Celebrity Baby Names: The Best, The Worst, The Weirdest and The Wildest of 2011

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.

Most mini-me name

SPIKE, son of Mike Myers

Mike and Spike?  Really?  Spike may be a rhyming tribute to his dad, yes, but also—we have to say—more often the name of a snarling bulldog or a Dead End Kid.

Best alliterative sibling set

HAVEN GARNER, daughter of Jessica Alba and Cash Warren , and baby sister to Honor Marie.

Two compatible five letter H-names, both unusual and meaningful.

Celebrity baby names most likely to be imitated


Most likely to find widespread popularity for girls is Arabella, the sweet and romantic name of Ivanka Trump’s baby daughter, and for boys it’s the lively Irish surname Flynn, chosen by Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom for their son.  Why?  Both are distinctive choices related to stylish favorites Isabella and Finn.

Best roots-inspired choice

PENELOPE ATHENA, daughter of Tina Fey.

The 30 Rock star looked back to her Greek cultural heritage for both the first and middle names of her second daughter Penelope Athena; first born Alice has the middle name Zenobia, which is Fey’s mother’s name.

Weird starbaby name most likely to become a cute kid name

BINGHAM (Bing) HAWN, son of Kate Hudson

We weren’t so sure at first when we heard this name, but when we learned of all the warm family connections involved, and that he’ll be called by that winning nickname Bing, we were sold.

Weird starbaby name most likely to remain a weird starbaby name

ALEPH, son of Natalie Portman

This name, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, is true to Natalie’s Israeli heritage, but—sorry– is just not a very good trans-cultural traveler.

Celebrity baby most likely to beautify her name

AGNES LARK, daughter of Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany

This star couple has taken a lacy but stiff old-lady name and de-starched it by adding a sprightly bird name as a middle.  Plus, let’s be honest, the kid is sure to be gorgeous, which will do much for Agnes’s somewhat harsh image.

Softest name chosen by hardest rocker

WILLOW SAGE, daughter of Pink

This sweet and gentle nature combo came as a pleasant surprise to fans who might have expected something a little harder-edge, especially after Pink connected it to a tree from her childhood, saying how the willow is her favorite because “it can bend and withstand anything.”

Name not to try east of Yellowstone National Park

BEAR BLU—son of Alicia Silverstone

Grrrr.  Fierce names are in.  Watch out!

Middle name least likely to be appreciated in adolescence

MIRABELLA BUNNY, daughter of Bryan Adams

Our bet is that she’ll change Bunny to Beatrice or Rose as soon as she’s legally allowed.

Most bizarre name inspiration

MOROCCAN SCOTT, son of Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon

Yes, it was room décor that inspired the name of Monroe’s twin brother—specifically the Moroccan-inspired decor of the top tier of Carey‘s New York apartment, the so-called Moroccan Room in which Cannon proposed.  At least Mike Tyson named his son Morocco.

Baddest-ass family name

WAYLON ALBERT, nicknamed BLACKJACK, son of Drea de Matteo and Shooter Jennings

This child is actually the third in a line of Waylon A. Jenningses: first there was outlaw singer grandpa Waylon Arnold, then dad Waylon Albright, nicknamed Shooter, and now little Blackjack, nee Waylon Albert.

Celebrity baby names most anticipated in 2012


After two beautifully named little girls, Violet Ann and Seraphina Rose Elizabeth, we can’t wait to hear the name that Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck will pick for their first son.   And creative as well as creatively-named titans Beyonce and Jay-Z have a lot of name to live up to on their maiden baby-naming voyage.  We’re already proclaiming 2012 another banner celebrity baby name year.





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6 Responses to “Celebrity Baby Names: The Best, The Worst, The Weirdest and The Wildest of 2011”

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nikkiolle Says:

December 9th, 2011 at 11:30 am

Arabella and Penelope were may fave girls for this year.. and I love Bing! The downside is that Arabella and Penelope are both on the “list” while not at the top of our list, I would hate to see them sky-rocket to top 100 and sort of put a blemish on why I like them.

pam Says:

December 9th, 2011 at 11:50 am

Nikkiolle, I think you’ll see both those names becoming much more popular, Arabella more than Penelope because of its resemblance to number one Isabella.

Nyx Says:

December 9th, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Other gender boundary breakers: Caspar – But I guess she was actually born in 2008 and her name is just getting out there…

I love how Haven and Honor have so many similarities (2 syllables, 5 letters, “H” beginning, word-names), yet each feel separate from each other. However, it makes me wonder what they’ll do if they have a third child…

I love Agnes! I also think that Agatha is a spunky name with a lot of fun personality. Aggie makes a great nickname for either option.

I can deal with Bear or Blu (especially when Blu is a middle name)… but both together is just too cutesy (no matter how fierce Bear is).

I have to agree that Bunny is about as awful as Arabella is beautiful (at least they put it in the MN position… and maybe there is a sweet story that will make the name more meaningful).

Moroccan is just odd… but if you consider that Moroccan means “From Morocco”, you could place it in the same category as Atticus (“from Attica”), Cyprian (“from Cyprus”), or even Sebastian (“from Sebaste”).

Fun post 😀

kgcg31 Says:

December 9th, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Love Penelope Athena, Bingham (Bing ), Agnes Lark, and Willow Sage (Apparently my husband and I are on the same wavelength as Pink, because we’ve long liked Sage Willow) I also love Tori Spelling’s, Hattie Margaret and Alyssa Milano’s, Milo Thomas.

lemon Says:

December 11th, 2011 at 3:38 am

Wait – Jen and Ben are having a boy?! Must have missed that! Hm. What on earth will they name it?

Besides those mentioned in the above blog, other celebrity baby names I’m looking forward to are those from Bryce Dallas Howard and Seth Gabel (already parents to Theodore “Theo” Norman), Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart (already parents to Billie Beatrice), Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard (already parents to Ramona), Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick (already parents to Mason Dash), and Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson. I wonder if Jess will choose something as obscure as Ash’s Bronx Mowgli…

Favorite baby names of 2011? On the boy side, I love Flynn Christopher Blanchard Copeland Bloom. So regal. So handsome. But still so cozy! And, really, Waylon Albert “Blackjack” Jennings is just amazing, especially when paired with big sis Alabama Gypsyrose. For the girls, I simply adore the simple elegance of Agnes Lark. It’s got a word name trend I love – bird names – and a sweet but stuffy vintage name. Ideal! However, Jim True-Frost’s Phoebe Sylvia Rachel was divine as well. A pleasant and romantic combination of classics.

meggilyweggily Says:

December 11th, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Moroccan has a pretty good nickname — Rocco.

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