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celebbaby2010

2010 was most notable in celebrity baby names for being more sedate than in recent years.  Instead, stars shocked by ignoring attention-grabbing choices like Bronx and Moxie in favor of such assertively normal names as Benjamin (John Travolta and Kelly Preston) and Grace (Mark Wahlberg).

The best of 2010’s celebrity baby names evidenced style and individuality. Here are our top picks:

LOUIS BARDOSandra Bullock wins the Oscar for Best Celebrity Baby Name of 2010, for choosing Louis Bardo for her newly-adopted son.  Louis is a classic royal name that’s stylish throughout Europe – the Lewis spelling is Number One in Scotland – but relatively ignored here, and Bardo is an obscure name borne by a German saint (Bullock’s mother was German) and also the Buddhist concept of an intermediate state, perhaps symbolic of Bullock’s own transformation from B-movie queen to Academy Award-winning actress, from scorned wife to single mom.

COSIMA – This Greek name meaning “universe” was chosen in the same month by both supermodel Claudia Schiffer and hipster power couple Sofia Coppola and Thomas Mars, elevating it from obscurity (fewer than five baby girls received the name in the U.S. last year) to stardom.

ABEL JAMES – The whole Cain thing has mitigated against the ascendance of Abel as a baby name, which is a shame given its simplicity, its history, and its ready and willing connotation.  Its choice by Amy Poehler and Will Arnett may help elevate it to the position it deserves.

NELLY MAY LOIS – Musicians don’t usually have a taste for gentle vintage baby names, but Norman “Fatboy Slim” Cook and Zoe Ball chose this granny-style name for their newborn daughter.  Even the spelling of Nelly is unflashy, and while May is back in a style as a middle name, Lois is still rarely heard outside the bingo parlor.

AMADEUS BENEDICT EDLEY LUIS – American parents have been moving toward the British tradition of using two middle names, but why stop there?  Boris Becker chose this 11-syllable moniker for his fourth son, but we love the surprising mix of styles, ethnicities, and eras.  Mozart’s real middle name was Theophilus, but he preferred the Latin version.

CHAPLIN HADDOW — Carrying on her family’s heritage of distinctive names, the actress Ever Carradine chose the great silent clown as a namesake for her daughter.

 FLORENCE ROSE ENDELLION – British prime minister David Cameron and wife Samantha chose this classic name for their newborn daughter.  New standard middle name Rose almost knocks it out of “best” contention, but Cornish saints’ name Endellion elevates it.  The legendary Endellion was the goddaughter of King Arthur.

MARCELLO DANIEL – Diablo Cody knows you can’t go wrong with an o-ending name, so she chose this Latin lover name, which derives from the mythical Mars, for her newborn son.

BILLIE BEATRICERebecca Gayheart and Eric Dane’s bouncy alliterative choice balances a sassy nickname with a cool classic in the middle.

McGREGGOR EDWARD – We love genuine surnames used as first names, and applaud this unique choice of One Life to Live star Bree Williamson.  The takeaway, you can move beyond such Waspy choices as Carter and Porter to ethnic family names from O’Brien to Chan as first names.

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Saturday Night Live has been around for 34 years, and over its long run it has featured many of the funniest, most creative, offbeat comic talents in America–some of whom have gone on to become so iconic that we’ve almost forgotten they were ever regulars on the show.  As in Billy Crystal, Robert Downey Jr, Bill Murray, Dennis Miller, Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Martin Short and Senator Al “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough” Franken.

The question is: did they apply their quirky creativity when it came to naming their babies?  The answer is: not so much.  For example, Billy Crystal named one of his daughters Jennifer, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Brad Hall have a Henry and a Charles, Dana Carvey a Thomas, Al Franken a Joe,  and Jim Belushi a Robert.

But there are some who did–to lesser and greater degrees–think outside the box, most recently Maya Rudolph with her choice of Lucille. Here are some others:

ALEXANDRA  —  Joe Piscopo

ALICE ZENOBIA  —  Tina Fey

AUBREY  —  Victoria Jackson

BELLA ZAHRA  —  Eddie Murphy

BELLE KINGSTON  —  Dan Ackroyd

BIRGEN  —  Phil Hartman

BRIA  –Eddie Murphy

BRIDEY  —  Chris Elliot

CARA MIA  —  Damon Wayans

ELLA OLIVIA  —  Ben Stiller

FRANCES  —  Ana Gasteyer

GITRID  —  Tracy Morgan

HARPER  —  David Spade

JAMISON —  Jim Belushi

KYLA  —  Damon Wayans

LILY ASTER  —  Gilbert Gottfried

LOLA SIMONE  —  Chris Rock

LUCILLE  —  Maya Rudolph

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