Names Invented by Celebrities
Celebrity baby names are known for being wild, unusual, and unique. So what do celebrities do when they want a name that's even wilder, more unusual, and more unique than the baby names every other celebrity has chosen? They make one up.
Two newsy cases in point: Wave Set, the just-announced name of Cardi B and Offset's infant son, and Bluesy Belle, newborn daughter of Darren Criss and wife Mia Swier.
These stars took matters into their own hands when naming their babies. Below, 15 names invented by celebrities:
When Hilary Duff named her daughter Banks in 2018, parents took note — particularly parents of boys. The following year, it broke into the Top 1000 for boys and more than tripled in use for girls.
Today, Banks is one of the fastest-rising boy names in the US. Duff’s daughter’s nickname, Banksy, debuted on the charts for girls in 2020, when it was used seven times.
Musical couple Mia and Darren Criss created the name Bluesy for their daughter, born earlier this month. While similar in sound to Susie, Bluesy owes most of its resonance to the connection to the music genre.
Both Bluesy and Blues can be expected to rise over the coming years.
Although it sounds like an authentic place name, Bridgemont was invented by Grace and Adam Rodriguez for their son. They combined Bridge — a name they liked for the symbolism of connection — with Mont, from a family name, Montalvo. Montalvo was Adam’s paternal grandfather’s surname prior to being adopted.
Chicago has a long history as a place name, of course, but before Kim and Kayne gave it to their 2018-born daughter, it had never been used as a baby name. These days, a handful of boys are named Chicago each year. Most recently, it was used eight times in 2020. The American city name is derived from an Indigenous term for “wild garlic.”
Kim and Kayne were also among the first to use North, Saint, and Psalm.
Larrymania! star Larry Hernandez created one-of-a-kind names for his daughters: Daleyza, Dalary, and Dalett. Each has gone on to gain considerable popularity, most notably that of his oldest daughter, Daleyza, which ranked Number 227 at its peak in 2013.
Hernandez’s sons have considerably less creative names — Larry Jr. and Sebastian.
Gucci Mane gave his son the too-cool name Ice — appropriate given that he was born in the winter. Previously, Ice had never been used as a given name, but Icie, a nickname for Berenice, ranked in the Top 1000 for girls from 1883 to 1912.
Other icy invented names Icelynn and Icelyn are slowly rising in popularity for girls.
Illusionist Criss Angel essentially named his daughter after himself with the name IllusiaAngelina. Illusia has a very name-like sound yet has never been recorded as a name in the US.
Criss Angel wasn’t the first one to come up with the name, though. Finnish author Yrjö Kokko created Illusia for a pixie in his 1944 fairy tale Pessi and Illusia.
Leafar is the invention of Rafael Reyes — author, musician, and husband of Kat Von D — for his stage name, Leafar Seyer (that’s Rafael Reyes backwards). The pair chose Reyes’s stage name for their son, Leafar Von Drachenberg Reyes, born in 2018.
As far as we know, he is the first and only person legally named Leafar.
Miranda and Terrance Howard were inspired by the qilin — a mythological Chinese creature that appears around the birth of a sage — when naming their son. The qilin are known as kirin in Japanese and Korean mythology — a combination of the two leads to the name Qirin.
The Howards pronounce Qirin to rhyme with the Irish name Kieran, although the Chinese pronunciation of qilin is closer to “tchee-lin.”
Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden welcomed their daughter Raddix Chloe Wildflower — a truly one-of-a-kind name — in December of 2019. Her first name has special significance to the couple, who love the word “rad” and claim that “raddix” is a translation of “new beginning,” representing their challenging journey to parenthood.
No other babies named Raddix have been recorded yet, but we wouldn’t be surprised if some show up in the 2021 data. Raddix holds appeal as a rare alternative to names like Maddox and Lennox.
Model Lucky Blue Smith is one of the most outrageous celebrity baby namers today, with daughters named Gravity Blue and Rumble Honey, and son Slim Easy. Of all his children’s names, Rumble is the most obscure and still has yet to be recorded in the American data.
Wave was recently announced to be the name of Cardi B and Offset’s son, born in September 2021. It’s been used as a nickname for names such as Waverly in the past, but the rapper couple is among the first to put Wave on the birth certificate. We expect a wave of Waves to follow suit.
Cardi B and Offset also invented their daughter’s name, Kulture.
X Æ A-XII
The most infamous celebrity baby name to date is X Æ A-XII, the unpronounceable, not-entirely-English name of Grimes and Elon Musk’s son. (For the record, Grimes pronounces it “X A.I. Archangel”).
No other parents have dared to put a name as troublesome on the birth certificate. Not even Elon Musk and Grimes for their second child — their daughter is named Exa Dark Sideræl, which feels tame in comparison to her brother.
Nick Cannon is about to name his eighth child, and based on his older children’s names, he or she will have a totally unique name. Cannon’s most inventive choices were the names of his twins with Abby De La Rosa — Zillion Heir and Zion Mixolydian.
Numerical names such as Million and Billion have charted in recent years, but Cannon and De La Rosa added Zillion to the baby name lexicon. Zillion itself is an invented word — created in 1942 — with no real numerical value.
Zissou has never made it onto the birth certificate, but Kieran Culkin and Jazz Charton use it as a nickname for their daughter, combining the syllables of her full name, Kinsey Sioux.
Director Wes Anderson thought he created it as a surname for his film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, but later discovered a real-life Steve Zissou living in New York City. Fans of Anderson may be inspired by the film and Culkin’s daughter and use Zissou as a name for their own daughters.