Celebrity Baby Names: Why So Wacky?

Why are celebrity baby names so crazy?

That’s a question reporters often ask us, and we have a pet theory.

Unlike Manhattan lofts and private jets, baby names are free and something everybody has.  Therefore, celebrities have to try that much harder to make sure the names THEY choose are more special, more unusual, more elite than the ones available to the rest of us.

So they invent names, or they find them in the baby name books of lands few other people get to visit, or they adopt the names of obscure artists or designers, or they turn what might be an everyday word into an attention-getting name.

Like Pilot, say, or Moxie, or Speck, or Apple.

Whether these crazy celebrity baby names are true exercises in creativity or ploys for extra notice, it’s hard to say.  Not knowing Nicolas Cage personally, I can’t really judge whether naming his son Kal-El comes from the depths of his soul or is an attempt to prop up a flagging career.

It’s hard to imagine Nic saying to his wife, “I know, honey, I love the name Steve, too, but if we name the baby Kal-El, my Q Score is sure to go up and I’ll get an extra mil for my next film.”  But it’s equally hard to imagine anyone saying, “Kal-El or Crimefighter?  They’re both such fabulous names.”

There’s a difference, I think, between really wacky celebrity baby names and those that are just unusual and offbeat.

Pilot Inspektor, I think is wacky, while Sailor is sweet and unusual.  Everly Bear, the name of Anthony Kedis’ infant son, is kinda crazy, while Ever Gabo, Milla Jovovich and Paul Anderson’s daughter, is cute.  Julia Roberts’ Hazel is on the sunny side of normal, while twin brother Phinnaeus (especially because of that spelling) is toppling off the edge.  Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban’s Sunday is quirky, while other new starbabies Marmaduke and Ptolemy seem to have been chosen mainly as the subjects of press releases.

Celebrities, they’re just like us?  Maybe, but not when they name their babies.

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3 Responses to “Celebrity Baby Names: Why So Wacky?”

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Julie Kerr Says:

February 2nd, 2009 at 11:21 am

Thanks for the post, its good to know about this.

JossieChris Says:

December 21st, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I like the name Ptolemy. Maybe it would be easier on the eyes spelled without the “P”, Tolemy. This name has history and it has a very strong meaning behind it. Not to mention, it was good enough for the child of the great Cleopatra. Everyone seems to think it is just for attention getting, but I love it’s simple strength. And it sounds so good with any number of surnames. You can create your own dynasty of Ptolemaic decendants.

*person* Says:

June 14th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

The reason behind strange spellings and names is probably the flow of emajinayshon and beer,
While I like Ottilie, Bijoux, Ptolemy and Ottoline, I can’t help think the parents were pretty drunk when they named their little angels, and were too embarrassed to change it. Like, seriously, Kal-El?

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