by Linda Rosenkrantz
The celebrity factor was already a major influence on baby names when Nameberry was born in 2008, but over the past decade the celebrity culture has exploded even further and become even more impactful on names. The names of celebs, the names they name their children, the names of the characters they play, all have the power to transform the perception of unusual appellations and to put a high polish on dusty relics. And they can also shock us with some of their most outrageous picks. Let’s take a look at the coolest and craziest starbaby names of the decade.
10 COOLEST STARBABY NAMES of the decade
To some degree, the cool quotient is in the eye of the beholder, but these ten are our absolute faves. We love their combos of first and middles, the pairings of lost vintage names like Agnes and Alma, Elsie and Etta with contrastingly contemporary middles. And we appreciate a good backstory—like Natasha Gregson Wagner paying tribute to mom Natalie Wood by referencing the title of one of her iconic films.
AGNES LARK (Jennifer Connelly & Paul Bettany, 2011)
ALMA BAY (Zoe Kazan & Paul Dano, 2018)
BUZZ MICHELANGELO (Tom Fletcher, 2014)
CLOVER CLEMENTYNE (Natasha Gregson Wagner, 2012)
ELSIE MARIGOLD (Ioan Gruffudd, 2013)
ETTA JONES (Carson Daly, 2012)
LUNA SIMONE (Chrissie Teigen & John Legend, 2016)
MAPLE SYLVIE (Jason Bateman, 2012)
ONYX SOLACE (Alanis Morissette, 2016)
REX COLTRANE (Natascha McElhone 2008)
10 CRAZIEST STARBABY NAMES of the decade
Bronx Mowgli set the bar in 2008, Uma Thurman may have topped it by giving her daughter 15 syllables worth of name.
BANDIT LEE (Gerard Way, 2009)
BREEZE BERETTA (Levi Johnston, 2012)
BOOMER ROBERT (Michael Phelps, 2016)
BRONX MOWGLI (Ashlee Simpson & Pete Wentz, 2008)
CHOSEN SEBASTIAN (Cam Newton, 2015)
PEANUT KAI (Indo Rademacher, 2008)
ROCKET ZOT (Sam Worthington, 2015)
ROSALIND ARUSHA ARKADINA ALTALUNE FLORENCE (Uma Thurman, 2012)
SIR (Beyonce & Jay-Z, 2017)
SAINT (Kim Kardashian & Kanye West, 2015)– runners up are North and Chicago
10 MOST INFLUENTIAL CELEBRITY BABY NAMES of the decade
There are a ton of stars whose name choices have influenced baby namers over the decade, but these seem to have been the most impactful.
BEAR BLU (Alicia Silverstone, 2011) This seemed like a wild choice seven years ago– Bear certainly didn’t rank in 2008; it’s now at #218 on NB, seen as more teddy bear than menace.
BLUE IVY (Beyonce & Jay-Z, 2012) Both names have been influential; Blue more as a middle, Ivy rising to #108 from 299 in 2008.
HARLOW WINTER KATE (Nicole Richie & Joel Madden, 2008) The Hollywood Golden Age glamour girl surname entered the Top 1000 for the first time in 2009 at 902, it is now #390.
HARPER SEVEN (Victoria & David Beckham 2011), has jumped from #53 in 2011 to #11, thanks to the Beckhams and a couple of other celebs
MASON DASH (Kourtney Kardashian & Scott Disick, 2009) Mason was #35 in 2008, is now up at #7))
RIVER ROSE (Kelly Clarkson, 2014) River was not used for girls in 2008, now it’s at #274
PENELOPE ATHENA (Tina Fey & Jeff Richmond 2015, followed by Kourtney K. in 2016). Was at #351 in 2008, currently 24.
FRANKIE BARRYMORE (Drew Barrymore, 2014) precipitated a return to the Top 1000 of this nickname name for girls in 2015, after 41 years in hiding.
JAMES (girl) (Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds 2014) Though not influential as a first, this gender bender has caught on like wildfire as a girls’ middle.
KNOX (Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, 2008) This Pitt family ancestral name entered the list in 2009, is now #232. (Twin Vivienne’s name has also taken off.)
BEST TWIN COMBOS of the decade
From the simple alliterative Lilly and Lia to the imaginatively matched Arrow and Zeppelin, these parents of twins found a perfect balance.
DOLLY REBECCA ROSE & CHARLIE TAMARA TULIP (Rebecca Romijn & Jerry O’Connell, 2008)
GIDEON SCOTT & HARPER GRACE (Neil Patrick Harris & David Burka, 2010)
JUNO & REX (Will Champion, 2008)
KNOX LEON & VIVIENNE MARCHELINE (Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt, 2008)
LILLY & LIA (Chester Bennington, 2011)
MATTEO & VALENTINO (Ricky Martin, 2008)
POPPY & CHARLIE (Anna Paquin & Stephen Moyer, 2012)
TRISTAN & SASHA (Chris Hemsworth & Elsa Pataky, 2014)
VIOLET MOON & KNOX BLUE (Sarah Shahi & Steve Howey, 2015)
ZEPPELIN BRAM & ARROW RHODES (Jensen Ackles & Daneel Harris, 2016)
MOST INFLUENTIAL CELEBS of the decade
Celebs as well as their babies lend starpower to their own monikers.
ISLA Fisher –was #623 in 2008, when most Americans couldn’t pronounce it, to #103 now.
JUDE Law—Jude was #679 in 2000, 222 in 2008, and is 157 in 2017.
LEONARDO DiCaprio—Leonardo entered the Top 100 in 2016, while his nickname Leo went from #228 in 2008 to #61 in 2017.
LIAM Neeson—Liam jumped from #75 in 2008 to current top place for boys.
MILA Kundis—Mila was #558 ten years ago, is #30 now.
REESE Witherspoon—Reese entered the girl list at #886 in 2000, is 171 now thanks to her high profile.
SCARLETT Johansson –Scarlett jumped from #942 in 2000 to 211 in 2008 to #18 now.
ZAYN Malik—The British boy band One Direction singer’s unique spelling was unheard of in 2008, entered the list in 2013, is now #341.
MAISIE Williams—Thanks largely to the portrayer of Arya on Game of Thrones, vintage nickname Maisie, unranked in 2008, returned in 2014, and is currently #524.
SAOIRSE Ronan—Despite its pronunciation challenge this Irish name entered the US Top 1000 in 2016.