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Nameberry Picks: Coolest celeb baby names of 2018

Alma Bay and Lulu Gray

by Linda Rosenkrantz

2018 has been a very busy baby name year in the celebrisphere.

There were three new Kardashian kids with three typically distinctive names: Chicago, True and Stormi. And there were three new royals (or semi-royals)—William and Kate’s Louis Arthur Charles, Zara Tindall’s Lena Elizabeth and Pippa Middleton’s Arthur Michael William.

And there was no lack of creative outliers—looking at you Koala, Kulture Kiari, Beech, Titan, Leafer and Ezer.

But let’s move on to the ones we consider the best choices of 2018.

ALMA BAYZoe Kazan and Paul Dano

This may be our absolute favorite this year—such a perfect combination of an underused vintage beauty with a solid cultural history and soulful meaning, plus a lovely nature name that feels fresher than similar middles May, Fay and Ray.

BANKS VIOLETHilary Duff

An interesting combination: a cutting-edge surname name adopting the boys’ trending s-ending softened with the sweetest of old-fashioned flower names. Sister Hayley Duff went in a completely different direction (see below).

BETSY MACK and EMORY JOANN (twins)—Hillary Scott and Chris Tyrell

The Lady Antebellum singer and musician husband’s identical twin girls’ names moved as far as possible from the matchy-matchy. Cute Betsy is suddenly joining Betty as a revival possibility, while the gender-neutral Emory was chosen to honor Tyrell’s grandmother Emily—in fact all four names have family ties.

CLAUDE INDIANA EMMANUELTaylor and Natalie Hanson

Natalie gave a hint in her recent Nameberry blog, that the name of her sixth child—boy or girl—would be that of a main character name in a George Sand novel, and so it is. This latest Hanson, who will be known as Indy, joins siblings Jordan Ezra, Penelope Anne, River Samuel, Viggo Moriah and Wilhelmina Jane.

EAMON BRENNANMargaret Brennan

“Face the Nation” anchor Margaret Brennan chose this Irish classic—it’s a version of Edmond— which we see as a definite possible successor to Aidan. Eamon is already #132 on Nameberry. And like many other moms, Brennan used her surname as a middle.

GWENDOLYNJames Van Der Beek

The sweet Welsh name Gwendolyn—also spelled Gwendolen—joined those of her Van Der Beek sibs—Emilia, Annabel, Joshua and Olivia. Gwendolyn, now ranking at #379, was at its most popular in the 1950s.  One notable namesake is Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks.

LULU GRAYHayley Duff

The second Duff sister on this list chose one of the most energetic and high-spirited of names, originally a diminutive of Louise, Lucinda or Lucy. It was used previously by designer Betsy Johnson and by Paul Simon and Edie Brickell. Though it’s been off the national list for over a century, it ranks at #429 on Nameberry. And in middle names, Gray is the new Blue.

MARVEL JANEPete Wentz

Unlike Pete’s older kids, Bronx Mowgli and Saint Lazslo, Marvel— though it sounds like a made-up Marvel comics word name– is one with a legitimate history, and was actually on the pop list from the 1890s to 1941, reaching a high of #480. I think we could see some other little Marvels in the future.

MILES THEODOREChrissy Teigen and John Legend (shown)

This high-profile couple scored a hit with their first child, Luna Simone (helped a bit by Harry Potter) and have made another admirable choice with Miles Theodore. Both names have musical references—to singer Nina Simone and jazz great Miles Davis. Sleek Miles has been moving fast up the popularity list, now at #110, together with equally on-trend cousin Milo.

MINNIE THEODORAJack Osbourne

Minnie has gradually lost its tight ties to full-name Minerva and to Mickey’s girlfriend, standing in line to join cousins Millie, Mamie and MaisieMaya Rudolph chose it to honor her late mother, singer Minnie Riperton. Theodora and Theodore (see above) are becoming popular middles for one and two-syllable firsts.

POPPY LOUISEJoy Williams

Grammy-winning singer Joy Williams chose this peppy flower name for her daughter. It entered the US Top 1000 for the first time in 2016 and is now in Nameberry’s Top 100.  Interestingly, this is the same first-middle combo used by former First Daughter Jenna Bush Hager, who called her presidential grandfather Poppy..

STORY ANNABELLEAaron Paul

The Breaking Bad star said that he and wife Lauren Parsekian chose this word name to honor the wonderful story of their love affair. Combining it with the feminissima spelling of traditional Annabel makes an interesting pairing.

Runners-up: Axel Strahl (Seth Meyers), Beckett Richard (Michael Phelps), Billy (John Stamos), Ennis Howard (Kirsten Dunst), Francisco (LinManuel Miranda), Genevieve (Kate Upton), Giulietta (Jessica Chastain), Hart (Miranda Kerr), Ivey Joan (Jamie Lynn Spears), Philomena Clementine (Billy Corgan), Polly (Erika Christensen), Romeo Alejandro David (Alex Baldwin), Santiago Enrique (Eva Longoria), Sebastian Piers (America Ferrera), and Vida Amber Betty (Michael Buble),

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8 Responses to “Nameberry Picks: Coolest celeb baby names of 2018”

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julia5500 Says:

December 31st, 2018 at 12:14 am

Marvel Jane is the winner of this list for me. I love Marvel as a FN, and I think MN Jane really pulls the “out-there” FN back in.

jjayx Says:

December 31st, 2018 at 4:09 am

Alma Bay is far and away my favourite of the year – and possibly ever! I’ve loved Alma forever and I hope to see more of her in the future.

stepx Says:

December 31st, 2018 at 7:05 am

Axel just always looks good when written out. My son is Axel Cicero. It seems X names work when you read them as much or more than hearing them. I like Alma Bay, but i also quite like Betsy Mack, which is lovely. And Claude Indiana…..Claude is likely a candidate comeback name.
Marvel on the other hand….I mean its too perilously close to a name that will get the kid teased.

EloiseT Says:

December 31st, 2018 at 7:36 am

I like: Alma, Gwendolyn, Eamon, Axel and Santiago.

(Sebastian is a long-standing love but not “celeb” in my mind.)

And Francisco is a GP for me!

Leave fave: Lulu Gray — cutesy, trendy and limp to me. And I can’t fully get behind Banks.

beynotce Says:

December 31st, 2018 at 10:04 am

Miles Theodore is a lovely name, but it seems so incredibly vanilla to me that I’m shocked to see it picked as one of the “coolest” names of 2018. Both names have been very on-trend for a decade by now.

I love both Marvel Jane and Story Annabelle–they are right up my ally, stylistically.

Toronto87 Says:

December 31st, 2018 at 10:39 am

I liked the runners up more than the top names chosen here. Particularly dislike the names both Duff girls chose.

There were so many celebs in 2018 that didn’t release names for their new babies and I’m so curious to know what their names are. Top of this list would be Claire Danes (love her first son’s name Cyrus), Rachel McAdams, and Diane Kruger.

linda Says:

December 31st, 2018 at 11:23 am

@Toronto87 I agree–that is so frustrating!

MerylP Says:

January 1st, 2019 at 4:32 am

Banks and lulu are really terrible I am disappointed to see them on this list!

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