Back in January of 2023, when Kylie Jenner’s youngest son with rapper Travis Scott was about to turn 1, the reality TV star and makeup mogul shared pictures of him for the first time, along with his new legal name — Aire Webster (Webster is Scott’s legal last name).
Soon, articles popped up all over the internet, including on TMZ and Us Magazine, that Jenner had chosen a Hebrew name for her son. But did she? As the home of the internet’s finest Jewish baby name bank, we’re here to clear that up.
It all started when a Kylie fan account called KyliesSnapchat — which has over 2 million followers — shared a slideshow of pictures of Aire, which included a definition that said the name meant “lion of God” in Hebrew. The account captioned the post asking its followers if they think the name is pronounced “air” or “airy.” Jenner herself commented on that post, clarifying that her son’s name is pronounced like “air.”
On the recently aired (no pun intended) finale of the third season of Hulu’s “Kardashians,” Jenner explains the reasoning behind her son’s name change.
“I’m in the process of changing my son’s name because his legal name is Wolfe Webster, so I’m going to to do Aire Webster,” she told her friend Anastasia Karanikolaou. “I just always wanted to do a name for him that had meaning. It’s a Hebrew name,” she adds, and when Karanikolaou asks for its meaning, Jenner says that, “it means Lion of God.”
Yet, despite the information found on such acclaimed sites like Wow Baby Name, the name Aire is not Hebrew, and does not mean “lion of God.” Ari (ah-ree) and Aryeh (ar-yeah) are both Hebrew names that mean lion. But “aire” is not an alternative spelling for these names, nor are either of them pronounced anything like air.
Names that end with “yeh” or “yah” can denote “of God,” and if someone was confusing the name with Aryeh, that could be where that part came from. But if you’re looking for a Hebrew name that means “lion of God,” there is actually is very common one — Ariel or Arielle.
So nope, despite what Jenner was led to believe, we’re sorry to report that she did not give her son a Hebrew name that means lion or lion of God (though she did get into a lion-related controversy shortly after sharing Aire’s name for wearing a very convincing but very fake lion head to Schiaparelli’s couture runway in Paris).
Back in January, Arabic speaking commenters pointed out that her son’s name is also the Arabic slang word for “my penis” — though the expression is pronounced differently (air-ee). She’s joining a club of celebrities who accidentally named their kids something that sounds sort of like a curse, which includes Amy Schumer and Chrissy Teigen. Whoops?
Aire is, however, a mostly obsolete poetic spelling of the word air. Just like the name of her oldest daughter, Stormi, 5, it’s a name in the celestial realm with a quirky alternative spelling, so in that regard, it is a perfect choice.
Jenner originally named baby Aire Wolfe, and changed his name legally 16 months after his birth. Wolf and its Hebrew and Yiddish variations are, in fact, way more Jewish than Aire. But the name just didn’t feel right for Jenner’s second child. In the emotional day after she put it on his birth certificate, she realized she made a mistake.
“That night, I cried in the shower,” she recounted in the season three finale. “I was like, ‘That’s not his name. What did I just do? Wolfe?! Someone just told me this 24 hours ago, I just named my son Wolfe!’ … It wasn’t even on the list!”
“It was the hormones that took me out,” she explained to Karanikolaou. “It was like, ‘I’m too emotional, he’s so special to me. There’s not a name good enough for him.'” She also advised her best friend to choose her future children’s names long before their birth, when her mind is clear.
As someone who also struggled with naming my second born in those early days at the hospital, I must say that’s pretty sound advice. Though I’d definitely suggest double checking your sources about name meanings when you do.
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This article was originally published on January 23, 2023, and updated with new information about Aire’s name on July 31, 2023.