“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
“Thanks for that Willie, but you’re wrong – names matter.”
Despite what The Bard says, names matter. My birth name is Salvatore and as a kid growing up I was picked on a lot because my parents nicknamed me “Tory.”
During the 1970s and 80s that kind of name was different, ergo it was an easy target for bullies and mockery. Based on my firsthand experience, I think most kids in elementary and middle schools, don’t want to be too different – I think they’d prefer to play, make friends and blend in.
Again, names matter.
As you may know, we’re expecting our third child – a baby boy – this June. My wife and I have spent a considerable amount of time discussing his name. I wrote about what we will call him here.
But that got me thinking about some of the crazy names that celebrity parents have been burdening their children with of late.
The site BabyCenter has an archive that’s continually updated with these celebrity misnomers and from that list, I’ve collected the 10 Worst Celebrity Baby Names.
For the sake of clarity, the kids’ names are in bold italics followed by the “genius” celebrity parents in brackets – [NOTE: some of these “celebrities” are famous in the loosest sense of the term.]
- Audio Science – [Shannyn Sossaman & Dallas Clayton] – you’d think that famous parents could afford a high-end audio name such as Crutchfield, Denon or Bose – anyone of which would have been preferable to the Debbie-Downer generic version they actually chose.
- Banjo Patrick – [Rachel Griffiths & Andrew Taylor] – this name says, “Look at me – my folks named me after a dog!”
- Lailaa Nicole – [Candace Parker & Shelden Williams] – few things give bullies a free pass to WedgieVille quite like a really, really feminine name on a boy. I speak from experience, Tory was girlish enough to earn regular playground beat downs.
- Zuma Nesta Rock – [Gwen Stefani & Gavin Rossdale] – I imagine Gwen calling to her son, “Come on Zuma – we’ll be late for our Zumba class and mommy’s thirsty, can you grab me a Zima out of the frig?”
- Pilot Inspektor – [Jason Lee & Beth Riesgraf] – I guess being named after an FAA regulatory official wouldn’t be so bad if his parents had not opted for the bizzare “Russian” spelling of his middle name as well.
- Apple Blythe Alison – [Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin] – this one kind of started the whole goofy-celebrity-baby-name epidemic. I doubt Gwyneth and Chis realized they’ve destined their daughter to the default nickname “Apple Martini.”
- Daisy Boo Pamela – [Jamie Oliver & Juliette Norton] – Daisy and Pamela aren’t bad, but the “Boo” really frightens me….
- Jagger Joseph Blue – [Soleil Moon Frye & Jason Goldberg] – I guess Jagger Joe Blue is better than mom’s childhood moniker of Punky Brewster….
- Mars Merkaba – [Erykah Badu & Jay Electronica] – this sounds like a line of foot lotions I just purchased for my wife at “Bath and Body.”
- Moxie Crimefighter – [Penn & Emily Jillette] – I weep for this girl having Penn Jillette as a “father figure” – Lord help her!
- Racer, Rebel, Rocket, and Rogue (4 boys) – [Robert Rodriquez & Elizabeth Avellan] – Reputedly, Robert really relishes reciting repeating “R” resonances!
- Blue Ivy (girl) – [Beyoncé & Jay-Z] – great musicians, horrible baby names.
I’m sure that many of these parents are very loving and want the best for their kids. I’m sure they didn’t intentionally mean to hobble their kids socially or professionally.
However, in many of these instances the celebrities seem to have given more thought to the brand of champagne they’ll bathe in or which designer shoe they’ll throw at an incompetent intern rather than the lifelong names for their children.
But that’s not the kids’ fault and these kids may all grow up and make the world a better place!
Perhaps Shakespeare was correct, and names don’t matter – (unless of course you’re named Moxie Crimefighter or Pilot Inspektor)
Question: What ridiculous celebrity baby names have I missed?
Tor Constantino is a former journalist, bestselling author and current PR guy who lives near Washington, DC. He has worked for Fortune 500 companies, CBS Radio, Clear Channel Radio, ABC-TV and CBS-TV affiliates. He has authored his first non-fiction book “A Question of Faith” and he blogs regularly at http://www.thedailyretort.com