Celebrity Baby Names: Nine Out-of-this-World Choices


By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Need fresh inspiration for your baby’s name? Take a cue from celebrity parents, and look to the sky.

This week, actress Leonor Varela and her producer husband Lucas Akoskin welcomed daughter Luna Mae Akoskin. Luna joins big brother Matteo. Reality television’s Yandy Smith, of Love & Hip Hop fame, and Mendeecees Harris announced their daughter’s name, too: Skylar Smith Harris, a little sister for Omere.

Whether it’s a name starting with Sky, or a name borrowed from a celestial object, the heavens can inspire plenty of modern baby names. Many of them hit that sweet spot: easy to spell and say, but not so common that you’ll constantly run into other kids with the same name.

Here are nine celestial baby names chosen by celebrity parents for their starbabies:

Luna Luna is huge in Hollywood. It’s the Latin word for the moon, worn by an ancient Roman goddess. Luna also means moon in Italian and Spanish. Celebrity babies with the name include Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem’s daughter, as well as Leonor Varela’s new arrival. Uma Thurman’s many-named little girl Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence answers to Luna, too.

Stella Ellen Pompeo doubled up on the celestial baby names when she called her daughter Stella Luna in 2009. Stella is from the Latin word for star. Matt Damon is dad to a daughter Stella, and Tori Spelling is mom to a Stella, too. It’s probably the most popular name in this category right now, ranked Number 70 in the US as of 2013.

Leo – Sure, Leo is the lion, a name that brings to mind fierce baby names like Hawk and Bear. But it’s also a constellation, and a popular choice for boys. Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem’s son is Leo.

Orion – The legendary Greek hunter gave his name to a constellation, and Chris Noth chose the name for his son in 2008. Orion sounds an awful lot like the very popular and oh-so-Irish Ryan. Maybe that’s why Orion ranked Number 399 and rising in 2013.

Atlas – We often think of Atlas holding the earth on his shoulders, but he actually held up the heavens. It’s fitting that’s there a moon of Saturn, a lunar crater, and a star all bearing his name. Anne Heche surprised everyone when she gave the name to a son in 2009. By the time we learned that it was also the name Edward Norton chose for his 2013 baby, Atlas had entered the US Top 1000.

Mars – There’s no question that Erykah Badu is a daring namer. Her firstborn is a son named Seven Sirius. Then along came daughter Puma. And her third child? Another daughter, given the name of the red planet, Mars, in 2009. Mars is among the rarer names on this list, and Mars for a girl is almost unknown. In 2013, there were 20 newborn babies named Mars – all boys.

NovaNova comes from the Latin word for new, but it’s not really novel as a girls’ name. LeBron James has a daughter called Zhuri Nova, and two Teen Mom cast members have chosen the name. But it was also used a century ago. In celestial terms, a nova is an explosion that causes a star to brighten. It’s a night sky name that feels both vintage and modern.

Draco – Ages before Draco Malfoy conspired against heroic Harry Potter, this name was at home in the night sky. From the Latin word for dragon, the constellation Draco could represent more than one mythical beast in ancient myth. Former child actress Danica McKellar – also known as The Wonder Years’ Winnie Cooper – gave the name to her son in 2010.

Ciel Ciel is the French word for sky, and also heaven. Model Niki Taylor chose the foreign word name for her daughter in 2009. Another possibility is Cielo, the Italian and Spanish word for sky. With Skye, Skyler, Skyla, and just Skye in the US Top 1000, doesn’t Ciel seem like the kind of name that could catch on?

What are your favorite names from the sky?


About the Author

Abby Sandel

Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at