Category: famous baby names
With new arrivals at Yahoo! HQ and in Trump Tower, I thought this week was going to be all about preppy boy names. Yates and Bennett and company, the kind of choices that scream rep tie and polo pony.
But somehow, the rest of the world crept in and I was reminded that American celebrities aren’t the only ones welcoming new babies with lovely, intriguing appellations. Of course, celebrity baby names that sound mainstream in Belgium or Belize might feel quite exotic in the English-speaking world, and the opposite is equally true.
Foreign language baby name blogs report that homegrown celebrities have an impact on naming trends everywhere. While those influences are rarely felt in the US, they can capture our attention, especially should their parent strike it big in Hollywood or score an international hit single.
The nine most intriguing names this week come from all over the planet:
Spencer Frederick – Spencer is a preppy choice with ties to the golden age of Hollywood – a fitting name for a little Trump. Donald, Jr. and wife Vanessa are also parents to Kai Madison, Donald John III, called Donnie, and Tristan Milos. I think Spencer Frederick is my favorite of the four.
In 2008, the year Richie gave birth in January, that number shot up to 133, more than doubling again the following year to enter the official Top 1000, rising to Number 778 in 2010 when 349 baby girls were named Harlow.
Celebrities have the power to catapult not only their own names to stardom, as they have in recent years for choices ranging from Scarlett to Jude, but the names they choose for their babies. Celebrity baby name choices can breathe life into a forgotten name like Matilda or Violet, add new luster to a vintage Hollywood appellation as with Harlow or Ava, even switch a name’s gender identity.
For a celebrity baby name to make it big seems to take a combination of parental star power and intrinsic name appeal: Reese Witherspoon’s Ava caught on in a major way, for instance, while son Deacon’s name may be just too quirky or religious for widespread use.
The most influential celebrity baby names right now:
We’ve always loved the O names and have taken an ever-expanding view of the category since publishing our first name book, Beyond Jennifer & Jason, in which we (shockingly, at the time) declared names that end in O such as Theo and Milo to be “So Far Out They’re In.”
Bardo is also a Buddhist concept meaning “intermediate state” – significant, many say, because of Bullock’s marital woes and decision to divorce, announced at the same time as her baby’s adoption.
Wikipedia lists the Six Bardos for those who want more illumination on Bardo, as well as other people and places that have a relationship to the name. In a more earthly realm, David Boreanz named his infant daughter Bardot, as in the surname of French star Brigitte.
Other obscure O names with celebrity connections (how’s that for a nameberry-only subgroup?) include:
Before Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes had their baby, four years ago this weekend, we made a professional guess on what kind of name they might choose. Something like Ava Rose, we figured, or maybe Sophia Grace. For a boy, the name might be Ethan or Logan.
It was a form of Sarah, some said, and also an Iranian or Persian name meaning “red rose.” Plus, the snipers said, it was also Japanese for pickpocket, an Ethiopian tribe, and a breed of alpaca.
But what did Suri really mean? What were its style implications, its message in, you know, nameberry language?
Adorable or scary, the bottom line is that Suri has become one of those indelibly one-starbaby names. Unlike Stella and Story, Orion and Romy, Violet and Cruz, the world at large has not rushed to embrace Suri.
That’s not a comment on the star power of little Miss Cruise herself — just, strangely, on her name.
Some other prominent celebrity baby names that have not achieved general fame include: