I get a kick out of the fact that in classrooms throughout the country, you’ll find three kids named Ryder or Judah but a lone Benjamin. It just goes to show that unique baby names – and often, celebrity baby names – are gaining in popularity. I’m always fascinated to see which names – Maddox, for example, or Suri– will stick and which are just so “out there” that no one without a public following would dare try it out on their own flesh and blood. I came across this recent Nameberry.com article that looks at the growing trend of celebrity baby names and offers its own list of the most influential ones out there right now.
On top of Namberry’s boys’ list is Kingston, which has risen to number 214 in popularity (you’ll recall that Gwen Stefani used it on her son in 2006), and Ryder, which has more than tripled since Kate Hudson chose it for her oldest son in 2004. Perhaps more surprising is Maddox, which entered the Top 1000 in 2003 and has since grown to number 180 (leave it to Brangelina).
Girls’ names on the list prove that everything old is new again. Ava, for example, jumped to number 5 last year, thanks in large part to Reese Witherspoon, who used it for her daughter in 1999. Matilda has also become a “hipster favorite,” as Nameberry calls it, thanks to Michelle Williams and the late Heath Ledger. And two distinct V names are also back in fashion: Violet (now closing in on the Top 10o) and Valentina (number 152). Also rising in popularity are Willow (number 290) – Pink chose that name for her daughter this summer, though Will and Jada Pinkett Smith used it back in 2000 – and Emerson, which has become more popular for girls than boys (Teri Hatcher was one of the first celebs to use it back in 1997).
Namberry also lists Clementine (Ethan Hawke), Romy (Sofia Coppola) and Story (Jenna Elfman) as celebrity baby names destined to be influential – but too recent to make the Top 1000 list. (Time will tell, though I’m having a hard time imaging people not flinching over Story.)
Of course, there’s a slew of celebrity baby names that attracted lots of attention but never really caught on in the mainstream. Here’s a list from Nameberry:
Apple – Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin
Bronx—Ashlee Simpson & Pete Wentz
Egypt—Alicia Keys & Swizz Beatz
Monroe for girl—Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon
Moroccan—Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon
Sparrow—Nicole Richie and Joel Madden
Sunday—Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban
Suri—Katie Holmes & Tom Cruise