The Top Celebrity Name Trends of 2021
And that’s a wrap on the celebrity names of 2021. This year saw a number of notable celebrity baby names, including royal baby names Lilibet Diana, Sienna Elizabeth, and August Philip Hawke, along with A-list celebrity babies such as Hilary Duff’s Mae James, Scarlett Johansson’s Cosmo, and Usain Bolt’s twins Thunder and Saint Leo.
As undisputable tastemakers, the names celebrities choose for their children today often influence what the rest of the country will name their babies tomorrow. We noticed several trends among 2021 celebrity baby names that are likely to catch on among American parents.
Below, the biggest celebrity name trends of 2021.
In the Sky
Celebrity parents looked up for baby name inspiration in 2021. The weather, Space, and simply the sky itself gave way to some of the best celebrity baby names of the year.
Usain Bolt doubled down on weather baby names when he chose Thunder for one of his twin sons, siblings for Olympia Lightning. Cassie and Alex Fine opted for clearer weather with their daughter’s name Sunny Cinco.
Celestial Cosmo, connected to the universe, was revived by Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost for their son, and lunar names Prairie Moon and Luna were used by Teresa Palmer and Kristen Wiig, respectively.
The sky made its way into the middle as well, with celebrity baby girl names Sterling Skye, chosen by Brittany Matthews and Patrick Mahomes, and Saylor Cielo, daughter of Erin Lim.
Age of August
The standout celebrity name of the year was August. Two notable Augusts arrived in quick succession. First, royal baby August Philip Hawke, son of Princess Eugenie, on February 9. Less than two weeks later, Mandy Moore announced the arrival of her son August Harrison, nickname Gus.
The next, fittingly, was born in August — Pete and Chasten Buttigieg’s son Joseph August, twin brother to Penelope Rose. August was already a hot name, ranking at Number 155 for boys, but the high-profile attention could push it into the Top 100 for 2021.
Middle names are increasingly a place to go bold — why not, given how little they’re used in everyday life? It’s most effective when there’s a sharp contrast between a classic or mainstream first name and rather non-name-like middle. Bindi Irwin’s Grace Warrior is exemplary, her middle name honoring Bindi’s late father Steve Irwin, who cofounded the Wildlife Warriors foundation.
Other celebrity babies given powerful words for middle names in 2021 include Nick Cannon’s Zion Mixolydian, Joseph Duggar’s Brooklyn Praise, and Jeremy Roloff’s Radley Knight.
The initial of the year is R, although the fashionable sounds differed slightly between the sexes.
Celebrity girl names were dominated by the Ro- sound. Row itself was chosen by Morgan Stewart and Jordan McGraw for their daughter, and Stephanie Beatriz named her daughter Rosaline in August.
Ro- names featured heavily in the middle, including ever-popular Rose — the middle name of NE-YO, Pete Buttigieg, and Derek Jeter’s daughters born in 2021 — along with fresher revivals. Jill Wagner named her daughter Daisy Roberta, and Troian Bellisario’s baby girl, born in May, is called Elliot Rowena.
Celebrity baby boy names that start with R are more likely to end in an I or Y. The pattern began in early February when Meghan Trainor named her son Riley, soon followed by Katharine McPhee and David Foster’s son Rennie, and as a middle name for Halsey’s baby boy Ender Ridley.
The trend picked up again later in the year with Audrey and Jeremy Roloff’s Radley, Freida Pinto’s son Rumi-Ray, and Jeremiah Van Der Beek, who parents Kimberly and James plan to call Remi.
2021 saw a record number of alliterative celebrity baby names. Alliteration is rhythmic and memorable — an attractive combination for parents who want their child’s name to stand out from the crowd, as many celebrities do.
Here, the notable alliterative celebrity names of the year:
Enzo Elodie — Devon Windsor & Johnny Dex Barbara
Evie Elise — London & Nathan Kress
Jett James — Shawn Johnson & Andrew East
Lucky Levi — Elle King & Dan Tooker
Mauz Mosley — Paige & Frankie Muniz
Rio Rey — Alexa & Carlos PenaVega
River Rose — Hannah & Derek Jeter
Romeo Reign — Lauren & Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino
Row Renggli — Morgan Stewart & Jordan McGraw
Rumi-Ray — Freida Pinto & Cory Tran
Saylor Cielo — Erin Lim & Joshua Rhodes
Sterling Skye — Brittany Matthews & Patrick Mahomes
Sunny Cinco — Cassie & Alex Fine
Wilder Wolf — Jazz Charton & Kieran Culkin
The trend of ancient names has been around for a while, but this year, celebrities introduced new options into the pool.
On March 23, Ashley Tisdale and Christopher French welcomed their daughter Jupiter Iris. Although the mythical Jupiter was a god, not a goddess, Jupiter is one of the fastest rising mythological names for girls thanks to its similarities to the botanical Juniper.
Christina Ricci gave birth to a daughter named Cleopatra, called Cleo, on December 8. Short form Cleo reemerged on the US Top 1000 in 2019. Extravagant Cleopatra, with its ties to the Ancient Egyptian queen, is poised to gain popularity as well.
Amanda Knox chose one of the most unique celebrity baby names of 2021 when she named her daughter Eureka Muse. Both have Greek origins, Eureka meaning “I have found it,” and Muse referring to the goddesses of arts and sciences. Eureka is rare but fast rising, although the name we’re more interested in is Muse. It has the appealing “oo” sound found in fashionable names such as Luna and Ruby, and strong mythological associations that will resonate with future parents.
Name to Watch: Cosmo
Muse made our shortlist of names to watch, but the most influential celebrity baby name of the year is going to be Cosmo.
There was a collective gasp when Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost named their baby boy Cosmo in August. To the non-initiated, Cosmo sounds nerdy, quirky, maybe absurd. It’s a joke on Seinfeld! But those of us in the baby name world knew that this was the beginning of a long-awaited revival.
That’s right — Cosmo is becoming cool again. This endorsement by a stylish celebrity couple was the push it needed to go from totally unthinkable to original and charmingly offbeat. Though only given to 57 baby boys in 2020, Cosmo has been trending upwards for the past few years. We expect Cosmo, along with its more celestial variation, Cosmos, to find their place on fashionable parents’ baby names lists in the years to come.