— -- Happy Meal. Pepperoni. Little Tuna.
They're all words that might easily be taken for foods a woman craves while she is pregnant. But in fact, they are among the nicknames given to unborn children across the country.
The app Ovia Pregnancy, a fertility tracking product by Ovuline that has more than 2 million users in the U.S., recently released data revealing some of the most unusual terms of affection for unborn babies in all 50 states.
“Baby nicknames are one of the first emotional connections a mother has with her unborn baby,” said Ovuline’s chief product and marketing officer, Gina Moro Nebesar. “By giving her baby a cute nickname, [moms] can laugh with their partners over questions like, 'How's little Peanut doing today?' Or in the case of Minnesota users, 'How's Fish Stick doing today?' Creating pet names is a very human thing to do.”
Upon registering with the app, users are asked to give their baby a nickname, which is how Ovuline came to learn what might otherwise be a private moniker.
While the top three nicknames were Bean (8,024), Peanut (34,516) and Baby (37,862 entries) -- the default option -- Ovuline was curious whether any nicknames were unique to states or popular in certain regions. So a data team comprised of Nebesar, senior data scientist Isabella Patton, and software developer Christina Kelley culled through 630,000 data points related to baby nicknames, then used a filtering process to isolate 56,093 unique, rare nicknames entered by users in each of the 50 states.
The results were not strictly related to snacks. Sweet Thang was called out as North Carolina's most unusual nickname, while South Dakota parents chose the more humorous Buttkiss.
“The most surprising things about the results were the specific regional differences in Ovia Pregnancy users' baby nicknames,” Nebesar told ABC News. “Some were expected, like ‘Baby Pineapple’ in Hawaii or ‘The Lone Ranger’ in Texas. But we also found broader regional trends beyond the state. For example, entire regions tend to enjoy creating unique names with similar base words, like ‘sugar’ in the South, ‘bean’ in the Northeast, and ‘bug’ in the Northwest."
So is there any chance that labels such as “Tiny Beep” and “Sugalump” will stick with the child through to adulthood? Possibly.
“These children will all likely get more official names once they’re born,” said Nebesar. “But their mothers will probably always call them by this very first one.”