2011 was quite a year for celebrity baby names, but then again, you could say that for every recent year. Some stars this year mined new old-fashioned sources of inspiration, while others went wild with inventions of their own. Here, the Nameberry Awards for the best, the worst, the weirdest, and the wildest celebrity baby names of 2011.
Rather than being tributes to bygone stars, these seem to be lucky—or unlucky—accidents. Celine Dion appears to have inadvertently saluted stiff 1930’s operetta star Nelson Eddy with the combined names of her twin boys, while Niki Taylor (possibly unknowingly) paid tribute to Rex Harrison, the star of My Fair Lady.
Newest celebrity gender bender
Knoxville and Collette picked this conventionally male (but unconventional) name for different gender children in the same year. Other gender boundary breakers: Martha Stewart’s granddaughter Jude, Mariah Carey’s daughter Monroe, and quarterback Peyton Manning’s little girl Mosley Thompson.
Most mini-me name
Best alliterative sibling set
Two compatible five letter H-names, both unusual and meaningful.
Celebrity baby names most likely to be imitated
Most likely to find widespread popularity for girls is Arabella, the sweet and romantic name of Ivanka Trump’s baby daughter, and for boys it’s the lively Irish surname Flynn, chosen by Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom for their son. Why? Both are distinctive choices related to stylish favorites Isabella and Finn.
Best roots-inspired choice
The 30 Rock star looked back to her Greek cultural heritage for both the first and middle names of her second daughter Penelope Athena; first born Alice has the middle name Zenobia, which is Fey’s mother’s name.
Weird starbaby name most likely to become a cute kid name
We weren’t so sure at first when we heard this name, but when we learned of all the warm family connections involved, and that he’ll be called by that winning nickname Bing, we were sold.
Weird starbaby name most likely to remain a weird starbaby name
This name, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, is true to Natalie’s Israeli heritage, but—sorry– is just not a very good trans-cultural traveler.
Celebrity baby most likely to beautify her name
This star couple has taken a lacy but stiff old-lady name and de-starched it by adding a sprightly bird name as a middle. Plus, let’s be honest, the kid is sure to be gorgeous, which will do much for Agnes’s somewhat harsh image.
Softest name chosen by hardest rocker
This sweet and gentle nature combo came as a pleasant surprise to fans who might have expected something a little harder-edge, especially after Pink connected it to a tree from her childhood, saying how the willow is her favorite because “it can bend and withstand anything.”
Name not to try east of Yellowstone National Park
Grrrr. Fierce names are in. Watch out!
Middle name least likely to be appreciated in adolescence
Most bizarre name inspiration
Yes, it was room décor that inspired the name of Monroe’s twin brother—specifically the Moroccan-inspired decor of the top tier of Carey‘s New York apartment, the so-called Moroccan Room in which Cannon proposed. At least Mike Tyson named his son Morocco.
Baddest-ass family name
This child is actually the third in a line of Waylon A. Jenningses: first there was outlaw singer grandpa Waylon Arnold, then dad Waylon Albright, nicknamed Shooter, and now little Blackjack, nee Waylon Albert.
Celebrity baby names most anticipated in 2012
After two beautifully named little girls, Violet Ann and Seraphina Rose Elizabeth, we can’t wait to hear the name that Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck will pick for their first son. And creative as well as creatively-named titans Beyonce and Jay-Z have a lot of name to live up to on their maiden baby-naming voyage. We’re already proclaiming 2012 another banner celebrity baby name year.