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19 unique celebrity baby names we’re *obsessed* with

Celebrities seem to be on another wavelength when it comes to baby names. They'll often go bolder, picking names like Chicago, Suri and Rumi. Or pick names far outside the mainstream. And they really love using names with ties to Hollywood.


Case in point: On February 15, The Blast revealed that Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul and his wife Lauren Parsekian had named their newborn daughter Story Annabelle. For almost any other couple, this would be a daring, even outrageous, name choice. Only 68 baby girls in the U.S. were named Story in 2016—fewer than were named Aries, Timber or Yocheved. But in Hollywood, the land of storytelling, there’s nothing strange about naming a baby Story. At least two other celebrity couples beat the Pauls to the punch.

Story is far from alone. It’s just one of the many unique names that celebrities are obsessed with. Nameberry analyzed thousands of celebrity kids’ names in our database to identify those that were given to multiple star babies despite being relatively unpopular in the country at large.

The 20 names below were each given to at least three children of celebrities but were not among the Top 300 baby names for either sex in 2016, the most recent year on record. But they’re definitely names to watch going forward—once a few celebrities use a name, there’s a good chance that civilians will follow.

Ace

Leave it to Hollywood to take name inspiration from a Jim Carrey movie.

Celebrities Who Used It: Jessica Simpson & Eric Johnson, Spike & Cody Mendelsohn, Jennie Finch & Casey Daigle, Tom Dumont

Total Number of Babies Named Ace In 2016: 6 girls, 1034 boys

Arlo

While Arlo's solidly a boys' name for most of us, tied to singer Arlo Guthrie, celebrities love using it for girls as well.

Celebrities Who Used It: Leighton Meester & Adam Brody for a boy; Johnny Knoxville, Holly Wiliams & Chris Coleman, and Toni Collette for girls

Total Number of Babies Named Arlo In 2016: 56 girls, 968 boys

Bear

One of the hippest, toughest of the new animal names for boys, along with Fox and Wolf, got a major boost from celebrity bear-er Bear Gryllis.

Celebrities Who Used It: Kate Winslet & Ned Rocknroll, Alicia Silverstone, Liam Payne & Cheryl Cole

Total Number of Babies Named Bear In 2016: 186 boys

Birdie

An obscure old name until very recently, Birdie now fits in well with jaunty midcentury nickname names like Hattie and Lettie. Busy Phillips' daughter's name was inspired by Lady Bird Johnson, and the hit movie Lady Bird may inspire more civilian Birdies.

Celebrities Who Used It: Busy Phillips, Brie Bella & Daniel Bryan, Maura West

Total Number of Babies Named Birdie In 2016: 80 girls

Bodhi

Another multigenerational Starbaby name, like Ever; among its first prominent bearers was Bodhi Elfman, husband of Jenna Elfman and son of filmmaker Richard Elfman. Its relaxed vibe and Buddhist resonance have started to find a broad audience, but only after enthusiastic use by Hollywood stars.

Celebrities Who Used It: Nikki Reed & Ian Somerholder and Bobby Brown for girls; Burt Jenner & Valerie Pitalo, Megan Fox & Brian Austin Green, Oliver Hudson and Sally Taylor for boys

Total Number of Babies Named Bodhi In 2016: 37 girls, 909 boys

Bowie

One of the coolest celebrity last names of all time has only become more popular since the untimely death of the musical icon

Celebrities Who Used It: Zoe Saldana and Tess & Nick Holliday for boys; Dane DeHaan & Anna Wood and Rebecca Minkoff for girls

Total Number of Babies Named Bowie In 2016: 75 girls, 130 boys

Coco

This name bridges Chanel and Pixar—like Hollywood itself.

Celebrities Who Used It: Courteney Cox & David Arquette, Dan Reynolds & Aja Volkman, Tony Kanal, Diane Farr

Total Number of Babies Named Coco In 2016: 60 girls

Dashiell

Part of the appeal of this name for celebrities may be the tie to the legendary L.A. Noir writer Dashiell Hammett, originator of classics such as The Maltese Falcon

Celebrities Who Used It: Autumn Reeser & Jesse Warren, Cate Blanchett, Bryan Singer, Georgina Chapman

Total Number of Babies Named Dashiell In 2016: 145 boys

Bonus: Milla Jovovich and Paul Anderson named their second daughter Dashiel.

Ever

Ever has been a Star baby name as long as it's been a name; Robert Carradine gave it to his daughter way back in 1974. But only now is it becoming more widespread.

Celebrities Who Used It: Milla Jovovich & Paul Anderson and Owain Yeoman for girls; Alanis Morissette for a boy

Total Number of Babies Named Ever In 2016: 84 girls, 133 boys

Frances

Few girls names have such a demure, goodly image—yet few girls' names have been used as often by the most famous people in the world. Frances McDormand, among Hollywood's most revered and beloved actors, has no doubt played a part in popularizing it, and Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain gave it rock 'n' roll cool when they chose it for their now-grown daughter.

Celebrities Who Used It: Jimmy Fallon, Ty & Holly Burrell, Sarah Chalke & Jamie Afifi, Morena Baccarin & Benjamin McKenzie, Noah Wyle, Ethan Suplee, Amanda Peet

Total Number of Babies Named Frances In 2016: 716 girls

Jagger

Celebrities love names inspired by celebrities, don't they? The association here with Mick Jagger is unmistakable, and the overwhelming number of civilian babies named Jagger are boys. But celebs favor it for girls.

Celebrities Who Used It: Ashlee Simpson & Evan Ross and Soleil Moon Fry for girls; Lindsay Davenport for a boy

Total Number of Babies Named Jagger In 2016: 14 girls, 433 boy

Jett

This name was nowhere until John Travolta used it for his son, who tragically died in 2009.

Celebrities Who Used It: Lisa Ling for a girl; Stephen Barker Liles, Katie Price, Jill Scott and John Travolta for boys

Total Number of Babies Named Jett in 2016: 32 girls, 1106 boys

Mabel

Stars' embrace of this Victorian favorite has helped convert it away from an Old Lady name.

Celebrities Who Used It: Bruce Willis & Emma Hemming, Topher Grace & Ashley Hinshaw, Russell Brand & Laura Gallagher, Dermot Mulroney, Chad Lowe

Total Number of Babies Named Mabel In 2016: 602 girls

Marlowe

Another L.A. Noir name—the surname of fictional P.I. Philip Marlowe. The connection to Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe gives it further literary and dramatic appeal. Despite those male namesakes, celebrities usually use it for girls.

Celebrities Who Used It: Sienna Miller & Tom Sturridge, Jenna van Oy, Eva Amurri & Kyle Martino, Jason Schwartzman

Total Number of Babies Named Marlowe In 2016: 256 girls, 17 boys

Bonus: Heather Armstrong AKA Dooce and Rob Corddry both named daughters Marlo, while Amber Tamblyn & David Crossnamed their daughter Marlow.

Poppy

An adjective describing much of L.A.'s native music, the state flower of California and the name of many celebrities and socialites—the perfect storm for a Star baby name.

Celebrities Who Used It: Anna Paquin & Stephen Moyer, Jenna Bush Hager, Nate Berkus, Jessica Capshaw

Total Number of Babies Named Poppy In 2016: 379 girls

Rocco

A fun, warm midcentury name with a hint of multicultural appeal and a celebrity connection, to chef Rocco DiSpirito.

Celebrities Who Used It: Rose Byrne & Bobby Cannavale, Madonna and Guy Ritchie, Jillian Barberie Reynolds, David "Puck" Rainey

Total Number of Babies Named Rocco In 2016: 673

Bonus: Johnny Knoxville named his elder son Rocko.

Sonny

One of the few boys' names indelibly tied to one celebrity—Sonny—has a retro nickname-name vibe.

Celebrities Who Used It: Whitney Port , Jason Lee, Noel Gallagher

Total Number of Babies Named Sonny In 2016: 18 girls, 266 boys

Bonus: Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers named a son Sunny, and Adam Sandler named a daughter Sunny.

Story

Some people try to find a baby name with a story behind it, but an increasing number of celebrities just name their kids Story.

Celebrities Who Used It: Aaron Paul & Lauren Parsekian and Soleil Moon Frye & Jason Goldberg for girls; Jenna Elfman for a boy

Total Number of Babies Named Story In 2016: 68 girls

Tallulah

A celebrity baby name with real staying power: Bruce Willis and Demi Moore started the trend in 1994, Patrick Dempsey kept it alive when his now teenage daughter, and a recent crop of celebrities have given it new luster. The fact that it was popularized by iconic actress Tallulah Bankhead surely helps.

Celebrities Who Used It: Marsha Thomason, Damon Dash, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bruce Willis & Demi Moore, Patrick Dempsey

Total Number of Babies Named Tallulah In 2016: 150 girls

Bonus: Sarah Rue named her daughter Talulah.

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My village lives far away—but my Target baby registry helped them support me from afar

Virtual support was the next best thing to in-person hugs

They say you shouldn't make too many major life transitions at once. But when I was becoming a mama for the first time nearly five years ago, my husband and I also moved to a new town where we didn't know a soul, bought our first house and changed jobs.

To put it mildly, we didn't heed that advice. Luckily, our family and friends still made it feel like such a magical time for us by supporting our every move (literal and otherwise) from afar. They showered us with love through a virtual baby shower (expectant parents nowadays can relate!) featuring the unwrapping of gifts they were able to ship straight to me from my Target registry.

Here's one piece of advice I did take: I registered at Target so I could take advantage of the retailer's benefits for registrants, which include a welcome kit valued over $100, a universal registry function and more. Fast-forward a few years and Target has made the registration perks even better for expectant parents: As of August 2020, they've added a Year of Exclusive Deals, which gives users who also sign up for Target Circle a full year of savings after baby is born on all those new mama essentials, from formula to diapers and beyond.

Honestly, even without the significant perks of a free welcome kit with more than $100 in coupons, additional 15% off coupons to complete the registry and a full year of free returns, registering at Target wasn't a hard sell for me: Even though the experience of shopping for baby items was new, shopping with Target felt like returning home to me… and the comfort of that was such a gift.

And of course, Target's registry plays a vital role right now, as expectant parents everywhere are being forced to cancel in-person baby showers and navigate early parenthood without the help of a hands-on village. A registry like this represents a safe way for communities to come through for new parents. If you're anything like me (or any of the other mamas here at Motherly), you certainly have emotional ties and fond memories associated with Target.

What to register for at Target was also an easy talking point as I began to connect with moms in my new community. I will always remember going on a registry-building spree with my next door neighbor, who had young children of her own. As we walked the aisles of Target back in 2015, she suggested items to add… and we laid the foundation for what has since become one of my most cherished friendships.

Even as I made connections in my new hometown, I was nervous that expecting my first baby wouldn't feel as special as if I were near family and friends. But my loved ones exceeded all expectations by adding the most thoughtful notes to gifts. They hosted a beautiful virtual baby shower and even encouraged me to keep the registry going after my baby made his debut and new needs arose.

In the years since, "community" has taken on a wonderfully complex new meaning for me… and, in these times of social distancing, for the rest of the world. I've come to cherish my newfound friends in our local community alongside those long-time friends who are scattered around the county and my virtual mama friends.

Now, as my friends' families grow, I'm so grateful that I can show them the same love and support I felt during my first pregnancy. I sing the praises of Target's baby registry—especially in light of the pandemic, since I know mamas can do everything from a distance thanks to Target's website and the added benefit of getting trusted reviews and helpful registry checklists.

And now that I'm on the gift-buying side of the equation, I've found new joy in picking thoughtful gifts for my friends. (Because goodness knows Target has something for everyone!)

For my friend who is a fellow runner, I teamed up with a few others to give the jogging stroller she had on her registry.

For my friend who is a bookworm, I helped her start her baby's library with a few books that are also well-loved in our home.

For other friends, I've bundled together complete "sets" with everything they need for bathing or feeding their children.

I know from my own experience that, yes, the registry purchases are so appreciated, but the thoughtfulness and the support they represent means even more. Because although my village may have been distant, the support they showed me was the next best thing to in-person hugs.

Start your own Target Baby Registry here to experience a Year of Benefits including a Year of Exclusive Deals through Target Circle to enjoy for a full year following your baby's arrival, a year of free returns, two 15% off completion coupons and a free welcome kit ($100 value).

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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