Celebrities love to make a splash by choosing baby names that are rare and unforgettable.
But picking atypical baby names isn’t a celebrity fad — parents have always been inspired by everything from love to animals and pop culture, not to mention space and astrology. And other name choices are so indescribably unique that they can’t even be categorized.
But is a name really just a name? Not by a long shot. According to Psychology Today, a person’s moniker can influence their behavior, career, and even their romantic choices, along with their power and influence. For example, according to a 2013 study on German subjects, people with “noble-sounding” last names — those that translated to emperor, king, or prince — were likelier to hold managerial positions at work than those with more common-sounding surnames.
If you’re deliberating over baby names and projecting success sounds appealing, you can choose one that actually means “power” (Nick Cannon and Brittany Bell named their daughter Powerful Queen) or a label that commands respect, like Blac Chyna and Tyga who named their son King Cairo, or Kate Winslet and Edward Abel Smith whose son is Bear Blaze. Other names, like Apollo, the one Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale chose for their youngest son, or Major, which Eva Amurri and Kyle Martino gave their son, subtly reflect power.
Feel strongly about a baby name that leaves a lasting impression (or at least doesn’t fade into the background)? Learn from the Hollywood parents who wanted their kids to stand out — and stand tall — with these powerful names.
Phoenix Barron Hilton
“Phoenix has a few good pop culture reference points, but more importantly it’s the bird that flames out and then rises from the ashes to fly again,” new mom Paris Hilton revealed on her podcast, This Is Paris. “I want my son to grow up knowing that disaster and triumph go around and come around throughout our lives. And that this should give us great hope for the future.”
Little Phoenix’s middle name choices are equally powerful: they’re in honor of Paris’s late grandfather, business magnate Barron Hilton.
Is there a more powerful name than Warrior? Bindi Irwin and Chandler Powell’s daughter’s middle name may be softened a bit by her first — Grace — but Warrior certainly makes a statement. As does her second middle name, Irwin, for anyone who knew her grandfather Steve Irwin, dubbed “The Crocodile Hunter.”
“Her middle names, Warrior Irwin, are a tribute to my dad and his legacy as the most incredible Wildlife Warrior,” Bindi wrote in little Grace Warrior’s birth announcement on Instagram.
Monroe, Moroccan, Rise, Golden, Powerful Queen, Zion, Zillion, Zen, Beautiful, Legendary, Onyx, & Halo
It’s clear that Nick Cannon has high expectations for his children, whom he named Monroe, Moroccan, Golden, Powerful Queen, Zion, Zillion, Beautiful, Rise, Legendary, Halo, and Onyx (the talk show host was also father to a baby boy named Zen who died in 2021).
“My kids’ names are Roc and Roe,” Cannon told E! News in 2011, the year he welcomed twins with ex-wife Mariah Carey. “Right there, it can’t get any better than that.”
Cannon and Brittany Bell later named their son Golden Sagon in (born in 2017), and Powerful Queen (born in 2020). And Cannon also shares twins Zion and Zillion, born in 2021, with Abby De La Rosa.
As of February 2022, the talk show host is expecting a baby with Bre Tiesi, and the chosen name is anyone’s guess!
Hilary Duff and Matthew Koma’s eldest child is named Banks (born in 2018), which is often used as a last name and means “edge of the river.”
The couple’s youngest daughter, who was born in 2021, is named Mae and the name of Duff’s son, whom she shares with ex-husband Mike Comrie, is Luca, born in 2012.
In 2016, Hunger Games star Jenna Malone named her newborn son Ode Mountain. Now that’s all-powerful! Ode is a Teutonic name that means “rich” — and we think “mountain” speaks for itself!
Kate Winslet shares a son Bear Blaze with Edward Abel Smith. The actress chose the name to honor a friend. “He was everyone’s shoulder to cry on, he was a big bear hug…” she once told Ellen DeGeneres. And the boy’s middle name represents the day in 2011 that Winslet met Smith on a Caribbean vacation, where the house she stayed in caught fire.
Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick’s youngest child is named Reign (his siblings are Penelope and Mason), a strong name that means “royal authority” or “a monarch.”
When the reality star chose the name, she thought she was carrying a girl and had decided to spell it “Rain,” she told People. But upon realizing that her unborn child was male, Kardashian simply changed the spelling to one she preferred.
North, Saint, Chicago, & Psalm
Kim Kardashian, who shares her children with Kanye West, made it clear who is boss at home when she gave her kids these strong names: North, Saint, Chicago, and Psalm.
Grandmother Kris Jenner once revealed the meaning of North’s name. “The way [Kim] explained it to me, north means highest power, and North is their highest point together,” she told The View.
The name Saint, chosen for the former couple’s second child, reflected the “blessing” of Kardashian’s pregnancy, which had been “difficult” for the star, a source once told E! News.
Meanwhile, Chicago represents West’s home state and sounded “cool and different” to Kardashian. While Psalm was the result of a Kardashian-Jenner brainstorm meeting that included the sisters shouting, “Psalm! Get over here!” to hear how it sounded in typical use. In the end, it was a winner!
Lourdes & Rocco
Madonna chose dominant names for her first two children, daughter Lourdes (born in 1996) and son Rocco (born in 2000).
Lourdes is a Spanish name that references the Virgin Mary while Rocco is an Italian name that means “rock.”
The pop icon also has four other children with pretty cool names: David, Mercy, Stella, and Estere.
Kingston, Zuma, & Apollo
Gwen Stefani and ex-husband Gavin Rossdale’s three children have compelling names: Kingston, born in 2006, Zuma, born in 2008, and Apollo, born in 2014.
Kingston is an English name that says “From the king’s village or estate,” Zuma is an Aztec moniker that means “Lord frowns in anger,” and Apollo has Greek roots meaning “destroyer” or “Sun god.”
In 2012, Blac Chyna and her former partner Tyga named their son King Cairo. His first name literally means king and Cairo is the capital of Egypt.
The reality star also shares daughter Dream with Rob Kardashian, whose name means “joyous music.”
Drake named his son Adonis (who was born in 2017), which is a Biblical name that means “lightning” or “justice” of the lord and in Greek, means handsome.
You star Shay Mitchell went big when naming her first child with actor Matte Babel. The name Atlas is a Greek and means “titan,” conveying size and strength.
Thunder Bolt, Olympia Lightning Bolt, & Saint Leo Bolt
What’s more intimidating than Thunder? Just ask his sister Lightning! Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt gave his kids the most dynamic names: His twin boys, born in 2021, are named Thunder Bolt and Saint Leo Bolt while their sister Olympia Lightning was born the year prior.
Thunder is an English name that means “stormy tempered,” Saint means “holy person,” and Olympia is “from Olympus,” which is a mountain and “an abode of Gods” according to Greek mythology.
Former couple Eva Amurri and Kyle Martino named their son Major, which means “greater” or “a military rank above Captain and below Colonel.” Pretty authoritative! Major, who was born in 2016, has two siblings: Marlowe, born in 2014, and Mateo, born in 2020.
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