Baby Names in the News
Bruce Lansky, "The Baby Name Guru"
June 10, 2008
Is it thumbs up or thumbs down for Stella Doreen McDermott?
Actress Tori Spelling and husband Dean McDermott have named their brand-new baby daughter Stella Doreen McDermott. You may recall Stella was the name in Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire that was called out by Stanley Kowalski, a character most memorably portrayed in the 1951 film by Marlon Brando, whose performance turned him into one of America's finest (and most famous) actors.
Knowing that Stanley and Stella lived in a low-rent district of New Orleans and that Stanley often lounged around the house in a T-shirt, theater and movie buffs may question why Stella is a popular name for girls roughly sixty years after the play and film premiered. Good question.
With Latin and French origins, Stella means "star." It's a variation of Estelle, a name that was last ranked among the top 1,000 girls' names in the '60s. Stella was ranked #244 in 2007-up from #656 in the year 2000. That's a big move up for a name that most people hadn't heard before Brando yelled it in what movie reviewers called "a primal scream."
Though it may surprise some people, Stella makes a very positive first impression: "People say Stella is more than just a pretty face; she has a pretty personality, too." (I quote from my latest book, 5-Star Baby Name Advisor). It's conceivable that designer Stella McCartney may have played a role in sprucing up this name's image.
In addition to making a positive first impression, the name is easy to spell and hard to mispronounce. And here's another prediction: Tori and Dean can count on the fact that most people will call their daughter Stella --- there aren't any common nicknames or variations of the name. Add up all these positive factors and you'll understand why Stella is a 4-star name.
My verdict: Thumbs up!
About the Author:
Bruce Lansky is the #1 author of baby name books in North America. His name books have sold more than 9.5 million copies. He's called "The Baby Name Guru" because he regularly writes articles that provide baby-naming advice. His candid reviews of celebrity baby names have been reprinted in thousands of newspapers, magazines, and websites from coast to coast. His other name books include 100,000+ Baby Names, 60,000+ Baby Names, The Very Best Baby Name Book, 25,000+ Baby Names, and The New Baby Name Survey. He is also the editor of a successful series of children's poetry books and children's fiction books. Lansky resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he enjoys his work as a publisher.
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