Celebrity Baby Names: Singular Suri

Celebrity Baby Names: Singular Suri

Before Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes had their baby, four years ago this weekend, we made a professional guess on what kind of name they might choose. Something like Ava Rose, we figured, or maybe Sophia Grace. For a boy, the name might be Ethan or Logan.

Something stylish and not all that imaginative, in other words. Names like Isabella or Bella and Connor, the names of Cruise‘s older children.

So we were gobsmacked when Cruise and Holmes announced a truly unusual choice: Suri. No middle name, no explanation: just Suri.

It was a form of Sarah, some said, and also an Iranian or Persian name meaning “red rose.” Plus, the snipers said, it was also Japanese for pickpocket, an Ethiopian tribe, and a breed of alpaca.

But what did Suri really mean?  What were its style implications, its message in, you know, nameberry language?

One of us (I won’t say which one) saw it as a cute, quirky name on the order of Corey or Tali.  The other (again, not saying) thought it was Katie‘s way of saying “sorry.”

Adorable or scary, the bottom line is that Suri has become one of those indelibly one-starbaby names. Unlike Stella and Story, Orion and Romy, Violet and Cruz, the world at large has not rushed to embrace Suri.

That’s not a comment on the star power of little Miss Cruise herself — just, strangely, on her name.

Some other prominent celebrity baby names that have not achieved general fame include:

ALABAMA (Drea DeMatteo & Shooter Jennings)

APPLE (Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin)

BLUEBELL (Geri Halliwell)

BRONX (Ashlee Simpson & Pete Wentz)

DOLLY (Rebecca Romijn & Jerry O’Connell)


NAHLA (Halle Berry)

ODETTE (Mark Ruffalo)

PTOLEMY (Grethen Mol)

RAMONA (Maggie Gyllenhall & Peter Sarsgaard)

SPARROW (Nicole Richie & Joel Madden)

SUNDAY (Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban)

THIJS (Matt Lauer)

ZEPPELIN (Jonathan Davis)

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.