Celebrity Baby Names: 2008′s best & worst

baby name Clementine

First for the good news.  Here are the starbaby names which we consider to have found the right combination of originality, charm and substance this year:

CLEMENTINEEthan Hawke & Ryan Shawhughes

Full name Clementine Jane Hawke projects the image of a sweet but strong, prim but pretty heroine of a Victorian novel, and brings to mind the song lyric ‘Oh my darlin’ (never mind that her shoes were #9).  It was previously the starbaby selection of Cybill Shepherd and Claudia Schiffer.

HONORJessica Alba & Cash Warren

We applaud this choice that moves beyond the more common Puritan Virtue names like Grace, Hope, and Faith to one that projects an even more righteous image, but has rarely been heard in this country.  An honorable decision.

KNOX & VIVIENNEAngelina Jolie & Brad Pitt

The award for best twin names of the year goes to the always inventive but never quite over-the-top serial baby namers, the Jolie-Pitts.  Knox continued their tradition of boys’ names ending in ‘X’ (as in Maddox and Pax), and also has family connections to Brad‘s grandfather, as does Vivienne‘s middle name, Marcheline, that of Angelina‘s mother.  Runner-up twin names: Coldplay drummer Will Champion’s lively Juno & Rex.

LOTUSRain Pryor

In the name garden overgrown with Roses and Lillies, Violets and Daisies, it seems fitting that the granddaughter of the late iconoclastic comedian Richard Pryor would have a more exotic flower name.  With its languorous feel, the lotus holds intriguing significance in several cultures.

SUNDAYNicole Kidman & Keith Urban

An unusual but sunny day-of-the-week name, inspired by an Australian artist’s patron named Sunday Reed, it’s in tune with other current calendar names like January, May, June and August, as well as the seasonal Winter and Summer.  Some people did think it strange that Sunday was born on a Monday.

And now for what we judge to be this year’s losers:

BRONX MOWGLI —Ashlee Simpson & Pete Wentz

Poor little Bronx got nothing but Bronx cheers when his name was released, especially as paired with the name of the Disneyfied Jungle Book boy.  If his parents thought this New York borough name would catch on the way Brooklyn has, they’re in for a big disappointment.

BUSTERMichele Hicks & Jonny Lee Miller

Is he a bulldog?  Is he a prizefighter?  No, he’s a baby, whose rambunctuous name will not do much to encourage his sensitive side.  An example of the alarming trend towards giving doggy names (Lucky, Princess) to babies.


It could just as well be Cadence Klover, within the paradigm of using the initial letters C and K interchangeably, leading to regrettable innovations like Kasey, Kassidy, Karolyn and Kaleb.  Fortunately, the trend seems to be waning.

MAXXScott Hamilton

Taking Max–which already means “the greatest”–to the max.  INXS, we’d say.

PEANUT—Ingo Rademacher

The General Hospital star explained that this had been the nickname they used “when he was in mommy.”  OK, good luck explaining that to him when he’s six feet tall and applying to Princeton.

We’d love to hear your nominations for the best and worst celebrity choices of the year, and won’t be surprised if you have very different opinions.  Let’s hear from you lovers of Harlow and defenders of Kadence!

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14 Responses to “Celebrity Baby Names: 2008′s best & worst”

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Ash Says:

December 19th, 2008 at 4:16 pm

I’m a big fan of Clementine and Vivienne! Most of them I could take or leave. I think Bronx Mowgli has to be the worst!

realpraise Says:

December 19th, 2008 at 7:38 pm

I think Bronx wins over Peanut. Come on! Honor is cute, but there’s no nickname. Sunday, Knox, and Vivienne win. But I like Vivian better, personally.

Rachel Says:

December 19th, 2008 at 8:27 pm

While I completely agree with the point you’re making about Kadence Clover’s name, perhaps the idea was that they could call her KC, or Casey, if they were so inclined…maybe??

JNE Says:

December 19th, 2008 at 9:52 pm

I absolutely love Harlow – I looked at a lot of names that evoke the same feel (to me) – Ingrid, Lena, Ava, Audrey. I agree with the commentary on the Peanut names, et. al. One thing I do like and can respect is an adventurous middle name – so, some of these “loser” names would sound great as a fun middle name in my opinion. And on that note, I have no problem with the middle name “Mowgli” or “Peanut,” but paired with something not quite so off-the-wall.

lllcoa Says:

December 19th, 2008 at 10:24 pm

I think Peanut wins over Bronx, personally. And I would have had Zuma right beneath Bronx, as well.

I adore Harlow, but I was amused to read a comment on a non-US based blog from someone who thought Harlow was a place name and I guess Harlow the city in that country is a not so place? The commenter was as unpleasantly surprised as I’d be if someone named their child Fresno.

linda Says:

December 19th, 2008 at 10:52 pm


Liz Says:

December 21st, 2008 at 1:49 pm

What? Zuma Nesta Rock is not on the list?

Pam Says:

December 21st, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Alas, Zuma Nesta Rock was number 6 and so flew just beneath the radar…..

Nessa Says:

December 22nd, 2008 at 5:41 pm

I’m so disappointed, I really like a lot of the celebrities that chose such bad names this year. I like Ashlee Simpson but I can’t imagine a worse name than Bronx Mowgli. Ingo Rademacher is one of my favorites on the only soap opera I watch, but Peanut? Honestly? And then Jonny Lee Miller named his kid BUSTER? And Tony Hawk with Kadence Clover, I’d actually really like that if it were spelled Cadence, but alas. I do think Zuma Nesta Rock should have been on this list over Kadence or Maxx though. When I heard the name, I assumed it was a girl. I mean Zuma and Kingston are brothers? And I’m saying that as a HUGE fan of Gwen Stefani.

Claire Says:

July 29th, 2009 at 7:50 pm

I think Peanut and Bronx have most definitely got to be the worst!

I would have to nominate Matthew McConaughey and Camilla Alves’ son Levi to the Best catagorey. Levi is adorable and awesome, one of those underused Biblical names that need to come back to life!

Dotsmom Says:

September 18th, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Sunday Rose was by far my favorite. I actually did not like Honor Marie because of the “on her” jokes that could be made. Bronx Mogli by far the worst. There is nothing I like about it at all.

AJ_Bear Says:

September 26th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Only two words…

Poor Peanut.

Joslyn Says:

October 2nd, 2010 at 1:16 pm

I love Buster! Buster Posey SF Giants!

sarahmezz Says:

January 30th, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Peanut is ridiculous. He will be a man one day, not always a little boy! In Australia, there’s a TV host who has a son named Buster. He must be a teenager by now. I don’t remember the name ever getting much press or people being very bothered by it.

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