For whatever reason we’re all pretty intrigued by the concept of celebrity. We can’t get enough of them, and so many businesses thrive on everything we want to know about our favorite, or not so favorite famous people, making a mint on gossip and products. We look to stars when we’re flipping through magazines at the hairdresser, or planning our spring capsule wardrobe on Pinterest.
After all, they have professional stylists, makeup artists, personal trainers and chefs helping them achieve their iconic look, why can’t we borrow a little of their image and apply it to our own “peasant” existence.
Other times the reality sinks in over just how “unique” some of the most famous Hollywood elite are, especially when it comes to their parenting styles. As a parent it’s easy to understand that each child is their own unique little snowflake, but some parents feel it’s best to give them an edge in that department care of a very unusual name.
While anyone can name their child something off the beaten path, certain celebrities really have a knack for some pretty wild and wacky baby names. Whether we love the names or think they seem like a cruel joke, we can’t wait to find out and comment on the latest baby name given by famous parents.
These are 25 of the most controversial and most talked about celeb baby names, the ones that we love to hate and why people love to hate on them!
25 Pilot Inspektor
Jason Lee isn’t the most famous celeb, but he’s certainly been in the scene for a long time. He’s a skateboarder, has starred in a number of Kevin Smith films, was the lead on the quirky comedy My Name is Earl, and is known to a lot of kids as Dave from the hit movie franchise Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Lee decided to name his son after a song by the band Grandaddy called, “He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot”. Aside from the name Pilot Inspektor being incredibly bizarre, the song is about being unprepared. Perhaps Lee was trying to send an early message to his kid that he’s a lot more normal than we may think and he felt just as unprepared for parenthood as the rest of us, but maybe not.
24 Royal Reign
When a child is born they become a parent’s everything, and that’s awesome. It’s also a great reminder to the rest of us that celeb parents feel the same way about their brood as we normal folk do.
This is why it’s somewhat understandable that Lil’ Kim named her little princess Royal Reign, since a lot of us become loyal subjects to our children catering to their every whim (just joking, kind of not joking). The name Royal has Gaelic roots, is usually used for little boys, and means red.
With the addition of Reign after Royal, the name seems more like something out of Game of Thrones and a huge iron throne sized movement instead of something that is going to be called out on a school yard during a game of tag.
Cute nicknames are great and most parents have a few pet names for their children over the course of their childhood. Some even stick with kids into adulthood, but these kids also have their given names to lean back on as well, particularly during their academic and career years. Busy Philips decided to skip the pet names all together and name her daughter Cricket.
There are a slew of animal names that pass for first names, but the cutesie ones can over shadow a person’s ability as they get older.
While the name is adorable for a toddler, perhaps little Cricket might not feel the same way about being named after a summertime insect when she submits her application to law school. Never one for traditional names Busy named her eldest daughter Birdie. Adorable or ridiculous? You be the judge!
22 River Rose
Sometimes two names separately are beautifully simple names, like Chelsea Elizabeth, but it’s their combination that make things feel a little strange. When a name has two meanings this can make for an interesting name choice that makes you think a lot about context. This is the case for Kelly Clarkson who named her child River Rose.
River is a fabulous name and we love it, the same can be said for Rose. Both names are lovely tributes to nature and beauty, but together it seems a bit like a weather report warning people of a terrible storm and a dam that is about to break. While not the strangest on the list by far, adding another name between the two could take this potentially great name from strange to super.
21 Bodhi Ransom
This is a name that could in still fear in any new parent’s heart. While pronounced BOAD-Y, the name seems a lot like body, and when paired with a second name that is one letter away from being the title of a famous Mel Gibson film about child abduction, there’s no wonder so many people love to criticize this name.
And we’re not saying that Megan didn’t choose a great name, but this is another name combo that could have used some more thought.
It’s understandable while Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green liked the name they selected: Bodhi is a lovely Sanskrit name that means enlightenment and awakening, it’s pairing with Ransom is off-putting. The name Ransom is an English name that simply means son of Rand, but these two names together are no peanut butter and jam in terms of a natural fit.
20 Heiress Harris
Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers is an interesting tongue twisting poem for toddlers, but most parents don’t want their child’s name to be overly difficult to say, and for good reason. It can make school hard and it can make life hard down the road as well. Some children are made to feel self conscious about themselves and their name by their peers if they have a difficult name.
Rapper T.I. is a natural linguist, so it’s somewhat understandable that he wouldn’t shy away from a baby name that is complicated. It’s probably in his nature.
Others may dislike the name because it’s essentially the same name twice. Most people wouldn’t name their son Smith Smith or their daughter Jane Jane, just saying. It turns out T.I likes unusual names and his other kids are named Clifford, Devaiah, Domani, and Major.
Do you remember when everyone freaked out over Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s choice to “consciously” name their daughter Apple? As time has passed since the little apple of their eye was born this name seems less strange. Maybe most of us are used to it, or perhaps it’s because this name is the least weird thing that Lady Gwyneth has done in over a decade.
Gwyneth tried to explain the name choice on Oprah, providing proof that not even she knows why the name was chosen saying, “Right, well, um, basically it was because when we were first pregnant, her daddy said, if it’s, basically one day he just said if it’s a girl I think her name should be Apple. And I just, it sounded so sweet, and it conjures such a lovely picture for me, you know apples are so sweet and they’re wholesome, and it’s biblical and it’s just, they’re so, and I just thought it sounded so lovely and …”
Maybe my parents should have taken a page out of David Duchovny and Tea Leoni’s baby name book. When you have three kids things can get a little chaotic, so my father would often call my sister and I a weird combination of our names “Sarika” and mix up my brother with our family dog.
Had he named one of us Kyd like X-Files dad did he could just holler, “Hey Kyd” and all of us would answer. That’s exactly why some say Duchovny and Leoni selected the name, he liked the idea of shouting it out. Now if this strikes you as a little dumb, well, you’re not the only one.
This seems like a pretty lazy name choice up there with Baby, Girl, or Boy. Others report Kyd was named after playwright Thomas Kyd. And if that’s the reason, than that’s a much better reason than just liking the fact that you can call your child “Kyd” on the playground.
17 Sage Moonblood
An action star picking a name for their child that would rival character Snake Plissken’s seems a little fitting. So when Sly Stallone (AKA Rambo) named his kid Sage Moonblood it almost made sense. Sage is a less common yet sweet name for a child with an English Origin that means “wise one.”
In 2015 it ranked 370 in popularity, so why is it even making this list? However, when paired with Moonblood it tends to sound a lot more like the name of a comic book villain and less like a child. It also seems like the name of one of Rambo’s allies more than it does a name that an actual person would have. Unfortunately Sage passed away at the young age of 36 due to heart disease.
16 Memphis Eve Sunny Day Hewson
I’m sorry but this name sounds like the name of a deodorant product that will get rid of that “not so fresh feeling” and not one that belongs to a child. No one was really shocked when Bono named his child a pompously artsy name, he flashes the peace sign instead of waving (seriously). So if he’s this flamboyant in life, why wouldn’t he add this flare to the naming of his child.
Eve is a sweet baby name that is Hebrew in origin meaning living and lively. Destination baby names can be great, especially if you’re a hipster, however when Memphis is paired with Eve it sounds like a description of how the child was conceived or the night before a family reunion in Memphis? It’s no wonder people have raised a few eyebrows at this unusual choice.
15 Prince Michael Jackson II (AKA Blanket Jackson)
Having an older brother can be challenging, they’re bigger than you, they pick on you, but being a namesake to your sibling is just plain strange. People scratched their heads when notoriously off the wall celeb Michael Jackson named his first child Prince Michael Jackson (not that strange), but then he also named his second child Prince Michael Jackson II.
So, I guess he really liked the name combo?
This is similar to families who name all of their replacement pets the same thing, because they openly believe that all pets are sequels, like films. Here’s the other thing about the sequel sibling, the family didn’t call him number two, and they selected an equally bizarre nickname for him and called him Blanket.
14 Audio Science
Shannyn Sossamon is an almost was celebrity who you might remember from films in the early 2000’s such as A Knight’s Tale or 40 Days and 40 Nights. She’s had a bit of a comeback with TV shows like Wayward Pines and Sleepy Hollow, but that doesn’t make her baby name choice any less strange.
The Hawaiian actor named her son Audio Science. She has gone on record to defend the name choice saying, “We wanted a word not a name, so my boyfriend read through the dictionary three or four times. We were going to call him Science, but thought it might get shortened to Sci, as in SIMON.” Well that settled it?
13 Diva Thin Muffin
It’s not the newest health super food, this is the name that Frank Zappa gave his youngest daughter – the name Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen. In what seems to be a random drawing of names out of a hat type system for naming children, little Diva isn’t the only one of Zappa’s kids with an unlikely name combination. Yes he’s given these word diarrhea type names to other children as well.
His other kids are named Moon Unity, Dweezil, and Ahmet (which seems pretty plain compared to the other sibling names). Although these names aren’t likely to make the top 100 most popular any time soon, some of them could make for some pretty legendary rock staresque nicknames.
12 Tu Morrow
There’s nothing quite like naming your kid after a pun, because that won’t get old after it gets pointed out every other time you meet someone new? Rob Morrow is best known for his roles on the TV shows Numb3rs and Northern Exposure, but he should also be noted for naming his daughter Tu Morrow.
We kid you not, Tu Morrow. Now some people might think that’s cute and sweet, but it feels more like some sort of twisted joke on his child rather than a name that ca be taken seriously. She could have easily been named, Paige or any other beautiful girl’s name out there.
Parents name their kids after relatives all the time. It’s a long standing tradition. Some families like having a line of Seniors and Juniors, that’s just their thing. You know how everyone thought it was ridiculous in the Twilight series when Bella and Edward named their daughter Renesmee, this is the Jackson family version of that train wreck.
Subtle differences to children’s names to pay tribute to parents and grandparents are sweet, examples of this done well are Jada Pinkett and Will Smith’s children, Jaden and Willow Smith. Examples of this becoming a self-indulgent namesake include Jermajesty. Only Michael Jackson’s brother could rival Blanket in terms of random and ridiculous names.
This is another case of a nickname being used as a baby name. Many parents call their children puppies, bears, or even monkeys, but it isn’t generally used as their actual legal name. Actor Alicia Silverstone made headlines and tabloid gossip when she named her son Bear Blu. The young boy is now five.
Slightly less heads were turned a couple of years later when actor Kate Winslet followed suit and named her son Bear Blaze. Winslet told Ellen about why she selected the middle name Blaze saying, “Bear’s second name is Blaze because my husband and I met in a house fire basically. The house burned down and we survived, but we wanted something of the fire and so Blaze was the name that we came up with. Bear Blaze.”
9 Ode Mountain
Hunger Games actor Jena Malone was so excited about becoming a parent that she wanted to call it out for the entire world to hear and pay tribute. And we adore that in new parents, they should be excited to have a little one on the way.
She posted on Instagram shortly following her son’s birth, “What an incredible blessing to be chosen by this amazing, kind, gentle and beautiful soul to be his parents. Humbled and in complete awe that we get to experience the most ancient and transcendent love that exists. Thank you Ode Mountain DeLorenzo Malone.”
The name Ode Mountain is pretty unusual, but she seems so enthusiastic and excited about her journey into parenthood we might just let this one slide without major critique. She maybe was having trouble deciding between names and just randomly picked the top ones, but they just don’t do each other justice as a complete name.
8 North West
It’s got to sting a little when everyone initially thinks that the baby name you selected is just a joke. Rumors were going around that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were naming their daughter North West, a directional inspired name. Fit for the tabloid prone family the name sort of evolved from a rumor.
Kim Kardashian has said of the name, “We’d never really considered it seriously at all, but Kanye and I were having lunch right over there at that table about a year ago, and Pharrell [Williams] came over to us and said, ‘Oh my God, are you guys really going to call your daughter North? That is the best name.’”
7 Bluebell Madonna
It’s no surprise to anyone that former Spice Girl, Geri Halliwell would pay tribute to another music icon in a baby name, opting for the middle name Madonna, a strong role model for the daughter of a fellow pop diva.
Who wouldn’t want their daughter to be strong willed and independent as Madonna is? Those are awesome qualities fro girls to have.
As for the first name Ginger Spice became very inspired by the bluebell flowers that she decided she’d name her daughter after them. Halliwell told Hello! Magazine, “What really clinched it for me was my mother telling me that the bluebell is increasingly rare – so it’s a precious flower, which seems just right for my daughter.”
6 Bronx Mowgli
Location names are trendy, so a number of those would barely hit the tabloid radar for many celebs, but when they’re paired with an unusual middle name people take note. Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz named their son Bronx Mowgli. The name Bronx is currently ranked 1178 on Nameberry in terms of popularity for little boys.
And of course it is! Bronx is a strong sounding and masculine name for a boy.
Literary names can be a nice reminder of a favorite story, and this is the case for the pair of singing celebs who selected their middle name after a character from a book. Pete Wentz confirmed, “The Jungle Book was something that I and Ashlee bonded over. It’s a cool name.”
Everyone has a favorite pair of jeans, but most people relegate that to buying more of the same brand, or keeping the pair in heavy rotation, not naming their kids after them. Turns out that Toni Braxton loved her casual Friday uniform so much that she decided to name her son after it.
I can understand the draw to jeans, after all, they can be super comfy and they go with just about anything. It’s pretty hard to find people who are outright anti-jeans. Especially when you think about how many people wear them and how much people are willing to spend on them.
This name is more popular than many may think, and perhaps the singer was starting a trend since the word name is listed at 1795 on Nameberry, which is much more popular than most of the other names featured on this list.
When I was pregnant with my twins my husband liked to tease me and call me his “baby carrying case”. He even bought me a bright green purse as a joke gift during my final trimester. Turns out Spike Lee wanted to keep his child close to him by naming her Satchel Paige.
It’s amazing that he felt such a connection with his daughter before she was born that he wanted a name that represented the way he felt about her. However there are probably a slew of other names out there that more accurately represent this bond of love more than Satchel does.
Spike isn’t the only celeb who liked this name, Woody Allen and Mia Farrow named their son Satchel as well (although his name has since been changed to Seamus). While this may seem like a popular choice for a famous person’s child, many people feel this name is just a little too eccentric for regular folk.
Some names are music to the ears. Maybe that’s what Rachel Griffiths and Andrew Taylor were thinking when they named their son after the instrument Banjo. While Piano, Harp, or Viola have lovely rings to them as names, something about Banjo doesn’t sound as melodic as other instrument based names.
Most people when they think of banjos they aren’t picturing the talent it takes to master one or play it skillfully, they’re most likely to think about negative stereotypes that are associated with banjos.
The banjo is a six stringed instrument best known for its use in country, folk, bluegrass, and traditional Irish music, but not as a chart topping baby name. At least they can shorten it to Joe if they’re looking for a solid nickname.
2 Zuma Nesta Rock Rossdale
Sometimes the story behind a name can negate some of the initial negative reactions from people because of an unusual choice. Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale have notably given their children unusual names that have meaning to them personally. And that is so cool that they had such a connection that these cocktail names connect with them on a deep personal level.
But, to anyone who reads these names out loud, they sound truly bizarre and not like tributes to great singers and artists.
Baby name expert Pamela Redmond Satran, and co-author of The Baby Name Bible, told Us Magazine, “They’ve continued their own place-naming tradition by naming their son after Zuma Beach in Malibu”. This location is where Rossdale is said to have had the epiphany that started his music career. The other Rossdale children are named Kingston, and Apollo Bowie Flynn.
1 Moroccan And Monroe
Naming twins can be a difficult process. The names need to reflect the individuality of each child, but parents also sometimes like to acknowledge the twinness of their kin. This was no different for Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon who gave their twins names that began with the same letters, something fairly common for multiples.
Their daughter was named Monroe after Marilyn Monroe, and her twin brother Moroccan was named for the style of decor of the penthouse in Carey’s NYC apartment. While naming a child after the decoration style of your apartment seems a little strange, this held meaning to the couple as it was where Cannon proposed. Loving how the names sounded together, particularly as nicknames Cannon Tweeted “Roc and Roe! Let’s go!” shortly after they arrived.
No matter what name is selected, and how unusual it is, it’s important that the name selected is meaningful and important to the parents, but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t going to make comments if you name your child Space Invader ET.
Sources: She Knows, Cracked, Nameberry, Parents