It comes as no surprise that celebrities often take center stage when it comes to getting creative with their children’s names. And, while some of them may sound a bit too crazy — like when actor Jason Lee and his wife, actress Beth Riesgraf, named their son Pilot Inspektor — it’s worth acknowledging that at least certain celebrity baby names have the potential to withstand the test of time.
Along with the wacky and outlandish ideas for baby names, certain celebs manage to find a name that’s unique and original, without being overly unusual. To chose a name that can be considered timeless in any era and inspires celeb parents can be a pretty tall order. Fortunately, a famous few have avoided naming their child something overly trendy that will sound downright outdated in ten, twenty or thirty years from now. These next ten celebrity couples totally hit the mark when naming their children, proving that some celeb baby names not only check off the above criteria, but they are also downright adorable.
Amada Lee Gosling
The name Amada certainly has a beautiful ring to it, and the fact that it literally translates to the word “loved”, it’s clear why this moniker has found it’s way into the hearts of a very famous duo. Though it may have some relation to the names Amy and Amanda, and bears a striking similarity to the Latin saint’s name Amatus, Amada is a Spanish name that has it’s own unique sound to it, rolling off the tongue with ease.
When actress Eva Mendes and actor Ryan Gosling were expecting their second daughter, the world could hardly wait to see what they would name her, especially after they named their eldest Esmeralda Amada, a lovely Latin-inspired name. So the world must have been a little confused when the couple announced that their second-born’s first name would actually be the middle name of their first born — Amada.
In an interview with Latina Magazine, Mendes revealed their reasoning, explaining: “My grandmother’s name is Amada, and Esmeralda Amada is the name of our oldest. We had a few names picked out for our new baby, and when she was born, we didn’t feel like those names were her. We came up with a few more, even that morning, and tried them out. We were like, “What about Viviana?” But we just kept going back to Amada. In true Latin fashion, we reuse names all the time.” Though it may seem like an interesting tradition to follow, with a name as gorgeous as Amada, I don’t think anyone could blame them!
Briar Rose Christensen
There is a Grimm’s Fairy Tale that talks about the long-awaited awakening of a beautiful princess, stating: “There she lay, so beautiful that he could not turn his eyes away; and he stooped down and gave her a kiss. But as soon as he kissed her, Briar-rose opened her eyes and awoke, and looked at him quite sweetly.” For all of the Disney fans who may think that this story sounds familiar, it’s because this fable is actually where the original Sleeping Beauty came from.
Actress Rachel Bilson and actor-producer Hayden Christensen couldn’t help but pay homage to the mega-famous Disney princess when coming up with a name for their daughter in 2014. In an interview with The Hallmark Channel, Christensen talks about the story behind his daughter’s moniker. “There is a Disney reference there, I suppose,” he admits, claiming that his wife’s affinity for Disney was the overall reason for naming their daughter Briar Rose. “We both love all-things Disney, but Rachel especially was very keen on the name,” said Hayden. Who couldn’t resist a lovely name with such an interesting backstory?
Arlo Day Brody
The gender-neutral name Arlo comes from Anglo-Saxon origins and can be considered a bold choice, particularly for a girl. And, while it’s not quite as popular as the similar moniker Harlow, the pronunciation and look of each name are strikingly close. According to the SSA, Harlow has jumped to popularity over the past few years. It didn’t even break the top 1000 most popular names for girls until 2009, but by 2016 it had climbed to the 420th spot. Though the name Arlo has been gaining traction steadily in the past few years for boys, it has yet to truly rise up the baby-name ranks for girls — as of 2016, it’s not even in the top 1000. Though, all of that may change due to a famous celebrity offspring.
The name Arlo must have struck a chord with Gossip Girl actress Leighton Meester and husband, actor Adam Brody: In September of 2015, the two welcomed daughter Arlo Day into this world. Though the pair kept the birth of their daughter and her name hush-hush for quite some time, Meester addressed the reason for keeping their little Arlo out of the limelight. “I don’t talk about Arlo very much,” Meester explains to Refinery 29. “I am very proud of that area of my life. But I’m also really proud of the show, and of the work I do.” Meester goes on to say, “I think the perception is: You’re an ingenue, or you’re an icon, or you’re a mom. There’s no in between.” I know one thing for certain: Arlo is certainly lucky to have such an empowering mama in her life!
Greek mythology is to thank for the name Atlas, known as a Titan burdened with the task of carrying the heavens on his shoulders by Zeus, god of the sky. It’s a powerful and strong name, joining the ranks of other mythological names that have become popular in today’s world, like Hermes and Apollo. The name Atlas was a mere blip on the radar in 2012, but by 2015, it skyrocketed into the Top 500 — and has been creeping up the charts ever since.
With such an empowering name, it’s not surprising that celebrities have taken notice: namely Oscar-nominated actor Edward Norton and his wife, filmmaker Shauna Robertson, who chose the name Atlas for their son. The duo have remained tight-lipped about their son in every way, including his name. It was a whopping two years before sources confirmed their son’s name to US Weekly. The parents still haven’t officially confirmed or denied his name, having made it clear in the past that they do not comment on their personal lives.
Apollo Bowie Flynn
Just like Atlas, Apollo also stems from Greek mythology. As the son of Zeus and the god of a multitude of things, including medicine, music and poetry, this name has grown on parents in recent years. The name also is associated with other notable pieces of history, which may have something to do with the rise of the use of the name. Who wouldn’t want to have their name associated with NASA’s famed Apollo program, or the illustrious Apollo Theatre, where musical geniuses performed?
Perhaps that’s why the legendary musicians Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale decided on the name Apollo Bowie Flynn for their son, born in February of 2014. With a first name as iconic as Apollo, it seems right that it’s followed by a second name that reminds us of an iconic musician — David Bowie. Though, the little rocker offspring was not actually named after the talented music star. Rossdale took to Twitter to tell fans that the two middle names were honoring both his mother’s and Stefani’s mother’s maiden names.
Olive Baron Cohen
While it isn’t as popular as the very trendy name Olivia – which came in at number two in Nameberry’s ranking of popularity in 2016 — the name Olive is so very close in aesthetic, but with a more subtle appeal. It didn’t come in to the Top 1000 until 2007, but has made a huge leap since then, coming in at #272 in 2016.
The name Olive brings about the idea of peace and tranquility, which might be because the symbol of “extending the olive branch” is to try and bring an end to a disagreement and to focus on more harmonious relations. It’s a perfect name for a little girl, and actress Isla Fisher and actor-comedian Sacha Baron Cohen couldn’t agree more, as they chose the moniker for their firstborn, naming their daughter Olive Baron Cohen.
In an interview with Elaine Lipworth from the Telegraph, Fisher explains that “Family is 100 percent my top priority. So I’m much more comfortable doing supporting roles right now. And often, they’re the most interesting.” Lipworth writes “…they live quietly in London with their two daughters, Olive, five, and Elula, two,” and notes that “(Isla) is similarly committed to her home, and is fiercely guarded about her marriage and children. We’ve met on several occasions but the subject has always been strictly off-limits.” So, while the explanation of why they chose the name Olive has yet to be revealed, it’s nice to know that the public eye is the least of this family’s worries.
Remington Alexander Blackstock
With such a regal sounding name, Remington, meaning “place on a riverbank”, has risen in recent popularity due to a surge of choosing monikers that evoke sophistication, like Wyatt, Emerson, of Finnegan. Perhaps the classic 1980’s television series Remington Steele has something to do with it?
Whatever the case may be, singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson and husband Brandon Blackstock must have loved the royal-sounding name, as they chose this moniker for their second child. But, much like with any name that carries multiple syllables, a nickname was bound to pop up. In a tweet from Ellen DeGeneres congratulating the happy couple on their new arrival, DeGeneres tells Clarkson: “Remington Alexander is here! I’ll call him Remy for short.” The American Idol star writes back, letting her know that “We’re calling him Remy as well .”
Ophelia Saint Grohl
Most notably recognized from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the name Ophelia is thought to have actually been invented by the famous writer himself. Nearly half a century ago, the moniker was not considered popular by any means, but in recent years has hit a startling surge — gaining traction in the top 1000 in 2015, then jumping nearly 400 spots to number 580 in 2016. And, while it may still not be the most popular name on the list, the vowel-filled name certainly has a beautiful ring to it.
Which is why we can’t blame rock singer-songwriter Dave Grohl and wife Jordyn Blum for naming their third child, a daughter, Ophelia, in 2014. Though it’s unclear why they chose this name for their little girl, her birth came at somewhat of a sad time: Grohl’s father passed away just two days earlier. In a post on The David Grohl Alley Scholarship Program’s Facebook page, it states: “Bittersweet news – congratulations David Grohl and Jordyn Blum who have welcomed a new baby girl #3 Ophelia Grohl! The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away!!'”, acknowledging that it was both a happy and sad time for the new family of five.
Abel James Arnett
The name Abel has a beautiful connotation — meaning “breath” in Hebrew – and has risen in popularity, possibly because in France and Hispanic communities, it’s actually a pretty common name (but it’s pronunciation is ah-BELL, whereas the American pronunciation is EY-buhl). When actress-comedian Amy Poehler gave birth to her second child in August of 2010, entertainment reporter Michael Ausiello spoke to her rep and revealed on Twitter that she and husband, actor-comedian Will Arnett, welcomed son Abel James.
And, while the name Abel certainly has a biblical reference — as he was the name of Adam and Eve’s youngest son – Nameberry.com editors Pamela Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz blogged for US Weekly to help explain why Amy Poehler and Will Arnett may have decided on choosing the name Abel for their second son. “For although Abel has such a positive connotation, as one who is capable, competent, ready and willing, it has never been as popular as that of Adam…. Abel does, though, rank at No. 328 on the Most Popular list — the highest it’s been since records have been kept,” writes Satran and Rosenkrantz.
They also hypothesize that there might be a reason why they agreed upon a name that starts with the letter “A”: “This choice makes Papa Will odd man out in a household of double A-initial names: Amy, Archie and Abel Arnett, with the new baby also having a set of musical initials — AJA — as in the classic Steely Dan album.” A household with an alliteration of the first letter in each person’s name is a common trend that is most certainly here to stay!
Adorable baby names are here to stay
While we’ll never forget the impossibly eccentric baby names of celebrity children (I’m looking at you, Gwyneth Paltrow), it’s safe to say that there are a handful of iconic actors, singers and musicians who are coming up with unconventional monikers that totally work. If there’s a beautiful backstory to the name or if the name honors something or someone important, a name can truly become timeless and not just trendy. Celebrities are finally understanding that naming their children something lovely and original is a win-win all around. Adorable baby names are finally catching on and won’t be leaving anytime soon.