Fancy Schmancy Starbaby Names

Fancy Schmancy Starbaby Names

Looking through the lists of recent celebrity baby names, there was one little trendlet that jumped out at me — maybe you’ve noticed it too. It’s a certain type of surname name with an aristo vibe, mostly with three or four syllables, many with a clipped British accent. I call them Fancy Names, you can call them Distinguished Gentlemen. Here’s what I mean.

Beaumont Gino Jordan Peele and Chelsea Peretti

This talented duo has never explained the inspiration behind their choice of this elegant French surname meaning ‘beautiful mountain’ for their baby son. Could it have been some romantic memory of one of the five lovely Norman towns names Beaumont? Or perhaps it’s an esoteric reference to the prolific 17th century playwrighting team of Beaumont & Fetcher?  Or maybe a sly reference to Jeffrey Beaumont, protagonist of Blue Velvet? On the other hand, it could just be a sophisticated path to the much-loved nickname Beau.

Berkeley Seon– Maya Dunbar and Rockmond Dunbar

Aha! Turns out little Berkeley’s father, noted for roles on Soul Food, Prison Break, The Mentalist and Sons of Anarchy, was actually born in Berkeley, California. Easy one.

Charleston — Joey Lawrence and Chandie Yawn-Nelson

Another place name rarely heard as a first, and especially for a girl. Not surprisingly, Charleston Lawrence goes by Charli.

Charlton Valentine— Robbie Williams and Ayda Field

Another taking the high-road path to the nickname Charlie, this time for Williams’s son. Best known bearer actor Charlton Heston (born John Charles Carter) was known to his friends as Chuck; Charlton was his maternal grandmother’s maiden name.

Crawford Marion—Josh Turner

There are a number of famous surnamed Crawfords, including actress Joan and model Cindy, but few bear it as a first. Country singer Turner’s son is called by his middle name Marion.

Deveraux Octavian Basil—Mick Jagger and Melanie Hamrick

Fancy in a much more romantic, swashbuckling, Gallic kinda way, Deveraux is the most extreme of the names of Jagger’s eight children—his other sons are the more prosaic James, Gabriel and Lucas. Third name Basil, by the way, is the birth name of Mick’s dad, who was always known as Joe. Deveraux is now #845 on Nameberry and boasts the appealing nickname Dev.

Livingston— Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves

A surprisingly elaborate choice compared to siblings Levi and Vida, Livingston’s dad has explained that to him the meaning of the name is ‘the art of living’—though it actually means ‘dear friend’s place’.

Marmaduke Mickey Percy Bear Grylls

In the past, a name considered a quintessential (and teasable) rich kid name—as well that of an oversized comic-strip dog. We advise to share only if you changed your name from Edward to Bear and you named another son Huckleberrry. Also, not so great in combination with Percy.

Montague George Hector—Geri Halliwell and Christian Horner

Yes, it has Shakespearean cred via Romeo’s family name and does already have down-to-earth nickname Monty, but Montague still shares some of Marmaduke’s challenges. The Spice Girl, also mother to a girl named Bluebell Madonna, has revealed that Montague’s middle name George is a tribute to her good friend George Michael.

Montgomery Moses Brian—Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen

Fans of brooding midcentury star Montgomery Clift or the famed British World War II commander? We honestly haven’t a clue about their first son’s name’s inspiration but can tell you, for what it’s worth, that Isla’s father is called Brian.

Remington AlexanderKelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock

Maybe this doesn’t even belong in this list since it’s lost the old Remington Steele edge, has fallen into the category of gun names, and has now reached #247 on the list.  I’m wondering how many Remingtons were named that as a passageway to the charming nickname Remy, as Clarkson’s son is called. Her daughter’s name, River Rose, chosen in 2014, has been influential for other celebs.

Rockwell LloydLucy Liu

Although two very obvious nicknames come to mind with Rockwell, Lucy Liu has insisted she will call hers by his full name. Rockwell has cultural ties to artists Norman Rockwell and Rockwell Kent.

About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.