Starbaby News: The Jagger Dynasty, gender-bending and more

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Mick Jagger is a great-grandfather.

The frontman of the world’s greatest rock’n’roll band welcomed a new grandson and his first great-granddaughter a few months ago.  Their names were just revealed last week.  If you’re counting, that brings the Jagger progeny to seven children, five grandchildren, and a great-grandchild … all with rather interesting given names.

It wasn’t just the Jaggers sharing names at long last.  Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson filed a birth certificate for baby #4, just before her first birthday.  If you’re looking for vintage gems, the Rudolph-Andersons’ quartet is a great starting point. A few more thoughts from last week:

Leo is mainstream, but Lion?  The pure animal form of the name remains a bold and unexpected choice – and one that we’re hearing more often.
–Nouns are the new go-to middles, and they’re far more exciting than Ann and Marie.
–Names have gone casual – if someone introduces their kids as Jack, Sadie, and Molly, it is a safe bet that those are the names on their birth certificates.  It would be a surprise to find out that they were actually John, Sarah, and Mary, wouldn’t it?
–Spelling – a great way to link sibling names, or an invitation to a life of “would-you-repeat-that, please?”  We’ll check back with Doutzen and Sunnery’s kids in a dozen years or so.

Now, on to the baby names:

Minnie Ida Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson named their fourth daughter after Maya’s mom, the late singer Minnie Riperton.  Minnie joins Pearl, Lucille, and Jack – perfectly matched, and yet each name distinctive, too.

Josie James Josie might be the next Sadie, a nickname-name that no longer requires a formal version.  Josie James is the first daughter for Scott Caan, of Hawaii Five-O fame, and girlfriend Kacy Byxbee.  That gender-bending middle name honors Scott’s dad, veteran actor James Caan.

Ezra – While we’re talking about boys’ names on girls, how about Mick’s great-granddaughter?  Mick and first wife Bianca had daughter Jade back in 1971.  Jade’s daughter Assisi was born in 1992.  Now Assisi and her chef-boyfriend, Alex Key, are new parents.  Daughter Ezra arrived in May.  Just like Asa and a handful of Biblical boys’ names ending with a, Ezra has seen some use for girls – but remains well-established – and quite stylish – for a son.

Ray Emmanuel Just weeks after Ezra arrived, Jade Jagger welcomed baby #3!  Assisi has a little sister named Amba, also born in the 1990s.  Now Jade and new husband Adrian Fillary have a son of their own, with the casual-cool name Ray combined with a Biblical middle.

Amoura Luna – Grammy-nominated R&B singer Eric Benet and wife Manuela Testolini welcomed Amoura Luna, a little sister for Lucia Bella, as well as Eric’s older daughter, India.  All three are romantic, feminine names.  Those noun middles – beautiful Bella, moonlit Luna – are subtly matched.

Jack Lion – One more birth announcement from the world of music!  Evanescence frontwoman Amy Lee and husband Josh Hertzler paired a casual classic with a bold middle for their firstborn.  Jack Lion is bold but wearable – a rock’n’roll baby name that wouldn’t be out of place on an accountant.

Myllena Mae – Dutch supermodel Doutzen Kroes and her DJ husband Sunnery James surprised the world with their son’s name – Phyllon Joy.  Myllena Mae feels more conventional, but Vernoeming points out that the new arrival is the first Myllena ever registered in the Netherlands.  It seems like the famous parents have connected their children’s names with the shared double-L spelling.  I can’t decide if that’s sweet, or unnecessarily complicated.

What do you think of the names in this week’s news?  Are you wild about Josie?  Would you use Leo or Lion?  And are there any shared spellings on your family tree?

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15 Responses to “Starbaby News: The Jagger Dynasty, gender-bending and more”

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Binz Says:

August 3rd, 2014 at 11:48 pm

Why no mention of Jimmy Kimmel’s new baby? Any nameberry person would love her name.

SunKissedChild Says:

August 4th, 2014 at 2:12 am

Well I personally am sad to see Ezra on a girl, it’s such a handsome boy’s name! I have a very hard time imagining it on a girl.

mermuse Says:

August 4th, 2014 at 7:45 am

Pretty sure the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band is The Beatles! =P But, congrats to Mick!

CsprsSassyHrly Says:

August 4th, 2014 at 8:00 am

I agree wholeheartedly with SunKissedChild. It saddens me seeing Ezra (James and Asa, as well) being used on girls. I had severe reservations (and still don’t like it) when Max and Elliot were pinking up, but those I could sort of understand. Max being short for Maxine (though I vehemently argue no one should use Maxwell on a girl) and Elliot does have the softness of Ella and Elle. But I just can’t get behind Ezra, James and Asa going pink. It worries me that, in twenty years, they’ll be more pink than blue, like Shannon, Alexis, Dylan (which already seems to be turning), and Cameron. I don’t know how much more of this I can take! At this rate, there won’t be ANY pure blue names left…

befx217 Says:

August 4th, 2014 at 8:11 am

Wow Maya Rudolphs children are so beautifully named!

Abby Says:

August 4th, 2014 at 8:39 am

@Binz – I love Jimmy’s choice of Jane! She’s mentioned in an earlier post: http://nameberry.com/blog/the-long-and-the-short-of-girl-names

@mermuse – Ha! Fair enough … And Paul McCartney’s got some nicely named grandchildren himself!

@befx217 – I know, right? I loved Maya Rudolph before she started having babies, but now? She totally makes my list of famous people to invite to dinner!

@SunKissedChild, @CsprsSassyHrly – I hear your frustration. But it seems like many, many names are used sparingly for girls without going pink. Dylan was given to over 10,000 boys last year – down from his peak of over 15,000 about a dozen years ago – but the number of girls is just around 600 in 2013. Something similar happened with Ryan. I think we’ll see similar patterns with Asa and Ezra and Elliot, too – more girls will get the names, but it won’t stop parents from considering those names for boys. They’re great names, and solidly masculine! FWIW, Avery has continued to rise for boys – I know two, one just born last year – even as it has reached the heights of popularity for girls. It’s not all bleak. 🙂

Mischa Says:

August 4th, 2014 at 8:57 am

Maya Rudolph has a Minnie and a Pearl. Even though Minnie was the name of her mother, I can’t help but think of Minnie Pearl was a well-known country and western entertainer on the TV show Hee Haw. How-deeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!

dancingwithdad Says:

August 4th, 2014 at 10:27 am

I’ve always thought Ezra sounded feminine even though I knew it was a male name.

My name is Jamie and my nickname is James, so I would love to use James for a little girl (middle name), but feel it would be seen as trying to be trendy. I think Josie James is really cute, especially because it has family meaning and isn’t just for trendyness. Love Josie, but not Josephine…love Sadie, but have never really understood why it is a nickname for Sarah (generally aren’t nicknames supposed to be shorter?).

indiefendi Says:

August 4th, 2014 at 11:19 am

I love Amoura Luna, it’s gorgeous!

I said this in the comment section of Ezra a couple days ago, I’m not surprised it’s getting used on girls even though it’s definitely a boys name but it’s not the worst. I think Ezra has the soft sound like Elisha that makes moms use it on girls. I actually kinda like it. But I probably wouldn’t do it myself. Some boys names are just definitely off limits to girls and some boys names can make the switch (I secretly love Jonah, Seth, and Asher on a girl but I won’t even think about it). The “rules” are so different these days. It could be much worse guys! Don’t lose hope hahah

nat108 Says:

August 4th, 2014 at 12:00 pm

I’m underwhelmed with this batch except for Maya’s kids. They have great names and I love that she’s honoring her amazing mother. However, I wonder if she planned ahead when she was considering Pearl? If I knew that I may want to one day name a child after my mom, Minnie, I would not name a child Pearl. Although, Minnie Pearl is a pretty cool association!

GemmaV Says:

August 4th, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Thanks so much for introducing me to vernoeming.nl in this post! For those of us who can read Dutch this is a treasure trove (and possibly the reason I won’t get anything else done this afternoon).

CsprsSassyHrly Says:

August 4th, 2014 at 2:41 pm

@Abby – I’m so glad to hear that. I guess it seems like certain names are taking a severe reroute into the pink zone. I do agree that Dylan and Ryan still seem 100% boy to me. I don’t mind male names as nicknames for little girls, (Frankie for a Frances, Max for a Maxine, Sam for Samantha) but there are just some names that I adore for a boy (James, Maxwell, Elliott, Cameron, Blake), that I can’t not get worried about losing. People seem to already have so much difficulty naming boys, I’d hate to think it could get harder if little girls are being named them, too.

miloowen Says:

August 4th, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Lion as a name has a long and interesting history. It first shows up around the English Civil War and the Restoration, and seems to have been a name used to signal allegiance to Royalist troops. Although my family were definitely Roundheads, it shows up in the Brewster genealogy as well.

Sir Lion Gardiner, of the founding Connecticut/New York Gardiners, was the CO of the royal army in coastal Connecticut and helped found the town of Old Saybrook, which still features a statue to Sir Lion today. Sadly, Sir Lion was involved in the notorious massacre of approximately 800 Wampanoag Indians during King Philip’s Wars, most of whom were old men, women, and children.

Lion, also spelled Lyon, was also used to honour Lionel, the Duke of Clarence, one of the sons of Edward III.

Binz Says:

August 5th, 2014 at 1:49 am

@Abby oops, my bad. I take back my earlier comment.

Gondolin Says:

August 31st, 2014 at 10:59 am

As far as “Myllena” goes, in Dutch it actually makes a big pronunciation difference.
“Mylena” -> Mi-LAY-nah
“Myllena” -> MI-le-nah
The double L is probably just a coincidence.

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