feature image (and adorable onesie!) courtesy of Simply Stated by Kristin Bleyenberg

Giving Your Baby a Michigan Inspired Name is the Ultimate High Five

So everyone and their brother in Michigan is either sporting a Smitten with the Mitten t-shirt or has a bumper sticker on their car.

I didn’t realize how deep our state pride was until I traveled out of Michigan and everyone started looking the same – you couldn’t tell an Ohio-an from an Alabaman! It’s pretty special to have such a uniquely shaped geography, and to be surrounded by world-class great lakes. It’s fun to hail from the mitten!

cute baby with Michigan baby rattle

Hanna Adams Photography

But who are the truly diehard Michiganders? Who is truly Smitten with the Mitten?

Answer: Those loyal folks who give their own kids a Michigan-inspired baby name!

This article is brought to you by Metro Health and is a collaboration between GRKIDS and Metro Health.

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Our List of Michigan-Inspired Baby Names

If you’re expecting and want some Michigan-centric baby name inspiration, here’s your list of baby names. (In no particular order.)

Edsel (Ford). Okay, so this one is a no brainer. With throwback names being all the rage right now, you can be on trend while also giving a silent nod to the famed Ford Company president and important Detroit art benefactor. Totally vintage. Totally better than Ethel.

Ford. This one scores you double points for Michigan madness. Because in addition to the invention of the automobile by that Ford, we’re also home to the 38th President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford.

Vernor. I think that maybe this is the most iconic Michigan name you can give your child. And Vern’s a cool nickname! Who’s game? If you have a thing for the best ginger ale in America, created right here in Detroit, you may be a good candidate.

Stevie (Wonder). Only smooth-singing musical savants need apply. Or if you think your kid may become a hardcore humanitarian.

Aretha. The name Aretha packs a powerful punch, yet still maintains a distinct air of femininity. It’s the kind of girl all girls dream of being.

Detroit. Just do it.

Chevelle. For parents who have a burning nostalgia for four on the floor.

Izzo. I love the nicknames Ozzy and Izzy. Go Green. Go White. Go with Izzo!

(Bob) Seger. Old Time Detroit N Roll rock in its hay day. Timeless. Iconic.

(Lewis) Cass. Cass sounds like a hard core name, if you ask me. And also could swing to the preppy side. Cass covers all the bases!

Frederik. The shoes of Frederik Meijer are big ones to fill, with his Meijer store dynasty, incredible philanthropy, and world-class Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park that is an amazing gift to West Michigan.

Sparky. This name is waiting for the right Detroit Tigers diehard fan. Is it you?

Michigan boy sporting Detroit Tigers hat

Gordie (Howe). And here’s one for the Red Wings fans out there. There can be only one Mr. Hockey, but there is no limit to admirers honoring him by giving this name to their kids.

(Barry) Gordy. If you don’t like Gordie with an ie, how about with a y? A definite nod to the iconic sounds of Motown.

Smokey (Robinson). Another Motown great, Smokey’s career was built on his great songwriting skills.

Malcolm (X). Did you know that this famed civil rights leader was raised in Lansing? Neither did I! Spread this tidbit of knowledge by naming your child Malcolm and telling everyone why.

Sojourner (Truth). Sojourner is just a beautiful name and she did beautiful things with her life fighting in the abolitionist movement. And she lived in Battle Creek.

Earvin Magic Johnson. Give him whatever first name you want. Then give him the middle name magic. People who aren’t diehard basketball fans may think you a little pretentious, but everyone else will get it. And give you the sly “I get you, man” wink.

Flint. I know they’ve got the whole water scandal going on, but sometimes I just want to root for this poor little city that gets a bad rap. Flint helped pioneer the automobile era. Flint has worked so hard to remake itself and its citizens are a resilient, hopeful bunch.

Mackinac (or Mackinaw). Because the nickname Mac is awesome. And no matter where your child will go, they’ll always know where he’s from.

Gilda (Radner). For those who aspire to raise a comedic genius.

(Tom) Selleck. Can Selleck be a first name? I hope so. Because Detroiter Tom Selleck is iconic in my book and his greatness needs to be made apparent in future generations.

Cadillac. Cuz cars. You can buy the Cadillac of houses or speed boats. Why not have the Cadillac of children?

(John C.) Sheehan This one is for the nerds of obscure, yet really interesting, facts. Do you know what John Sheehan, of Battle Creek, did for the world? He developed the synthetic form of penicillin in 1957, revolutionizing the field of medicine. Sheehan was awarded more than 40 patents including one for the explosive RDX, which replaced TNT in rocket, bomb, and torpedo warheads.

Leland. For those who are wistful for summers up north on Lake Michigan.

Ada. This one’s for you, West Michigan. It’s a sweet name. And a lot of great people hail from this little town outside of Grand Rapids. Make sure you take this one’s baby pics at the Ada Covered Bridge!

Alden. This tiny little northern Michigan town nestled alongside Torch Lake has a great modern yet sophisticated, while also pronounceable, name.

Rowe. This shortened version of the popular Rowan/en is for Grand Rapids history and architecture buffs. With the newly-rehabbed old Rowe hotel in downtown Grand Rapids, you can get in on the action and choose this cute, classy name, perfect for a girl or boy.

Elsie. Did you know that Elsie, Michigan is home of the world’s largest registered Holstein dairy herd? If this fact excites you, Elsie is the name for you!

More Michigan-Inspired Baby Names

Still Not Satisfied? Here are some more famous Michiganders that may spark your interest in naming your baby!

  • Steven Segal
  • Charles Lindbergh
  • Diana Ross
  • Sugar Ray
  • Ted Nugent
  • Ty Cobb
  • Madonna
  • Kellogg
  • Della Reese
  • Marshall Mathers. Or Eminem, if you like to be spunky.
  • Alice Cooper

What did we miss? Tell us in the comments other great Michigan-inspired baby names!

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