2012 has officially arrived!   Welcome to the annual You Can’t Call It “It”! Mitzi Awards, the best and worst in celebrity baby names. For the year 2011, no baby was left unturned.  Georgia Geraldine, sister to Billie Beatrice (mentioned in last year’s awards) and child of Rebecca Gayheart and Eric Dane.  They certainly have a penchant for alliteration.  Wonder if they’ll call her Georgie?

Rumors of babies Ethel Mary Cooper, potential name of Lily Allen’s daughter, and of Tiana-May Carter, Beyonce and Jay-Z’s possible babe, remain unconfirmed, so they remain off the list.  But if they are indeed true, this could spurn a new generation of extra dusty grandparent names as well as double-barrel firsts.  Were these to receive a Mitzi, what do you think it should be?

Without further ado,  the 2011 Mitzi Awards:

Best Boys’ Names:

Arlo Robert- son of Toni Colette.  O endings are becoming increasingly popular among the hip crowd.  Arlo is no exception.

Arthur Saint – son of Selma Blair.  What was that we were just saying about dusting off antiquarian grandparent names?  Arthur comes across as a distinguished, international choice, and the middle name “Saint” gives the name an added mystery.

Milo Thomas – son of Alyssa Milano.  A sweet nod to mama’s surname, it manages to sound both modern and classic with family name, Bugliari.

Henry – winning because of his surname Hornsby, more alliterative love here.

Flynn Christopher Blanchard Copeland – son of Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr.  His first name is a nod to grandmother Evelyn, and middles all have family meaning too.  We’re big fans at YCCII of multiple middles, especially if they have personal meaning.

Other Trends Worth Mentioning:

MARCEL ET AL: Marcelo Alejandro, son of Ali Landry and Alejandro Monteverde, and Marcel, son of Marion Cotillard and Guillame Canet.  Diablo Cody has a Marcello, born in 2010.


Rex Harrison, son of Niki Taylor, would be on the “Best” list with a tweak of the middle.  But the exact same name as “Sexy Rexy”?  Too weird.  Bingham Hawn was also a near miss from the best list for being slightly odd, but we love how the name has ties to both sides of the family.  Bingham is Bellamy’s mother’s maiden name, and Kurt Russell’s father was called Bing.

Best Girls’ Names:

Clover Elizabeth - daughter of Neal McDonough.  A rarified botanical, with all the makings of a big hit.

Agnes Lark – daughter of Jennifer Connolly and Paul Bettany.  Another unusual nature name in the middle, buffered by an understated antique first.

Cleo Buckman Schwimmer - daughter of David Schwimmer and Zoe Buckman. Cleo is a great twist on mom’s popular modern day first name, and we love to see her maiden name in the middle!

Hattie Margaret – Tori Spelling (pleasantly) surprised the world with her choice of Hattie for her third child.  Similar in sound to Addie but with the sweetness of Sadie, expect this to go huge in the next few years.

Arabella Rose – daughter of Ivanka Trump, Arabella makes the list because it highlights a brilliant alternative to the overplayed but equally gorgeous Isabella.

Other Trends Worth Mentioning:

GREEK NAMES: Cleo is in good company with other beauties Penelope Athena (Tina Fey) and Helen Grace (Robert DeNiro!).

NICKNAMES: Zuzu Audrey, daughter of pastry chef Tania Peterson, made many a “worst name” list, but with its vintage charm a la “It’s a Wonderful Life”, I think it belongs at the top. It’s actually quite similar to Hattie, and of course the beloved Lulu.

NATURE NAMES:  Willow Sage (Pink) would make a great sister name to Clover Elizabeth.

ELLA, ELLA, ELLA, HEY, HEY: Mirabella Bunny (Bryan Adams), would make another great solution to the Isabella conundrum (at least the first would).

VINTAGE: The aforementioned Georgia Geraldine almost knocked Arabella clean off the list.  Look for more alliteration in 2012.

Worst Boys’ Names:

Cree - son of Tamara Mowry (I just don’t “get” it).

Skyler Morrison- son of stylist Rachel Zoe and Rodger Berman could not have picked a less stylish choice, and the middle reeks of trying-to-hard.

Kase Townes- son of Jewel and Ty Murray.  I grew up loyal to Jewel’s ingenious music, but her taste in names leaves much to be desired.  If you didn’t know already how I feel about the letter K, you’re getting the picture now.

Colt – son of John Rich.  Colt brings to mind images of guns and baby horses.  His brother Cash (yes, Cash Rich), made the list last year.

Kannon Valentine – Now I adore Kevin James as much as the next gal, but like Colt, Kannon is just violent.  And again people, WHAT is with this affection for the letter K where it has no business being?

Other Trends Worth Mentioning:

WE CALL HIM JUNIOR: Spike Myers may not have dad’s exact name, but he will never be able to escape from his shadow with a name that not only rhymes, but is somewhat comical (in a different way). Just one more krime to report: Kroy Jagger, son of Kroy Biermann and Kim Zolciak.  They obviously loved it enough to use it again, but sheesh.


Harper Seven, daughter of David and Victoria Beckham, & Aleph (Hebrew letter “A”), son on Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied, burst onto the scene the same week.  Numbers and letters as names are the wave of the future, I fear.

NATURAL: Alicia Silverstone’s Bear Blu also popped up on many a worst list, but for some reason I find this relatively inoffensive.  I felt the same way about Buddy Bear Maurice.  Thoughts?

UNNATURAL: Jennie Finch’s son Diesel.  Just too cool for school.

Worst Girls’ Names:

Arlo- daughter of Johnny Knoxville.  A first for the Mitzis when the same name appears on the Best of AND the Worst of lists in the same year.

Monroe – Mariah Carey named her baby girl after a temptress and a tart.  Marilyn Monroe certainly had her charms, but is she a role model for young girls?

Jordan Kay – Like Skylar, a terribly unstylish choice.  Unlike Zoe, we expected nothing more from Federline.

Mosley – Yes, it’s probably a family name for Peyton Manning.  But as a twin, it’s hard to keep straight who’s the boy and who’s the girl, plus the most famous Mosley was also not one to emulate.

Haven – daughter of Jessica Alba and Cash Warren.  We loved the story behind this choice, but independent of that it reads downmarket, especially next to big sister Honor‘s venerable name.

Worth Mentioning: Genesis.  We would have loved to see Viola Davis bequeath an equally lovely name to her child.  Like Haven, it does have lovely symbolism.

Best Twin Names:

Vincent Frederik Minik Alexander and Princess Josephine Sophia Ivalo Mathilda, Danish children of Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik.  It was impossible not to go royal in this category.

Worth Mentioning: Children of Girl’s Gone Child’s Rebecca Woolf have received a lot of attention on this blog.  Reverie Lux and Boheme Shalom will have many a namesake to be sure.

Worst Twin Names:

Moroccan Scott and Monroe.  Nicknames Roc and Roe notwithstanding,  I’d almost rather call them “dembabies.”


60 Responses to “Best and Worst Baby Names of 2011: The Mitzi Awards”

  1. Kristi Says:

    HA! “dembabies”….You make me giggle, so much. And yay for Arabella making the list. No matter how trendy it becomes, it’s my little girl’s name, too.

    So many great names on this list and so many….less than favorable names. Dead on as usual, Elisabeth!

  2. rockingfetal Says:

    Alyssa Milano said in an interview that Milo Thomas was named after grandfathers, Milton (I think…) and Thomas.

  3. Lauren Says:

    I still think Mosley Manning is adorable on a little Southern girl.

    Roc and Roe? I just don’t even know what to think. Like Rock and Roll? Really?

  4. Minha Says:

    While I would never use the name myself, I just have to put in my two cents that Marilyn was a lot more than a “temptress and a tart”. She was an incredibly complex and deep thinking woman, although troubled, and a brilliant comedic actress. Whether we like it or not she made a huge impact on our culture. If Harlow is OK (which has always just reminded me of the word “harlot”) then surely it was only a matter of time before Monroe was used.

    Moroccan is just wrong, though. Morocco would have been sooooo much better.

  5. Awkward Turtle Says:

    Yay! I was wondering if these were happening again.

    One trend I don’t like is two nouns together – it always conjures up weird mental images (is a Moroccan Scott similar to, say, an Asian American? Is a Willow Sage a plant subspecies or a wise person with a slender figure?) although that might be limited to me.

  6. Taz Says:

    YES @Minha I wanted to say this as well!
    I am not a fan of alliteration, but Georgia and Geraldine and Billie and Beatrice are each such good names that I forgive the GG & BB thing.
    I think the best boys name list is really weak- Milo Thomas just makes me think of Marlo Thomas, Saint is kind of weird and just seems to be tempting fate to me…like naming your daughter Chastity or something, Flynn is just not for me and Henry is nothing new in 2011.
    Thankfully the girl list is a little more exciting!

  7. Nina Says:

    Totally disagree with Taz about best boys’ names. Milo Thomas is both hip and classic — and while Marlo Thomas is great on so many levels, Milo Thomas stands strong on his own while emitting nary a whiff of Marlo or anyone else. As for the others, not a dud in the bunch, imho. Quite the contrary. Poor Chastity can’t hold a candle to Saint, thank God. And all the other lists — as usual, spot on, Elisabeth! Those less than stellar ones crack me up.

  8. bostonterriermama Says:

    I like Arlo for a girl!

  9. You Can't Call It "It"! Says:

    Good point I completely forgot to mention about Moroccan Scott! It’s pretty bizarre, I agree.

  10. WaltzingMoreThanMatilda Says:

    Oh how did Zuzu Audrey end up on Worst Name lists? It’s adorable and Hollywood and right on trend. This is one of my favourites!

    I don’t really mind Bear Blu either – and you’re right, it’s very much like Buddy Bear Maurice Oliver’s name.

    Is it just me, or were celebrity girl names much nicer this year than the boys, as a general rule?

  11. MeggieB Says:

    Zuzu isn’t on the worst names list, it’s just mentioned. :)

    I really don’t think Skylar is THAT bad.

  12. SLS Says:

    I once had a cat named Diesel.

  13. Laura Says:

    I think the last names should be considered when selecting these names. Flynn Bloom just sounds terrible. Having 3 middle names doesn’t help either, he’s just going to be known by his first and last name, it’s a tongue twister at best.

  14. Sophia Says:

    I agree with most of your comments (my absolute favourites this past year were Arthur Saint and Agnes Lark- I’m a sucker for old-school elegance. Also loving Hattie at the moment), although I have to disagree on a few things. I actually like Skyler (-er not -ar) and I don’t think it’s unstylish at all, especially with the cool middle name Morrison. Kannon is not, as you’d expect, another misspelled word-name, but actually a name in its own right, of Japanese origin and a variation on Kuan-yin, the Buddhist deity of mercy. That’s all I have to say, otherwise, great list! Some really cool names came from Hollywood in 2011! Excited to see what 2012 holds :)

  15. WaltzingMoreThanMatilda Says:

    Yes it’s mentioned as having been included on many Worst Names list. ;)

  16. Nina Says:

    What about “vingage charm” and “belongs at the top” don’t you understand? ;)

  17. You Can't Call It "It"! Says:

    Re: Kannon – If that’s the case Kuan-yin would have been so much better, no? The transliteration seems a leap, but I’m glad it has meaning for the parents.

  18. MeggieB Says:

    Ohhhhh I see! I thought you meant it was on YCII’s worst name list. :) It’s all clear now.

  19. Martina Says:

    Some friends named their son born in 2011, Cannon. My first thought was violent weaponry but apparently it means priest.

  20. You Can't Call It "It"! Says:

    The spelling C-A-N-O-N would convey that meaning more directly, but I can see how it would forever be misspelled.

  21. Nina Says:

    Right! All clear to me too now. On other Worst Lists, but not YCCII’s. Sorry if I came off snappish. =D

  22. Sylvie Says:

    I have to say a favorite is Rex. I have a Rex, so I’m always going to love when someone else sees it’s awesomeness!!

    And Clover is fantastic. I have an Ivy and a Rose, so Clover would fit perfectly in my family!

    Arlo for a boy – great. For a girl – not so much. But that could take us back to your post on gender names.

    There’s a lot that I’m not crazy about. I think Hollywood tries to “out weird” each other too much, and forgets to take into account that this poor child is the one who has to carry the name forever.

  23. Skurinski Says:

    I love Skyler, don’t think it’s unstylish at all. I think it’s a lot cooler than Arthur for example, but maybe that’s just me. I’m not a big fan of grandpa names.

  24. Awkward Turtle Says:

    Some sites I’ve seen call him Flynn Kerr-Bloom. I don’t know if it’s correct, but a comic book sound effect for a surname? It’s fabulous.

  25. You Can't Call It "It"! Says:

    Skurinski, a lot of people feel the way that you do. Names, like so many things in life (design, clothing, heck — even food) are a matter of taste. Old people names are pretty big in my book and I foresee will continue to get bigger overall. Whereas Skyler? Just feels very 1990 and done with (to me). I know that probably sounds horrible. If I had a little Skyler in my life it would make me love them no less. :-)

  26. You Can't Call It "It"! Says:

    Ooh, I do like that.

  27. Skurinski Says:

    I know it’s a matter of taste, which is why I was disagreeing with you. Its true that Skyler has only really become popular since the 80s, but it’s not less popular now than it was 2 decades ago, in fact it’s remarkably stable and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, hovering in the 200s for what seems like forever. I think that is a sign that it’s not trendy, but not dated either, common, but not overpopular.
    To be honest I’d be glad to see Arthur knock out some overused classics that have never left the top100 – however I think there are classics that were never really popular and therefore don’t have the grandpa tag. If I was a kid and had to choose to be a Skyler or an Arthur, I’d most likely go with the former which is relatable to other kids and teens, but you’re unlikely to have another one in the same class or even school, and not a name I’d only share with old men, and likely the grandpa of a friend of mine.

  28. Sophia Says:

    Hmmm, I think I prefer Kannon to Kuan-yin, on a kid growing up in America anyway. I don’t want this to come out sounding wrong, because I’ve got nothing against Asian names, but to me Kannon is more fitting to baby James’ nationality and his sisters’ names (Sienna and Shea). Also, I was thinking that maybe they spelled it with a K rather a C to give him the same initial as his dad, just as the girls share their first initial with their mum (Steffania).

  29. You Can't Call It "It"! Says:

    It would be fun to do a reader poll:

    Arthur or Skyler?
    Skyler or Jordan?
    Jordan or Mason?
    Arthur or Walter?
    Walter or William?
    William or Henry?

  30. Sylvie Says:

    I love polls – do it.

    I’m not a fan of Skylar. Plus I feel like it’s really become a girl’s name. I like Skye, though. That one I’d pick.

  31. UpswingBabyNames Says:

    “If you can’t tolerate me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best.” That may not be an exact quote. Ms. Monroe’s words cheer me up.

    But if I wanted to recognize the actress, I would have actually named my baby Marilyn before I would name my baby Monroe.

    But I’m more of a fan of vintage names than surname-names, with the exception of Lewis and Stewart which happen to be vintage surname-names. And Marilyn has some vintage potential.

  32. Siobhan Says:

    Great post Elisabeth — I agree with just about everything you’ve written!
    My least favourite celebrity names were the ‘K’ names that cropped up – especially Kase Towns Murray, Kannon Valentine and Kroy Jagger. I thought Tamara Mowry’s baby was named Cree however, with a ‘C’ rather than a ‘K’, which I actually don’t mind so much. I’d give an honourable mention for worst name to Diesel Dean Daigle – a perfect example of bad alliteration! I was also very diasappointed with Jessica Alba’s choice of Haven Garner – a big let-down after Honor Marie… And Mosley is a name I just can’t understand for a girl. And my very, very worst name? Moroccan Scott is like fingers down a chalkboard to me!! Why oh why did they not just name him Morocco if they had to give him a place name?!

    The celebrity names that made my heart sing – Agnes Lark, Arthur Saint, Cleo Buckman, Arlo Robert, Milo Thomas and Hattie Margaret (biggest pleasant surprise!). Seeing as it now appears that Ethel Mary Cooepr has been confirmed as the name of Lily Allen’s baby, I would rate that name as one of my favourites too. I also love Reverie Lux and Boheme Shalom, and all four of Rebecca Woolf’s children have sublime names. I also loved the name given to the son of another blogger (can’t remember her name, sorry!) – Drummer. While not a name I’d choose myself, reading aobut how the family came to choose the name made me feel it was the perfect fit for their family.

    I can see names like Agnes Lark, Arthur Saint and Harper Seven really sparking a trend amongst the general populice for using ‘word’ names in the middle, and so long as they have strong personal meaning, I actually love this idea. I have a few friends and friends of friends who’ve recently embraced this trend, welcoming babies named Astrid Sunshine, Rex Smokey (born during a bushfire!) and Felix Rowdy!

    On the name Skylar/Skyler – I have tried very hard, but cannot think of a name I like less than Skyler. Maybe I just don’t ‘get’ it because I’m not American, but to me it is the ultimate ‘bogan’ (to use an Australian term) name. I hate that it is a bastardisation of a legitimate surname, re-spelt and imported to create a ‘new’ name that now sounds permanently stuck in the late 80s/early 90s (and not in a good way!). I respect that we all have different opinions, however, so would love someone who likes the name to explain to me what is appealing about it. I genuinely want to try to understand the popularity of this name in the US!

    As far as the name poll goes, my votes go to:
    Arthur or Skyler? Arthur by a mile!

    Skyler or Jordan? Jordan, though I can’t stand either name.

    Jordan or Mason? Again, I really dislike both names, but I’d probably vote for Jordan here.

    Arthur or Walter? Arthur

    Walter or William? Walter. Not crazy about the name, but Walt could be a sweet nickname, and William is way too popular for my taste.

    William or Henry? Henry

  33. The Name Station Says:

    I hear Nick and Mariah refer to their kids more often as dembabies, as opposed to Roc & Roe (which clearly she’s saving for her children’s clothing line… ;)

    And ironically I like Skyler. I know what you mean about Rachel Zoe’s baby name – all told there’s something not perfect about it, but is Morrison a family name? Skyler is definitely very mid-90s, pre-vampire trend vampish name, but I liked that Rachel used it to remind us that the name is more than it seems.

  34. evangelia Says:

    is penelope athena a contender for best name? i’m in love. i like agnes lark as well.

    i’m confused as to why jordan kay is on the worst name list? it’s sleek and has an art-deco feel, and recalls jordan baker. any great gatsby reference can’t be wrong! and the name jordan has such a long, rich history.

  35. Sophia Says:

    May as well jump in on this one, haha


  36. You Can't Call It "It"! Says:

    Love the art deco prism through which you view Jordan Kay. 8)
    It’s on the list because overall, girls’ names this year were pretty good! I blasted Skyler and Jordan for being out-of-sync with this decade, but of course many people love the name, and I do like that Jordan has history.

  37. You Can't Call It "It"! Says:

    Poll to come!

  38. Lyndsay Says:

    Yeah I’ve heard it’s Flynn Kerr-Bloom, one of my favorites of the year because of the last name, actually.

  39. Whitney Says:

    Jordan (but I hate both!)

  40. Alexandra Says:

    I really can’t be surprised that Mariah chose such terrible names.. she doest really scream to me to be someone that is “trendy” whatsoever. Ugh never been a fan..

    On the whole Bear front… I like it!! Along with Fox, (which I stumbled upon on this delightful blog, http://www.paigeandchris.com/) there is something I am really liking about these animal names. There is definitely a line to be drawn (Snake) but Bear and Fox are really working for me.

  41. Spotlight on: Geraldine | Upswing Baby Names Says:

    [...] has been some discussion in the name-world about Rebecca Gayheart and Eric Dane’s choice of Georgia Geraldine for their second daughter. Therefore, a spotlight on Geraldine is only [...]

  42. Stella Says:

    I don’t think Skyler Morrison is so terrible at all. I am actually considering using Morrison for my baby to be’s middle name as well- albeit is a family name ( my father’s middle and my grandmother’s maiden name) I think it’s very strong. I won’t be using Skyler as a first name:)

  43. You Can't Call It "It"! Says:

    Love Morrison if it’s for family– if that’s the case it even works as a first. I get the distinct Jim Morrison “vibe” from RZ though– would have to look up to see if she mentioned if her was the namesake. I always think naming after too-cool musicians (Jagger, Marley) comes off as trying too hard.

  44. rp Says:

    my sister’s name is kannon, and it is a pretty spectacular name. it’s not violent at all, and is becoming a very popular name. she’s actually had quite a few people name children kannon once they heard the name.

    it’s most often used for boys; in fact, larry king has an 11-year old son, Cannon. but, you probably like that, since it doesn’t start with a k.

    i’m shocked its on the worst list.

  45. Stella Says:

    Thanks for you feedback! I am pretty set on Morrison- and have spent 7 months persuading my husband :) I agree with the naming after a musician comes off as trying way too hard. So the full name I am thinking of is Anders Morrison Mac________.

  46. Jane Says:

    For what it’s worth, I love Morrison! Anders too. Anders Morrison is worlds apart from Skyler Morrison. Nice work!

  47. Jane Says:

    Zuzu = antique charm? What am I missing? Can’t find any history behind the name myself.

  48. Jane Says:

    Sylvie, Ivy, Rose and Rex! What a well-named family you have!!!! Very jealous :)

  49. mummy Says:

    Can someone tell me why these are called the mitzi awards?

  50. stella Says:

    @ Jane, thanks so much!!, I am pretty set on it! @ Elisabeth I love your blog, it’s fantastic! I could read about names all day long!!!

  51. You Can't Call It "It"! Says:

    It’s a nickname for Susannah and from the 1946 film “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It seems sweetly vintage to me.

  52. Jane Says:

    Oh I see! I could embrace it more if they named her Susannah and then called her Zuzu as a nickname. Gives kids options when they’re older, etc. But hey, I am one of those boring people who gave their child a top-10 name ;)

  53. Jiinxsay Says:

    i totally agree with you when it comes to using Ms. Monroe’s surname as opposed to her first name.
    along my path of reading all of you gal’s baby sites religiously! i came across a very interesting spelling of Marylin/Marilyn, it’s Merelyne-(an amazing alt for Marilyn!!) at least i thought so :)


  54. Jiinxsay Says:

    what i just can’t understand, no matter how hard i try, is WHY on earth did Mariah name her son Moroccan Scott and her daughter Monroe? you are all correct in that Morocco would have been much more appropriate, she’s speaking as if Scott is a Moroccan. secondly! and much more strange, is that, why or why is there no middle name for lil Monroe??? unless i completely missed the boat and there is one?? it’s unfortunate, both twins names are….as my Shainelle would say, an “epic fail”. her & her husband could have gone thru both family trees and i’m sure there must be SOMEthing in there that would have been wonderful for both babies.


  55. Jiinxsay Says:

    oh my! i only recently learned what alliteration even means and i LOVE it! i agree with whoever’s site i was perusing, that it all depends on the names you use, that alliteration can either be beautiful or turn out really bad, i.e. Bear Blu, sorry, i can’t force myself to like that name. he’s going to be teased till the cows come home!

  56. Jiinxsay Says:

    i LOVE the sound of Kuan-yin! flows gently. and again, Kannon makes me think, there goes another “C” name, gone “K” on us. that didn’t used to bother me until i heard it here, then i started noticing just how pervasive it is! plus i’m starting to find some “C” names that i really like.


  57. dancingwithdad Says:

    Why is Haven considered “downmarket”?

  58. B Says:

    Thanks, Zuzu Audrey is also my daughters name, born 2008. We love it! Yes, it is vintage from the classic Christmas film, but also from a Josephine Baker 1920′s film called “Zuzu” shot in Paris.

  59. Lashley Says:

    I know it’s asking for pronunciation trouble, but I like Schuyler (pronounced like Skylar/er). It feels more like a real name.


  60. Lashley Says:

    I had to refresh my own memory, but Moroccan was named after The Moroccan Room, Mariah’s penthouse floor where Nick proposed. Scott is Nick’s middle name and, since Mariah doesn’t have a middle, Monroe didn’t get one.

    Doesn’t make me like the names anymore, but at least they did put thought into them!

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