MARTHA J. HENDERSON: What's With the Weird Celeb Baby Names?
While the rose may still have the same scent, if the renaming had been done by some parents in today's society, I'm afraid to imagine what that poor flower would be called.
For instance, had that famous duo TomKat (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes) been given the task of selecting the name, it very well could have been "Suri." Pronounced surrey, this is the name given to the acting couple's first child.
According to a press release, Cruise and Holmes say they chose the name Suri because it means "red rose" in Persian. Or maybe "princess" in Hebrew. The name also happens to refer to an ethnic group living in southwest Ethiopia, near the border with Sudan; a Pashtun tribe in Afghanistan and Pakistan; a large edible grub eaten by natives of the Amazon; an alpaca; and the Japanese word for "pickpocket."
It also may mean "sun," "priest" or "sage" and is an epithet for the Hindu God Krishna. However, it does not, according to those who know the language, mean "princess" in Hebrew.
But, hey, if famous parents say their baby girl's name means "princess" in Hebrew, I'm sure it does -- although for me, the name only makes me wonder if she has a little fringe on top.
Just as the world was adjusting to the name Suri Cruise, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's daughter, Shiloh Nouvel, arrived on the celebrity A-list scene. While Shiloh in one long-standing translation of the Bible has come to mean "the peaceful one," I haven't seen or heard what a Nouvel is. I'm sure there is some deep, awe-inspiring meaning for this name as well, but if so it's lost on me.
The trend of giving a Hollywood newborn an unusual -- if not downright strange -- name is not a recent fad. I remember back when Dweezil and Moon Unit Zappa were considered weird names. Considering the odd names bestowed on children today, the Zappa kids' names are nearly mainstream.
Some recent celebrity baby names include Moses, brother of Apple; Grier; Matilda Rose; Kingston; Barron and Agnes Charles. Celebrity parents who overstepped the boundaries of good sense and should be slapped for the monikers they've bestowed on their children include Penn Gillette, who named his daughter Moxie Crimefighter, and "My Name is Earl" star Jason Lee, whose son is Pilot Inspecktor. Think of the harassment these children will endure on the playground.
I wouldn't be all that concerned about sticking a child with an odd or unusual name if the trend were just a Hollywood thing. Unfortunately, more and more parents out here in the real world are choosing to go the insane route as well. I've heard of children named Treasure, Trinity, Genesis, Diamond, Asia, Serenity, Aspen, Liberty, Journey, Lexus, Princess, Chyna and Cliche. And, these are just the girls.
The most popular name worldwide is Nevaeh. If you didn't immediately recognize it, Nevaeh is heaven spelled backwards.
I once worked with a lady named D'Lorah. I overheard a new co-worker ask D'Lorah if her father's name was Harold. When D'Lorah responded in the affirmative, I was convinced my new co-worker had psychic powers. I must have looked stunned because she turned to me and said, "Well, duh. D'Lorah is Harold spelled backwards."
Well, thank heaven -- or nevaeh -- that I wasn't named after my father. Yorel doesn't really have a nice ring to it.
I can't decide whether new parents are putting too little thought into naming their offspring or too much. Either way, it's the children who are paying the consequences.
My sister recently called to read a newspaper story to me about the worst real-world name I've heard to date.
It seems a couple in Texas decided to buck tradition and go for a name that is hard to forget. Joe and Tanya Musick chose to name their daughter, Sweetly Humming Musick. Joe said he saw the name written in the grass in a dream. He thinks a set of drink coasters may have served as the inspiration for the dream. I think it wasn't the coasters that provided the inspiration, but the drinks he must have imbibed.
Plans are already under way to give little Hummingbird, the child's nickname, a new sibling. The couple say their next child will be named Heaven Leigh if a girl or Hevin Lee if a boy. Wonder if Sweetly and Heaven will be singing their parents' praises when they grow up?
Martha J. Henderson may be contacted at 693-2476 or by e-mail at mjhenderson@the pilot.com
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