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The Hottest Baby Names of 2011

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Click here for the Top 200 Baby Names of 2011

What are the hottest new baby names this year? Based on an analysis of over 23 million page views at Nameberry since January, we’ve pegged these choices as the Hottest Names of 2011.

It’s a surprising list, driven by unexpected celebrities, rediscovered classics, and the year’s most compelling events.

Nameberry’s Hottest Baby Names of 2011:

Pippa – It wasn’t only Pippa Middleton’s bottom that attracted widespread attention at the Royal Wedding; her name – both the familiar Pippa and the more formal Philippa – is the Number 1 hottest baby name of the year on Nameberry. Pippa ranks 35 on our most-searched list so far this year and did not appear at all among the 200 most popular girls’ names of 2010. While Kate is up too, it’s not nearly as hot.

Asher – The soft, Biblical Asher takes the Hottest Boys’ Name spot by virtue of having unseated Henry as the all-time Number 1 name for boys on Nameberry. For the first time in 2011, Asher has pulled ahead.

Elula – New celebrity baby name trend: Parents choose attention-getting name, then refuse to reveal the name they’ve picked, perhaps to heighten interest and publicity? This unusual choice of Isla Fisher and Sasha Baron Cohen for their second daughter was not even in our database last year – it’s a name drawn from the Hebrew calendar — and now is the Number 38 most-searched name on Nameberry.

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celebextremenamers2

When out-of the-box-named Ever Carradine, actress and member of a multi-generational Hollywood dynasty, recently gave her baby daughter the equally out-of-the-box-name Chaplin, it got me wondering—could there be an extreme baby naming gene that passes from generation to generation?

In Ever’s case it seems to be true.  Although her parent’s generation bore the classic names David, Christopher, Keith and Robert, among their offspring are:

Frank Zappa’s kids’ names are the poster children for extreme starbaby naming: Moon Unit, Dweezil (actually Ian Donald Calvin Euclid on his original birth certificate when the hospital refused to register Dweezil), Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.  Are these sibs following the tradition?  Kinda–though more cool than crazy– judging from their offspring so far:

Equally well known are the Phoenix (originally Bottom) family of nature names: River Jude, Summer Joy, Rain Joan of Arc, Liberty (originally Libertad Mariposa) and the brother first called Joaquin then Leaf and then Joaquin again.  Among their kids’ names:

The widespread progeny of the Mamas and the Papas’ John and Michelle Phillips(together and separately) include children and grandchildren:

And then there’s the Coppola clan, which includes Nicolas (nee Coppola) Cage, with their imaginative choices:

The four acting Baldwin brothers have pretty normal names, but not so some of their offspring:

Legendary Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob (Robert Nesta) Marley had a convoluted family tree, with some eleven children, including Cedella (named for Marley’s mother), David (‘Ziggy’), Rohan and Ki-Mani.  Among his interestingly-named grandchildren—although there are probably many more–are:

The fairly normally named ten-strong Wayans brood seems to have a penchant for vowel-ending names for their own kids:

The Jackson 5 + 5 configuration is almost too daunting to look at.  For one thing, the Michael Generation names are actually a lot more elaborate than they would appear.  “Jackie,” for example, was christened Sigmund Esco, Jr and “TitoToriano Adaryll, while Jermaine’s middle name is La Jaune.  The baroque  (and sometimes immodest) name gene is evident in some of their own child (and grandchild) choices:

So, creative, quirky or genetic imperative?  You be the judge.

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Hottest Celebrity Baby Name Trends

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Celebrity baby names can reflect or even launch naming trends in the general population.  Here, some of the hottest celebrity baby names and trends we see heating up right now:

Babies Named After Heavenly Bodies, Objects, And/Or Beings

SERAPHINABen and Jen

MARSErykah Badu

LUNAConstance Marie

Stella LUNAEllen Pompeo

ScarletMelanie Chisholm & Thomas Starr

CIEL (French for sky) – Niki Taylor

Aven ANGELICAMatthew Settle

Journey JETTJenna Jameson

JETT HamiltonJill Scott

Petal Blossom RAINBOWJamie Oliver

Babies with Animal Names

BIRDIE WestMaura West

SPARROW James MidnightNicole Richie and Joel Madden

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nicole & sparrow

Just when it seemed that the stormy seas of extreme celebrity baby names were calming down (you can see our comments on this at Celebrity Babies Blog), a new crop has come along  introducing a whole bunch of innovative choices, ranging from the ridiculous to the semi-sublime:

BARDOT (first name of David Boreanaz’s daughter) Following in the footsteps of Harlow and other  Hollywood sirens and sex kittens of the past(Dad Boreanaz admitted being inspired by a Brigitte Bardot poster), Bardot could easily fit in with the growing group of o-ending girls’ names: Juno, Lilo, Willow, etc.

BETSI (middle name of Ioan Gruffudd & Alice Evans’ daughter Ella).  Much to my surprise, I find this new take on an old name—I’m not usually a big fan of changing y’s to i’s— appealingly fresh, cute and perky.

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Twitty Milk Hoax! Real Name: Mars Merkaba

Mars

Twitty Milk, the reported name of the new daughter of singer Erykah Badu and rapper Jay Electronica, was thankfully just a hoax.  No one knows quite how the Twitty Milk rumor got started, except that the new mom Twittered her way through the baby’s birth.  The real crazy celebrity baby name: Mars Merkaba.

Badu, also the mother of son Seven and daughter Puma, is obviously a leader in crazy celebrity baby naming.  Here, with Mars’ birth, our new Top 10 Craziest Celebrity Baby Names:

1. MOXIE CRIMEFIGHTER — The daughter of magician Penn Jillette, whose assertive word name can be called unique in the truest sense of that term, is the bearer of what may still be the absolute craziest celebrity baby name.

2. PILOT INSPEKTOR — Jason Lee took a lot of flack for this occupational name, to the extent that he’s keeping his second child’s name secret.

3. BRONX MOWGLI — Rockers Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz hit a new low with this New York neighborhood-Disney moniker, giving their son the initials B.M.W.

4. KAL-ELNicolas Cage’s son’s name seems fit for a child from another planet.

5. MARS MERKABA –  Okay, it’s better than Twitty Milk.  But it’s still from Outer Space.

6. PEANUT — Soap star Ingo Rademacher’s son’s name might give any child an inferiority complex.

7. DIEZEL — Word names are in, but fuel names?  Sorry, Toni Braxton, but this one is full of gas.

8. ZUMA NESTA ROCK — The name of Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale’s second son is simply trying way too hard on every level.

9.HUCKLEBERRYBear Gryll’s newborn son and big brother Marmaduke sound like a pair of cartoon characters.  But what can you expect when Dad’s name is Bear?

10. PUMA — We have to cite Erykah Badu for being a two-time offender, as she gave her daughter this feline and sneaker name.  But Badu also has a wicked sense of humor, as anyone who’s ever heard her fabulous song “Call Tyrone” can attest.

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