2016 was a booming year for celebrity names, just ask Michael Phelps who named his son Boomer. Other unique names in 2016 include Eddie Murphy’s Izzy Oona, Daymond John’s Minka Jagger, and the similarly musical name Presley Bowie (Jackson Rathbone and Sheila Hafsadi). We cannot forget Big Brother‘s popular house guests, Brenden and Rachel, who lovingly named their daughter Adora Borealis. Why do celebrities choose such unusual names? Well, innovative artists are creative by design, plus the press doesn’t hurt either!
When it comes to celebrity naming trends this year, X marks the spot. Using boy names ending in X was put in fashion by the now separated Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie when they named their sons Pax, Maddox, and Knox. This year, So You Think You Can Dance real-life duo, Allison Holker and Twitch Boss, followed suit with a Maddox of their own. Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh and wife Adrienne followed the trend twice by naming their twin boys Phoenix and Lennox (one of the most popular celebrity boy names of 2016).
Another fashion among stars includes using nouns for baby names, like Maverick (Briana Renee), Dream (Rob Kardashian and Black Chyna), and Story (son of similarly named Soleil Moon Frye). Nature names are also uptrending for both boys and girls, including boys named Journey River (Megan Fox and Brian Austen Green), Mountain (Jena Malone), Ocean (Alexa and Carlos PenaVega), and Cypress Night (Jack Huston). New baby girls with nature names were dominated by flowers: Violet (Marisa Ramirez as well as Emily Blunt and John Krasinski), Iris (Eddie Redmayne and Hannah Bagshawe), Daisy Josephine (Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis), and Dusty Rose (Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo).
On the other hand, traditional names were used aplenty by celebrities this year, including Freddie, James, and Henry for boys and Josephine, Florence, and Vera for girls. Both 2016 political candidates had grandchildren with traditional and trendy names: Theodore James (Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner) and Aidan Clinton (Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky).
Even though celebrities can sometimes be far out when picking baby names, many also use current names found on the BabyNames.com Top Baby Names of 2016. Boy names on this list include Caleb (Kerry Washington & Nnamdi Asomugha) and Owen (Heather Morris and Taylor Hubbell). Owen is #4 on the BabyNames.com popular names list. Interestingly, the other top five names on the list are also from the British Isles, including Oliver (#1), Liam, Finn and Grayson. Popular celebrity girl names from the top 20 include number one’s Amelia (James and Kimberly Van Der Beek), Olivia (Kellie Martin and Keith Christian), Sophia ( Andy Murray and Kim Sears), Luna (Chrissy Teigan and John Legend), and Lily (Nicky Hilton and James Rothschild).
So, what’s the take home message? When picking a baby name, both celebs and the rest of us combine a mixture of the unique and traditional. Want a boy name that is hot among celebrities but not as common? Look to the X names like Maddox, Jax, Phoenix, and Lennox. If you want to have a girl name that is popular among the stars, go with a flower. After all, a Rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Mallory Moss Katz is the co-founder of BabyNames.com. She is a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner in the Denver area and has a passion for community mental health, the Chicago Cubs, Eurasia, and (of course) baby names. Mallory’s publications can be found in national and international publications and news services, including the Huffington Post, The Hill, and The Eurasian.
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