By Linda Rosenkrantz
There are many shades of cool, especially when it comes to baby names, ranging from classy classics to creative concepts. Here, Nameberry gives its stamp of approval to 13 celebs who have recently nailed it with the following fantastic choices.
Best Uncharted Territory Prize goes to Russian model Anne Vyalitsyna, aka Anne V who chose a previously unheard place name for her daughter, unusual and yet on trend with the new vogue for wintry names like Snow and Frost, Winter and January. With partner Adam Cahan, they became a triple-A-initial family.
We nominate actor Kevin Durand and wife Sandra Cho’s choice for the Sheer Beauty Award, for this luminous, moonstruck combo. Amelie, the French version of the popular (#15 here, #1 in England)) Amelia, came to the US on the wings of the charming 2001 French film. Moon has become a bright new middle-name option, quirkily adorable.
The whole No Doubt band has been dubbed (by us) as Best Musical Group Baby Namers, led by vocalist Gwen Stefani. After sons Kingston James McGregor and Zuma Nesta Rock came Apollo, classical god of music, truth, the sun, poetry and more. Can’t get much cooler than that.
No contemporary actor is quirkier that Irishman Chris O’Dowd, so we’re not surprised that he would pick this almost comically blunt-sounding vintage nickname for Arthur. But wait—if you don’t know your Irish history–Art is the noble name borne by a number of legendary kings. And there’s also the connection to art, with a lowercase ‘a’.
Kristen Bell & Dax Shepard get the Most Surprising Siblings Citation for their diametrically different daughter names. First came a girl given the presidential surname Lincoln in 2013, followed by the languid and lush, ultra-femme, southern Delta, less than two years later.
On a recent talk show, Cate Blanchett revealed the inspiration behind the names of her first three children—Roman, after director Polanski and the French word for novel, Dashiell from Dashiell Hammett, and Ignatius— are you ready? —from a children’s Doctor Underpants book (“I must have been hallucinating.”). But for her first daughter, adopted last winter, she went in an entirely different direction, combining three lovely, traditional appellations
Ioan Gruffudd & Alice Evans get the Cutest Combo Award for this double vintage choice. Elsie, until recently a dusty old Elizabeth nickname, is in the process of being polished up—it’s reached Number 32 in England and Wales—and Marigold is a fresh new flower in the name garden. This latest little Gruffudd shared the El-beginning of her name with sister Ella Betsi.
Foo Fighter Dave Grohl, who was ahead of the starbaby pack with older daughters Violet Maye and Harper Willow, now gets the Best Shakespearean Choice Prize for using the lovely name of Hamlet’s tragic heroine.
We wouldn’t expect you to name your kid Gramps or Pop-pop, but Jenna Bush Hager was fortunate (and clever) enough to use the childhood nickname of her great-grandfather, George H. W. Bush, as the trending name of her second daughter. Middle name Louise, another family honor name, makes a nice, gentle counterpoint to the peppy Poppy, making this the Most Perfect Tribute Name.
Jessica Biel & Justin Timberlake looked back into their family history and chose the middle name of Justin’s maternal grandfather as the baby’s first, while Randall is the middle name of both Timberlake and his dad—another solid choice with real meaning.
There are any number of virtue names for girls, but very few for boys. Actor Emile Hirsch managed to make this bold choice for his son, a name that had previously been seen only in comic books. Valor: hereby declared Most Creative Word name in recent times.
There is just something so winning about Winnie, the name of Jimmy Fallon’s older daughter (the second is Frances/Franny) that the oldtimey, endearing nickname for Winifred wins the Neatest Vintage Nickname Award. Runners-up are Drew Barrymore’s girl Frankie (sister of Olive) and Max Greenfield’s Ozzie James.
This light and breezy name of the Greek god of the west wind was the interesting choice of tech entrepreneur and Facebook founding president Sean Parker, who also named his first daughter Winter Victoria, as well as several notably branded companies.