Welcome Esmeralda Amada

October 9th, 2014

We KNEW Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes had their baby.  But we only had one tiny clue what that name could be: that she joked with friend Salma Hayek that she’d “stolen” her baby name, Valentina. This was a good indication that they would go in the fluid, feminine, Latina direction.

And so it was.

Welcome Esmeralda Amada!  Your name means beloved emerald, and I have no doubt you are a shining jewel. My six-year-old, who was compiling a list of jewel names the other day, will be pleased with this one.

Incidentally, Amada was the name of Mendes’ character in the 2007 film “We Own the Night.” Proof that inspiration can come from anywhere!

Ace Trumps Jack.

July 6th, 2013

So… it appears I took a little breaky-break after the whole Kimye debacle.  I’m still not sure we have the true name on that score, but we shall speak no more about it.  For now.

In other celebribaby news, Jessica Simpson has given birth to a baby boy.  Poor Jessica.  She can never seem to keep her mouth shut, this one.  The name Ace Knute was announced years ago!  I like Ace quite a bit,  and as for the middle?  You do pronounce the K.

I failed to mention here but Anna Paquin’s twins’ names were revealed: Poppy and Charlie.  I like.  Simple and friendly.  Perfectly in harmony with half-siblings Lilac and Billy.

Busy Phillips has also gone and had another one.  What would you name Birdie’s sister? 

More recent celebrity births include Maven, Sterling, Everly, EmersonJustice and Doone.  All girls.  Gone are the days when a gender-bending girl’s name is even remarkable.  Now the goal perhaps is to find one that is remotely attractive.

I am taking the weekend to look over the Sibset Games from weeks past.  Will post a few favorites soon.  In the meantime, I’ve noticed some of you have taken this time to play catch up.  More great lists still come in every day!

Now that the Sibset Game is over, I’m considering what’s next on the blog this summer.  What would you like to read?  More “Names Like…” posts?  A list of 100 alternates?  Lists of Babycenter or London Telegraph births?   International gems by country?  Your suggestions welcome!

It’s not Kaidence.  It’s not Kai.  And thank heavens she kept poor Clementine from bastardization with a K.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have evidently chosen the cheeky North to add to his surname.  According to People Magazine, this is the name on the birth certificate at Cedars Sinai Hospital.  ETA E! Entertainment News, Kardashian’s host channel, is also reporting now that she is North West, no middle name.  They might have considered a double middle name, South Easton, perhaps?   If this is indeed it, trademarks and domain names will be a trick.  Although “North by North West” might still be available in certain genres aside from film…

Their baby will at least have some direction in life.  How awesome would it be if she grew up to be a crunchy Doc Marten sporting hippy on the Oregon Coast? It would also be nice if the child can always listen to her own true north if you catch my meaning.  I guess if they have another child this really only leaves South (South By South had become a running joke for this babe), East, or Easton, which they actually love.

Kim indeed did throw us a red herring, as she denied that North was even in the running.  Many people thought at the very least it would be something like Knorth.  It’s much more gender neutral than I might have expected, and really quite simple, beyond the obvious pun.  Maybe my compass is off, but I don’t actually hate it.

Welcome little North West, A.K.A. “Nori.”  We can get back to regular programming now, and rest easy knowing that our choices are likely still safe from going the way of celebribaby.  That’s all I really cared about anyway.

Welcome to the third annual Mitsy Awards!  Note: I’ve changed the spelling from Mitzi to Mitsy. Other than that, the best and worst celebrity baby names are a-go like they’ve been in the past.  Feel free to disagree, and please voice your opinion.  This is only an opinion, after all, and is in good fun!

One of the biggest trends in celebrity baby naming for 2012 was the highly irritating tendency to DELAY ANNOUNCING the name, or worse still, not announcing it at all!  We’re still on tenterhooks awaiting the monikers of Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer’s’ twins.  Come on, guys!  It’s not too late to win a Mitsy!  Stephen you have a daughter dubbed Lilac so we know it’s good.  Tell us!  We don’t even know the sex of these little ones. (Maybe, they’re actually vampires.  That would explain a lot.)  It’s all at their own detriment too.  Adele may face a fine for not registering her son’s name in time with the British government.  Not that she’ll have any trouble paying it.

Adele is also at the forefront of another 2012 trend: TRADEMARKING.  Adele is currently attempting to trademark her own name, which is also irritating for the simple reason that it’s far from unique to her.  It is a lovely historic name, let the rest of have a chance to use it, puh-leeze.  Lucky little Blue Ivy, born this year, has her name trademarked, and I’m sure “Kimye” will do the same, both with their own mashup as well as with their baby, if they haven’t done so already.

Celebrities across the board were hopping on some well-established baby name trends this past year.  In so doing, my belief is that they perpetuate them.  So what’s hot now?

1. BUMPKIN CHIC: Dixie Pearl, Delta Fay, Gloria Ray, Jedidiah LindsayMabel Ray, Memphis, Tennessee (yes, in case you’re wondering, that’s two different kids) and Willa Lou were all born into this world. Designing Women appeared to be a big influence this year.

2. HEDGE FUND COOL: Exton, Hawkins, Kendrick, KlineLivingston, Macallister, Miller, Spencer and Truman should be set nicely for life.  Some of these are innocuous, but in general I have a hard time getting completely on board with this one.

3. ADJECTIVES AND NOUNS: Blue Ivy got a double dose as did Clover ClementyneOlive, Gray, Pearl were all over too, and we met a little Lion and a Pepper.

Without further ado, The Mitsy Awards…


This was a remarkably difficult category to narrow down this year!  So many beautiful choices, and it didn’t help that I have a penchant for Bumpkin Chic.  So, keeping in mind that I pretty much lurve all of the names under number 1 above, I bequeath the awards to:

1. Wilhelmina Jane – This name fell onto several “worst of 2012″ lists, and my mouth was agape in horror.  Wilhelmina Jane, you are simply, the queen of 2012.  Those Hanson boys have a knack for names, I tell ya’. (Taylor and Natalie Hanson)

2. Romy Hero – Two equally unexpected names in a jaunty energetic combo.  Who cannot help but love this? (Sam Taylor-Wood and Aaron Johnson)

3. Theodora Rose – Ok, unfair advantage here. Those of you who’ve been following this blog for years now know how much I adore this name.  Were I able to asexually reproduce this would be daughter number two’s name for sure.  But who would want that? (Robbie Williams and Ayda Field)

4. Marlowe Ottoline Layng – Kudos for cool on this one, Marlowe’s name is full of meaning, and beauty. (Sienna Miller and Tom Sturridge)

5. Gloria Ray – What can I say?  I just love Maggie Gyllenhaal so much.  She nailed it with Ramona, and while I don’t think young Gloria will have an avalanche of namesakes, it seems so very right, and I’m *pissed* I didn’t think of it for them. (Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard)

Honorable Mentions: Ethel Mary (cheers for pushing the boundaries of grandma), Beatrice Jean (restrained elegance, a pleasant surprise) Cecilia Delphine (two underused lovelies in a fluid pairing).

Near Misses: Adalaide Marie Hope (sub Adelaide please), Clover Clementyne (Clover is named after grandmother Natalie Wood’s character, but there’s that awful gratuitous Y), Penelope Scotland (nice homage to grandma’s home country, or cheeky honoring of unworthy dad?), Maple Sylvie (too syrupy, though Maple could work in another combo).


Most people named their daughter beautifully this year, and I’m beaming with pride!  As if I had anything to do with it.  But no, seriously, I’m enjoying the way many trends are headed.  Thank you Hollywood for helping to foster old glamour.  As for these, I could easily narrow it down to number one and let that be the end of it.  Three of the others fall to one  flaw, which I realize is a mammoth trend that I should be getting used to by now. It’s my problem. 

Breeze Beretta – Guns and baby girls are not synonymous, in my humble opinion.  And that first name begs teasing. (Levi Johnston and Sunny Oglesby)

Elliotte Anne – Yes, I have a pet peeve for boys names on girls.  Adding an E on the end makes it all the more irksome. (Marla Sokoloff)

Kline Olivia – At least Kline’s parents didn’t sugar coat it. (Mike Eli)

Halcyon Juna – The sedative drug has ruined all other lovely associations of this word for me.  I did read they’re calling her Hallie.  (Beth Littleford)

Maxwell Drew – As if Maxwell Lue wasn’t bad enough earlier in the year, Jessica Simpson played copycat.


The boys’ list was looking rather shapeless, until Claire Danes and Neve Campbell announced.  Never did I think I would be giving ‘Snooki’ a “Best of” award for anything other than drama queen.  And so it goes, people surprise you.  

Lorenzo Dominic – Who would have thought Snooki would ever be the recipient of any “best of” award in earnest?  But color me impressed, I love this underused choice.

Cyrus Michael Christopher – Another lovely surprise!  We hope this helps wrestle Cyrus away from Billy Ray and Miley.  It’s a great name.  (Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy)

Caspian – Neve Campbell, who commented that she enjoyed having an unusual name growing up, and wanted to do give that gift to her son.

Finn Davey – Tori Spelling is another rather shockingly good namer.  The adorable Davey was plucked from the family tree.

Jedidiah Lindsay – I love the cojones that went into this name.  A four syllable Biblical wonder is daring on a boy, but it has the pleasant three letter “Jed” to go by should he want.  I’m also all for reclaiming names like Lindsay for the boys. (Graham Elliot)

Honorable Mentions: Leo Grey (an adjective and noun that sound more namey than not), Emet Kuli (I’m intrigued), Micah Emmanuel (solid but unexpected Biblical choice here).


Astala Dylan Willow – What IS this?  For a girl, this whole name would be interesting.  But somehow on a boy, it’s just pushing the boundaries of ridiculousness, much like his mother’s Peaches Honeyblossom Michelle Charlotte Angel Vanessa Geldof.  But hey — it keeps her “relevant” right?

Rocky James – Oh, what a disappointment!  I actually thought they might choose the lovely James, but Rocky?  So not them.  It surely has a hidden meaning. (Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze, Jr.)

Lion- Leo?  Yes.  But Lion?  I don’t get it. (Alex O’Loughlin)

Tennessee James – After the playright is kind of cool maybe, but after the state?   I dunno.  Going with my gut on this one to say that this is another that was sorely disappointing.  What would you name Ava and Deacon‘s baby brother?

Zayne – Poor Mindy McCready.  Any baby name that emphasizes your “zaniness” should really be off limits, please. (Mindy McCready)

Honorable mention: Livingston.  If “live life” was what they were getting at with Levi and Vida, they missed so many opportunities with this one.  On Facebook I retroactively suggested Adan, Lazaro, and Omar which all connote life in less obvious ways, and pair well with their kids’ names without cheesily containing the actual word “living.”


Kick – Let me guess, he was super active in the womb?  Come on! (By the way Jeremy Sisto consulted with pal Alicia Silverstone who named her offspring Bear Blu).  He accidentally lucked out with a pretty fab first name of Sebastian.


In their own special categories, neither best nor worst, are perhaps the two names that got the most tongues wagging:

Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson. As if the child’s name isn’t already long enough, she has a hyphenated surname?  And goes by the unintuitive LUNA, plucked from the fourth name in the whole combo?  I sort of love the idea of this, but she really could have cut out a name, or three.  If she wanted to call the poor child “Luna”, why not place Altalune up front?  Why so complex? (Uma Thurman and Arpad Busson)

Blue Ivy – I’ve already covered this name above, but this was a third for me that was a bit of a disappointment.  I expected bigger, bolder, more princessy.  Beyoncé and Uma should consult with each other next time to achieve some kind of happy medium. (Beyoncé and Jay-Z)

That’s what I gots for 2012.  What were your favorites?  Any that send shivers down your spine?  

Mitzi Awards 2011

Mitzi Awards 2010

“Us” VS. Them

December 22nd, 2012


Big ups for Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy on the birth of their bouncing baby boy.  Well-named themselves, Claire and Hugh resurrected the inimitable Cyrus from pop stardom.  Then there was a celebrity baby Magnus.  Magnus again.  The new boy at our school is called Atticus.  My husband is absolutely obsessed with Cassius, and friends have a Linus.  ”-Us” names for boys are hitting the big time, and replacing ‘en’dings and O’ Boys at a quick clip.  I love how divergent their origins are: Persian, Swedish, Ancient Roman and Scottish, to name a few.

More stylish “-us” possibilities include:






































I could happily choose a name off this list.  Could you?


Above: Poster Angus & Julius by Audrey Jeanne

Add Marlowe to the official list of celebrity babies.  That’s what Sienna Miller chose for her brand new baby girl.  Specifically,  Marlowe Ottoline Layng Sturridge.   It’s a lovely little town on the river Thames, to which the English Miller may have a personal connection.  And Ottoline?  Simply divine.  A perfect compliment of divergent trends in one name.

Marlowe has been on the watch list for a while.  Dooce‘s Heather Armstrong has a Marlo, and Danny Thomas’ daughter may have introduced us all to the concept (and yes, I suppose she was the original celebrity baby to bear this name).  Williamsburg, Brooklyn is mother to the hip Marlow & Sons.  It’s just the kind of fluidly androgynous name that many seek when picking a name for their daughter.  Think Harlow, Harper; heck – Arlo and Casper too.

Celebrities are on a roll this week choosing noms-du-jour.  Marlow was going to be on my list of lesser used “Names like Harper” blog, but now I’m not sure.  I’d be willing to wager on this one for top risers of 2013.

Welcome Penelope Disick.

July 9th, 2012

Welcome to the newest Kardashian-Disick baby:

Penelope Scotland Disick made her way into the world yesterday morning.

A not entirely surprising choice, Penelope has the same galloping four syllable rhythm and repetition of sounds as Kardashian.  Middle name Scotland appears to be a nod to father Scott. It mirrors big brother’s middle name Dash, which was the nickname of Kardashian patriarch Robert (and not for their store, as is commonly assumed).

Why do we care?  Well, while little Mason Disick may not have created the original Mason frenzy, he did help shine a magnifying glass on the name and catapulted it to the second most popular name in the country.  Will Penelope enjoy a Masonic style rise in popularity?  

It’s doubtful. Penelope’s trajectory puts her squarely bound for the top 100, but her quirky P’s and poppy sounds may be a bit  eccentric for everyone.  That said, four syllables don’t scare people off anymore, and there simply aren’t any other names that sound like Penelope.  Tina Fey and the Hanson clan both have star Penelopes, and I imagine we’ll hear of a few more before her reign ends.  Is the tide changing toward longer names?

I do wonder if Penelope has another meaning.  Famed for her loyalty, Penelope sat weaving an unending tapestry while she waited steadfastly for Odysseus, rejecting every suitor that came her way.  Given recent events on their reality show, I’ll bet anything Kourtney knew exactly what she was doing when she chose faithful and fateful Penelope for her first daughter.

At the risk of being so last week, let’s recap recent naming in the celebrisphere, shall we?  I’ve been pleasantly surprised by many of the lastest babes’ names.  Babies are having babies, and these young parents are a good indication that many of our favorite trends, as well as our least favorites, show no sign of slowing down.

TREND #1:  Homespun Granny

We have a Pearl!  Yes, that’s right, Pearl.  Black Sabbath baby Jack Osbourne and his wife Lisa had a baby of their own, who they’re calling Pearl.  Grandmother Sharon promises to spoil her rotten.  I have no doubt she’ll keep good on that promise, but oh how I adore Pearl.

Also in the homespun category?  Mabel, sister to Rumer, Scout and Tallulah.  Think this has had a hand in sending Demi over the edge?  I hope not.   In fact, I hope it helps her.

Felicity Keri Russell now has a daughter named Willa who joins big brother River.

Maggie Gyllenhaal is surely past due with baby number two.  Perhaps like Ramona, we’ll get a gently old fashioned name out of this one as well.

TREND #2:  Short and Sweet Son

Luca Cruz is seriously the new sensitive, sexy and smart  boys’ name.  That’s what former child star Hillary Duff called her progeny.  He’s in good company with Milo, Alyssa Milano’s boy, and Leo, son of Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney, brother of Axel (himself a member of the Badass Crew).

TREND #3:  Boys’ Names on Girls

As of two days ago, Jessica Simpson was STILL pregnant.  We’re expecting a girl called Maxwell nicknamed Maxi, but if she’s  given any consideration to what the nickname “Maxi” will do this child in middle school, hopefully they will rethink. Elliotte Anne and Dylan River are among celebrity daughters whose parents I’ve never heard of (Marla Sokoloff and Joe Nichols, respectively).  I’m sure that says more about me than it does them.

TREND #4:  Surnames Reign Supreme for Boys Too

Simpson’s former beau, Dallas QB Tony Romo, now has a son named Hawkins.  It’s probably a family name, but these days, opening up the white pages will do in a pinch.

TREND #5: Newfangled Spelling 

This trend often overlaps with Trend #4.  Zany Mindy McCready has given birth to her son ZAYNE.  I’m sorry but she opened herself up to that.  He joins big bro Zander.

Then there’s Merrin.  I don’t know who this dude Bo is but I read he just had a baby girl who they call Merrin.  The spelling is new to me, but the sound is pleasantly familiar while being relatively uncommon.  That’s a tricky balance many people are after, but few obtain.

Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley have adopted another baby girl from Korea.  No word yet on the name.  If they don’t announce it, feel free to blame me.  I ripped on Naleigh pretty hard, but if they’d just called her Nancy or even Nancy Leigh I might have been ecstatic.  The -eigh trend has run amok.


Guess the Name:

Taylor Hanson, of musical brother fame is now 29.  You may not have heard a recent song from the Hanson Bros, but nonetheless?  He has been busy.  He and his wife are expecting baby #5!  Who will soon join EzraPenelope, River, and Viggo?  Dunno but I can’t wait to find out.  I like to think of their trend as Naturoarty…  Thalia?  Wren?  Dermot?  Jude? 

My beloved Anna Paquin, who is expecting with her True Blood costar Stephen Moyer.  Stephen already has two older children, Billy and Lilac, so I have high hopes for this one.  Something British-y and lithe would be fun.  I hope they have a girl.  Cecily?  Isolde? 

On her third child is Reese Witherspoon.  What will this fine Southern woman choose?  Ava, Deacon, and… Flannery?  Mary?  Draper (her father’s middle name)?

Within weeks after giving birth to third child Hattie Margaret, Tori Spelling is preggo. AGAIN!  Tori managed to come out from behind the trends and be one step ahead all Homespun Granny for her last child.  Liam, Stella, Hattie and who?   Rhys?  Reid?  Frances called Frankie?  

Melissa Joan Hart (any more Clarissa Explains It All fans here?) is expecting baby #3.  We’re thinking Surnamey again, yes?  What do you name Mason and Braydon‘s brother?  Gage?  Drake?  Theron? 

Another Mason is also expecting a sibling, this one a baby girl.  Don’t expect any more K names from Miss Kourtney Kardashian.  I bet they’ll just choose something they like the sound of.  Maybe Lila or Georgia?

Levi Johnston, Sarah Palin’s first grandchild Tripp, is expecting again.  Girlfriend Sunny has brought the sunshine back into his life, and to the state of Alaska.  This ought to be a good one.

I have an inkling these last few will stick close to their Latin roots.  It’s no surprise that Snooki got knocked up.  I have a feeling the name will be fairly predictable. Gia or Gianni anyone?

Giuliana and Bill Rancic are finally having a baby of their own, y’all.  A surrogate is currently carrying their biological child.  I think/hope she’ll go old school Catholic Italian.  Luisa?  Rocco? Valentina? 

A real life Valentina, Adriana Lima’s daughter, will be getting a sibling later this year.  Lima hails from Brazil.  I like Yasmin and Matheus for them, maybe Lucas.

Lima’s fellow Victoria Secret model, Alessandra Ambrosio, is also expecting her second.    They chose Anja for their first.  What do we like for them?  Adrián?  Arturo? 

What do you think of the latest celebrity baby name choices?  Any births you are eagerly anticipating?

Image: Alessandra Ambrosio


Not long ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard.  No, it wasn’t cocktails or dinner or a sneak preview of her new film.  I was just selling them stuff for the new baby.  But it was still fun to see such a well known couple be so down to Earth.  They were with their daughter Ramona, and I enjoyed the way they spoke to her.  Big sister is seemingly slightly trepidatious to welcome a sibling, and from what Maggie was saying, I imagine the baby might even already be here.

We’re all on tenterhooks of course waiting for the name, though I couldn’t bring myself to ask her.  Rumor has it the baby is another girl.  What do you think they’ll call Ramona‘s little sister?  I’ve ruled out Beatrice (and Beezus).  I can see them with something old fashioned and sweet, perhaps a less serious name this time?










Ruth – Maggie’s full name is Margaret Ruth.  How adorable would Ramona and Ruthie be?





Here’s my brother list, just in case:






Freddy (Frederick)






What do you see them choosing this time?  Do you think they’ll go with something Scandinavian from their heritage, something with a country cute bent, or something else? 

Baby Boy Affleck’s Name

March 1st, 2012

We’ve speculated for years at a potential name for an Affleck boy.  Their daughters’ names, Violet Anne and Seraphina Rose Elizabeth, have garnered (pun intended) much acclaim from name nerds and civilians alike.  Violet spawned many a namesake, and we suspect Seraphina is not far behind.  So what, pray tell, would this celebrity couple of onomastic feats choose to call a boy?

I thought they might go with something terribly classic.  Both from traditional families, Jen’s father answers to Bill (William John), Ben’s to Timothy.  People are often much more risk-taking with their daughters’ names, at times to their detriment. James just felt right for them.  Timothy would have been darling.

To some, it’s a bit of a letdown.  To me, it’s pleasant if unremarkable.

Welcome Samuel Garner Affleck.

Sam has a similar vibe as the up-and-coming Max, as the affable Charlie.  As a name that works well in many languages and cultures, it’s more evenly spread throughout the population.  As such, your school is less likely to cater to four Sams than it is to five Maxes or six Henrys.

I’m a fan.  I have a baby cousin named Sam.  He’d be in his mid to late twenties by now.  I’ve always thought it terribly friendly, and despite its high rank (#24!) on the national Social Security scale, I know very few.

How great is it that they preserved Garner?  Did you know that the Ben and his brother Casey were actually born “Affleck-Boldt”, after their mom?  I’m kind of glad they resisted the urge to use Boldt as a first name.  It’s better on a superhero white puppy.

What do you think?  Do you know many Samuels?  Did you anticipate a classic name, or something more exciting?   If you had daughters called Violet and Seraphina, what would you name your son?