By Linda Rosenkrantz
These days, not many of us name our kids Junior—though British singer Peter Andre (whose other child is Princess Tiaamii Crystal Esther) did just that–or even call them My Name, Jr. * But there are ways that you can still honor yourself but a little less blatantly. And for this, as in so many ways (just kidding), we can look to the stars for ideas.
- Translate your native-language name into English and use that version for your kid. Examples: Giada de Laurentiis literally translated Giada into her little girl’s name Jade, and golfer Padraig Hamilton Anglicized his Irish appellation for his son Patrick’s name.
- Take your nickname and cross-gender it into your daughter’s middle. Example: Louis CK and his girl Mary Lou.
- Drop your first initial, making your name more suitable for a daughter. Example: food guru Emeril Lagasse and his daughter Meril; in reverse, Vanna White pulled a variation by naming her daughter Giovanna.
- Give your child your original pre-stage first name, as Andy Garcia did with son Andrés and Martin Sheen did with his son Ramón.
- Find a rhyme for your name and pass it on to your son. Example: Mike and Spike Myers. The Guns ‘n’ Roses rocker known as Slash also went the rhyming route for his son’s name Cash.
- Switch your first and last names and apply. Example: Mary Matalin and James Carville’s daughter Matalin Mary.
- Make a name out of your first and last names’ initial syllables. Example: Courtney Cox called her girl Coco.
- Share a first syllable so you can have the same nickname. Example: Shaquille O’Neal plus his son Shaqir equals two Shaqs. The Will Smiths are the virtuosi of this syllable-sharing technique, adding a trans-gender flourish, with Will and daughter Willow and Jada and son Jaden (helping to popularize both names into the bargain).
- Pick a name that’s in the same immediate family as your own. Helena Bonham Carter has a four-generational tradition of female names related to the name Helen: her grandmother was Hélène, her mother Elena, she of course is Helena, and she gave her daughter the Helen diminutive Nell.
- Reference a biblical character with dual identities. When Matthew McConaughey’s first son Levi was born, he explained that Levi is another name for the apostle Matthew in the New Testament.
- Give your daughter an elaboration of your own first name, as Frances Fisher did with her and Clint Eastwood’s now-grown daughter Francesca.
- Use one of your own adopted appellations. Named for the character Jaime Somers in the old TV show The Bionic Woman, actress-model Jaime King has been known variously as Jaime, Jamie and James. She chose the one most unequivocally male for her son James Knight.
- Stick a Jr. at the end of a name that isn’t even yours, as artist/filmmaker Julian Schnabel did with his latest son, called Shooter Sandhed Julian Schnabel Jr.