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2011 was quite a year for celebrity baby names, but then again, you could say that for every recent year.  Some stars this year mined new old-fashioned sources of inspiration, while others went wild with inventions of their own.  Here, the Nameberry Awards for the best, the worst, the weirdest, and the wildest celebrity baby names of 2011.

The Nelson Eddy Memorial Award goes to…

REX HARRISON, son of Niki Taylor.

Rather than being tributes to bygone stars, these seem to be lucky—or unlucky—accidents.  Celine Dion appears to have inadvertently saluted stiff 1930’s operetta star Nelson Eddy with the combined names of her twin boys, while Niki Taylor (possibly unknowingly) paid tribute to Rex Harrison, the star of My Fair Lady.

Newest celebrity gender bender

ARLO, daughter of Johnny Knoxville and son of Toni Collette

Knoxville and Collette picked this conventionally male (but unconventional) name for different gender children in the same year.  Other gender boundary breakers: Martha Stewart’s granddaughter Jude, Mariah Carey’s daughter Monroe, and quarterback Peyton Manning’s little girl Mosley Thompson.

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celebbaby2010

2010 was most notable in celebrity baby names for being more sedate than in recent years.  Instead, stars shocked by ignoring attention-grabbing choices like Bronx and Moxie in favor of such assertively normal names as Benjamin (John Travolta and Kelly Preston) and Grace (Mark Wahlberg).

The best of 2010’s celebrity baby names evidenced style and individuality. Here are our top picks:

LOUIS BARDOSandra Bullock wins the Oscar for Best Celebrity Baby Name of 2010, for choosing Louis Bardo for her newly-adopted son.  Louis is a classic royal name that’s stylish throughout Europe – the Lewis spelling is Number One in Scotland – but relatively ignored here, and Bardo is an obscure name borne by a German saint (Bullock’s mother was German) and also the Buddhist concept of an intermediate state, perhaps symbolic of Bullock’s own transformation from B-movie queen to Academy Award-winning actress, from scorned wife to single mom.

COSIMA – This Greek name meaning “universe” was chosen in the same month by both supermodel Claudia Schiffer and hipster power couple Sofia Coppola and Thomas Mars, elevating it from obscurity (fewer than five baby girls received the name in the U.S. last year) to stardom.

ABEL JAMES – The whole Cain thing has mitigated against the ascendance of Abel as a baby name, which is a shame given its simplicity, its history, and its ready and willing connotation.  Its choice by Amy Poehler and Will Arnett may help elevate it to the position it deserves.

NELLY MAY LOIS – Musicians don’t usually have a taste for gentle vintage baby names, but Norman “Fatboy Slim” Cook and Zoe Ball chose this granny-style name for their newborn daughter.  Even the spelling of Nelly is unflashy, and while May is back in a style as a middle name, Lois is still rarely heard outside the bingo parlor.

AMADEUS BENEDICT EDLEY LUIS – American parents have been moving toward the British tradition of using two middle names, but why stop there?  Boris Becker chose this 11-syllable moniker for his fourth son, but we love the surprising mix of styles, ethnicities, and eras.  Mozart’s real middle name was Theophilus, but he preferred the Latin version.

CHAPLIN HADDOW — Carrying on her family’s heritage of distinctive names, the actress Ever Carradine chose the great silent clown as a namesake for her daughter.

 FLORENCE ROSE ENDELLION – British prime minister David Cameron and wife Samantha chose this classic name for their newborn daughter.  New standard middle name Rose almost knocks it out of “best” contention, but Cornish saints’ name Endellion elevates it.  The legendary Endellion was the goddaughter of King Arthur.

MARCELLO DANIEL – Diablo Cody knows you can’t go wrong with an o-ending name, so she chose this Latin lover name, which derives from the mythical Mars, for her newborn son.

BILLIE BEATRICERebecca Gayheart and Eric Dane’s bouncy alliterative choice balances a sassy nickname with a cool classic in the middle.

McGREGGOR EDWARD – We love genuine surnames used as first names, and applaud this unique choice of One Life to Live star Bree Williamson.  The takeaway, you can move beyond such Waspy choices as Carter and Porter to ethnic family names from O’Brien to Chan as first names.

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