20 Weird Baby Names Celebrities Are Obsessed With
Stars are not just like us when it comes to baby names. They’re nothing like us, in fact. They’re more innovative, coming up with wholly new names like Chicago, Suri, and Rumi for their kids. They’re bolder, often picking names that are far outside the mainstream. And they really love using names with ties to Hollywood.
Case in point: On February 15, The Blast revealed that Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul and his wife Lauren Parsekian had named their newborn daughter Story Annabelle. For almost any other couple, this would be a daring, even outrageous, name choice. Only 68 baby girls in the US were named Story in 2016 — fewer than were named Aries, Timber, or Yocheved. But in Hollywood, the land of storytelling, there’s nothing strange about naming a baby Story. At least two other celebrity couples beat the Pauls to the punch.
Story is far from alone. It’s just one of the many weird names that celebrities are obsessed with. Nameberry analyzed thousands of celebrity kids’ names in our database to identify those that were given to multiple starbabies despite being relatively unpopular in the country at large. The 20 names below were each given to at least three children of celebrities but were not among the Top 300 baby names for either sex in 2016, the most recent year on record. But they’re definitely names to watch going forward — once a few celebrities use a name, there’s a good chance that civilians will follow.
1. Ace: Leave it to Hollywood to take name inspiration from a Jim Carrey movie. (Photo via Jamie McCarthy/Getty)
Celebrities Who Used It: Jessica Simpson & Eric Johnson, Spike & Cody Mendelsohn, Jennie Finch & Casey Daigle, Tom Dumont
Total Number of Babies Named Ace in 2016: 6 girls, 1,034 boys
2. Arlo: While Arlo’s solidly a boys’ name for most of us, tied to singer Arlo Guthrie, celebrities love using it for girls as well.
Celebrities Who Used It:Leighton Meester & Adam Brody for a boy; Johnny Knoxville, Holly Wiliams & Chris Coleman, and Toni Collette for girls
Total Number of Babies Named Arlo in 2016: 56 girls, 968 boys
3. Bear: One of the hippest, toughest of the new animal names for boys, along with Fox and Wolf, got a major boost from celebrity bear-er Bear Grylls.
Celebrities Who Used It: Kate Winslet & Ned Rocknroll, Alicia Silverstone, Liam Payne & Cheryl Cole
Total Number of Babies Named Bear in 2016: 186 boys
4. Birdie: An obscure old name until very recently, Birdie now fits in well with jaunty mid-century nickname names like Hattie and Lettie. Busy Phillips‘ daughter’s name was inspired by Lady Bird Johnson, and the hit movie Lady Bird may inspire more civilian Birdies. (Photo via Michael Tran/Getty)
Celebrities Who Used It: Busy Phillips, Brie Bella & Daniel Bryan, Maura West
Total Number of Babies Named Birdie in 2016: 80 girls
5. Bodhi: Another multigenerational Starbaby name, like Ever; among its first prominent bearers was Bodhi Elfman, husband of Jenna Elfman and son of filmmaker Richard Elfman. Its relaxed vibe and Buddhist resonance have started to find a broad audience, but only after enthusiastic use by Hollywood stars.
Celebrities Who Used It:Nikki Reed & Ian Somerholder and Bobby Brown for girls; Burt Jenner & Valerie Pitalo, Megan Fox & Brian Austin Green, Oliver Hudson and Sally Taylor for boys
Total Number of Babies Named Bodhi in 2016: 37 girls, 909 boys
6. Bowie: One of the coolest celebrity last names of all time has only become more popular since the untimely death of the musical icon.
Celebrities Who Used It: Zoe Saldana and Tess & Nick Holliday for boys; Dane DeHaan & Anna Wood and Rebecca Minkoff for girls
Total Number of Babies Named Bowie in 2016: 75 girls, 130 boys
7. Coco: This name bridges Chanel and Pixar — like Hollywood itself.
Celebrities Who Used It: Courteney Cox & David Arquette, Dan Reynolds & Aja Volkman, Tony Kanal, Diane Farr
Total Number of Babies Named Coco in 2016: 60 girls
8. Dashiell: Part of the appeal of this name for celebrities may be the tie to the legendary LA Noir writer Dashiell Hammett, originator of classics such as The Maltese Falcon.
Celebrities Who Used It: Autumn Reeser & Jesse Warren, Cate Blanchett, Bryan Singer, Georgina Chapman & Harvey Weinstein
Total Number of Babies Named Dashiell in 2016: 145 boys
Bonus: Milla Jovovich and Paul Anderson named their second daughter Dashiel.
9. Ever: Ever has been a Starbaby name as long as it’s been a name; Robert Carradine gave it to his daughter way back in 1974. But only now is it becoming more widespread.
Celebrities Who Used It: Milla Jovovich & Paul Anderson and Owain Yeoman for girls; Alanis Morissette for a boy
Total Number of Babies Named Ever in 2016: 84 girls, 133 boys
10. Frances: Few girls’ names have such a demure, goodly image — yet few girls’ names have been used as often by the most famous people in the world. Frances McDormand, who recently won a Best Actress Oscar, has no doubt played a part in popularizing it, and Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain gave it rock ‘n roll cool when they chose it for their now-grown daughter.
Celebrities Who Used It: Jimmy Fallon, Ty & Holly Burrell, Sarah Chalke & Jamie Afifi, Morena Baccarin & Benjamin McKenzie, Noah Wyle, Ethan Suplee, Amanda Peet.
Total Number of Babies Named Frances in 2016: 716 girls
11. Jagger: Celebrities love names inspired by celebrities, don’t they? The association here with Mick Jagger is unmistakable, and the overwhelming number of civilian babies named Jagger are boys. But celebs favor it for girls.
Celebrities Who Used It: Ashlee Simpson & Evan Ross and Soleil Moon Frye for girls; Lindsay Davenport for a boy
Total Number of Babies Named Jagger in 2016: 14 girls, 433 boys
12. Jett: This name was nowhere until John Travolta used it for his son, who tragically died in 2009.
Celebrities Who Used It: Lisa Ling for a girl; Stephen Barker Liles, Katie Price, Jill Scott and John Travolta for boys
Total Number of Babies Named Jett in 2016: 32 girls, 1106 boys
13. Mabel: Stars’ embrace of this Victorian favorite has helped convert it away from an Old Lady name.
Celebrities Who Used It: Bruce Willis & Emma Hemming, Topher Grace & Ashley Hinshaw, Russell Brand & Laura Gallagher, Dermot Mulroney, Chad Lowe
Total Number of Babies Named Mabel in 2016: 602 girls
14. Marlowe: Another LA Noir name — the surname of fictional PI Philip Marlowe. The connection to Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe gives it further literary and dramatic appeal. Despite those male namesakes, celebrities usually use it for girls.
Celebrities Who Used It: Sienna Miller & Tom Sturridge, Jenna van Oy, Eva Amurri & Kyle Martino, Jason Schwartzman
Total Number of Babies Named Marlowe in 2016: 256 girls, 17 boys
Bonus: Heather Armstrong AKA Dooce and Rob Corddry both named daughters Marlo, while Amber Tamblyn & David Cross named their daughter Marlow.
15. Poppy: An adjective describing much of LA’s native music, the state flower of California and the name of many celebrities and socialites — the perfect storm for a Starbaby name. (Photo via Rachel Murray/Getty)
Celebrities Who Used It: Anna Paquin & Stephen Moyer, Jenna Bush Hager, Nate Berkus, Jessica Capshaw
Total Number of Babies Named Poppy in 2016: 379 girls
16. Rocco: A fun, warm mid-century name with a hint of multicultural appeal and a celebrity connection, to chef Rocco DiSpirito.
Celebrities Who Used It: Rose Byrne & Bobby Cannavale, Madonna and Guy Ritchie, Jillian Barberie Reynolds, David “Puck” Rainey
Total Number of Babies Named Rocco in 2016: 673
Bonus: Johnny Knoxville named his elder son Rocko.
17. Sage: This New Age-y herb name has a host of positive connotations.
Celebrities Who Used It: Jack Huston & Shannan Click, Kyra Phillips & John Roberts, Toni Collette
Total Number of Babies Named Sage in 2016: 354
18. Sonny: One of the few boys’ names indelibly tied to one celebrity — Sonny Bono — has a retro nickname-name vibe.
Celebrities Who Used It:Whitney Port, Jason Lee, Noel Gallagher
Total Number of Babies Named Sonny in 2016: 18 girls, 266 boys
Bonus: Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers named a son Sunny, and Adam Sandler named a daughter Sunny.
19. Story: Some people try to find a baby name with a story behind it, but an increasing number of celebrities just name their kids Story.
Celebrities Who Used It: Aaron Paul & Lauren Parsekian and Soleil Moon Frye & Jason Goldberg for girls; Jenna Elfman for a boy
Total Number of Babies Named Story in 2016: 68 girls
20. Tallulah: A celebrity baby name with real staying power: Bruce Willis and Demi Moore started the trend in 1994, Patrick Dempsey kept it alive when his now teenage daughter, and a recent crop of celebrities have given it new luster. The fact that it was popularized by iconic actress Tallulah Bankhead surely helps.
Celebrities Who Used It: Marsha Thomason, Damon Dash, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bruce Willis & Demi Moore, Patrick Dempsey
Total Number of Babies Named Tallulah in 2016: 150 girls
Bonus: Sarah Rue named her daughter Talulah.
What’s your favorite celeb baby name? Share it with us @BritandCo.
This post was previously published on Nameberry.