By Abby Sandel
We welcomed dozens of new starbabies in 2016, many with inventive names. Plenty of those new children joined older sisters and brothers at home. This means their parents had two challenges. Not only did they have to choose a great name, but it had to work with their sibset.
Of course, no rule says that siblings’ names have to match. But parents tend to develop a signature style. Often it’s clear that they’ve decided on a general approach – whether it involves sticking with family traditions or opting for heritage choices. At other times, the names seem to coordinate naturally, almost without effort.
Whether it’s easier or more difficult to name second, third, or even fifth children depends, of course, and we’ve heard parents report every possible experience. What we do know is that these nine celebrity families nailed it! Here are nine of the best celebrity sibsets of 2016.
Caleb Kelechi and Isabelle Amarachi – Scandal star Kerry Washington and her football player husband Nnamdi Asomugha welcomed their second child in October, a son. Isabelle and Caleb are mainstream picks, but the pair make this list because of those middles. Nnamdi’s parents immigrated from Nigeria, where their first language was Igbo. Nnamdi, Kelechi, and Amarachi are all names drawn from their culture, each with significant meanings: my father is light, thanks to God, and God’s grace. It’s a perfect pairing of distinctive heritage choices and more conventional names.
Leonardo, Rafael, and Carmen – Speaking of heritage, Alec and Hilaria Baldwin have borrowed names from mom’s native Spain for all three children: daughter Carmen, son Rafael, and now new addition, son Leonardo Angel Charles. The names are familiar in English as well as Spanish, cross cultures and languages easily. The Baldwins made our 2015 list, too. (Two of the Baldwin babes are shown)
Hugo Wilson and Oliver Finlay – Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas coordinated their sons’ names in the most subtle of ways. Oliver and Hugo share that great, upbeat letter O. They’re both choices rich with history but popular today. And their middles pick up on the last-names-as-first-names trend. It’s a winning combination that feels stylish, but not too Hollywood. They had encouragement to choose some out-there names, though – during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, the late night host encouraged Ginnifer to consider Crane Rutabaga for her new baby. Happily, they went in another direction.
Mary Lucille Diana, George Abraham Walker, Junia Rosa Ruth, and John Ira Shepherd – If any extended family merits a baby naming award, surely it is the musical Hansons. Kate and Zac Hanson welcomed their fourth child earlier this year, and followed many family traditions while choosing her name. She’s known as Lucille – or Lulu! – just as many of the Hansons also use their middles, including brothers Abraham and Shepherd. There’s a story behind every one of Lucille’s names, and you can read all about in Kate’s blog here.
Lula, Sailor, Gray, and Milo – Liv Tyler was ahead of the curve when she welcomed son Milo back in 2004, with ex-husband Royston Langdon. Now Liv and new partner David Gardner are growing their family together. Milo and Gardner’s son Gray were joined by little brother Sailor in early 2015. A few months ago, the couple welcomed their first girl. Her name, Lula, is a vintage charmer that’s been all but forgotten in recent years. Like the other Tyler–Gardner kids’ names, it promises to be a trend-setting pick.
Daisy Josephine and Otis Alexander – Speaking of vintage names, Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis clearly follow the century rule for their children’s names, sticking with choices that would have been at home in 1916 as well as today. Son Otis arrived two years ago; now they’ve welcomed daughter Daisy. Another reason to love this celebrity sibset? The longer, more traditional middles anchor those shorter, nickname-proof firsts.
Journey River, Bodhi Ransom, and Noah Shannon – When Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green welcomed their first son, they opted for the chart-topping Noah. But they’ve grown bolder as they expanded their family. Newest addition Journey’s name shares a spiritual vibe with big brother Bodhi. And several of the names they’ve chosen, including Noah’s middle, work nicely for our sons and daughters alike.
Hero Valentino and Qirin Love – Terrence Howard and Mira Pak have been bold baby namers from the beginning. Son Qirin Love’s name was inspired by a mythological creature. Now Hero promises to be a lot to live up to – exactly what Terrence and Mira had in mind. Hero Howard is a little bit of a tongue-twister, but the boys’ middles – Love and Valentino – seem nicely matched. Terrence is also dad to son Hunter and daughters Aubrey and Heaven.
River Rocket, Buddy Bear Maurice, Petal Blossom Rainbow, Daisy Boo Pamela, and Poppy Honey Rosie – This list could not be complete without celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and his wife, model turned designer, Jools Oliver. The couple adopted the nature names trend early, as well as the British preference for informal nicknames on the birth certificate. We went wild speculating what names they’d choose, but the Olivers still managed to surprise. Son River wouldn’t raise an eyebrow in the US, but the name is much less common in England. Together, the five names are quirky, British, and beautifully matched without being too close. It’s my favorite celebrity sibset of 2016, hands down.
What are your favorite celebrity sibsets of 2016?