Just as we turn to celebrities for new trends to name our children, we also look toward them to see what outrageous names they have picked this time around. From Apple to Zahara, Mallory Moss presents the best and worst celebrity baby names of all time.
And when it was bad, it was horrid:
- Audio Science (Shannon Sossamon & Dallas Clayton). Supposedly, the parents -- a musician and an author -- were looking for a "word name" and decided this name was meaningful. Sorry, this name is hideous. Meaningful words in baby naming may include Harmony, Grace and, yes, even Moxie -- but not Audio Science!
- Pirate (Jonathan & Devon Davis). I suppose we should expect the frontman of Korn to have an odd name for a child to match his musical proclivities. But Pirate? Using words with negative connotations can target children with personas of ill-repute before they even have a chance to establish their own identities.
- Blue Ivy (Beyoncé Knowles & Jay-Z). My issue with Blue Ivy is that together it sounds like a Gotham villain. At least we know she would likely be fighting another celebrity baby, Moxie CrimeFighter (Penn & Emily Jillette).
- Alabama Gypsyrose (Drea de Matteo & Shooter Jennings). It makes sense to me that Shooter Jennings would name a son Waylon after his superstar father. However, Alabama Gypsyrose? The only other Gypsy Rose that I know is the stripper (and author) Gypsy Rose Lee. Who wants that association?
- Fuchsia Catherine (Sting & Frances Tumulty). There is one problem and one problem only, Sting: naming a child whose first four letters are F*U*C*H is just not kind. The pronounced word is lovely sounding but to future parents, I would consider the misspelling Fushia, which would have landed it on the "good" list below.
- Prince Michael II (Michael Jackson). Oh, Michael. None of this name makes sense. If your son were truly a II, then the King-of-Pop's name would be Prince Michael as opposed to simply Michael Jackson. I am also not a fan of royal monikers, as it makes the baby seem anything but regal.
- George Jr, George III, George IV, George V, George VI (George Foreman). I am decidedly not a fan of naming children after their parents or even their grandparents (See: 8 Reasons William and Kate Should Not Name their Baby Girl Diana, Huffington Post, January 28, 2015), but naming ALL your sons after you? That is definitely a self-centered, if not a certifiably narcissistic, move.
- Worst names of a sibling group (Jamie & Jooles Oliver):
- Poppy Honey
- Daisy Boo
- Petal Blossom Rainbow
- Buddy Bear Maurice
Dear Jamie & Jooles: I am not sure why you chose the hippiest hippie names ever known to Hippidom for your children. The names are at best clunky (with the exception of Daisy Boo Oliver, which has a nice cadence) and at worst, one sounds like a cigar-smoking teddy bear.
Not-so-Honorable Mention (They Should have Stopped Midstream)
Here's what is so hard about this list. I kinda like each of the three first names, especially Moxie. I think they are cute. Yes, they are all "word names" but they are old fashioned enough that they can take on their own meanings. However, the middle names are so painful that they all had to fall off the list below and onto the not-so-honorable mention as they morphed into names ridiculous in tone and/or meaning.
- Moxie CrimeFighter (Penn & Emily Jillette). Moxie the girl is definitely as cute as Moxie the name, as proven by pictures from her recent birthday party. However, when the Jillettes added CrimeFighter, the name just became laughable.
- Memphis Eve & Elijah Bob Patricius Guggi Q (Bono & Alison Hewson). Guggi Q? Sounds like a Hostess treat. Memphis is a lovely name but when combined with Eve it sounds like a ladies' night beverage or an unmentionable cleanser.
- Bronx Mowgli (Ashlee Simpson & Pete Wentz). This name should have been #1 on the worst ever names. Yes, it would even knock Audio Science out of its top position. But what saves it is that Bronx, as a standalone, is also kinda cute. Needless to say Bronx & Moxie are going to be using middle initials on their driver licenses!
The good, the great and the mystifying:
- Jaden Christopher Syre & Willow Camille Reign (Will & Jada Pinkett-Smith). In my opinion, these are the best celebrity baby names that have come down the pike. Jada & Will used across-gender variations of their names Jada/Jaden & Will/Willow). They are unique but not weird...a very difficult combination to find for a celebrity baby name.
- Apple Blythe Alison (Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin). Apple was quite the topic when the baby name was presented to the world by Gwyneth & Chris. It was quickly condemned as bizarre. However, as a "word" name it is sweet and unusual, which is a great contrast to the two middle names.
- Tu Simone Ayer (Rob Morrow & Debbon Ayer). OK, this was another name that hit the worst baby name lists due to the combination of Tu and Morrow. However, Mom's last name means yesterday in Spanish, which makes this name altogether smart. As Simone means "to be heard," the combined meaning of this name could be "To be heard yesterday and tomorrow." That is simply lovely.
- Francesca (Clint Eastwood & Frances Fisher) & Kimber (Clint Eastwood & Roxanne Tunis). These names are elegant without being pretentious. Plus, you would not want to mess around with "Frankie" and have her ask you to make her day.
- Lou Sulola (Heidi Klum & Seal). I love this name. Not only is this child beautiful in face but she is beautiful in name as well. It is probably one of the best examples of the gender-trend to use names typically associated with the opposite sex.
- Gideon Scott & Harper Grace (Neil Patrick Harris & David Burtka). These fellas have proven that you can be an A-list celebrity and use traditional names. Thank you for that.
- Nia (Stevie Wonder & Tomeeka Robyn Bracy). Just out of the womb comes Nia Wonder, daughter of Stevie and Robyn. Stevie's 9th child, she may just have the most beautiful name of them all!
- Kaya Klitschko (Hayden Panettiere & Wladimir Klitschko) & Kaya Faison (Donald Faison & Lisa Askey). I think Kaya is quite possibly the prettiest unusual name out there. I predict that it will set a new trend in baby naming and we will see at least a three-fold increase in its popularity.
- Best names of a sibling group (Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie):
- Zahara Marley
- Maddox Chivan Thornton
- Pax Thien
- Shiloh Nouvel "John"
- Knox Leon
- Vivienne Marcheline
Dear Brad and Angelina: the thought you put into your baby names sets an example for the rest of us. The names of your babies have been mindful -- of both culture and beauty. In addition, you have allowed your children, John in particular, to self-select names, which may be the greatest gift of all.
Dr. Mallory Moss is a board-certified nurse practitioner in psychiatry and a founding partner of BabyNames.com. Since its launch in 1996, BabyNames.com has been heralded as one of the top parenting sites on the internet. Dr. Moss' passions lay in community-based mental health and destigmatizing mental health diagnoses. Dr. Moss was also the editor of the popular online parenting advice column, "Ask Grandma Maggie."