Category: Ashlee Simpson
There’s no doubt that middle names have been taking on increasing importance in the hearts and minds of baby namers. They’ve stepped up from the inconsequential connectives –especially for girls–of a generation or two ago to full co-starring roles on the birth certificate. For many, it’s a welcome opportunity to honor a family member, preserve a maiden name, or use as a solid alternative for their child to possibly choose to use later on.
But for others, it’s place to be whimsical, to salute a creative hero, to use a favorite word or nature name they wouldn’t dare to put in first place. For examples of how this works, we need only to look to the stars, those beacons of extreme–if not bizarre– baby naming. So here are some nature, namesake, word and lovey-dovey endearment middle names they have used, followed by the name of the celebrity parent who chose it and their child’s first name:
NAMESAKES–real and fictional
First for the good news. Here are the starbaby names which we consider to have found the right combination of originality, charm and substance this year:
Full name Clementine Jane Hawke projects the image of a sweet but strong, prim but pretty heroine of a Victorian novel, and brings to mind the song lyric ‘Oh my darlin’ (never mind that her shoes were #9). It was previously the starbaby selection of Cybill Shepherd and Claudia Schiffer.
We applaud this choice that moves beyond the more common Puritan Virtue names like Grace, Hope, and Faith to one that projects an even more righteous image, but has rarely been heard in this country. An honorable decision.
The award for best twin names of the year goes to the always inventive but never quite over-the-top serial baby namers, the Jolie-Pitts. Knox continued their tradition of boys’ names ending in ‘X’ (as in Maddox and Pax), and also has family connections to Brad‘s grandfather, as does Vivienne‘s middle name, Marcheline, that of Angelina‘s mother. Runner-up twin names: Coldplay drummer Will Champion’s lively Juno & Rex.
In the name garden overgrown with Roses and Lillies, Violets and Daisies, it seems fitting that the granddaughter of the late iconoclastic comedian Richard Pryor would have a more exotic flower name. With its languorous feel, the lotus holds intriguing significance in several cultures.
An unusual but sunny day-of-the-week name, inspired by an Australian artist’s patron named Sunday Reed, it’s in tune with other current calendar names like January, May, June and August, as well as the seasonal Winter and Summer. Some people did think it strange that Sunday was born on a Monday.
And now for what we judge to be this year’s losers:
Poor little Bronx got nothing but Bronx cheers when his name was released, especially as paired with the name of the Disneyfied Jungle Book boy. If his parents thought this New York borough name would catch on the way Brooklyn has, they’re in for a big disappointment.
Is he a bulldog? Is he a prizefighter? No, he’s a baby, whose rambunctuous name will not do much to encourage his sensitive side. An example of the alarming trend towards giving doggy names (Lucky, Princess) to babies.
It could just as well be Cadence Klover, within the paradigm of using the initial letters C and K interchangeably, leading to regrettable innovations like Kasey, Kassidy, Karolyn and Kaleb. Fortunately, the trend seems to be waning.
Taking Max–which already means “the greatest”–to the max. INXS, we’d say.
The General Hospital star explained that this had been the nickname they used “when he was in mommy.” OK, good luck explaining that to him when he’s six feet tall and applying to Princeton.
We’d love to hear your nominations for the best and worst celebrity choices of the year, and won’t be surprised if you have very different opinions. Let’s hear from you lovers of Harlow and defenders of Kadence!
The poor Simpson-Wentzes caught a lot of flak last week for their baby name choices–not only for first name Bronx, but for Disneyesque middle name Mowgli as well, to the point where Pete Wentz felt called upon to defend the choice on the people.com website. In a story headlined PETE WENTZ: WHY WE NAMED OUR SON MOWGLI, his explanation was “The Jungle Book was something me and Ashlee bonded over. It’s a cool name.” Well, whether or not we agree, we shouldn’t dismiss the whole genre of Disney names–there are a few treasures buried in that vault.
In the beginning, the Disney folks were big on silly, often alliterative names for their cartoon creatures–Horace Horsefeather, Clarabelle Cow, and of course Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Donald and Daisy Duck. When they moved on to feature films in the 1930s, they began to draw on already created and named characters from fairy tales and children’s books, from Snow White to Peter Pan. Curiously enough, the one early character name that caught on with parents was Bambi–a male deer in the movie that became a popular namesake for girl babies.
The real winners, though, have been the Princess names from more recent Disney films–The Little Mermaid’s Ariel reached #66 two years after its release date and Jasmine from Aladdin has been as high as #23. Other Disney heroine names like Belle (Beauty and the Beast) and Violet (The Incredibles) have also been boosted by their Disney connection. Here are some other good Disneyfied options:
AURORA Sleeping Beauty
BIANCA The Rescuers
BRIAR ROSE Sleeping Beauty
CELIA Monsters, Inc
ESMERALDA The Hunchback of Notre Dame
CLAUDE The Hunchback of Notre Dame
PHOEBUS The Hunchback of Notre Dame
REX Monsters, Inc
Bronx is, of course, the name of a down-at-the-heels New York borough, nowhere near as fashionable — as a baby name or a place — as Brooklyn. Usually called “The Bronx,” it’s named after early Dutch settler Jonas Bronck.
Qualifications as a celebrity baby name: It’s unusual, unexpected, New York-oriented, and it ends with the hipster brand X. And it’s sure to get talked about — a lot.
Brooklyn and now Bronx aren’t the only New York place names turned baby names either: We’ve got a whole list of New York baby names to choose from. Astoria, Gramercy, Tribeca, anyone?
Baby Bronx’s middle name is Mowgli, after the boy raised by wolves in Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book stories. Kipling invented the name, which does not, he informed everyone who believed otherwise, mean “frog.”
Little Bronx Wentz (say that ten times fast) is sure to have plenty of compatible celebrity baby friends. Brooklyn Beckham, definitely, son of Posh Spice and David. Alabama Jennings, daughter of Shooter and Drea deMatteo, and Kingston Rossdale, son of Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale. And the two Hudsons, son of James Barbour and daughter of Gena Lee Nolin.