Myleene Klass with daughters Ava and Hero, from newsmediaimages.com
I have recently seen some, albeit rather slight allegations that this year the celeb-world has let us down somewhat when it comes to picking the slightly crazy names we’ve come to expect. However, as far as I’m concerned, if the choice of name surprises you, I think it makes for an interesting, notable celeb choice and that’s the basis of the following list. I may not personally love all of the names below, they win their spot on the list through merit of surprise and show there were some rather, shall we say, unexpected choices over the last year split into months:
January – Romeo Mokonzi Santos/ Coco Reese Lakshmi
Two interesting combinations of names to kick off the year. Whilst I really liked the choice of Nona by Dutch radio host Dave Peters, with a pre-existing son named Eppo, it seemed almost expected for him to choose another seldom heard name. What really surprised me were these two names and the mix of styles they possess.
Romeo is the son of former Belgian sprinter Kim Gevaert and her husband Djeke Mambo; they already have a son named Vince. Coco is the first child for No Doubt’s bassist Tony Kanal and he certainly threw them all in the cooking pot.
February – Rocco&Coco/Lily Cato
Two Coco mentions in one list? Abby’s got to me, but how could the twinset choice of Scottish footballer Paul Dalglish go without mention? I kind of like the idea that comes behind the choices, but it is too much in terms of matchiness? One things for sure, they’re two completely different names which just so happen to contain pretty much exactly the same letters as one another.
As for the second nomination, Lily Cato grabs it for her unexpected middle name. O names are being tooted as particularly stylish choices for lads at the moment, and this name just proves the girls needn’t be left behind with this trend. Lily is first child for Dutch musical star Martin van der Starre and his girlfriend Roos (whose name just so happens to be Dutch for Rose) and was born in London.
March – Kip&Bowie/ Hero Harper
March brought a second twinset for this list, this time from an Australian. Brodie Holland already had a daughter named Stevie when these two came along and the thing that caught me about it is how homely the names feel to me. Kip is British slang for a nap, whilst Bowie makes me think of the legend that is David Bowie.
For me, the top female name of March was easy. Myleene Klass already had a daughter named Ava Bailey when she came to welcome little Hero Harper in March. Whilst her middle name could have been expected what with her previous use of Bailey, it was Hero which took me by surprise given that her first daughter has a name well inside the current Top 20.
April – Gem/ Belle
Gem is the son of Aussie Alan Tongue, brother of Becky and Heidi. According to Anna, using the name Gem was a spur-of-the-moment decision for Alan, when the name just came to him after looking at his son for the first time. Since I grew up with a good few Gemmas, it’s a change of scene to be talking about Gem for lads but I kind of like it.
As for the female name, yes, Belle isn’t exactly the most uncommon name in the book, there were plently of wacky choices to choose from, but her selection took me by surprise since her mama, Holly Willoughby, was already a mother to a Harry. That had me presuming she would go with a Top 50 especially-popular-in-Britian girly name like Maisie, Poppy or even Lucy. Belle, on the otherhand, has been mostly overshadowed by Bella of late.
Those wacky choices I mentioned earlier on? Whilst Romanie-Sky Angel Shelley could’ve taken the crown for the girls, she just didn’t surprise me as a name Shane Richie would choose especially since his other daughter with the same partner is called Lolita Bell. In the same month James Cracknell welcomed Trixie Bea – but his pre-existing kids are called the equally quirky Kiki and Croyde.
May – Tate/ Isabeau
Emma Bunton welcomed Tate in this month, brother for Beau. So, why did this name surprise me? It surprised me for a few reasons. The first being that I’ve seen a pondering about the name Tate’s gender status this year. You know what else I found out this year? That whilst you may think Beau is pretty much all-boy, Beau ranks higher (#315) than Belle for girls (#463). The second reason is that sometimes it’s nice to be surprised by someone using a relatively unused name with a relatively well-used name, and seeing them work really well together. In 2010 for England&Wales, Beau was given to 300 boys and Tate to 53 boys.
Isabeau and I have only been acquainted for a few years, and in that time I’ve seldom heard her actually used by parents. It seems especially odd, then, that this Isabeau would be the daughter of Belgian boxer Sugar Jackson. It does seem in line with the choice of Ebenezer for her brother, but nevertheless I couldn’t have seen Isabeau coming either way. But, when you hardly hear the name, how can you?
June – Diesel Dean/ Jasmine Orienta
It was hard for this month to pick a male name, but Diesel Dean won out for the alliteration. We’ve had a few this year, notably Poet Poppin and most recently Georgia Geraldine but this one has it’s merits too. I doubt I would ever think to pair Diesel with Dean, but sound-wise they make a pretty good pairing. He’s the son of American softball player Jenny Finch and is brother to Ace Shane.
Jasmine Orienta is the daughter of Julian Lloyd Webber, and it’s her middle name that won her the placing on this list. Generally speaking, orient is a rather romantic way to say east, it comes from the Latin word oriens predictably meaning east. Think Oriental, think Leyton Orient.
July – Bingham Hawn/Bardot
Probably one of the most high profile names on this list, Bingham had to win this place for really making me think. I live near a town named Bingham and it never occured to me to think of him as a potential name. It just goes to show that fascinating names can be found in most places – especially right under your nose. Bingham, or Bing as they are calling him, is the son of Matt Bellamy and Kate Hudon. There’s a really nice post of the name Bing over at The Name Station.
This year I learnt David Boreanaz had renamed his little 2009 daughter Bardot Vita as Bella Vita Bardot so I presumed it would be awhile before Bardot surfaced again since it clearly didn’t work out for them. I was wrong. Dutch TV presenter Regina Romeijn picked up the torch when she welcomed her Bardot in London.
August – Zephyr/ Fritzi Francesca
Julia Bradbury broke my father’s heart when she announced her pregnancy last year, and won mine when she chose Zephyr for her son. I’ve never seen people give much love to the name Zephyr, so was beyond thrilled to see the lady who inspired my father to make us trek in Wales during winter use him.
As for the female name, we’re back to alliteration. As a Brit, Fritzi could probably never work as she’s likely a tad too close to Fritz for the liking of the elder generation. Fritzi is the daughter of Dutch actor Koert-Jan de Bruijn and sister to Keetje Sofia. Whilst the pattern of using a name rather more established in the English-speaking world is maintained (should that have been intentional), I think Fritzi is certainly more accessible to we English speakers than Keetje is.
September – Sid/Delphine Malou
Sid is the fourth child of Mary McCartney, thus yet another grandchild for Sir Paul. Last year Mary’s sister, Stella, welcomed her fourth child - a daughter named Reiley. Same parents, but two completely different choices for each respective fourth child (of course, not forgetting the effect their respective spouses may have had in the name selection process).
I was surprised by the choice of Delphine Malou because, looking at the name, you’d presume her parents to be French. You’d presume wrong, too. Her famous mother, Sarah Connor, is German, whilst her half-siblings are called Tyler and Summer - so this really was completely out of the blue choice of name for me. It was, however, a lovely surprise at the same time.
October – Lex/Teddy Mouna
We’re in the continent once again to talk about little Lex, son of Belgian singer Raf van Brussel. He has two sisters named Sam and Lucca. Alex is certainly very popular, but I don’t think I’ve ever really seen the name Lex used. He’s certainly a quirky alternative nickname for Alexander if nothing else.
Dutch radio host Ruud de Wild is responsable for once more flying the flag of The Netherlands. He chose the name Teddy for his newborn daughter, which was a surprise to me given that she is welcomed by a sister (albeit a half-sister) named Toy. Yes, it the land of the Netherlands the main language is Dutch but most do speak English to a relatively good standard. However, just think how odd a sibset of Reverie and Papillon may seem to the French and I’m willing to accept the cuteness of this. Teddy also has a brother named Johnny.
November – Ace Billy/ Lourdes (Ethel Mary)
With Ace Billy, it’s another case of hold-the-phone – didn’t you give your pre-existing child a name of an entirely different style? He’s the son of Matt and Emma Willis, both reasonably well-known, each in their own right, here in Britain. When Ace came along, they were already parents to the rather more, say, classically named Isabelle Catherine.
The case is the same with Lourdes, chosen by football star Steven Gerrard. His two pre-existing daughters are called Lilly and Lexie, so I was well-prepared for them to use either Lacey or maybe Lucy as the name for the newest member of the clan given that they, too, are in the England&Wales Top 100. That makes Lourdes a rather more unusual choice, especially given their track record.
Ethel gets an honourable mention since her mother Lily Allen has yet to formerly confirm her name, even if her mother has rather let the cat out of the bag. I think if you step back and look at her, Ethel does have her merits. The -el ending can be found on many popular names of today, such as Isabel and Annabel, so really we should be asking ourselves: why was Lily Allen the first to think of resurrecting Ethel?
December – Beaux/ Emilia Lovely
Our final month lets us make one last mention of Beau. We’ve already mentioned both him and sister Belle already in this post but Beau-with-an-x is new. Many parents are embracing the letter x of late, and so this should only feel like a natural progression. Beaux was chosen by one half of 2 Shoes, Charley Bird; the duo competed in 2011′s series of The X Factor.
Our last baby to mention is little Emilia Lovely, who earns her place here for her middle name. Lovely? Why not? We’ve already embraced Grace, Faith and Hope in the masses for middle name fodder, it was only time before other virtue words were given a chance.