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What Were They Thinking?
The 10 Worst Celebrity Baby Names of 2009

+10 Potential Trend-Setting Names

by Bruce Lansky, The Baby Name Guru

I regularly review the birth announcements of celebrities because, like it or not, the names they select influence the choices of millions of parents. Inspired choices by celebrities are likely to start new trends. Unfortunately, disastrous choices are also likely to be widely imitated. I praise the keepers and pan the clunkers, in an attempt to help parents make smart choices for their children.

Before I make my selections for the worst celebrity baby names of 2009 and some promising up-and-comers, I should probably explain why I call the names I like "potential trend-setters" instead of "best." In my book, 5-Star Baby Name Advisor, I rate popular names from one to five stars depending on how well they’re likely to perform for the child. Most of the 5-star names are tried-and-true winners, classic names like Daniel, William, Elizabeth, and Katherine that make a strong first impression and are a pleasure to live with. It's easy to pick a great name from a list of 5-star names, but it takes courage to pick a name that isn't among the 100 most popular names—and might not be among the 1,000 most popular names, either. It's dangerous to pick an unrated name from a travel guide, a foreign name book, an Audubon Field Guide, a French movie, a list of planets, or a children's picture book. The risk of picking a name that will make your child miserable is high, but there's a big reward for coming up with a name that produces a happy buzz when it is announced. And when celebrities pick winners, they're likely to start some new trends.

And now, without further ado, The 10 Worst Celebrity Baby Names of 2009, plus 10 Potential Trend-setters:

The Worst Celebrity Baby
Girls' Names of 2009

The Worst Celebrity Baby
Boys' Names of 2009

1) Bandit Lee Way
(Singer Gerard Way and bassist Lindsey Ballato)
Why? Will Bandit grow up to be a crook, thief,robber, or arsonist?
 1) Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa
(Actress Lisa Bonet and actor Jason Momoa)
Why? Most people won't know what to make of this hyphenated, multi-syllabic, will-it-ever-end? name.

2) Mars Merkaba
(Singer Erykah Badu and boyfriend Jay Electronica)
Why? I like the alliteration; however, Mars was the Roman God of War. What a strange namesake for a little girl.

 2) Enoch Daniel Costa
(Dancing with the Stars dancer Ashley Costa and producer Mike Costa)
Why? Unfortunately, Enoch looks and sounds a little too much like eunuch (a word that describes an emasculated male).

3) Lou Sulola Samuel
(Model Heidi Klum and singer Seal Samuel)
Why? The child might not like being "a girl name Lou" (remember "A Boy Named Sue"?)—but she doesn’t have a safe middle name to fall back on.
 3) Gunnar Flowers
(Singer Brandon Flowers and wife Tana Flowers)
Why? Gunnar is a Scandinavian name that means "warrior," which hardly goes with a last name like Flowers. (Would you believe his dad, Brandon Flowers, is the lead singer for a band called The Killers?)

4) Charlie Tamara Tulip O’Connell
(Actress Rebecca Romijn and actor Jerry O’Connell)
Why? Remember those commercials for Chicken of the Sea starring Charlie the Tulip (I mean, Charlie the Tuna)?
 4) Dreavyn Kingslee Martin
(Guitarist Billy Martin and wife Linzi Martin)
Why? Draven is a made-in-America name created by adding a D to the word raven. Dreavyn is an obscure variation that I’d describe as "alphabet soup."

5) Petal Blossom Rainbow Oliver
(TV Chef Jamie Oliver and wife Jools Norton)
Why? Petal Blossom joins older sisters Daisy Boo and Poppy Honey as the third silly-name sister. (Blossoms have petals, but do petals have blossoms? I don’t think so.)

 5) Sparrow James Midnight Madden
(Singer Joel Madden and socialite Nicole Richie)
Why? Why name a boy after one of the least of God’s creatures, the common sparrow, when you could name him Hawk or Tiger?

The Potential Trend-setter Celebrity Baby Girls' Names of 2009
The Potential Trend-setter Celebrity Baby Boys' Names of 2009

1) Stella Luna Pompeo Ivery
(Actress Ellen Pompeo and husband Chris Ivery)
Why? Stellaluna is a fictional female fruit bat in a children's book of the same name by author Janell Cannon. Loopy but likeable idea for a girl's name.
 1) Knight Jones
(Rapper Nas and singer Kelis)
Why? There was Barron Hilton, the hotel magnate, and Sargent Shriver, the first director of the Peace Corps. Now there’s Knight Jones. On another note, this name will make it easy and fun for his parents to put him to bed, "Night, Knight."

2) Java Kumala Holloway
(Actor Josh Holloway and wife Yessica Holloway)
Why? Java’s what they used to call coffee back in the '40s. It's a retro name that suddenly seems hip.

 2) Blaise Ray Brown
(Swimmer Amanda Beard and photographer Sacha Brown)
Why? This French name sounds like blaze—it's fast and it's hot.

3) Bardot Vita Boreanaz
(Actor David Boreanaz and model Jaime Bergman)
Why? Brigitte Bardot was a French movie star back in the '60s. The name gives young Ms. Boreanaz the gift of glamour and a soupcon of French je ne sais quoi.
 3) Jesse Jameson Ortiz
(Actress Jenna Jameson and UFC star Tito Ortiz)
Why? This is a fun and memorable way to pay homage to American icon Jesse James while also honoring his mother’s maiden name.

4) Anniston Kae West
(Actress Chyler Leigh and actor Nathan West)
Why? From her stylish hair to her name, Jennifer Aniston is a trend-setter. Now she lends her aura to young Ms. West.

 4) Boston Herbert
(American Idol singer Carmen Rasmusen and husband Brad Herbert)
Why? Austin and Brooklyn are popular place names. Why not Boston?

5) Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck
(Actress Jennifer Garner and actor Ben Affleck)
Why? Seraphina is so pleasing to the ear, Stephen Sondheim’s inspired lyrics about West Side Story’s Maria describe Seraphina even better: "Say it loud and there’s music playing. Say it soft and it’s almost like praying."
 5) Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston
(daughter of former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Bristol Palin and ex-fiancé Levi Johnston)
Why? Tripp is a cool name that suggests traveling or tripping out.

Bruce LanskyAbout the Author:
Bruce Lansky is "The Baby Name Guru." His candid reviews of celebrity baby names and baby-naming articles have been reprinted in thousands of newspapers, magazines, and websites across North America. His name books, which have sold over 11.5 million copies, include 5-Star Baby Name Advisor, 100,000+ Baby Names, 60,000+ Baby Names, The Very Best Baby Name Book, 25,000+ Baby Names, and The New Baby Name Survey.

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