What little girl (or woman, for that matter) doesn't dream of being swept off her feet by a handsome suitor? We can thank the Bard himself for creating such unrealistic romantic expectations for so many of us. Some parents have chosen to keep the flames of love a-burnin' through the choice of Shakespearean romantic tragedy-inspired names. For example, actress Janine Turner (perhaps best known for her portrayal of Maggie O'Connell on the eccentric TV series Northern Exposure) named her only daughter Juliette Lorraine in November 1997. And rapper Master P named his son Percy Romeo, Jr. in August 1989. Percy Jr. is now known as the child rapper and actor Lil' Romeo. British soccer star David Beckham and wife Victoria (formerly known as "Posh Spice") named their second son Romeo in September 2002. Singer Jon Bon Jovi and wife Dorothea Hurley also love the name -- their youngest son, born in March 2004, is Romeo Jon. And while we're talking about Shakespeare, how about a sonnet or two? (He wrote plenty of 'em.) Forest Whitaker and wife, Keisha, have a daughter, Sonnet, who was born in October 1996.
Seemingly just as popular as the traditional symbol of romance is around Valentine's Day, the name Rose has proven to be quite the popular middle name. In chronological order, here's a sampling of some of the celebs who have recently bestowed this moniker on their daughters.
Okay, let's call it the obvious but still romantic choice. Singer David Byrne of the Talking Heads and then-wife Adelle Lutz welcomed only daughter Malu Valentine in 1990. Acclaimed movie director Robert Rodriguez (From Dusk Till Dawn, Spy Kids, and Sin City, to name a few of his films) and wife Elizabeth Avellan welcomed son Rocket Valentin into the family. And former MTV veejay Lisa Kennedy Montgomery (known simply as Kennedy) and husband, David Lee, a former professional snowboarder, welcomed daughter Pele Valentina in July 2005.
Although many folks use the word honey as a term of endearment for a significant other, some parents love it so much that they want everyone to call their child "Honey." For example, British broadcaster Jonathan Ross and his wife, author Jane Goldman, sweetly bestowed one of their daughters with the name Honey Kinney. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and his wife Jools preferred it as a middle name for one of their daughters, Poppy Honey, as did actress Kate Winslet and then-husband James Threapleton who named their daughter Mia Honey.
To sprinkle some love in a name, you don't have to do it blatantly. Sure, you can go with the in your face method (think Jennifer Love Hewitt or Ruby Sweetheart Maguire, actor Tobey Maguire and fiancee Jen Meyer's daughter, born in November 2006), but you can also chose a name that means "lovable" or "beloved" and convey the same message. For example, the girls' names Adora, Aiko, Amanda, Amy, Daryl, Desiree, Suki, Taffy, and Trudy all mean "beloved." For boys, you might consider Alvin, David, Kevin, or Leif.
Belle, the French word for beautiful, is a popular middle name for the gorgeous children of celebrities. Demi Moore and Bruce Willis have their own belle daughter -- Tallulah Belle, that is. Actress Lisa Rinna, of Melrose Place and Days of Our Lives fame, and husband Harry Hamlin, of the hit series L.A. Law, chose the beautiful name Delilah Belle for their first daughter, born in 1998. For her popular Hollywood boutique, Belle Gray, Rinna combined Delilah's middle name with that of Delilah's younger sister, Amelia Gray. And Dan Ackroyd and wife Donna Dixon gave even greater prominence to the name when they chose it for the first name of their second daughter, Belle Kingston.
Interestingly, the name Beau, which is the masculine counterpart to belle, has also found some fans. It is the nickname of Lloyd Vernet Bridges III (more commonly known as Beau Bridges). Country music singer Tanya Tucker named her only son Beau Grayson in 1991 after her father, Beau Tucker. And, folk singer Art Garfunkel and wife Kim welcomed their second son, Beau, in October 2005 through a surrogate.
Speaking of beauty, there are plenty of other names that mean beautiful. Try Adara or Adonia, both Greek for beautiful. Or better yet, go for the gold with Calista, which means most beautiful. Alana also means beautiful, along with Farrah, Kyla, Kylie, and Linda. Some fans of such beautiful names include Boston Red Sox Kevin Millar who named his daughter Kiley Faith, and Geddy Lee, the bass player from Rush, who named his daughter Kyla Avril. Actress Andrea Evans of the soap opera Passions and husband Steve named their adopted daughter Kylie Lin in May 2004. There's also the option of the ever-popular Bella, which is Italian for beautiful. Among the many celebrities who favor the name are actors Peter Facinelli and Jennie Garth who named their first daughter Luca Bella in June 1997, actress Leah Remini and husband Angelo Pagan who named their daughter Sofia Bella in June 2004, actor Billy Bob Thornton and girlfriend Connie Anglund who named their first child together Bella in September 2004, actor Mark Ruffalo and wife Sunrise Coigney who named their daughter Bella in May 2005, and, Skating with Celebrities host and Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders and her Olympic skier husband Erik Schlopy who named their daughter Skye Bella in April 2006. Finally, if you're looking for an attractive name for boys, Alan means handsome, as do Kenneth, Kyle, and Shaquille.
Originally published on AmericanBaby.com, December 2005. Updated December 2006.