In an all-caps post titled “Baby name!,” she wrote:
“My baby is not called Ickitt, Pickit or Lickit thank you very much to all the Hollywood press. He’s a baby, he don’t need press!
“I didn’t release the baby name because I didn’t think it was news!!!!
“But I will be back with something newsworthy soon, till then go pick on Apple, Satchel and Moon Unit.
“Lots of love stickit!!”
M.I.A. was referring to the long list of unusual celebrity baby names in recent years (although Moon Unit is the name of the late Frank Zappa’s daughter, now 41).
The boy is M.I.A.’s first child; the father is musician Benjamin Bronfman, who has also gone by the name Benjamin Brewer.
New York’s Daily News contacted several South Asian writers and scholars for illumination on the significance of the name “Ickitt,” to little avail.
K.T. Rajasingham, editor of the online publication the Asian Tribune, told the paper it is not a Tamil name. A New York member of the South Asian Journalists Association said that in classical Tamil, the word “Ickattu” means “tough” or “inextricable,” but he had no translation for “Ickitt.”
Neha Kumar, an Indian student at the University of Michigan Center for South Asian studies, told the paper the word “ickitt” functions as a command that means “to keep.” But another Tamil speaker said he’d never heard the word, adding “I’d guess she just made up a name she liked.”
M.I.A.’s given name is Mathangi Arulpragasam.
The singer’s pregnancy was the source of much speculation before the Grammys, as the day of the show was her due date. However, she performed “Swagga Like Us” with Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, T.I. and Kanye West without incident. The singer earned an Oscar nod for her work on “Slumdog Millionaire.”