When a celebrity announces that they’re expecting, the world usually bursts with excitement for two reasons. One: the earth’s about to be populated with more talented/genetically blessed children. Hooray! And two: fans can’t wait to hear what unique baby name the parents will choose.
It’s not impossible for celebrities to go for names that are traditional and commonplace, but in Hollywood, those kinds of names seem like the minority. There was more shock in the Hollywood realm when George and Amal Clooney named their twins Alexander and Ella than when Beyoncé and Jay-Z named their twins Sir and Rumi.
Call fans melodramatic, but the world would probably stop spinning if one of the Kardashians announced that they were naming their next baby James, Liam, or Emma. It’s just come to be expected that stars will choose something ultra-offbeat and creative.
What’s even more interesting than the name itself is the story behind the name. Regular folks love hearing what deep meanings particular names may hold for people, or what events led to the settling upon some very different names.
Keep reading to find out what some of the most quirky names in Hollywood are, and where they came from in the first place.
25 Apple: A Wholesome And Clean Name
Apple is the daughter of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, and her name has made waves around the world for its uniqueness.
But as it turns out, this name really isn’t overly creative, since the former couple got the idea for the name from one of Martin’s bandmates, whose child is also called Apple.
Paltrow told Oprah in an interview that she likes how the name sounds “wholesome” and “clean.” The two stars also have a son called Moses.
24 Bronx Mowgli: Ashlee Simpson’s Fave, The Jungle Book
For Ashlee Simpson and ex-husband Pete Wentz, there was no question as to which Disney film they should draw inspiration from when it came to naming their son, Bronx Mowgli. “The Jungle Book was something that me and Ashlee bonded over,” explained Wentz. “It’s a cool name.” Simpson’s daughter, fathered by current husband Evan Ross, is also blessed with the unique name of Jagger Snow, which was no doubt inspired by her legendary grandmother, Diana Ross.
23 Rainbow Aurora: Holly Madison’s Childhood Nemesis
Most people probably wouldn’t think about naming their child after someone they had negative feelings towards. Holly Madison of The Girls Next Door is not most people!
She decided to dig deep into her past when it was time to name her daughter, Rainbow Aurora, in 2013.
She has revealed that Rainbow Aurora is named after a girl Madison went to school with and was actually jealous of while they knew each other. Very interesting source of inspo!
22 North West: Anna Wintour Said So
One of the most talked-about celebrity kids is no doubt North West, the daughter of Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West. So how did this one come about? Kardashian revealed that two very influential people mentioned the name until it grew on her and West. One was Anna Wintour. “She told us, ‘North is a genius name,’” the reality star recalled. When Anna tells you to do something, you do it! The other celeb who vouched for North was Pharrell Williams.
21 Apollo Bowie Flynn: After Gwen And Gavin’s Moms
In 2014, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale named their third son Apollo Bowie Flynn. But contrary to popular belief, this wasn’t an homage to music icon David Bowie, who passed away in 2016.
Actually, Bowie and Flynn were the maiden names of Stefani and Rossdale’s respective moms.
We love the idea of honoring the women in the family! And Apollo needs no explanation: why shouldn’t the son of two rock stars be named after a Greek god?
20 Blue Ivy: Her Parents’ Favorite Color
Hard-core Beyoncé fans will probably be able to work out why she and husband Jay-Z decided to name their first daughter Blue Ivy. It’s no surprise that the favorite color of both music legends is blue, with B wearing blue nails on her wedding day and Jay rapping that his “favorite hue is Jay-Z blue.” As for Ivy, most fans speculate that this is a tribute to the Roman numeral IV, a.k.a. four. Bey was born on the fourth of September, Jay on the fourth of December, and they were married on the fourth of April.
19 Kal-El: Nicholas Cage Likes Superman
For those who don’t know, Superman wasn’t really born with the famous moniker Clark Kent. On his native planet of Krypton, he was actually named Kal-El.
However, once he was rocketed to earth after Krypton was no more, the Kents rescued him and gave him the ultra-normal name that we all know.
Nicholas Cage is obviously a huge fan of Superman, which is probably why he named his son the superhero’s real Krypton name. That is dedication!
18 Tennessee: Reese Witherspoon’s Home State
One of the proudest Southern actors in Hollywood, Reese Witherspoon is never one to shy away from paying tribute to the culture of the South. No matter how famous and successful she becomes, she never forgets where she came from. So it was no surprise when she called her son—with husband Jim Toth—Tennessee, after the state in which she was raised. Witherspoon’s other kids—Ava and Deacon—with ex Ryan Phillippe don’t sound quite as Southern!
17 Bingham: Matt Bellamy's Mom's Maiden Name
Bingham Hawn Bellamy is certainly a name you don’t come across every day.
The child of Kate Hudson and Muse frontman Matt Bellamy was actually named to honor his grandmother on his dad's side.
“For those wondering, Bingham is my mum’s maiden name,” Bellamy tweeted. “Bing Russell was also Kurt [Russell, Hudson’s mom’s partner’s] dad. Family connections all around!” That’s definitely a coincidence! With famous parents and grandparents, Bingham sure has some talent running through his veins.
16 Briar Rose: Rachel Bilson Is A Disney Fan
Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson aren’t the only Disney fans in Hollywood. Rachel Bilson of The O.C. fame loves the fairytale of Sleeping Beauty so much that she and ex-partner Hayden Christensen named their daughter Briar Rose in 2014. In the Disney version, the Princess is actually called Aurora by her parents but is nicknamed Briar Rose by the three good fairies who agree to look after her while they hide her from the wicked Maleficent. What a beautiful name!
15 Bear: Cheryl Wanted A Name Everyone Would Remember
When your dad was in one of the biggest boy bands in the world, you should have a name that can hold its own.
Liam Payne, a former member of One Direction, revealed that he and ex Cheryl decided to name their son Bear because “Bear is a name that when you leave a room, you won’t forget. And I like that.”
Payne also happens to be a fan of Bear Grylls. Originally though, the singer wanted to go in a totally different direction: “I wanted a more traditional name and she wanted a name that was more unusual.”
14 Moroccan: After Mariah Carey’s Apartment
Of all things, you probably didn’t expect Mariah Carey’s son with Nick Cannon, Moroccan Scott, to be named after an apartment. Most people might assume that Carey and Cannon, who are no longer together, may have had a few romantic getaways to the Middle-Eastern country, but in fact, the Moroccan Room is really the top tier of Carey’s apartment in NYC. Yes, it has Moroccan-inspired décor. But it is romantic and meaningful because this is where Cannon proposed to the singer in 2008.
13 India Rose: Both Chris Hemsworth And Elsa Pataky Always Loved The Name
Sometimes there’s no story behind a name other than that both parents simply adored it. And honestly, that’s one of the best reasons to choose a name for a baby!
In 2012, Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky welcomed daughter India Rose, later explaining that they just liked the name.
“I always kind of liked Indie or Indiana for a boy, and she liked India,” Hemsworth told E! News. “We sort of went, ‘Oh well, whether it’s a boy or girl, that will decide.’ It just seemed to fit.”
12 Rocket Ayer: So Pharrell’s Son Would Ascend
In many minds, a kid called Rocket is one that zooms around so fast that you can’t catch him or her. Producer and musician Pharrell Williams told Oprah Winfrey why he chose this unusual name for his son. “In the same way that the Indians name their children, like, behind a force or an animal or an element, we named him after a man-made machine that was meant to go up. Meant to ascend ... And [Rocket’s] middle name is not Man. It’s Ayer, after Roy Ayers.” Deep!
11 Suri: May Be A Play On Sarah
There’s no clear explanation as to how Suri was chosen as the name of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’s genetically blessed daughter.
Many fans guess that Suri is actually a variation of the name Sarah, which means “red rose” in Persian and “princess” in Hebrew.
Others speculate that it’s simply a name that’s formed from some of the letters in Cruise. Neither Holmes nor Cruise has ever cleared this up, so we’ll have to rely on our imaginations to work it out!
10 Maxwell Drew & Ace Knute: Jessica Simpson & Eric Johnson’s Parents
In some families, naming your child after your parents or other family members is just the thing to do, whether you’re in love with their names or not. That’s the way it was for Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson. In 2012 they welcomed daughter Maxwell Drew, who was named after Simpson’s mother’s maiden name (and Johnson’s middle name). Their second child, Ace Knute, arrived in 2013 and was named after Johnson’s paternal grandfather, Knute Johnson, who was from Sweden.
9 Everly Elizabeth Maiselle: Jenna Dewan Heard It In Her Head
Another couple, or sadly, ex-couple, who like to pay tribute to their family members when naming children are Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan.
Their daughter, Everly Elizabeth Maiselle, who was born in 2013, was given two middle names so that both Tatum and Dewan’s grandmothers could be honored.
As for Everly, Dewan “just heard it in her head one day.” Tatum revealed the decision-making process to David Letterman. “I guess she likes The Everly Brothers.”
8 Axl Jack: Fergie Is A Guns ‘N Roses Fan
On August 29, 2013, Fergie and Josh Duhamel welcomed a (super adorable) son, Axl Jack. In the western world, Jack is a pretty commonly found name. Nothing unusual there. But Axl? That is on the creative side and screams one famous musician. “Fergie is a huge Guns ‘N Roses fan … so Axl makes perfect sense,” an insider told US Weekly. In 2017, Fergie and Duhamel revealed that they had separated earlier that year, much to the dismay of fans.
7 Magnus, Mattias, & Axel: Will Ferrell Wanted Swedish Names
The word to describe the names Magnus, Mattias, and Axel would be manly. But that’s not why Will Ferrell decided to choose these particular titles for his three sons.
“[Axel] is an unusual name here, but not in Sweden,” the comedian told David Letterman.
“And our two other boys are Swedish names also. We did play around with the thought of naming him, like Gary … but then it would be weird, Magnus, Mattias and Gary.”
6 Ever Gabo: Milla Jovovich Liked The Idea Of Celtic Roots
You could sit around and try to interpret the meaning behind the name Ever all day, so thank goodness Milla Jovovich cleared up her daughter’s name for us. “The name Ever is a Scottish boy’s name,” she wrote on her blog. “Paul has Scottish blood in him so we wanted to give her a name that reflected her Celtic roots.” And as for Gabo, Jovovich explained that it was inspired by her parents. “The first two letters are after my mom’s first name, Galina and the last two letters are after my dad’s first name, Bogie!”
5 Audio Science: Shannyn Sossamon Wanted A Word, Not A Name
Of all the names on this list, and to come out of Hollywood in general, Audio Science has to be one of the most unique.
A Knight’s Tale actress Shannyn Sossamon revealed that the inspiration behind naming her son Audio Science came from wanting a word, not a name.
“We wanted a word, not a name, so my boyfriend read through the dictionary three or four times. We were going to call him Science, but thought it might get shortened to Sci, as in Simon.”
4 Bluebell Madonna: A Spice Girl’s Homage To Flowers And Music
Like her other former bandmates, Geri Halliwell, a.k.a. Ginger Spice, has taken on the role of mom. Her daughter has a particularly interesting name: Bluebell Madonna. Sources reveal that this moniker is actually a tribute both to beautiful flowers, and of course, to music, with many considering Madonna the Queen of Pop. The common bluebell flower is a pretty (surprise) blue bulbous plant that grows across England and other areas in the north-western part of the world.
3 Rocket, Poppy Honey, Daisy Boo, & Petal Blossom Rainbow: Edible Plants For A Famous Chef
If anybody’s going to name his kids after plants that are edible, it’s renowned chef Jamie Oliver.
Their son’s name is Rocket, which is the British term for arugula.
Daisy and Petal conjure images of pretty garden flowers, but they do have edible parts. And as for Poppy, surely the name is a tribute to poppy seeds. With names like those, it wouldn’t surprise us if these kids grew up to be successful chefs, just like their dad.
2 Elsie Otter: It’s A Play On “Sea Otter”
It wasn’t until three months after she gave birth to her daughter that Zooey Deschanel revealed to the world what name she and husband Jacob Pechenik had chosen for their little one: Elsie Otter. Later, the actress confirmed that, while it sounds like a random quirky name, it was actually chosen because it resembles “sea otter.” You have to say it a couple of times fast to hear the sea otter part, but it’s definitely in there!
1 Rocket Zot: It Sounded Fun To Sam Worthington
Yet another famous Rocket to come out of Hollywood! But the name of Sam Worthington and Lara Bingle Worthington’s son didn’t come about because it’s the British term for a peppery garden herb, or because they wanted him to ascend to success in life.
Quite simply, they just liked the way it sounded.
The Avatar star and his wife chose Rocket at random because it was a fun name, and Zot was the nickname of Bingle Worthington’s late father.
Sources: She Knows, Babble, Us Weekly, BBC