On Monday, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin shocked the political world with news that her 17-year-old daughter Bristol is five months pregnant. While the political ramifications of the pregnancy are much disputed, one thing is perfectly clear: Bristol’s baby will be born into a family with thoroughly weird names.
Bristol’s siblings are named Track, Willow, Piper, and Trig; Sarah Palin and her husband Todd were inspired by a variety of sources. Track is named after the sport , a family favorite. Bristol is christened after Bristol Bay , a preferred family fishing spot. Trig, the family says, is derived from the Norse for true or strength . Willow is the name of a community in Alaska. And Piper—well, as Todd Palin told People , "There's just not too many Pipers out there and it's a cool name." (If you don’t find those speculations satisfactory, Andrew Sullivan posted speculation from two readers that Willow and Piper are named after TV witches; that’s been more or less debunked .)
Reader contest alert: With all this intrafamily competition for unique names, Bristol Palin and her husband-to-be, Levi Johnston, need your help. Send your baby name ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them in the Fray by 6 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Sept. 3. Please write your suggestion for the baby’s name in the subject line of the e-mail or the Fray post, then include a sentence or two about its derivation in the body. (E-mail may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)