Category: celebrity influence on names
by Linda Rosenkrantz
It’s an inarguable fact that celebrity baby name choices have an impact on the rest of the population. But which of them have had a lasting influence and which luminaries have hit the sweet spot more than once?
With some names it was not a single celeb but a confluence of several that helped propel a name to stardom– among these are the namers of Becketts, Dashiells, Harpers, Romys, Romans and, perhaps most of all, the now ubiquitous Ava. And we see that even a middle name can pack an impact, as in Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s (Blue) Ivy.
Angie Harmon and Jason Sehorn introduced a whole style of names with their three daughters, Avery, Emery and Finley, all boyish names ending in ‘y.’ First came Finley, born in 2003, when that name was nowhere to be seen on the girls’ Top 1000. It appeared there two years later, and is now at Number 349, with close to a thousand baby girls bearing that name annually. Daughter Avery was born in 2005; there were approximately 4,000 girl Averys born the year before her arrival, 5,000+ the year after, and 8,000+ this past year. The third daughter, Emery, was born three years later, when the name was Number 467; it is now at 211.
Two of the Jolie-Pitt kids’ names have made their mark. The eldest, Maddox, was born in 2001, the name popped onto the list two years later, and is now at Number 167, accounting for almost 2,300 baby Maddoxes. Another x-ending Jolie-Pitt boy name, Knox, also stuck a chord. He arrived in 2008 with twin sister Vivienne (whose name is also rising); the following year Knox entered the list, and it is now Number 368.
For decades now, the names celebrities give their kids have had a tremendous effect on baby naming, one that has increased exponentially. From Ava to Willow, Maddox to Kingston, the proof is in the numbers.
So what are the latest starbaby influencers right now? We compared the fastest climbers on the Social Security list with the most popular baby names so far this year on Nameberry to pinpoint the most influential celebrity baby names today. They are:
Is it a coincidence that Sofia Coppola and Claudia Schiffer both picked the same unusual (in the U.S. anyway) name for their baby daughters almost simultaneously—or is it a signal that it’s about to enter the mainstream?
Cosima (accent on the first syllable) derives from the Greek Kosmos, and refers to the order and harmony of the universe. It’s a logical choice for both of these moms in terms of their roots: there could be a Cosima on Coppola’s family tree and it’s also often heard in Germany, where Schiffer was born. Cosima is used in Greece as well, and by upper class Brits: English celebrity chef Nigella Lawson has a daughter named Cosima, while Marissa Ribisi and Beck used the male form, Cosimo, for their son. The most famous bearer of the name in history is a woman with strong musical ties—Cosima Wagner was both the daughter of composer Franz Liszt and the wife of composer Richard Wagner.
With her third child, Claudia Schiffer has continued her previous pattern of choosing a distinctive, cutting-edge name starting with her own first initial, “C,” as she did with older daughter Clementine and son Caspar. Clementine, although it hasn’t made it onto the popularity lists yet, is rapidly becoming a favorite of both nameberries and celebrities . Kirstie Alley first revived it in the late 70s, and it’s since been chosen by Ethan Hawke and Rachel Griffiths.
Caspar has been slower to catch on, but may well follow in the wake of cousin Jasper, if it can finally shake the friendly ghost association. Romy, the name of Sofia Coppola and Thomas Mars’ first daughter, is also beginning to be heard more and more.
Several other celebs have followed Claudia’s practice of serial-initializing, often repeating their own name’s starting letter. There are, for instance, Tarian, Tristan and Tyler Tritt (sons of Travis); Corde, Cordell and Cori, children of Cordozar Calvin (Snoop Dogg) Broadus; Scarlet, Sophia and Sistine Stallone, who all share the middle name of Rose; and—the grand prize winner—director Robert Rodriguez, who named his five children Racer, Rebel, Rocket, Rogue and Rhiannon.
But getting back to Cosima—does it have the potential to move out beyond the celebrisphere? Especially since it could be limited by some possible pronunciation problems –as in coz-EE-ma.
What do you think?