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

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.

About the Author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry and Baby Name DNA. The coauthor of ten groundbreaking books on names, Redmond is an internationally-recognized baby name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show, CNN, and the BBC. She has written about baby names for The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and People.

Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its sequel, Older. She has three new books in the works.