When aspiring actors and actresses arrive in Hollywood, one of the first things most agents tell them to do is change their name, especially if it’s too bland for the big screen. Thomas Mapother, for instance, doesn’t have quite the same star power as Tom Cruise, and the same could be said for Tara Patrick versus Carmen Electra.
That need to have a standout name must stay with celebrities all the way into parenthood—how else would you explain all of the multisyllabic and/or mind-bogglingly bizarre names they give their kids? It’s said that Demi Moore and Bruce Willis started the “unique” name trend with their daughters Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah, though some stars jumped on the bandwagon years before that (Frank Zappa being one of the more egregious offenders). But even an odd name like Rumer seems as plain as John or Jane compared with what other celebrities have named their offspring.
Wham! Pow! Thwack!
Fame and fortune can change your life in infinite ways, but not when it comes to a deep-seated love of comic books. These stars may get to play or direct superheroes only in real life, but clearly they’re transferring hope to the next generation.
Penn and Emily Jillette: Moxie CrimeFighter
Sylvester Stallone and Sasha Czack: Sage Moonblood
Nicolas Cage and Alice Kim: Kal-El (Superman’s birth name)
Nicole Richie and Joel Madden: Sparrow James Midnight
Robert Rodriguez and Elizabeth Avellán: Rocket Valentino, Racer Maximiliano, Rebel Antonio, and Rogue Joaquin
Mmm … Baby Names
These parents must’ve been awfully hungry when it came time to fill out the birth certificate. Sure, giving birth burns a ton of calories and drums up fierce cravings, but that still doesn’t justify a name like Peaches Honeyblossom.
Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow: Apple
Jamie and Jools Oliver: Poppy Honey
Courteney Cox and David Arquette: Coco
Bob Geldof and Paula Yates: Peaches Honeyblossom
Isaiah and Jenisa Marie Washington: Thyme
Frank Zappa and Adelaide Gail Sloatman: Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen
The Next Honey Rider
The name you’re born with sends the wrong implications sometimes. Personally speaking, I thought Victoria was stuffy when I was a kid, so I opted for Vicki. Now I think Vicki sounds unsophisticated compared with classy Victoria, but what can you do? At least I wasn’t christened a future Bond Girl, à la Fifi and Daisy Boo.
Bob Geldof and Paula Yates: Fifi Trixibelle
Ione Skye and Ben Lee: Goldie Priya
Simon and Yasmin Le Bon: Saffron Sahara
Jamie and Jools Oliver: Daisy Boo
Sting and Frances Tomelty: Fuchsia
Names You Can Live Up To
Some stars set impossibly high standards for their kids. Mia Farrow has an adopted son named Moses Amadeus, and guitarist Zakk Wylde clearly expects his son to follow in his footsteps with a name like Hendrix Halen. Even Puck from MTV’s The Real World gave his child an impossible name to live up to: Bogart Che Peyote. Luckily, some celebrities don’t require their offspring to shoot so high.
Rachel Griffiths and Andrew Taylor: Banjo
David Duchovny and Téa Leoni: Kyd
Spike and Tonya Lewis Lee: Satchel
Barbara Hershey and David Carradine: Free
Sarah Palin and Todd Palin: Track and Trig
Ingo Rademacher and Ehiku: Peanut Kai
Dan Cortese and Dee Dee Hemby: Tabooger
Flower Children, Whether They Like It or Not
The ’60s ended many years ago, but the spirit of the decade lives on—albeit in the names of sons and daughters who didn’t even experience the free-lovin’, “tune in, turn on” vibe themselves.
Frank Zappa and Adelaide Gail Sloatman: Moon Unit
Soleil Moon Frye and Jason Goldberg: Poet Sienna Rose
Jamie and Jools Oliver: Petal Blossom Rainbow
Ashley Parker Angel and Tiffany Lynn: Lyric Angel
Ving Rhames and Deborah Reed: Reignbeau
Not all standout names celebrities give their children are necessarily bad. I, for one, am a fan of Kevin Smith’s punny Harley Quinn, and Salma Hayek’s daughter, Valentina Paloma, has a name as beautiful as her mother. As for the rest of these weirdly named kids, at least they have a chance to change their moniker when they hit eighteen, like Sting’s daughter Fuchsia did (she now goes by Katie). But on the plus side, should they ever decide to follow in their famous parents’ footsteps and get into show business, at least they already have memorable stage names.