Nameberry 9+9: Best 2014 celebrity baby names so far
With fewer than ten weeks left in 2014, let’s take a look back at the best of the high profile birth announcements so far.
But there have been some amazing celebrity baby names, stylish choices rich with meaning, unusual names that feel like they’d be wearable in Hollywood or anyone’s hometown.
I couldn’t keep the list to just nine total, so here are my nine favorite celebrity baby names for girls, and nine more for boys – subject, of course, to revision, any time between now and December 31st!
NINE: River Rose – American Idol alum Kelly Clarkson and husband Brandon Blackstock welcomed their first child together in June. River Rose (shown) is a double dose of nature name – one modern, one classic. And yes, River is much more common for boys. But science fiction loves to give this name to girls. Could Kelly be a Doctor Who fan?
EIGHT: Cai MyAnna – Shameless actress Shanola Hampton and husband Daren Dukes also welcomed their first daughter this year. While Kai is a modern staple for boys, Cai has roots as a girl’s name in Vietnamese. It’s as spare as Jane, as modern as Willow.
SEVEN: Georgia Blue – Georgia feels like a go-to name for a country singer’s kiddo, so no surprise Joe Nichols and wife Heather chose this for their daughter. But Blue makes for a modern, refreshing middle.
SIX: Frankie Barrymore – Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman probably would have made this list back in 2012 when they welcomed Olive. This year, new arrival Frankie is definitely among the most trendsetting names. It’s a spunky, retro girls’ name at home with Sadie, Hattie, and Winnie.
FIVE: Ophelia Saint – No surprise that songwriters are great baby namers, right? The Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and wife Jordyn Blum are parents to Violet Maye, Harper Willow, and now Ophelia Saint. It’s a daring, literary name – and in our age of Sophia, Olivia, and Amelia, more wearable than ever.
FOUR: Philomena Bijou – Sometimes the best names are those that are slightly offbeat. Television host Daphne Oz and husband John Jovanovic hit the right note with their daughter. Philomena fits right in with Isabella and Alexandra, and the French Bijou – jewel – is a twist on popular gemstone names for girls like Ruby and Pearl.
THREE: Nina Odette – Musician Isaac Hanson and wife Nicole are parents of three: sons Everett and Monroe, and 2014 arrival Nina Odette. Ballet name Odette – the good princess in Swan Lake – has gotten lots of buzz as a hipster name. Let’s translate hipster as “just plain great.” As for Nina, it’s an internationally portable choice with ties to legendary singer Nina Simone. It’s a stunning combination – unexpected, lovely, and frills-free.
TWO: Vale Guthrie – Speaking of frills-free, Today’s Savannah Guthrie chose a spare, seldom-heard name for her daughter with husband Michael Feldman. Vale is poetic, nods to the natural world, and feels like the kind of celebrity baby name likely to be influential.
ONE: Rose Dorothy – It was close, but the top spot goes to Scarlett Johansson and fiance Romain Dauriac’s new daughter. Rose feels connected to both of her parents’ names. And while the floral choice has become a go-to middle, Rose is surprisingly rare in the first spot. Dorothy honors Scarlett’s grandmother. Together, the combination is elegant, wearable, and meaningful – a trifecta that earns Rose Dorothy the top spot for 2014 … so far.
NINE: Jack Lion – There were lots of classic first-unexpected middle combinations for boys this year. Country singer Josh Turner welcomed Samuel Hawke, and fellow musician Zac Brown named his son Alexander Frost. But my favorite of them all is Evanescence frontwoman Amy Lee and husband Josh Hartzler’s Jack Lion. Jack is the ultimate everyboy name, while Lion is straight from the animal kingdom.
EIGHT: Otis Alexander – Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis welcomed a son in April. Olivia revealed that Otis was named after legendary singer-songwriter Otis Redding. It’s the kind of bold vintage name that deserves a comeback in 2014.
SEVEN: Maxim – Supermodel Natalia Vodianova has a knack for choosing names that honor her Russian heritage, but still travel well. She has Lucas, Viktor, and Neva from a previous marriage. In 2014, Natalia and new husband Antoine Arnault welcomed son Maxim. Max, Maxwell, and Maximus are all favorites in the US. The Russian Maxim is more rare, but just as wearable.
FIVE: Shepherd – For every aggressive occupational surname name, like Archer or Hunter, there’s a gentler possibility. Supernatural star Jared Padalecki chose the peaceful Shepherd for his son with wife Genevieve Cortese earlier this year.
FOUR: Booker Jombe – Actress Thandie Newton and director-producer Ol Parker chose bold names for daughters Ripley and Nico. Son Booker Jombe’s name is equally distinctive. Booker brings to mind Tuskegee Institute founder Booker T. Washington, and Jombe appears to be a nod to mom’s Zimbabwean heritage.
THREE: Wilder – Booker, Shepherd, Wilder – no doubt, surname names have never been more popular. Wilder is the name of Simon Helberg’s new son. The Big Bang Theory star and wife Jocelyn Towne are also parents to Adeline. Wild is a bad boy, but Wilder is an American literary classic, thanks to Thornton Wilder – smart and fierce all at once.
TWO: Apollo Bowie Flynn – Weren’t we all holding our breath for Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale’s name announcement? Kingston James McGregor was a stylish combination of the trend-setting and the enduring. But then Zuma Nesta Rock was, well, a bit much. Apollo Bowie Flynn strikes a nice balance.
ONE: Charlie West – At first glance, there’s nothing so special about the name of David Arquette’s first son. Arquette and ex-wife Courtney Cox are the parents of Coco, a name far more striking. But Arquette and fiance Christina McLarty named son Charlie after David’s grandfather, Cliff Arquette – best known for playing a character called Charley Weaver on television in the 1950s and 60s. It’s subtle and sweet, a great way to honor a loved one’s legacy without actually using his given name.
What are your favorite celebrity baby names of 2014? Are there any that should be on this list?
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on October 26th, 2014 at 11:12 pm
Some great names on the girls’ list, from Nina Odette to Ophelia Saint. They’re not all my taste, of course, but they do make a lovely list. I agree with Rose Dorothy as the #1 celeb baby name this year, for the same reasons. There’s that tenuous “Golden Girls” connection, but is that such a bad thing?
For the boys, I love Apollo as a GP and Gwen and Gavin can pull it off perfectly. But the rest I feel are a bit uninspired.
on October 27th, 2014 at 12:03 am
I personally love Australian radio show host and comedian Hamish Blake’s son’s name, Sonny Donald Blake. It was such a pleasant surprise to see.
on October 27th, 2014 at 12:51 am
From the list, I think the following are great:
I would add the following:
Tristan and Sasha (Chris Hemsworth’s twins, they have great names!)
on October 27th, 2014 at 3:13 am
^ Tristan and Sasha! What a great duo!
on October 27th, 2014 at 4:58 am
I would also add Megan Hilty’s Viola Philomena.
So glad to see the rare and beautiful Philomena making a comeback.
on October 27th, 2014 at 6:04 am
I read in an interview where Jared Padalecki’s sons name is Austin Shepherd i believe, it’s still cute 🙂
on October 27th, 2014 at 6:23 am
Hard to argue with Rose Dorothy as the #1 for the girls. A stunning name.
I also love Ophelia Saint and Nina Odette.
Eve Mendez and Ryan Gosling’s daughter’s name, Esmeralda Amada deserves a spot on the list though, especially over River Rose which sounds a bit hillbilly to me.
Boy wise, my favorites from the blog list are Jack Lion, Otis Alexander, Sid and Shepherd.
on October 27th, 2014 at 7:53 am
Wilder is an American literary classic, thanks to Thornton Wilder… AND, PROBABLY BETTER KNOWN, LAURA INGALLS WILDER.
Thank you, that is all!
on October 27th, 2014 at 8:05 am
Philomena is stunning. I know a 5 year old Philomena and it’s beautiful on her. Nina is lovely. From the boys I love, love Shepard, and Wilder is one I considered for my son when he was born 16 years ago. Glad I didn’t go with it though, it seems kind of trendy now.
on October 27th, 2014 at 9:29 am
Great list Abby!
I’m going to do my top nine just for fun. I checked out the comprehensive celebrity list that is on the nameberry forums. I don’t recognize some of their parents, but these are my favorites.
1. Vale Esme/Vale Guthrie; Love Vale. I’m expecting to see more Vales in my search of birth announcements.
2. Sunday Molly: I love Sunday. It’s so sweet.
3. Georgia Blue: Georgia is one of my favorites and love the spunky Blue in the middle.
4. Hazel: I wish Emily Blunt and John Krazinski would have shared her middle name, but love Hazel.
5. Rose Dorothy: A little Golden Girls, but I love seeing Rose in the first spot.
6. Evelyn Swan: Love Swan in the middle. Honorable mention to Bruce Willis’ Evelyn Penn.
7. Opehlia Saint: Gorgeous
8. Frankie Barrymore: Frankie is sweet. I would have preferred Frances or Francesca nickname Frankie, but siblings Olive and Frankie are so cute together.
9. Lola Fleur: Cute!
1. Wilder Townes: Wilder reminds me of Little House on the Prairie and it is one of my favorites.
2. Ford Miller: So handsome
3. Findlay Farenorth: I prefer Finley, but how awesome is Farenorth?
4. Alexander Frost: How cool is Frost? (pun intended 🙂 )
5. Apollo Bowie Flynn: Perfect for Gavin and Gwen’s kid.
6. Charlie West: Charlie is so cute and West gives this combo a little punch.
7. Jack Lion: Love unexpected middles.
8. Shepherd: This name is growing on me.
9. Emerson Spencer: Love Emerson on a boy.
Have a good week!
on October 27th, 2014 at 9:31 am
@Names4Real – love your list, too! It’s tough to narrow them down, isn’t it?!
on October 27th, 2014 at 10:00 am
My favorite of the bunch is Shepherd. Love it!
on October 27th, 2014 at 10:11 am
My top 5 favorites:
Apollo Bowie Flynn
on October 27th, 2014 at 12:02 pm
Top 3 Girls:
Top 3 Boys
on October 27th, 2014 at 12:08 pm
I love River but I really don’t like River Rose. It’s just so corny to me. People always jump to Rose as the middle name and it just doesn’t go with every name!
Apollo Bowie Flynn is so awesome! Just what I’d expect from the coolest girl in Hollywood Gwen Stefani!
Ophelia Saint is a stunner. I normally do not like Ophelia as a name because of Hamlet of course but this combination is amazing!
Maxim is on my list. It’s so cool to me. There’s so many ways to get to Max, something for everyone!
on October 27th, 2014 at 1:16 pm
Georgia Blue, Apollo, Sid, Wilder…such amazing names! I love them!
on October 27th, 2014 at 2:24 pm
My favorite celebrity girl names are Rose Dorothy , Ophelia Saint & Esmeralda Amada .
From the boys I love Otis Alexander & Apollo Bowie Flynn .
on October 27th, 2014 at 6:04 pm
Rose is a family surname for Kelly Clarkson. On her episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, Kelly learned about the Rose side of her family.
on October 27th, 2014 at 7:56 pm
In total agreement with mermuse’s comment– Laura Ingalls Wilder is a much better known connection than Thornton Wilder (who?).
Georgia Blue (what a great country name!)
Rose Dorothy (Dorothy has been one of my faves for awhile)
Apollo (wouldn’t be brave enough to use this myself, but on a celeb like Gwen’s kid, it works)
on October 28th, 2014 at 12:21 am
I’ve been loving Shepherd/Shepard lately. The nickname Shep is adorable.
I love the bluesy-ness of Otis! Olivia and Jason Sudeikis did a great job on that one.
on October 29th, 2014 at 12:09 am
@Names4real Grace is Hazel’s middle name.
I kinda hope that Frances is the name on Frankie’s birth certificate. This probably makes no sense, but when you go by a name that sounds nickname-y, it’s good to have other options.
River Blackstock is one of those name those names that could pass for a rock star or a politician.
Rose, Vale, Shepherd, Charlie, Ophelia, Maxim, Philomena, and Otis are lovely names.
on October 29th, 2014 at 12:13 am
oh and forgot Esmeralda Amada and Apollo. Both awesome.
on January 10th, 2015 at 4:35 pm
I only like Rose Dorothy and Otis Alexander. These names are awesome! The rest… blah.
on January 12th, 2015 at 4:32 pm
I think my favorites from this list were Rose Dorothy and Ophelia Saint for the girls, and Otis Alexander and Shepherd. I also really like Sid Biggs, I heard a story from one of his parents recently (I don’t remember if it was Jason or Jenny), who said they had a different name picked out but he came out looking like such a little old man that they had to choose a little old man name.
Some other favorites…
Delta Bell, Wyatt Isabelle (I’m surprisingly a fan against my better judgement), Elizabella Dylan, Adelina Rose, Evelyn Swan.
Zephyr Emerson, Gus Monroe, Samuel Hawke, Oliver Finlay, Alexander Frost, Winston.
I believe this was the year of unisex names on girls being done tastefully, and the year of old man names on boys. Personally, I was a fan!
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