While here in the U.S., no baby names are off limits (hello, Hashtag!), in many parts of the world, the government gets a say in whether your baby name is up to snuff. For instance, New Zealand kept babies from living under the names Mafia No Fear and Anal, Brazil doesn’t want anyone to name their babies after deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Germany said no to a baby named Osama Bin Laden, and the Mexican state of Sonora said no way to the names Virgin, Scrotum, and Robocop.
Recently, foodie names were given the boot by the French court, based on their law that prohibits baby names that could be the cause of mockery for the child. Parents who wanted to name their baby Nutella were told their pick wouldn’t fly—and that they’d have to choose another name for their little one. And a couple who wanted to name their baby Fraise (which means strawberry in French) were also told to tweak the name—they went with Fraisine, which was a 19th century favorite, and I’m sure their little one is still being called their petit Fraise.
Some countries definitely take the limits a little too far—like the Icelandic laws that only allow families to choose from an approved list of a few thousand names. But let’s face it: We’ve all heard some really bad, cringeworthy baby names around the U.S. (and especially within the list of celebrity baby names). Maybe it’s not such a bad thing if we keep people from giving their babies names like Jermajesty or Moxie Crimefighter.
What do you think? Should the French court have kept Nutella from getting that…ahem…nutty name? Or should we all be free to name our kids Nestlé Crunch or Godiva Chocolate if we see fit? And tell us—what’s the wildest name you’ve heard in real life? (Mine is Hap Hazard. No lie!)
If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder!
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It’s another boy for international pop star Shakira and her fiancé, FC Barcelona soccer player Gerard Pique. Joining big brother Milan is a baby boy bearing an increasingly unisex baby name: Sasha Piqué Mebarak.
Sasha is a Russian short version of Alexander, and shares its strong meaning, defending men. Lately, it’s been used more commonly for girls (see the First Family), but it’s still A-OK for a boy. (Actor Chris Hemsworth recently picked it for one of his twin sons, and comedian/actor Sacha Baron Cohen bears a variant spelling.)
And the middle name they picked for their new son, Piqué, is fiancé Gerard’s last name—a nice way to honor both sides of the family within the baby name.
Sasha and Milan are a nice baby name pairing for a pair of brothers—both names have international flair and flow well together, without being too matchy-matchy. And they both have a slightly offbeat, but still classic vibe.
Tell us: What do you think of the baby name Shakira and Gerard picked for their new son? Do you like the name Sasha better for a boy or a girl? And would you consider using this name for your own child?
If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name for your own baby, check out our Baby Name Finder at Parents.com, or email me your dilemma at email@example.com with your dilemma, and you could be featured in a future In Name Only column.
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For most parents, keeping a baby name secret just isn’t practical—or frankly, a big deal. Oh sure, we might stay mum until the baby’s born, but after that, we’re more than happy to show off our Mason or Bella or Jax or Beatrix, and explain the meaning behind the moniker.
But for a certain subset of celebrities, keeping a baby name secret is kind of a big deal. Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer were famously secretive about everything having to do with their twins, including their names: Charlie and Poppy. Adele’s baby’s name, Angelo, was only revealed when the singer was photographed out and about wearing a necklace with the name on it. And actor Jason Lee kept his daughter’s name a secret from the media for three years! (It’s Casper, by the way.)
Now, another secret celebrity baby name has apparently been revealed—almost two years after the baby’s birth! Us Weekly is reporting that Oscar nominee Edward Norton and Shauna Robertson’s 22-month-old son is named… Atlas!
In Greek mythology, Atlas is the Titan who must carry the sky on his shoulders. It’s a cool, unique name for a boy, and ranks just 789th on the Social Security Administration’s current list of popular baby names. Even so, Norton isn’t the only celeb to choose it: Anne Heche named her son Atlas in 2009.
What do you think of the name Atlas for a boy? Is it another wacky celebrity baby name—or a strong choice? Let us know! And If you’re still looking for the perfect name, check out our Baby Name Finder.
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Actress Ali Larter gave birth to her second child last Thursday, and announced the happy news on her website—along with the ever-important baby name!
We absolutely love her old fashioned, glam-granny name choice: Vivienne Margaret. Vivienne means “alive,” “full of life,” or “vibrant” and is a name (and spelling) that’s rising in popularity: It ranked number 280 on the Social Security Administration’s list of popular baby names in 2013 (the most recent year for which data is available); up from number 531 just five years earlier.
Vivienne is also a popular baby name pick among the celebrity set: Rosie O’Donnell, Angelina Jolie, and Rosie Pope all have daughters named Vivienne. (Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady gave their little girl the name, too, but with a different spelling: Vivian.)
It’s an elegant, glamorous name that fits nicely with the traditional (and longtime favorite of English royals!) Margaret, which means “pearl” and ranks number 181 on the SSA’s popular baby names list. (It’s one our our classic middles names for girls picks, too!)
It also goes nicely with the name of her big brother, 4-year-old Theodore Hayes MacArthur. Clearly, this is a couple that loves a good throwback baby name—and we couldn’t agree more.
Congrats to the new family of four!
Tell us: What do you think of the name Vivienne Margaret—and of vintage baby names in general?
If you’re looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder for get options. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names!
Image of Ali Larter courtesy of Helga Esteb/Shutterstock
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It was all about honoring Daddy for two celebs who welcomed new sons recently—and a cool, offbeat baby name for a girl for a third.
Zombie fighter Sonequa Martin-Green from The Walking Dead and her husband Kenric Green kept it in the family with their baby name pick for their son: Kenric Justin Green II, named after Daddy. Kenric seems to be a variant spelling of Kendrick, an English name that means ruler and is currently in the top 350 baby names in the United States. I’m kind of loving Kenric as an updated way to honor a Kenneth (or a Kenneth and a Richard) in your family tree.
Former Bachelor contestant Renee Oteri Maynard finally found love with husband Bracy Maynard, and together they welcomed Jax Bracy, who was given his middle name in homage to Dad. Jax is a brand new name that’s already making a splash—it’s nearing the top 200. Consider it a postmodern Jack.
Finally, singers Vanessa Carlton and James McCauley welcomed daughter Sidney Aoibheann. Sidney has been on a sharp decline, and falls just inside the top 1000 baby names for both boys and girls—it’s been recently overshadowed by the ultrapopular Sydney spelling. Aoibheann may seem like a tongue twister of a baby name, but it’s actually pronounced “Even.” It’s an Irish name that means beautiful sheen.
Tell us: What do you think of this latest batch of celebrity baby name picks? Is there anything you’d consider amongst the names?
If you’re looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for advice. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names!
Image: Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com
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