An article on Yahoo News yesterday was headlined, "Holly Madison Defends Baby Name Choice: My Baby Won't Be 'Traumatized'."
Madison, formerly of The Girls Next Door, about Hugh Hefner's resident concubines, delivered a baby daughter on Tuesday and named her, "Aurora Rainbow."
A lot of celebrities seem to pick far out names for their offspring. The psychology behind this seems a little different than with the parents who give their children recognizably black names. With blacks, it seems to be three parts racial solidarity, two parts wanting their baby to have a unique name, and one part illiteracy.
With the celebs, it seems to be four parts egotism: they themselves are better than the hoi polloi, so why should they give their offspring hoi polloi names? And also two parts self-conscious whimsy: they want to show that they're too cool to take the whole child-rearing thing too seriously.
A few of my favorites:
Arthur Ashe and Jeanne Moutoussamy Ashe named their daughter "Camera." Didn't Andy Warhol already lay claim to that name?
Erykah Badu and Andre Benjamin named their son Seven Sirius. Bad news: Sirius (NASDAQ symbol: SIRI) is only trading at three dollars. Perhaps Erykah and Andre have a stake and are rooting the stock price up.
Erykah also had a daughter with Tracy Curry, whom they named Puma. At least when Puma turns 40, she can be grateful she wasn't named Cougar.
David and Victoria Beckham named their daughter Harper Seven. Sounds like a former Spice Girl is into numerology.
David Bowie and his first wife Angela named their son Duncan Zowie Heywood Jones -- even though "Zowie" doesn't rhyme with "Bowie."
Toni Braxton and Keri Lewis named their son Denim Cole. They must have found "Tweed" too pretentious.
Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith named their son Dylan Thomas. As long as they were naming him after someone, why not "James Bond"?
Nicolas Cage and Alice Kim named their son Kal-el (Superman's birth name). Think maybe it's about time for Dad to grow up?
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon named their son Moroccan Scott. If they have another son, they can name him Algerian Tony.
Sonny and Cher Bono named their daughter Chastity. She is now a he and calls himself Chaz. That original name seems almost a guarantee of maladjustment.
Bob Geldof and Paula Yates named their daughters Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches Honeyblossom, and Little Pixie. How thoughtful of them to save their daughters the trouble of having to change their names when they become strippers.
Rachel Griffiths and Andrew Taylor named their son Banjo Patrick. They can call their next son Guitar Joe.
Lance and Mary Jane Henriksen have a daughter, Alcamy. She was originally named Alchemy, but somehow the spelling got magically transformed.
Helen Hunt and Matthew Carnahan named their daughter Makena'lei Gordon. She must have been conceived in Hawaii after her parents finished makin' a lei, while they were makin' a lay.
Michael Hutchence and Paula Yates named their daughter Heavenly Hirani Tiger Lily. Wanna bet that by eighth grade she'll just be introducing herself as "Lily"?
Penn Jillette and his wife Emily named their daughter Moxie Crimefighter. "Moxie" sounds almost like a name; there's no getting around "Crimefighter" though.
Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz named their son Egypt. I've never understood why the descendants of sub-Saharan Africans always try to claim the Pyramids as part of their cultural heritage.
John Cougar Mellencamp and Vicky Granucci named one of their daughters Justice. There is something poetic about that.
Mr. Mellencamp also had a son with Elaine Irwin whom he named Spec Wildhorse. (That name makes so little sense I can't even make fun of it.)
Chef Jamie Oliver and his wife Jools had two daughters, whom they named Poppy Honey and Daisy Boo. The hippie spirit does live on, though probably not in the daughters who were given those unfortunate names.
David "Puck" Rainey and his wife Betty had two sons. They named the first Bogart Che Peyote. (How many cultural references could they fit into the poor kid's name? Why not add a "Brando" and a "Hashish" while they're at it?) His brother Rocco Kokopelli must be grateful that he got the normal name.
Ving Rhames and Deborah Reed named their daughter Reignbeau, which is actually sort of clever, though her appreciation of their wit will probably wear off a bit over her lifetime.
Robert Rodriguez and Elizabeth Avellan named their sons Rocket, Racer, Rebel, and Rogue. I suppose those are better than Rotgut, Rapist, Ripoff, and Repo.
Shannyn Sossamon and Dallas Clayton named their son Audio Science. I guess it was either that or Visual Arts. (How high were they when they came up with that name?)
The Grand Daddy of all these parents is of course Frank Zappa. Way back in the 70's he famously named his sons Dweezil and Ahmet Emuukha Rodan (sounds a little like Ahmet Ertegun) and his daughters Moon Unit and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen. Remarkably, all of the children now have careers and seem to be doing okay.
(Never let it be said that I pick on easy targets.)