pop culture names

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We're Starstruck By This Baby Name!

My husband and I are in love with the name Stark (yes, we are Game of Thrones and Marvel comic nerds) for our son, due next month. I can't imagine his name as anything else. The issue I am having is our last name: Stichler, pronounced "Stickler." Stark Stichler, or we could choose Stark Elijah Stickler. Can we get away with this? Or is it too much?

–Stuck on Stark

You're right: Stark Stichler is pretty hard to say, and the clump of consonants can merge together and make people hear the first name as Star or Starks. A few months ago, I advised against the name "Clark Markley" because of the rhymey, tongue-twisting nature of the combination.

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Is This Baby Name Too Shady?

Hello! I love the name Grey for a boy. My husband's first name is Christian (which I love) and I love them together. I don't think Grey Christian sounds right, but after the books and movies do you think Christian Grey is a problem? I love the name, don't really care about the books.

–But Grey Is Great!

Pop culture associations often fade over time, but this one is 50 shades of problematic. You didn't even need to name the books and movies that concern you, because the connection is obvious (and uncomfortable).

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Will a Billy Be Bullied?

My wife and I are considering the name William Eliot. However, I'm worried about the connection to the film Billy Elliot. I think it's a lovely movie, but I'm afraid my son will get teased for it.

–Concerned Father

Dad, I think we can put your fears to rest—especially if Eliot would be your son's middle name, not his surname. It’s a huge stretch to think that 8 or 10 years for now, some classmate will learn William’s middle name, consider that Billy is a traditional nickname for William, and then make a connection to an old movie (it came out in 2000) or Broadway musical (which debuted in 2005). After all, the Billy Elliot character is far, far removed from the Marvel or Star Wars universes.

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Lisa Ling’s Daughter’s Surprising Name Inspiration

Lisa Ling’s Daughter’s Surprising Name Inspiration

Journalist Lisa Ling shared details about her new baby with US Weekly, including how she and her husband Paul Song came up with their daughter’s name. We were extra excited to hear the background on this one, because Jett is such an uncommon name.

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Dad-To-Be Jake Owen Shares His Celeb-Approved Baby Name

Dad-To-Be Jake Owen Shares His Celeb-Approved Baby Name

Country star Jake Owen recently shared his baby name choice in advance of the baby’s birth (wife Lacey is due this month). The name is partly inspired by Jake’s late godmother, who will get middle name honors, while the first name got a thumbs up from family members only after a certain celebrity used it for her daughter.

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The Most Powerful Kennedy in the (Baby Name) World?

The Most Powerful Kennedy in the (Baby Name) World?

Inspired by Taylor Swift's new song "We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together" in the background and her adventures with her latest paramour, young Conor Kennedy, a son of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, a name came to mind. And not the one you think.

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Man Names His Kids Will.i.am and Lady Gaga...Which Star Would Your Parents Have Picked?

Man Names His Kids Will.i.am and Lady Gaga...Which Star Would Your Parents Have Picked?

A man in Britain has decided to name his son Tommy Will.i.am, per the suggestion of his four year-old stepdaughter, Maddie. Maddie also helped come up with the name of her half sister, Meggie Maisie Lady Gaga.

Every year, there are a handful of stories of people around the globe choosing outrageous, often pop-culture inspired names for their kids, like the Egyptian man who named his daughter Facebook earlier this year. But this one got us thinking!

Tommy Will.i.am and Meggie Maisie Lady Gaga are like living pop culture time capsules. Here’s a fun game: What if your parents had given you the name of the pop star du jour in place of your middle name?

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