Celebrity Baby Names: How much influence do they have?

Today’s question of the week is: Just how influential are the names picked by celebrities for their kids?  Have they affected your choices in any way—either positively or negatively?

Has a particular starbaby—say a Seraphina or Clementine or Maddox—presented you with a name you’d never considered before but now find appealing?  Or, au contraire, do you think a name can be ‘ruined’ by being picked by a high-profile, influential pop figure who will bring it into the celebrisphere?

We know just by looking at the Social Security list just how much the general naming public has been impacted by so many of the names discovered or rediscovered by celebs.

But how about you nameberries?

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21 Responses to “Celebrity Baby Names: How much influence do they have?”

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Cassie Says:

August 4th, 2010 at 12:50 am

I think sometimes when celebrities choose unusual names they grow on me (and others). But on the other hand they can be ruined, especially if you don’t particularly like them. When I found out Kourtney Kardashian named her son Mason it broke my heart, I love that name but I don’t want to be associated with “the Kardashians”……. I think it goes both ways.

Holly Says:

August 4th, 2010 at 3:31 am

It really depends on the celebrities. I would still be fine using Romy (Sofia Coppola) or Leonie (Monica Bellucci/Vincent Cassel), but if Brad and Angelina name their next kid something that I love and maybe plan to use, then I would probably think twice about the name. I know it is kind of name snobbish, but I cant help it.

Jakki Says:

August 4th, 2010 at 4:08 am

Yes it puts me off, it doesn’t turn me on. And when you have already called you child something and then a celebrity does. Well how annoying!!

Lala Says:

August 4th, 2010 at 4:30 am

for years I intended to name my first daughter Shiloh. Then three months before she was born, Brad & Angelina’s first biological child arrived and I was horrified when I heard her name and with all the attention she got. I knew I couldn’t name her Shiloh and escape the association and looking like a copycat, especially with how unusual it was up to that point. But now that three years have passed and it seems like the name has passed more into general usage, I may consider using it for our second child – I still love it.

olivegreen Says:

August 4th, 2010 at 8:58 am

I think it depends on the name, and whether or not it’s been used at all in recent decades. I would probably shy away from Apple, Bronx, and Shiloh, but would definitely consider Milo, Iris, or Julian.

Toni Vitanza Says:

August 4th, 2010 at 9:27 am

I think that the names of characters in TV shows (esp. soaps) and movies have as much or more impact than what celebrities name their babies. Jennifer (from “Love Story”) is the most obvious example, but there are many others.

Vikki Says:

August 4th, 2010 at 9:56 am

Like the others, names grow on me. When Julia Roberts named her babies Phineas and Hazel, I thought “who would do that to a child?” Now, I think that she was ahead of her time with the vintage names. That being said, I wouldn’t use Apple, Sparrow and some of the other “super trendy” names because well, I am not a fan of them. The vintage trend though….I love it.

Stella Says:

August 4th, 2010 at 10:21 am

I think it’s matter of whether you know of anyone else with the name. If not, that little starbaby is what you think of when you hear the name. Not the greatest story to tell your kid on how they got their name.

SJ Says:

August 4th, 2010 at 10:43 am

I agree with other posters who say it can go both ways with celebrity names. I think sometimes a celebrity can revive a name that has a strong history but has just fallen out of fashion–Hazel being a good example. As you hear the name talked about you start to think, hmm, why not?

But I think many of the more modern names that they pick/make up–like Apple, Bronx, Sparrow–become too associated with a particular celebrity for other people to use, unless they’re consciously imitating the celebrity. There’s just not enough other history behind the name, besides being So-and-so’s kid, and even if you always wanted to name your child Sparrow for a variety of great reasons, you’ll spend your whole life explaining that you WEREN’T imitating a celebrity.

And sometimes when a celebrity picks a name that’s more well-known, it almost signals that the name has reached its peak and is now on the wane–like Mason, perhaps.

Lisa H Says:

August 4th, 2010 at 11:42 am

I can speak from experience here; we have a three-month old we named Violet Mae. I didn’t choose it because of Jen and Ben, but I also can’t say that the attention it got didn’t help bring it to our attention, if you know what I’m saying. I did double check its popularity since they used it, and was glad to see it hasn’t cracked the top 100, and they chose it a while ago now.
Our 3 1/- year-old is Cora, and we love the old-fashioned feminine names, so we thought Violet went well with Cora.

Linelei Says:

August 4th, 2010 at 11:47 am

Two of my favorite names have been ruined by celebrities: Seraphina and Matilda. It’s not that I begrudge them their choice, I just hate the fact that those names are now on the way up because others have become more aware of their charms. I think that most people are not aware of naming trends, and so when they hear an unusual celebrity baby name, they think they’ll be the only one with the idea to copy it. I have heard many moms say things like, “Oh, we heard Aidan somewhere and fell in love with it – it’s so original!” That’s my theory for how these names skyrocket in popularity, and that’s why I won’t use those two names now.

Jessica Says:

August 4th, 2010 at 12:39 pm

I think it depends on the name, because some celeb’s use names that, while diffrent, arnt crazy or way diffrent or even unheard of. Names such as Pilot, Bronx, Sparrow, Apple, so on and so forth, are a little out there, and probably for most poeple, the only children they have ever heard of with those names. But then their are names like Matilda, Romy, Geniveve, Mason, and Hazel that while may be more unheard of, more then likely you have heard of another child named this or know another one, which makes it much easier to use. If all you here is starbaby when soemone says Apple, more then likely everyone else feels the same.

However in general, i think that alot of names, while i dont think most skyrocket, a good percent at least rise in popularity due to a starbaby association, but i think that is a mixture starbaby association and a more growing fascination with the names charm (such the case with Seraphina).

For me it depends on the name, Apple is off limits, but Matilda is a beautiful name, and i still plan to use it, its one of my favorites!

Jessica Says:

August 4th, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Also, along the lines of the Jolie-Pitt’s, unfortuantly i think most of their names are off limits, at least for about 5 years after their birth. Mostly because aside from twin baby Vivienne, they all have more odd names. And i think if i had a baby tomorrow and named it Shilo or Zahara or Pax, Maddox, or Knox, people would say “Oh like Brad and Angelina’s?”. Which suck sbecause i do like the name Knox, which like i mentioned above, i like because the starbaby association it showed me the names charm 🙂

Becca Says:

August 4th, 2010 at 1:19 pm

I think sometimes they grow on me! But of it’s a name that I already had on my short list then it ruins it for me because I think other people will see that Its a gem.

Sarah Says:

August 4th, 2010 at 1:53 pm

I would never ever use a copycat celebrity baby name, ever. So tacky.

Loren Says:

August 4th, 2010 at 6:40 pm

I would use a name if it wasn’t invented by the celebrity (like Suri) and the celebrity wasn’t too famous (unlike Tom Cruise). I was bummed when Anne Heche picked Atlas, but at least she’s not as prominent as she used to be. Sarah Michelle Gellar recently picked Charlotte, which I consider popular enough that no one would make the connection. Nahla, Harlow, Tripp, Lou Sulola, et al. would attract more comparisons.

Meredith Says:

August 4th, 2010 at 8:19 pm

I too had planned on naming my first daughter Shiloh. I believe Miss Jolie Pitt was born right after we found out we were having a boy. I still want to use it but I don’t want people to say “oh, like Brangelina’s kid?” I’ve even had people say when my son was younger that he looks like her. So if we had a girl that looks just like our son it may be a bit weird.

stephanie_elizabeth Says:

August 4th, 2010 at 11:27 pm

I was really mad when the Brad-Angelina girl twin was named Vivienne, because that is one my favorites-even with that spelling. I think sometimes a celeb can ruin a choice, but I also think it might change peoples perceptions. Someone above mentioned Julia Roberts’ Hazel, which might have helped usher in the whole “old lady chic” trend, of which I heartily approve.

Bella Says:

August 5th, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Well, not only just starbabies, also celebrities! I have met at least four baby Mileys! Even if a celebrity named their child that, if I liked it I would still do it.

stacy Says:

August 5th, 2010 at 10:35 pm

I was furious when the Jolie-Pitt twin-baby was named Vivienne! We picked out Vivian before we even got married…. over three years ago. And we were so nervous about what it would do to the popularity.

We did use the name anyway, and it’s gotten enough comments about people never hearing it use anymore that we’re comfortable with it (we’ve been asked more than once who the baby was named after) but we actually waited to finalize her name until the social security list came out so we could double-check.

I try to avoid overexposed unusual starbaby names. Fortunately most of them aren’t my taste!

Gina Says:

May 28th, 2011 at 8:13 pm

My friend named her daughter Harlow a year before Nicole Richie’s Harlow was born, and she hates that everyone thinks that’s where she got the name from. I told her that in a few years Nicole Richie will be mostly forgotten and soon enough no one will associate her daughter’s name with her.

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