Thanks to a stellar crop of celebrity moms and dads, 2016 was a dream year for baby names. Of course, there was the usual mix of oddball combinations and picks that make everyday parents want to roll their eyes. But many of Hollywood’s finest tapped the perfect monikers for their little ones.
Some were classic and sweet; others were trendy but tame. Even the stranger names seemed to tap into something south of over-the-top while being unique and full of powerful connotations. The children of some of our favorite musicians were graced with rocking names this year. Hollywood royalty chose names that would look amazing on the big screen themselves. From the old school to the unheard of, celebrity tastes were especially spot on this year.
Some names were definite misses — we’re looking at you, Jena Malone, mostly because we can’t make sense of Ode Mountain. But most of the others were pretty great. We think they will inspire moms and dads for the next few years and rekindle trends that will make for a generation of well-named children.
We couldn’t include them all, so we hope that you agree with at least a few of the sweet names we’ve chosen. Here are our 15 favorite celebrity baby names of 2016.
We love the beautiful name that John Legend and Chrissy Teigen chose for their little girl. Luna Simone Stephens (that’s John’s real last name) was born in April, and the doting parents have shared many baby milestones, goofy grins and sweet snapshots since then.
Luna harkens back to the moon (it sounds like lunar), and it is actually the name of the Roman goddess of the moon. It’s unusual, although it’s rising in popularity and jumped 200 places in the past five years to hit No. 110 in the social security name rankings.
Other celebrity parents like Penelope Cruz and Javier Barden, Ellen Pompeo and Uma Thurman have also chosen this gorgeous name. We were pleasantly surprised when it became the moniker that Chrissy and John picked. But it’s lyrical lilt and strong connotation is a perfect reflection on the family, and it matches the gorgeous baby’s sweet smile.
For everyone still rolling their eyes about Kim Kardashian’s baby names North West and Saint West, there had to be a little concern about what Kim’s brother Rob and his fiance Blac Chyna would come up with for their own kid. Luckily, they chose a word name that is on trend, but not completely out there.
Their sweet daughter fulfilled a dream for their family, so that is what they picked for her name: Dream. This one-syllable name isn’t very popular, but it has been used for both boys and girls. The sweet sentiment goes a long way, and it fits right in with the family, including big brother King Cairo.
Dream may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but when you are a Kardashian, it isn’t unheard of to try out lofty names, like Kourtney’s youngest Reign. And since this baby may be the only one of the next generation that bears the Kardashian name, there had to have been a lot of pressure to use a K, so we applaud Rob and Chyna for going their own way and fulfilling their Dream.
When we first heard the name that Alexa and Carlos PenaVega chose for their sweet baby boy, we weren’t sold. It’s certainly unusual, but then again it’s right on trend. It’s a word name that has a shade of cool and a connotation that speaks to the parents. The couple came up with Ocean King PenaVega.
You may think that Ocean is a totally made up name, but variations have actually existeed for centuries. The name Oceanus was given to a baby who born on the Mayflower voyage, and Oceane is a girls’ name that is very popular in France, according to Nameberry.
Actor Forest Whitaker, who has his own nature-inspired name, chose the moniker for his son, and his other kids also have a hippy flair, Sonnet and True.
Ocean may not be your cup of tea, and we understand how it can seem like one of the crazy, way out-of-the-box names that celebrities seem to be the best at coming up with. But we love to sit and watch the waves at the ocean, and we’re sure this little guy is going to be just as awesome.
It may be a little superhero for some, but we love the name of Jensen Ackles new daughter. Arrow Rhodes Ackles arrived in December, along with twin Zeppelin Bram. And while Zep may be too far out there for us, we do think that Arrow hit the mark.
Arrow is pretty unusual, but in 2015 it actually was given to more than 150 babies — 60 girls and 94 boys. Those numbers squarely put Arrow in the unisex category. As a word name, it’s meaning is obvious. But it’s the feelings that surround the object that make us really love the name.
It makes us think of an honest, straight-forward person, a straight-shooter, if you will, right on target and aimed toward the bullseye. It’s strong without being aggressive and pointed but not too dangerous. It’s certainly not as lofty and aspirational as Zeppelin, but the imagery it evokes can’t be beat.
We had no idea what to expect from Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, after they named their first born — a girl — a very manly name coupled with a really girly one. What can you do after Wyatt Isabelle?
Well, the old school Eastern European sounding Dimitri was no where near our list, but it still somehow fits perfectly. Dimitri is a male version of the name Demeter; it’s a Slavic version of the name for the Greek god of fertility. You don’t hear it often in America, but we expect that the star power of Mila and Ashton will guarantee that it rises from its current No. 905 on the popularity charts.
Dimitri Portwood Kutcher was born Nov. 3o, and we have no doubt that he is cute as can be, just like his big sister Wyatt, who is now 2. We think that Mila and Ashton hit a homerun with this one’s name. What do you think?
We can think of no other name that expresses love than the one that the oldest Jonas brother chose for his baby girl. Kevin and his wife Danielle welcomed their second baby in October, but her name makes us think of February and the holiday that celebrates love. Valentina Angelina Jonas’s name is just as beautiful as her older sister Alena Rose.
Valentina is a Latin name that means “strength” or “health,” and is the feminine version of Valentine. It’s common in other cultures but was first used in the U.S. in 1994. Since then, it’s risen in popularity to 2015.
You may think of Valentina as a super feminine, girly name, but that doesn’t limit a girl. In fact, the first woman in space was Russian Valentina Tereshkova. This little beauty will surely live up to the power that her name defines her, and we hope that Kevin and Danielle have another girl so we can have a Jonas Sisters band.
We have a bone to pick with Kerry Washington’s new son, but it’s not because of his perfect name. We’re just still a bit sad that his arrival delayed the filming of Scandal, and we can’t wait for the hit show to return.
But we’re perfectly happy with her baby name choice: Caleb Kelichi. Caleb is a Hebrew name that means “devotion to God,” and like many Biblical name it is popular but in a tried and true kind of way. It ranked No. 37 on the popularity list in 2015, and it’s been in the Top 40 since the year 2000.
It’s a great pairing with Kerry Washington’s daughter, who is named Isabelle, and it’s a strong, classic moniker that should serve this sweet little one well. One of our favorite nicknames for it is Cal, but by itself it sounds great too. It’s definitely one of our favorites for 2016.
Perfectly on point with the title name trend, we loved the baby name that Eva Amurri Martino picked for her baby boy. Major James Martino is Susan Surandon’s new grandson, and he fits right in with the family tradition of alliteration. (Big sister is Marlow Mae, 2.)
Major is a traditional military rank, but we think that it fits right in with the title trend, and it’s interesting without being weird. It ranks No. 360 in popularity, so you won’t see a lot of Majors on the playground, but it’s not totally unheard of. Major Applewhite might be the most famous so far. He was a much heralded Texas quarterback, and he just took over as head football coach at the University of Houston.
Celebrity designers Bob and Courtney Novogratz have a little Major, and so does rapper T.I. The name has been on the rise, but we don’t expect it to become as popular as Jacob, so it’s a great pick for someone who wants their kid to stand out.
We love flower names, and Daisy may be the sweetest. So we are over the moon about Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis’ baby name pick. Daisy Josephine is a great vintage name set, which goes along with their 2-year-old son’s moniker Otis.
Daisy actually evolved from a nickname for Margaret because the French version, Marguerite, is the same as the word for flower. It gives the connotation of springtime and freshness, and we love the happy little flowers that go by that name. We just bet that if we got a chance to smell that baby, she would smell sweet.
Daisy is a favorite for literary and film writers. Who could forget the tragic Daisy Buchanan from “The Great Gatsby” or the fun and spunky Daisys from “L’il Abner” and “The Dukes of Hazzard?”
6 Dusty Rose
When rockstar has a baby, everyone waits with anticipation to hear what name he picked for his little one, and that was certainly the case when Adam Levine welcomed a baby girl this September with model Behati Prinsloo.
The name they picked is a perfect mix of princess with edge: Dusty Rose. Dusty by itself may seem like an odd pick for a girl, but music fans will remember Dusty Springfield, a nickname made famous by the bleach blonde singer from the ’60s who sang “Son of a Preacher Man.”
Adding on Rose gives a feminine edge and also makes you think of the two together as the perfect color of a baby’s sweet lips. This name pick got plenty of controversy, but we think it’s a rocking moniker fit for the daughter of a model and a musician. We couldn’t think of a better pick for the newest member of The Voice family.
Anna Chlumsky’s character in “My Girl” brought plenty of inspiration for the baby name Vayda. And now that she’s all grown up and now a mom of two, she’s inspiring us again with her own baby name picks. We are in love with the sweet, old-fashioned name she chose for baby number two, born in July, Clara Elizabeth.
Clara is a name we often think about during the holiday season because it’s the name of the little girl in “The Nutcracker,” but it’s also the name of the founder of the Red Cross, Clara Barton. It was in the Top 10 of baby names nearly 150 years ago, and now it’s just made it into the Top 100.
Megan Fox had her third son in 2016, and if you like her previous picks of Noah and Bodhi, you may be curious to see how she continued her baby naming trend. The baby is the result of a public rough patch between Megan and her boy Brian Austin Green, and so they picked a name that gives praise to that journey that made their family complete.
Journey River Green was born in August, and we think that his name was the perfect pick — and not just because we think that the band with that name is awesome.
Journey is a word name, which is a huge name trend, and it is considered unisex. In fact, just over 1,000 baby girls received the name in 2015, compared to less than 100 boys. The Green family isn’t the first celebrity to choose the name, as Jenna Jameson and Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas both have sons named Journey. It’s a great name, after all.
The soon-to-be First Family had a new addition in 2016, when Ivanka Trump gave birth to her third child. Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner already had chosen some pretty gorgeous classic names for their older children, Arabella and Joseph, so we couldn’t wait to learn what they would name their newest bundle of joy. And we were pleasantly surprised with their very presidential pick, Theodore.
Theodore is an oldie but a goodie. It’s the first name of Teddy Roosevelt, and of Dr. Seuss (although he spelled it differently). It was also the real first name of the character known as Beaver in Leave it to Beaver.
One of the great things about Theodore is the amount of nicknames that you can use — Ted, Teddy, Theo. Or you can stick with the long version and it still sounds smart and classic. It’s a wonderful pick, and it matches perfectly into the family. We wonder if young Theodore will follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and make it to the White House one day.
Leave it to one of the hottest British actors to give us one of the most sophisticated and sweet baby names of 2016. Eddie Redmayne and his wife Hannah welcomed a baby in June that had the perfect moniker: Iris Mary Redmayne.
This flower name makes us all think of a delicate, fresh, sweet-smelling sweetheart. Iris is a little bit unusual in the Unites States (number 217 in 2015), but it’s much more popular in Eddie’s home country. The beautiful name was also picked by Jude Law and Sadie Frost, as well as by Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann.
Iris is a figure from Greek mythology. She was the goddess of the rainbow and a messenger for Zeus and Hera who traveled between heaven and earth via a rainbow bridge. The flower that bears that name has three petals said to represent faith, wisdom and valor. We know that Eddie’s sweet daughter will personify all three.
There may be nothing cuter than a Buble baby. We think that the baby names that crooner Michael Buble has chosen for his sons are pretty awesome, and we are especially enamored with the one he and wife Luisana chose for the little one born in January 2016, Elias.
Elias is a variation of Elijah, the Biblical figure, and it means “Yahweh is God.” The name was popular among the Puritans a few centuries ago, and it’s making a comeback at No. 100 on the Nameberry list. It’s another way to get to the nickname Eli, and it gives the impression of a person who is forthright and good.
For all of your Disney lovers, let me point out that it is Walt’s middle name, and it’s also the name of the inventor of the sewing machine, Elias Howe. It’s a great pick for a singer who puts a cool twist on music while reminding us of the good ol’ days.
Sources: Today’s Parent, Nameberry