Celebrity baby names
sirtravelalot/ShutterstockThere's no doubt that celebrities have a huge influence on everyone else. Baby names are no exception—just look at Ava, revived by Reese Witherspoon and Heather Locklear way back in the late 1990s, or Liam, adopted by Kevin Costner and Harrison Ford more than a decade before the name reached the U.S. top 10 for boys. Then there are the names no one is going to copy, from Holly Madison's airy fairy daughter Rainbow Aurora to Nic Cage's otherworldly son Kal-El (for Superman's birthname on the planet Krypton). This year, at least 10 celebrity infants received names that definitely stray over that fine line between unusual and just plain wacky.
Rumi and Sir
David Maxwell/Epa/REX/ShutterstockThese high-profile twin baby names win our vote for two of the year's wackiest, but then, with their first child named Blue Ivy, Jay-Z and Beyonce did have a lot to live up to. (Or down, depending on how you look at it.)
The power hip-hop couple named their daughter Rumi after the sublime 13th-century Persian poet, who penned some of their favorite verses. Too bad it sounds so much like "rheum," meaning "phlegm," like the beginning of rheumatism or rheumatic fever.
Now, for Sir: Though he'll definitely get the honorific Sir, there's the irresistibly hilarious "Sir, sir" to contend with, and he'll never get away from the built-in personal theme song, "To Sir With Love." By contrast, here are some unusual baby names we love.
Strummer Newcomb and Gunner Stone
Jonny Birch/BAFTA/REX/ShutterstockActress Julia Stiles was probably thinking of Harper and Piper when she called her baby boy Strummer. But it sounds a little too much like Strudel for our taste. And these musical monikers are actually a lot to live up to—what if the poor kid turns out tone deaf?
On the other end of the spectrum, reality TV stars Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt were clearly aiming for a macho, military image when they picked Gunner Stone for their little darling. Not only is the name loaded with contemporary military swagger, but it's related to Gunnar, a hero of Icelandic legend; this small warrior is already fighting for audience share with his own Instagram account.
Jim Smeal/REX/ShutterstockRemember Truly Scrumptious in the classic children's movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? She's the Julie Andrews-like character who makes candy as sickeningly sweet as her name. No, country singer-songwriter Lee Brice was not channeling the movie when he dubbed his new daughter Trulee Nanette this past year: His wife was looking for a name that ended in Lee, linking the new baby girl to her father. And since they already had boys called Ryker and Takoda, boring old Ashley or Kimberley just wouldn't do. We have a feeling she's going to truly not like her name, a feeling usually reserved for middle names. Check out these middle name traditions from around the world.
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Zen and Bodhi
Jen Lowery/SilverHub/REX/ShutterstockZ names have been hot for a while—think Zachary, Zion, and Zane—and we can see why Zoe Saldana might have a special fondness for them. Or maybe she and husband Marco Perego were indulging in some wishful thinking, since they now have three boys under the age of 3. They'd better hope that baby will be Zen!
Actors Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder also took a spiritual approach to naming their first daughter this year. Bodhi means enlightenment; it's also the tree under which Buddha is said to have first meditated. Either way the name has jumped 500 spots in the U.S. Top 1000 Names in less than five years. Rhyming with popular Cody and Brody probably hasn't hurt either. So this might actually be the wacky celebrity name that catches on.
Certainly they make great pet names—these are the most popular dog names.
Jones McCoy, Wolfgang Xander, and Caiden Zane
AP/REX/ShutterstockFinally we come to a whole bunch of mini celeb monikers that really wouldn't be so bad except for the middle names:
Jones McCoy (son of former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo): Does the poor kid sound more like a law firm or a new Appalachian family feud? Not sure.
Wolfgang Xander (son of WWE star Matt Hardy): The full name of the big bad wolf in Little Red Riding Hood or a new hero in the X-Men franchise? You decide.
Caiden Zane (son of 12-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte): When joined together, two fairly ordinary names sound like a serious medical condition, or possibly a foreign holiday greeting: "Caiden Zane!" "Same to you and many more!" Check out more wacky baby names on the rise.