Category: celebrity middle names
Let’s hear it for the daffy middle.
Plenty of us put a classic like James or Grace or Ann in the middle spot, and sometimes those ordinary appellations make the perfect choice. Some of us go wild with our child’s first name, too, but for those of us who aren’t among the rich and famous, choices like Blue or Pilot can feel awfully outlandish.
The compromise is to choose a relatively mainstream moniker for the first spot, and to tuck that wild dare of an idea, or that clunky family name, safely in the middle.
That seems to be the brief in Hollywoodthis week. So let’s start with a few newsworthy birth announcements, all featuring riskier middles.
Bastian Kick – Charlie Ballerina’s baby brother has a name just like hers – a modern first name borrowed from more traditional choices, and a middle name straight out of the dictionary. Actor Jeremy Sisto joked that he and wife Addie Lane used the reference book for inspiration – or maybe he wasn’t kidding. Even if you’re more of a Sebastian and Charlotte kind of parent, Bastian and Charlie probably feel comfortably familiar. In this age of noun names, Kick raises the stakes by adding action verbs to the mix.
Here in Washington DC, I’m convinced that while we’re quite daring with our children’s given names, every single girl is sharing the same middle: Rose. I’d rather see Rose in the first spot, like Charlotte’s younger daughter in the Sex in the City series. But Rose came in at a frosty #337 in the 2010 rankings. You’re more likely to meet a girl called Esmeralda, Fatima, or Leilani.
What explains the rise of a suddenly-everywhere middle name? Yes, many of us have grandmothers named Rose. But we also have grandmothers named Jean, Joan, and Ruth, and those names aren’t nearly as popular. At a recent baby shower, the guest-of-honor had chosen Rose for a daughter’s middle name. So had the other expectant mom in the room, and one of the brand new parents had already named her daughter Amelie Rose.
And hey, come on over and join the conversation on Facebook about YOUR middle name, proud or not.
Clearly, parents today are giving a lot more thought to their children’s middle names than their own parents did. Long gone are the automatic connective choices like Lee and Lynn, Beth and Bruce; more likely now might be something more imaginative like Maeve or West—or Sebastian or Story—or Mom’s maiden or another family name.
For some people, the reasoning behind this is to give the child an additional option for later in life. It works both ways: either he could switch his classic William for his jazziermiddle Jasper, or she could opt for using her traditional, grown-up Elizabeth middle name over the less sophisticated Poppy.
It turns out that a surprising number of celebrities have done just that—chosen to use their middle as their marquee moniker. Sometimes it was to drop a wimpy appellation for a more stylish one (Eldred for Gregory, Orvon for Gene), sometimes because a name was too common at the time (Mary, John, James) and the middle had more character (Farrah, Orson, Montgomery), sometimes maybe because probably just seemed cooler to be Brad than Bill.
As a result, some of the most stand-out celebrity names –Evangeline, Reese, Rihanna, Ashton and Jude—started out in second place on the birth certificate. Here are some of the most prominent–And note that the last names given aren’t necessarily the ones they were born with.