The Name Game: Outstanding Outliers
Somewhere in between Bronx and Bob, there are a whole host of celebrity baby names that live on the fringe between “out there” and “traditional.” According to nameberry.com co-founder Pamela Redmond-Satran, these so-called “outlier” names have the added benefit of being “truly original” while remaining recognizable as established, tried-and-true names.
Among Pamela’s favorites are Paulina, as recently chosen by former baseball star Mike Piazza. “Her middle name Sophia might be a trendy top ten favorite,” Pamela notes, “but Paulina, which has that same feminine exoticism, is a fresher choice that could launch a new trend.” Bronwyn, as chosen by Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance, is “lovely and vastly underused,” according to Pamela, who also singles out Helena, as chosen by Kelly Rutherford. Of the latter, she says the name is “classic, original, yet outside the expected fashion choices.”
Parents keen on selecting a virtue name can bypass the more common Hope or Faith by going with the outlier name Honor, as chosen by Jessica Alba. Madonna‘s daughter Mercy also fits the bill. Sarah Jessica Parker’s twin daughters both have outlier names, Pamela notes, with Sarah Jessica’s 7-year-old son James Wilkie responsible for selecting Marion, who goes by her middle name of Loretta. “Both names were last fashionable in the 1940s, and are definitely off the beaten track now,” Pamela explains, “and the biblical Tabitha is much fresher than biblical sisters Leah or Deborah.”
As for the boys, solid outlier names include Madonna‘s choice of Rocco and Karolína Kurková‘s choice of Tobin, a surname derived from Tobias. Also earning high marks is Callum, son of Kyle MacLachlan. Popular in Great Britain, Callum is rarely heard in the United States and represents “a more original choice than cousins Connor or Colin,” Pamela adds.
Some celebrity parents have split the difference with outlier names. Diana Krall and Elvis Costello did as much with twins Frank and Dexter, with the former qualifying as an outlier and the latter being “more in the hipster fashion mold,” according to Pamela. The same goes for Brooke Shields, who opted for an outlier with daughter Grier, “while first daughter Rowan‘s name walks closer to the fashion line” according to Pamela, who adds,
What’s your favorite outlier name? Are there any outlier names you dislike?