Babies in Los Angeles aren’t named according to the trends you see elsewhere in the country. LA is a place where you’ll meet five little Jaggers before you’ll encounter a single James (and if you do meet a James, she’ll probably be female). There’s nary an Aiden or Ava to be found, but you’re bound to know an Auden or Anais. Herein, we’ve listed some of the LA-est of LA names.
Los Angelenos seem to have a real fondness for space-inspired names. Jupiter, for instance. Jupiter’s mom told us: “My husband sold me on the name for its meaning, ‘bringer of joy.’ Most people like it, especially in LA. But sometimes there’s an awkward silence after I say the name.”
We wonder if there’s an awkward silence after one mom we know introduces her twins iO (pronounced eye-oh) and Ellara. So what’s the story on iO and Ellara? They’re the moons of Jupiter. “Usually people ask us to repeat iO’s name,” the mom told us, “and ask how it’s spelled.”
What’s the quintessential LA name right now? Phoenix. “There are two other Phoenixes at her pediatrician,” one Phoenix’s mom notes of the name’s popularity. “People seem to like it.” She added that her baby’s middle name is Campbell “in case she wants to use that on her résumé.”
Another popular choice is Atlas. “We get a ton of compliments,” says mom Katie, “but once an older lady said, ‘oh that’s… different’.” Get used to it, lady! Someday the city’s going to be crawling with Atlases.
And then there are the musical names. You’ll find lots of little Jaggers, Hendrixes and Bowies throughout LA. Tyler Starrine says her son Jones was actually inspired by Bowie (his last name was actually Jones): “We thought he’d be the only one,” she said. They were wrong.
Some parents opt for mainstream names but choose middle names that are distinctly LA. Realtor Sara Skelton sons, for instance, are named Tommy and Henry: Tommy Danger and Henry Wild. How much do we think they’re eventually going to go by their middle names? So much.
Nature names abound in Los Angeles: “I named my son Hudson but then I changed it to Sparrow,” says Tonya Meeks. “He feels like a Sparrow.”
Natalie Rodriguez Coscia chose the popular River for her son. “Many ask if it’s after River Phoenix,” she says, “but truly, we just liked the name! My husband didn’t want him to be one of five Liams or other popular names in a classroom.” (Oh, Natalie — River is basically the LA Liam.)
Amber Afos’ children hit multiple LA trends: nature, spiritual, old-fashioned and movie-inspired names. Her daughter is Evening Primrose Kismet. “Evening Primrose because they grow wild in our area and Kismet because her twin died early in pregnancy.” And her son Thaddeus Bane? “Thaddeus because I was wanting an old Greek name that’s not used often and Bane was from Batman.”
The name that stood out the most for us, among all the Tigers, Sparrows and Dangers, was Zinzi Edmundson’s choice for her son: James Arthur. Hopefully his liberal, accepting classmates won’t make fun of him someday for his out-there moniker.