The Nameberry 9: Over-the-top baby names

This week Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel finds some extreme examples in the Nameberry 9 and ponders their acceptability.

Did you read the Jools Oliver interview from earlier this week?  The model-turned-mom of four is married to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.  Together they’re the parents of the imaginatively named Poppy Honey Rosie, Daisy Boo Pamela, Petal Blossom Rainbow, and Buddy Bear MauriceJools declared, “I hate people’s opinions on names. Whatever you call your baby is your decision.”

I know scads of people who would agree with Jools.  At least until they hear a name, like oh say, Buddy Bear.  And I wonder if Jools would be so open-minded if Poppy came home with a best friend called Ermingard.

There I was thinking of England when the lovely Shannon alerted me to a baby name discussion taking place on The Pioneer Woman’s blog.  Ree Drummond is known for her delectable recipes, along with vistas of her ranch somewhere smack in the middle of the US of A, but last week she decided to talk about her favorite names and thousands of comments continued the discussion.

Generally names were well-received, whether they were as classic as Katherine or as creative as Aliceson.

This weeks’ nine names range from the Mountain West to Londontown, but each challenges us to ask – are we as open-minded as Jools?

Petal – I’ll be the first to admit that I love Petal, the name the Olivers gave to daughter #3.  I’ll also be among the first to say that Petal Blossom Rainbow is a bit much.  When it comes to outrageous names, there’s something to be said for balance, and I think Petal might envy her sibs’ conservative third names Rosie, Pamela, and Maurice at some point.

Thames – While we’re in England, an American parent asked Swistle if Thames was wearable for a boy in the US.  A slight majority find Thames over the line, but he has his supporters, too, including Clarabella who commented “if you love a name enough, you make it work.”  ‘zactly!

Jerusalem – Now onward to the Mountain West, where Ree Drummond has taken a break from cooking to whip up lists of her favorite baby names.  The first few names are favorites here at Nameberry – Mae and Helen.  But then there’s Jerusalem.  Yup, JerusalemHow’s that for a place name?

Brynna – What is it with Br- names?  From the comments thread, I spotted two readers with daughters called Brynna, as well as others who had used Brynne, Brenna, and Brynja.  (Apparently Brynja is big inIceland.)

Sasha Jubilee – Here’s another one from comments.  Sasha is pretty mainstream these days, but I’m watching Jubilee like a hawk to see if this unusual word name will gain momentum.

Beau – The boys’ list posted by Ree isn’t quite as wild, though she loves Ashley for a boy.  (Swoon!)  Better still, Ree short-listed Beau.  It sounds like a logical choice for a woman better known as The Pioneer Woman.Rugger – Equally unsurprising are the many parents who read Ree and gave cowboy-perfect names to their sons.  Rugger took me by surprise, while others – like the many boys called Wyatt – were to be expected.  Other ten-gallon names from the comments included Race, Shooter, Cash, Maverick, Garrett, Weston, Stetson, Roper, Rush, Rock, and Rodeo.  Giddy-up!

Foster – Other names discussed in the comments would have been home at a New England prep school.  Why isn’t Foster catching on?  Is it the beer?  That hasn’t held back Miller.

Nylah – Let’s end with something different.  Amazing Race alum Jen Hoffman and her boyfriend Ryan Fowler have welcomed a daughter, Nylah Mackenzie.  It’s a name with a great rhythm – why don’t we put longer names in the middle spot more often?

Do you agree with Jools?  Is it easy for you to embrace lots of different names for different families and circumstances, or do you have definite ideas about what makes for an appropriate name?

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25 Responses to “The Nameberry 9: Over-the-top baby names”

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LexieM Says:

August 27th, 2012 at 12:51 am

Variety is the spice of life. While I think I might be horrified if someone suggested I name my child Rainbow if you like it I don’t mind naming your child that. I think if you have a great reason or story why you are naming you child something unique – great. I’d love to hear it. But, if it’s just to be different and you choose a new spelling or a random word as a name – just because – then I’d rather you didn’t.

ThadsMom Says:

August 27th, 2012 at 12:59 am

I can’t speak for others, but Foster would give me pause because the first thing I associate with the word is “foster child”. Just not an association I want to have with my baby.

I think, individually, Petal or Blossom, or (maybe?) even Rainbow could be made to work if balanced out with something more traditional/sensible/grounded. All together, though… yeah, it does sound like a care bear just vomited a rainbow of hello kitty dolls on top of a lite brite or something. That’s just the image that pops into my head. Is it really any worse than “Moon Unit” or “Kel-El”? Probably not. She’ll go by Petal and be fine.

ThadsMom Says:

August 27th, 2012 at 1:00 am


Namenutt Says:

August 27th, 2012 at 1:21 am

I agree with Jools to a point, we can name our own children whatever we like, however, it’s not all about us! We must keep in mind that it’s our children that will live with this ‘strange’ or unusual moniker for the rest of their lives. Ask yourself if you are burdening him or her with a name that may cause them unnecessary problems – teasing, spelling over & over, not being taken seriously, etc – a name they may hate & resent in future.

Poppy528 Says:

August 27th, 2012 at 2:09 am

I totally LOL’ed at the sib set Poppy Honey Rosie, Daisy Boo Pamela, Petal Blossom Rainbow, and Buddy Bear Maurice. These are children – not troll dolls with neon hair and gemstone belly buttons.

I like a whole range of names, and I like that name style can so easily reflect lifestyle and personalities… Names like Eartha, Clarabeau, Sky, Millicente … they can all work beautifully. You just really need to do the “Starbucks test” before you name your baby. Can anyone really tell a barista their name is Daisy Boo with a straight face?

nat108 Says:

August 27th, 2012 at 3:38 am

I hate when people say “If you love it…” You aren’t the one that has to live with that name. It’s not all about you! I’m all for uncommon names but have some common sense. Consider how the name will affect the human being that will be stuck with your choice for at least 18yrs

roe121 Says:

August 27th, 2012 at 8:47 am

Celebrities have the liberty of choosing names like Buddy Bear and Daisy Boo..let’s face it, these kids are going to be well to do and are going to the best private schools. Everyone is going to know their famous dad and that is going to make their name “cool”. If Joe Schmoe named his child Buddy Bear he’d be the laughing stock of the playground and he’d have to change his name at age 18 because he wants to be a car mechanic and no one in the garage will take him seriously.

poods Says:

August 27th, 2012 at 9:14 am

I agree with Thadsmom. The foster care system is what has always held me back from loving Foster. I’m curious though, can any of my Euro-berries tell me if the term is used that way across the pond?

Flick Says:

August 27th, 2012 at 11:10 am

Jerusalem isn’t too weird for me, I grew up with a guy named Israel.

poods Says:

August 27th, 2012 at 11:30 am

Israel is a traditional Jewish.boys name. During Wwii, Hitler madeall Jews with non-Hebrew names assume the names Israel or Sarah. Just some name nerd Tricia.

poods Says:

August 27th, 2012 at 11:30 am

*trivia, not Tricia. Dyac

spotlightstarlit Says:

August 27th, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I hope Jubilee catches on! It’s a lovely middle name!

southern.maple Says:

August 27th, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I’ve adored Foster since I found it on my family tree. I watched Gone With the Wind this weekend, so I’ll have to give Ashley on a boy two thumbs up. 🙂

MillonDeFloss Says:

August 27th, 2012 at 4:51 pm

I think too many parents use their child’s name as an opportunity to make a statement, forgetting that this is something that their child will have to live with (at least until they are old enough to legally change it). My primary concern is choosing a name that won’t make my child’s life any harder.

Flick Says:

August 27th, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Poods- I didn’t know that! His family wasn’t Jewish, but they were very religious, so that’s where it was drawn from, I’m sure – what’s odd is that his sisters had names like Sarah and Elizabeth.

WaltzingMoreThanMatilda Says:

August 27th, 2012 at 7:49 pm

I don’t think Jools Oliver’s taste in names is too weird, although you can definitely tell they were all named by their mum left unfettered by dad’s taste. I agree that Petal is sweet, but the rest of the name is OTT.

Thames seems fine to me, not sure about in the US.

Jerusalem seems a bit wrong, because it’s a sacred city in three religions – kind of like calling your child Vatican.

Brynna – boring

Jubilee – fits in lots of trends, so doesn’t seem too strange

Beau – a very popular name here, also see lots of babies called Cash

Rugger – here it’s a slang term for rugby, not sure what it means elsewhere. It sounds strange.

Race and Shooter – hmm, a bit wrong, somehow …

Rodeo – hilarious

Foster – oooh, does seem a bit wrong as well. It’s not just the beer, although that’s a factor.

Nylah – I sort of liked it until I looked it up on Nameberry and saw it’s become trendy because of a cat on YouTube! Please parents, set your sights higher than a pussy-gone-viral.

sabrinafair Says:

August 27th, 2012 at 7:50 pm

I LOVE Jerusalem for a girl! I also like for a boy there was a boy named this in my elementary school. I also LOVe Thames I have it as a middle name for River [girl] *smirks*

Mara_lyn86 Says:

August 27th, 2012 at 8:24 pm

I know she is a celebrity, but her children’s names are ridiculous. Daisy Boo, Buddy Bear? Thank goodness those children have the benefit of not going to regular school, or they would be beat to a pulp. Poppy is cute, and Petal is okay but takes the flower theme too far for me.
The only name I like on this list is Poppy and Jubilee as a middle name.

leonielee Says:

August 27th, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Ok, why oh why did you have to mention Thames? This isn’t something I’d ever have come up with on my own, but now that I’ve heard it, I cannot get it out of my head! Someone please talk me out of this!

nativoyoung Says:

August 29th, 2012 at 11:27 pm

I’m torn on this one. Yes, I hated Buddy Bear and Petal Rainbow (really??), but I also hate that my family STILL mocks my daughter Harriet even 18 months later.

Maybe we should agree that we can mock names in our heads (like the little boy I just met named Samurai) but don’t share our opinions with the namers themselves. It seems kinder.

Obviously, I think Harriet is a gorgeous name or I wouldn’t have chosen it. Same goes for Petal, regardless of my feelings toward it.

Pretty Girl Names: This week’s Nameberry 9 – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Says:

October 8th, 2012 at 10:32 am

[…] Some pretty girl names–and a couple of attractive boys’ too–are highlighted by Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel for this week’s The Nameberry 9. […]

jazz1509 Says:

October 31st, 2012 at 6:46 pm

I think any name is okay unless it will cause ridicule for a child. Admittedly when I met a boy name Lucifer Chaos Sin last week it did shock me. I would NEVER EVER call a child that but his parents did and that’s not any of my business.
When a friend of mine named her son Aish (pronounced Aye-Sh)I thought it was weird but now it’s just his name and I can’t remember why I didn’t like it when I first heard it.

tfzolghadr Says:

July 7th, 2013 at 11:18 am

Jerusalem is interesting, but I think Jericho or Amman would work better…

gailk Says:

July 16th, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Though jool’s children have very exotic full names, how often do you call your best friend, or your co-worker, or your grandma, or the lady that does your hair, by their full name? Sure, the full names will be used at graduations and what-not, but it’s mind over matter. The people who really matter won’t mind and those who mind don’t matter. They will be most likely called by their first names (I’m assuming)The first names aren’t *too* unbelievable, though, personally, I might save those names for the middle name slot. Really, “Hi, My name is Jool, and these are my children, Poppy, Daisy, Petal, and Buddy.” it’s not that bad.

MrsFox Says:

September 22nd, 2014 at 4:02 pm

I definately have set ideas about baby naming and I think it’s unfair and inconsiderate to name a baby as opposed to to person who has to wear their name into old age. I first heard Jubilee on 19 kids and counting (the baby that they lost) and I do like it but maybe as a middle name. Foster also conjures up images for me of a care situation so that’s a no, Brynna isn’t for me although I wouldn’t think badly of someone for using it and Thames and Jerusalem… really? Rodeo is a bit much too, maybe Romeo instead? Beau is sweet and makes me think of Beau Brady who used to play Noah in ‘Home and Away’ 😉

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