Celebrity Baby Names: The Un-Weirdly-Named Starbaby Boys

If you were to go solely by the tabloids, you might think that every celebrity’s baby boy was given the name of a New York borough or a Disney character or was his parents’ quirky Scrabble-letter invention.

Au contraire.

There is a very  healthy segment of show biz parents who are creating a major backlash to this trend–either that or they just like conservative, classic names.  Instead of screaming ‘Hey-look-at-me!’ (and my mama), these names  provide a sort of protective coating against that kind of often mocking attention, a layer of dignity and tradition.

Evidence?  Here, just looking at boys born since the Millenium, are some of the timeless classics, in their complete, traditional forms, that have been recent celebrity choices–not that they always succeeded in making their bearers paparazzi-proof.  (And, by the way, I’d be  interested to know if you think the preference for this kind of name relates to the celeb’s own personal or public image.)

ALEXANDERNaomi Watts & Liev Schreiber, Lauren Holly, Wolfgang Puck

CHARLESRussell Crowe, Chris O’Donnell, Cynthia Nixon, Emily Robison

CHRISTIANMarc Anthony, Pete Sampras


DAVID — Mo’Nique, J. K. Rowling

FRANKDiana Krall & Elvis Costello

FREDERICK — Mayim Bialik

GEORGEKristin Scott-Thomas, Eva Herzigova

HARRYDavid Letterman

HENRYHeidi Klum & Seal, Julia Roberts, Emily Robison, Rachel Weisz, Jack White & Karen Elson, Minnie Driver, Norah O’Donnell, Steve Zahn

JACKMatt Lauer, Joan London

JAMESSarah Jessica Parker & Matthew Broderick, Isaac Hanson, Colin Farrell, Kirk Cameron & Chelsea Noble

JOHNBono, Vanessa Paradis & Johnny Depp, Bridget Moynahan & Tom Brady, Julie Bowen, Nancy Grace, Lauryn Hill & Rohan Marley

JOSEPHTracy Lords, Cathy Moriarity

SAMUELNaomi Watts & Liev Schreiber, Jack Black, Elizabeth Vargas

THOMASJack Black, Dennis Quaid

WILLIAMKimberly Williams & Brad Paisley, Mary Louise Parker & Billy Cruddup, Clay Walker

In addition–though it’s not quite the same thing–there are the nickname versions, like Kate Winslet’s Joe and Charlie Sheen’s Bob, and the not-so-timeless semi-classics like Rainn Wilson’s Walter. And of course, there are the female equivalents–Amanda Peet’s Frances, Kelly Martin’s Margaret–but that’s for another time.

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


11 Responses to “Celebrity Baby Names: The Un-Weirdly-Named Starbaby Boys”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

MePregnant Says:

May 28th, 2009 at 1:40 am


Tags: Alexander, baby names, Charles, classic baby names, classic boys’s names, conservative baby names, Harry, Henry, Jack, James, John, Samuel, Thomas, traditional boys’names, William. This entry was posted on Thursday, May 28th, ……

Elisabeth@YCCII Says:

May 28th, 2009 at 7:57 am

This is a fun post. We’re always on the lookout for the new and improved, and it’s nice to be reminded that the stalwarts are still just as good as they always were.

On that note, a few of these celebs may have put the classic on the birth certificate, but found a way for their child to go by a distinctive nickname to get the best of both worlds:

The Watts-Schreiber children are called Sasha and Kai (Samuel’s middle name), and Kimberly Williams and Brad Paisley’s older son goes by Huck after Huckleberry, his middle name. His baby bro? Jasper.

And wow, that’s a heck of a lot of Henrys. Any of them go by Hank?

Teri Says:

May 28th, 2009 at 10:15 am

It always amazed me that some celebs go out of their way to give their children off-the-wall names when the parents themselves have succeeded despite being cursed with normal names. Names like “Bronx” and “Sunday” scream the parents were trying too hard to be cool.

linda Says:

May 28th, 2009 at 11:05 am

Elisabeth–I haven’t heard of any Hanks.

namefan Says:

May 28th, 2009 at 11:50 am

Nice to see some celebrities going for “normal” names (although personally I prefer names from the “legit but not overly common” category). To the OP of this blog post, have you seen any “improvement” for celebrity’s daughters as well? (You can wait to tell me if that’s going to be another day’s blog as well.)

Sally Says:

May 28th, 2009 at 3:46 pm

I actually like Sunday! I like other day names too. But Bronx is just painful.

k Says:

May 28th, 2009 at 4:04 pm

I don’t know that it’s backlash or even a trend – I think some celebrities prefer more uncommon names the same way on a playground you’ll hear both “Henry” and “Neveah.” It’s not like creatyve spellings and unusual names are so unheard of among the non-famous, either. We are more likely to hear about the more creative names celebrities choose because it makes for a snarky story, sadly, I think.

I’m surprised Britney’s two sons’ names didn’t make the list, but I know Jayden is hardly “classic” even if it is fairly popular.

Jenmb Says:

May 28th, 2009 at 10:51 pm

See, I view Neveah, Jayden differently from names like “Bronx”. Neveah and Jayden are newer names, but they are names you’ve heard of and they will fit with their generation. A name like “Bronx” or “Apple” seems like the parents are going out of their way to give their kid a one-of-a-kind name. Sometimes it succeeds, and other times it looks flat out ridiculous.

Jenmb Says:

May 28th, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Oops, I spelled Nevaeh wrong, I can never get it right!

Boston Girl Says:

May 29th, 2009 at 1:21 pm

My favorite boys’ name, Christian, is on this list…

How on earth do you pronounce “Nevaeh” anyway?

CountryLizB Says:

June 1st, 2009 at 2:12 am


leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.