Celebrity baby names aren’t just fodder for inspiration: Whether they realize it or not, we are forever pitting celebs against each other in an imaginary competition of who can come up with the most unusual baby name. The contenders are many and impressive. Though many famous parents who have welcomed babies in the last couple of years have been relatively tame in their name choices, we have to give thanks for the likes of Usain Bolt, for twin-baby names of Saint and Thunder; Ashley Tisdale and husband Christopher French, who welcomed their daughter, Jupiter Iris; and Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli, for their twist on two classics for their baby girl, George Elizabeth.
Thunder, George, and Jupiter now join a generation that already includes Powerful Queen, Lyra Antarctica, Buddy Dessert, X Æ A-12, and Raddix Madden. And all of them are part of a pack that stretches back to the likes of Moon Unit Zappa (the daughter of the late musician Frank Zappa), showing us just how ahead of the curve Hollywood kids have been for generations now.
Choosing a name for your child can be a thrill, especially if you get creative with it (although we do advise steering clear of naming your babies Covid and Corona. Yikes). But it can also be overwhelming — the name will follow your little for the rest of their life. Plus, when it comes to names, everyone seems to have an opinion.
The good news? Baby names are constantly changing and evolving, which means you have a lot of options out there. And luckily for us regular folks, celebs tend to be major pioneers in choosing truly out-there baby names people love to discuss — plus unusual names that are just super-cool and avant-garde.
And hey, there’s no shame in getting some baby-name inspo from Celebland and stashing it away for your own kids (whether they’re currently gestating or just imagined in your distant future). If you started considering fruit names after Gwyneth Paltrow named her daughter Apple or ran through all the colors of the rainbow when Beyoncé named her daughter Blue, we won’t judge.
For every beyond-weird celebrity baby name out there, there’s another one that’s just wacky and cool and beautiful enough, we might even pick it for our own kids. You decide which is which, ahead.
A version of this article was originally published in August 2016.