Celebrity Last Names Make Good Firsts: Tatum, Bowie and Bettany

With parents looking to starlit surnames of the past like Harlow for name inspiration, why not consider those of current celebs? There’s a wide choice, from established first names like Damon (Matt) and Piper (Billie) and Vaughn (Vince) to undiscovered nature names such as Branch (Michelle), Crow (Sheryl) and Pike (Rosamund). Here are our nominees for best celeb surname possibilities.


Popular actress, activist and mother of daughters Honor and Haven, Jessica Alba’s surname, which means ‘white,’ is also the Scottish name for Scotland. Alba can now be added to the long list of girls’ names that both begin and end in ‘a’.

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24 Responses to “Celebrity Last Names Make Good Firsts: Tatum, Bowie and Bettany”

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Dantea Says:

October 25th, 2013 at 11:12 pm

The only one of these I personally like is Bettany. Paul Bettany is amazing and I’m using his picture when he played Dustfinger as inspiration for my hero in my novel.

I do this these are usable even though I don’t like them:

Tatum — very usable but I prefer his first name — Channing 😛

The rest I think would make fine middles but are just strange as firsts.

KateMP91 Says:

October 26th, 2013 at 12:12 am

As much as I love Mr. Tatum, I think Bowie would be my first choice on this list. I agree with the poster who prefers Channing 🙂 (Plus, it’s another celebs last name- Stockard Channing…and her first name creates an interesting idea, too)

JessicaT11 Says:

October 26th, 2013 at 2:15 am

I like Winslet. Not enough to name my child that but its fun to say and I think she is talented. I like Channing and Tatum too, though I will admit I may be heavily influenced because he makes the names look so good. Other celeb names I could see catching on:
Depp (one syllable, good for a middle, lots of people like him),
Rogen (he’s funny, rhymes with Logan),
Jackman (alternative to Jackson),
Lawrence (Because Jennifer Lawrence is way cooler than Kristen Stewart)

marypoppins Says:

October 26th, 2013 at 4:09 am

I quite like Anniston and Bettany as names. Here in Germany, Bello is a common name to give dogs (not sure what the US equivalent would be), so I guess that’s why it’s not caught on here. And Depp is German for idiot/fool/moron, so I can’t see it catching on any time soon either 🙂

karateleshi80 Says:

October 26th, 2013 at 4:59 am

I’ve always favoured the name Alba but more so because of the character in Isabee Allende’s novel House of the Spirits 🙂

indiefendi Says:

November 1st, 2013 at 12:09 am

What about Rooney Mara? That’s a left right combo for ya! Rooney and Mara are both surnames in her football-team-owning family. And she used her middle name turned it into a cool name since her first name is Patricia–which she said was boring for an actress. Rooney definitely stands out! And Mara is pretty!

linda Says:

November 1st, 2013 at 12:46 am

Good one, indiefendi!

mysoutherncomfortzone Says:

November 1st, 2013 at 6:08 am

I like Bowie and Tatum, and I’m partial on Aniston and Paisley.

nat108 Says:

November 1st, 2013 at 7:36 am

I love Alba and Winslet

My love of Bruno Mars has made me add Mars to my boy list. I also love Bob Marley so if Mars is too out there, my little guy would be Marley, nn Mars

Sorceress Says:

November 1st, 2013 at 9:14 am

I have problem seeing full picture of some of names (not all). Most of the picture is moved to the right. This happens often.

Saracita00 Says:

November 1st, 2013 at 10:44 am

I think Anniston and Bettany make appealing first names, though not ones I would use. Moss would be a phenomenal nn for a Moses.

Lovestruk Says:

November 1st, 2013 at 2:00 pm

In the 5 years I lived in Mexico I met 3 girls named Alba, so to me it seems perfectly normal as a first. It means dawn in spanish.

clairels Says:

November 1st, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I think a lot of parents must be catching on to this. In scanning the very bottom of this year’s SSA list, I spotted, among others:


strawberrytree Says:

November 1st, 2013 at 4:42 pm

I hate Aniston and Paisley with the fire of a thousand suns.

I first read Alba in Isabel Allende’s ‘House of the Spirits’ too. I really liked it there and don’t think of it as a celebrity surname as much as the others, since it is already a fairly well-established name (at least in Spanish-speaking areas). I like Bettany too. Naming a child after a living celebrity is a big risk, though- you never know if they’re going to pull a Tiger Woods or a Lindsay Lohan and do something to disgrace themselves publicly on a rather epic scale. At least if the name has references other than the celebrity (like Alba, for example) it’s not inextricably tied to them.

hermione_vader Says:

November 1st, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Doesn’t Alba also mean “dawn” in Spanish? There’s a Federico Garcia Lorca play called “The House of Bernarda Alba”, which features some awesome Spanish names, if I recall correctly.

I’m surprised to learn that Paisley first hit the Top 1000 in 2006 because I had a classmate in middle school and high school named Paisley and she’d be in her early-mid-20s now.

I’m not usually one for celebrities surnames as first names (the more unusual things, at least), but I like Bettany, Winslet, Bowie, and Tatum from this list.

OpheliaFlora Says:

November 1st, 2013 at 8:46 pm

A name that’s not on this list but from which I think it fits in with the trendier boys names nowadays is “Ledger” (like in Heath Ledger).

MissTrash Says:

November 1st, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Nice selection. A few more I would have added are

Marley (bob)
Hendrix (jimi)
Phoenix (river)
Morrison (Jim)
Joplin (Janis)
Santana (Carlos)
Carter (Sean)
Jolie (Angelina)

Can you tell what kind of music I’m into? Haha.

morgantaylore Says:

November 2nd, 2013 at 12:03 am

I love Alba, Bowie, and Winslet. I would love to use Alba since it has Scotish and Spanish connections, however, my partner doesn’t think it’s a “real” name. Hopefully someone sees this blog and can use it!

taliesin Says:

November 2nd, 2013 at 12:37 pm

This has been going on for awhile, at least with rock star names. Presley. Lennon. Jagger. Loads of possibilities there.

Of the above list I like Aniston but I’m more old school about this anyway. Redford. Duvall. Brando. Hepburn. celebs have already used Monroe and Harlow. Don’t like Depp as a first name. The fact that it means ‘idiot’ is just overkill. A boy named Depp is going to be called Dip as in Dip****. What sounds lovely when you’re sitting around reading the name books can be brutal in real life.

opheliarhiana Says:

November 2nd, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Totally with OpheliaFlora on “Ledger” – it’s been on my list for at least 8 years. I wavered when Heath Ledger died, because I didn’t want it to be like naming a kid “River” for awhile after River Phoenix passed… I was worried it would be too attached to him, and to the sad circumstances of his death. But I now think it’s a viable candidate again, and I think it wouldn’t be like naming your kid “Elvis.”

Of the names in this list, I would like enough these enough to maybe use them:

Yep, that’s it. 😉

tori101 Says:

November 4th, 2013 at 2:24 pm

My favourites…

: )

CherrieSue Says:

November 5th, 2013 at 1:15 pm

I actually quite like Anniston, nn Annie maybe, but some of these names are just too much – I mean, imagine spending your life saying “Hi, I’m Branch” or “Hey there, I’m Bello”. Not fun! 🙂

hmahurin Says:

November 13th, 2013 at 9:50 am

I LOVE Tatum. It has been on my list for some time, before Channing, courtesy of Tatum O’Neal

Fourthseason Says:

December 8th, 2013 at 1:56 am

Bettony is the RARE floral name, the French version Betoine. Bettony has been used in a few movies, and T.V. series like Muder She Wrote, as one of the suspects daughters. Their is a female Creation Archeologists named Bettony, featured a lot on the history channel in the show, History not in the Bible, or Biblical History untold. Something of that nature.. Their is a New York Restraunt called Bettony. Bettany, ending with ‘any instead of ‘ony does spice it up, creating more rarity but does make is sound more feminine Only. It could be the new Bethaney or Britton/Britney

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