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Celebrity Baby Names & Why One ‘Weirdness’ Scale is out of Balance

There’s somewhat of a fascination with celebrity baby names, and it seems heightened these past few months, with the birth of the littlest Beckham, the announcement of a music icon’s  pregnancy, and a little boy for Alyssa Milano.

It also means the proliferation of stories like this one.

The post does make valid points about the perceived “weirdness” of celebrity baby names; for every Apple or Suri there are many more celebrity baby names you hear less about, like “normal” monikers Sean  and  Flynn (A name I posted about here).

But what’s surprising (and in my opinion, incorrect), is the author’s assumptions about which names are “weird” and  will invite ridicule. Many offer great options for new parents. I’ll break down each of their name choices below.

Tina Fey and her baby girl, Penelope.


As I’ve said here many times before, a name’s beauty is in the eye of the beholder (so is its weirdness), so for me, a lot of these ratings seem a bit arbitrary.

I’ll take you through them, referencing the article’s ratings. They say a rating of 1/10 “crying babies” signifies an “innocuous” name, and 10/10 “crying babies” denotes a name “destined to invite taunting.”

Jordan Kay Federline (1/10)- Jordan is hardly a rare name for a baby girl, it is #178 on the 2010 chart, but it’s kind of funny to see it described as an “innocuous,” being that it wasn’t even on the girls’ name radar a few decades back. It’s a sweet name that should appeal to many a parent. However, the 1 rating seems a bit low because of a large group of people who detest what they perceive as “boys names” on girls.

Agnes Lark Bettany (3/10)- This three ranking is a shocker, in that Agnes wasn’t even on the 2010 Top #1000. In fact there were just 66 babies named Agnes born last year. This would be a nice pick for parents looking for vintage baby names, but one could also argue its popularity has taken a steep decline for a reason.

Willow Sage Hart (4/10)- At #290 on the 2010 chart and already in use on other celebrity children, it’s hard to believe this name got this many “crying babies”  on this blogger’s scale.  The soft sounds should draw the interest of many modern parents, and Pink’s reason for picking the name only adds to its appeal. 

Penelope Athena Richmond (4/10)- Like Willow, Penelope ranking above a name like Agnes on the “weirdness scale” seems a bit off. At #200 on the recent chart, it has more popularity than Agnes while maintaining a certain antique quality. 

Haven Garner Warren (5/10)- This makes it half-way up the “weirdness scale”, and in all fairness, I think that’s about right. It lands at #651 on the charts, not too far from the Top #1000’s midpoint. While for some it’s ending may seem a bit masculine, it has the hip beginning sounds of Haley and Hazel, and “safe haven” associations.

Harper Seven Beckham (5/10)- This name might split the difference between “weird” and “innocuous” but Harper certainly doesn’t come this far up the scale in terms of inviting ridicule. Just check out how smart, funny and sophisticated people think Harper sounds. It’s a name many expectant parents favor, and I posted about it in the Beckham link above.

Bingham Hawn Bellamy (6/10)- Like Haven, I’m on board with Bingham’s ranking here. That might seem out of line, being that there were less than 5 Binghams born in 2010 last year— you might think that alone should score more “weirdness” points. But with names like Hudson and Brooks within the Top 400, Bingham would fit right in and hardly invite ridicule.

Kase Townes Murray (7/10)- Although there were only 81 Kases born last year, this name doesn’t strike me as so odd. Case makes the chart at #713, and it has jumped in popularity in recent years. Also, Kasen charts in a variety of spellings. Its sounds are right on trend, and I can’t see it inviting ridicule or raising much of an eyebrow.

Aleph Portman-Milliped (7/10)- Aleph, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, should perhaps even be higher on the “weirdness” scale. As far as I can tell, there haven’t been other incidences of its name in use. It isn’t Apple, but it is a word that hadn’t previously attained name status.

Bear Blu Jarecki (9/10)- OK, so Bear strikes me as a bit odd. (And the combination of Bear and Blu reminds me of this guy.) But with this famous Bear, and the 53 born last year, it might not be as out-of-left-field as you might think.

The moral here, as always, is one man’s trash is another man’s treasure: Or one blogger’s “somewhat weird” may be a prospective parent’s “perfect.”

  1. namecupid posted this

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