Over-the-Luna About Baby Names

Over-the-Luna About Baby Names

In the Nameberry 9 this week, Appellation Mountain‘s  Abby Sandel takes on one of the world’s longest celebrity baby names,  Rosalind A. A. A. F. Thurman-Busson aka Luna.

As summer slipped into fall, I was convinced we’d never learn the name of Uma Thurman’s new daughter.  And then suddenly, there was the announcement. And what an announcement!  With five given names, a double-barreled surname, and a nickname to boot, no wonder last week’s baby name news was dominated by discussions of the not-quite-new arrival.

Uma and fiancé Arpad Busson have solid baby naming credentials.  Uma is already mom to Maya Ray and Levon with ex-husband Ethan Hawke.  Arpad has sons named Arpad Flynn and Aurelius Cy with supermodel Elle MacPherson.  The boys answer to Flynn and Cy.  It’s easy to imagine the parents struggling to narrow down their list.  I also wonder which of the six names they gave little Luna will prove to be the most influential.

Is it too much name?  Will she be forced to answer to Rosalind A.A.A.F. Busson-Thurmon on official documents?  Let’s say this: with family sizes shrinking, I completely understand the desire to use up all of our favorite names and honor all of our loved ones at once.  Yes, it makes for a long name – and yes, even the future King of England only has three middles – but I suspect many of us would be tempted to do the same.

A few other baby names made headlines last week, too, from extreme sports to celebrity births to television.  It’s an interesting list, and proof that we can take inspiration from everywhere.

The nine most influential choices from last week’s baby name news are:

Felix – He used to conjure up mind Felix the Cat.  Now it is Fearless Felix, the Austrian daredevil who leapt from the stratosphere to a safe landing on Earth.  The letter X is losing none of its appeal, as parents look beyond Alex and Max for additional possibilities.  Felix seems like one of the most promising, especially now that he’s associated with feats of derring-do rather than an animated feline.

Noah Shannon – Since Brian Austin Green’s older son is Kassius, I wasn’t sure what to expect from his first with new wife Megan Fox.  Let’s call their choice a pleasant surprise.  Noah is wildly common, but seeing Shannon used for a son makes the name feel fresh again.

MichonneThe Walking Dead is back on AMC.  Just in time for Halloween, the third season features a fierce zombie killer called Michonne.  The surname Michon is derived from Michael.  While Michonne is rarer than rare, she does feel like an update to Michelle, in step with French favorites like Vivienne.

Rosalind – Let’s turn our attention to Uma and Arki’s little girl.  The first of her names is the Shakespearean Rosalind, a seldom heard vintage gem.  Move over, Rosalie.  Rosalind could be the new Rose name of the moment.

Arusha – Uma’s full name is Uma Karuna.  She and her siblings all have names heavily influenced by her father’s academic interests.  Dad was a professor of Tibetan Buddhism at Columbia.  Uma means light.  Arusha is a Sanskrit name meaning bright.  Could this middle be a clever way of honoring mom?

Arkadina – Arpad A. Busson is commonly referred to as Arki.  I haven’t been able to confirm his middle name, but it stands to reason that Arkadina is a nod to dad.  It might be the least likely of all of baby Thurman-Busson’s names to inspire other parents, but it does remind me of the lovely, underused Arcadia.

Altalune – Could this be the breakout name?  It is the source of her affectionate nickname, Luna.  A thirteenth century ruler of Verona had an illegitimate daughter called Altaluna.  Altaluna della Scala married a Bavarian nobleman and the name died out.  It’s virtually unknown today.

Florence – Thanks to Panya for pointing out that Florence is likely after little Luna’s grandmother, Florence Busson.  It’s the most mainstream of her given names, a favorite choice in the UK.

Luna – At last, the name that Miss Thurman-Busson will actually use in everyday life.  An ancient Roman moon goddess, Luna has been on the rise ever since she first appeared as a Hogwarts student in 2003’s Order of the Phoenix.  Between the Harry Potter heroine, her stylish sound, and now her place on the list of celebrity tots, could Luna be headed for the Top 100?

Which of Uma’s names do you like the best?  Do you think Felix and Luna are likely to become more popular?  And would you ever give your child four middle names?

About the Author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry and Baby Name DNA. The coauthor of ten groundbreaking books on names, Redmond is an internationally-recognized baby name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show, CNN, and the BBC. She has written about baby names for The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and People.

Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its sequel, Older. She has three new books in the works.