents-to-be are using for baby bumps in each state.
"It's a growing trend," says Jennifer Moss, Founder and CEO of BabyNames.com, adding that parents may simply want to feel closer to the baby.
Gina Nebesar, chief product and marketing officer at Ovuline, adds: "Baby nicknames are one of the first emotional connections a mother has with her unborn baby. Creating pet names is a very human thing to do, and introduces intimacy into your language with your new child."
A quick look at the interactive map shows how truly creative some future moms and dads are when it comes to what they call growing bellies. For instance, Honeysuckle is a native shrub that some Pennsylvanians are taking inspiration from when it comes to baby nicknaming. In Nevada, where pig farms are common, Pork Bun is a unique, but logical, choice.
"While we certainly expected to see cultural differences from state to state, we also saw evidence for bigger patterns across whole regions. Southern states seemed to love making up nicknames based on the word 'sugar,' 'bean' was popular in the Northeast and 'bug' was trending in the Northwest," Nebesar says. "In the end, while all nicknames are special in their own sweet way, they're based on a language that we all share."
It's no surprise that Alaskans are calling their little ones Baby Eskimo, that Hawaiians are using Paradise Baby and Baby Pineapple, and that Texans seem to prefer Lone Ranger. But one has to wonder where Baby Bugaboo came from in Wyoming or why folks in Colorado are calling theirs Happy Meal.
Some of my favorites are Little Chick and Bean Pole in Iowa, Fish Stick and Shining Star in Minnesota, and Butterbutt and Dollface in Kansas. Who wouldn't love to call a beautiful belly Butterbutt?
The aliases are mostly endearing and all seem to hint at the miniature aspect of who they're naming, using terms like "tiny," "lil," "itty," and "mini." But once the baby is born, does that sweet nickname stick? Or does the newborn's real name become the focus?
"While these children will all likely get more official names once they're born, their mothers will probably always call them by this very first one," Nebesar says.
For the most part, Moss agrees. "What's interesting is some of them just keep that name as a nickname or a middle name," she says. "I know several parents that have used Bean as a middle name, because the ultrasound looks like a lima bean."
At five months pregnant right now, I'm not sure if I'll continue calling my baby Sugar once he or she makes an appearance. Perhaps I'll use it as a term of endearment every now and again. That said, I think I tend to prefer stately and serious names so it may be soon forgotten. Either way, it'll work just fine for the next four months.