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Quirky, Cool Celebrity Baby Names: Balthazar, Rocket, and Dashiel

April 5, 2015 Abby Sandel

By Abby Sandel

Lately, celebrity baby name news has a split personality.

With the arrival of royal baby #2 expected this month, there’s talk of buttoned-up classics like Alice and Elizabeth for girls, and equally traditional choices like Arthur and James for a boy.

But everywhere else?

It’s mayhem!

Paris Hilton recently gave an interview declaring that her firstborn would be named London – regardless of gender. It’s probably the most mainstream choice in this week’s baby name news.

What does it say when Ms. Hilton can’t shock us?

It isn’t just celebrity parents, either. Plenty of us have thrown the rulebook out the window. We’re choosing names that are personally significant but completely unlike anything our parents would have considered.

Earlier this week, I stumbled on this list from Kara at The Art of Naming. Kara complied it to help parents looking for a quirky, cool middle name for a daughter. Except that I wouldn’t be surprised to meet a girl named Leda, Thisbe, Matisse, Kestrel, or Avalon – would you?

The trend towards individuality and diversity in baby naming isn’t a bad thing. But is it possible to go too far?

Read on for this week’s list of quirky celebrity baby names – and let us know if you think these names are over the top, or just plain cool.

Balthazar Victoria Recano of Inside Edition recently welcomed a third child. His name? Balthazar, as in one of the Wise Men who followed a star. Claudia Schiffer and Jason Lee both have a Capsar. So far, Melchior has no takers. It’s an extravagant first name, but fits right in with Victoria and husband Tom Burwell’s older children: son Sebastian and daughter Maximilienne.

Wolf Balthazar’s middle name is Wolf. Animal names are a trend parents have embraced in recent years, from Bear, chosen by Kate Winslet and Alicia Silverstone, to Lion, the firstborn son of Alex O’Loughlin. Other creature-inspired names that we’ve covered include Fox, Hawk, Wren, and Lark.

Ioni – Model Coco Rocha is a new mom! She and husband James Conran have welcomed daughter Ioni. Is Ione a phonetic spelling of Ione, as in Skye? If so, the name comes from a Greek word meaning violet flower, and has roots in myth. There’s a sea nymph by the name. It’s a quirky, cool, and modern choice.

James Coco’s cutie is another girl with a masculine middle: James. In this case, we can assume that it’s a nod to dad. Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds may be one of the few couples to bestow James as a girl’s first name, but other celebrity parents have used it as a middle, including James Marsden’s Mary James and Sean Combs’ Jessie James.

Dashiel – But when it comes to borrowing from the boys, this week’s big story was the arrival of Milla Jovovich’s second daughter, named Dashiel. Yes, a daughter called Dashiel. Since MIlla and husband Paul W.S. Anderson named their first daughter Ever Gabo, we expected an unconventional choice. But literary surname Dashiel – with one ‘l’ or two – is far more common for boys.

Edan – As for Dashiel’s middle name, Milla and Paul might be respelling Eden, as in the Biblical garden. Or maybe they’ve chosen an unusual spelling of Aidan. Big sister Ever’s name was inspired by dad’s Scottish heritage. We’ll have to wait for mom to give an interview. It would be great to hear how they settled on this unusual choice!

London Do all of these girls with traditionally masculine names have you down? Good news, and it comes from Paris Hilton. Paris recently proclaimed that her firstborn will be named London, boy or girl. No, she isn’t expecting – as far as we know. But it’s refreshing to hear a parent choose a name that’s more common for girls, and declare that it will work for a son, too.

Rocket – And now, let’s talk about the name that claims the quirky trophy of the week. Rocket isn’t completely new in celeb circles. Pharrell’s son is Rocket. And director Robert Rodriguez gave the name to his oldest son, too. The latest high profile birth announcement for a baby Rocket comes from actor Sam Worthington and model Lara Bingle.

Zot – If Rocket is a bold surprise of a name, Zot really raised eyebrows! Where did Lara and Sam find their son’s unusual middle? It was inspired by Sam’s late father, Ronald. Zot was his nickname. So while it’s not likely to catch on, Zot is definitely a meaningful choice for the new parents.

What do you think of this week’s daring baby names? Do any of these go too far? Are there any that you would use?

About the author

Abby

Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at namesage@nameberry.com.

View all of Abby's articles

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