Celebrity Names Blog

Jason Lee Baby Name Mystery Solved! Pilot Inspektor's Sister Is...

Jason Lee Baby Name Mystery Solved! Pilot Inspektor's Sister Is...
The elusive Casper (with mom and dad) makes her red carpet debut at a Nov. 12 movie screening. Fittingly, she hid her face.
Juan Rico/Fame Pictures

Whenever there’s an article spotlighting the “weirdest,” “worst” or “strangest” celebrity baby names, somewhere on the list after typical target Apple Martin, daughter of Gwyneth Paltrow, is sure to be Pilot Inspektor Lee, the son of Jason Lee. Perhaps because his son's name has been widely criticized, when Jason later welcomed a daughter, he decided not to release her name.

For three years it's been a secret... until now!

The recent guest star of TV’s Up All Night, who will also be seen in the holiday movie Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, and his wife Ceren Alkac renewed their wedding vows on the divine date 11-11-11. Among the friends and family who their publicist confirmed attended the California ceremony included one Casper Lee, the couple's 3-year-old daughter.

It's Casper! It's Casper! Oh my gosh, it's Casper! Sorry — we got excited. We're name people and we've been waiting for this one a looong time.

So let's get down to business. The name Casper — a variant of the Persian Caspar and the Dutch Gaspar – means "treasurer." (Gaspar was the name of one of the Three Wise Men.) Historically Casper has been a male name and for a good 50 years it was all over the Top-1000 popular baby names list, peaking at No. 382 in 1889 before disappearing in 1933. The most famous Caspers include Casper the Friendly Ghost (of course!) and also actor Casper Van Dien, who is one of seven Caspers in his family. Another Casper making headlines today is Casper Smart — a backup dancer who's been linked to Jennifer Lopez.

There are also some notable Caspars (with an "a"), including supermodel Claudia Schiffer's son Caspar Matthew Vaughn and the late Caspar Weinberger was the Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan.

While some may get hung up on a certain friendly ghost, the name Casper may cast a spell on some other new parents. Besides, we've watched several names ending in “–per” make big climbs in popularity in recent years. Jasper, Harper, Piper and Cooper are all on the rise. So maybe a Casper craze isn’t far behind?

Jason Lee had his work cut out for him when it came to selecting a name for Casper because he made such a bold statement with Pilot Inspektor. (The story goes, Jason and his ex-fiancée Beth Riesgraf, Pilot's mom, were inspired by the indie rock band Grandaddy’s song "He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s The Pilot.”) As we’ve talked about before — see A Sibling Name for Audio Science — it’s a worry that the second child’s name won’t “match” and there’d be potential that the child could feel left out. But in the case of Jason and wife Ceren's selection of Casper, it fits with Pilot because neither name really outshines the other. Pilot may be more unusual, but there aren't a whole heck of a lot of Casper's out there — and it's even more rare as a girl's name.

And a last note on Pilot Inspektor, is it still such an unusual and shocking name eight years after the little guy burst onto the scene? With new babies named Moroccan, PressBear and Aleph... it seems to be on par with other Hollywood baby names. If you read through the comments in our post The Baby Name Apple: Why All The Hate? about Gwyneth's daughter's name, you'll see many people have re-evaluted their opinion of it. Have you?

Tell Us What You Think: Is Casper a good name for a girl -- or is it haunted by Casper the Friendly Ghost? Also, share your opinion of the name Pilot Inspektor now that it's had some time to sink in. Is it as "crazy" as some people make it out to be? Or has it grown on you?

--S.B.

Comments

November 14, 2011 6:34 PM
By Lane

Casper, Arlo, on girls? I love those names but it's making me think to see them on girls.

November 14, 2011 10:03 PM
By mk (not verified)

Casper is awful for a girl (and not that great for a boy in my opinion). and yes, Pilot Inspektor is sitll as bad now as it was 8 years ago.

November 15, 2011 1:15 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I LIKE Casper! Plus, she can always be Cassie if she doesn't like the name. I definitely like it better than Pilot!

November 15, 2011 8:28 AM
By M (not verified)

I like it only for boys, but its still better than pilot inspektor

November 15, 2011 9:15 AM
By Corhea (not verified)

I still think Pilot Inspektor is a bit out there but I actually love Casper for a girl (or boy)! It stands out for sure but it's still something that's definitely recognized as a name.

November 15, 2011 2:50 PM
By Nicki (not verified)

Casper is a cute name. But I think they chickened out. They probably got so much grief for Pilot Inspektor that they didn't want to go as crazy for the second child.

November 15, 2011 3:37 PM
By Erin (not verified)

I actually don't dislike "Pilot".. i think it's kind of cute. It's the middle name of "Inspector" that really throws it off. If his name was "Pilot Thomas Lee" or something like that, I think far fewer people would hate it so much.

As to Casper, I really see that as a boys name myself, but I do like it. As she gets older, she might go by Cas or Sper.. both are cute on a girl.

November 15, 2011 6:56 PM
By Jane (not verified)

Sper? Oh you really have me laughing now!!!!!
I think Casper is ok... on a boy. Pilot is random, on anyone. Inspektor is just taking the joke too far, especially with that spelling.
Apple is silly.
Eight years doesn't change a thing!

November 15, 2011 7:46 PM
By Anya (not verified)

Casper is a boy and I would love it on a boy.
Pilot Inspektor is still ridiculous.

November 15, 2011 10:46 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I always just feel like people should just name their kids whatever they like. Who am I to judge?
However, I do think that people worry WAY too much about sib-sets matching or complementing or whatever. I know that as an NE I'm supposed to really worry about this, but I just can't. I have a very traditional, Biblical name, and my brother (who is 2 years younger) has a very unusual name- definitely not traditional. (well, it was unusual when he was born 29 years ago, but it's getting a little popularity now). Anyway- we NEVER thought a single thing about it. He didn't feel "left out" because his name wasn't Biblical like mine, and I never felt like mine was too boring and his was cool or whatever. They were just our names. They were all we ever knew, and I really think that's how most kids would feel about it. Oh, and if you have two kids whose name starts with "J"....you're 3rd one won't care if his/her name starts with "L" They just won't--stop the worrying :)

November 16, 2011 12:28 PM
By Sebalek (not verified)

I have to agree with Erin. I don't mind Pilot as a name, it's the mn (particularly with the K instead of C) that makes a potentially interesting name a joke.

Being the mom of boys, I usually cringe when a girl is given an historically boy name. I happen to like Casper and applaud the Lees for being willing to bypass the "friendly ghost" reference worries. It's a cool name and never really caught in the mainstream of popularity for boys. Now, if she were Matthew or David, I might feel different.

November 16, 2011 8:13 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I have a weird fondness for Pilot Inspektor because I automatically think of Regina Spektor... I don't really get the appeal of Pilot, though. It's fine, I suppose.
I really actually like Casper on a girl! It's like Cassie + Harper... I think it's actually quite cool.

November 17, 2011 7:04 PM
By tiktok (not verified)

I honestly don't mind it at all.

Pilot by itself really isn't so strange (Cannon? Hunter? Actually, not strange at all) and how often does anyone use their middle name, anyway?

I think Pilot and Casper is a reasonable sibling set; they are equally unusual and stylistically they fall into similar categories to me.

February 11, 2012 9:14 AM
By momtoboys (not verified)

I hate boy names on girls!! My son is Adam and was going to name his son Addison which means "Son of Adam" but since people are using it as a girl name he said he will pick something else. Would love to see the girls faces when they see their dad wanted a son so bad they gave her a boys name!!

June 29, 2012 6:47 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Who are we, REALLY, to judge? And anyways, to say that any name is a gender specific name would make me sound sexist. What if these kids actually LIKE their names? If they don't they can eventually change them. I think that, so long as the FAMILY is HAPPY, isn't that all that matters?

September 13, 2013 4:46 AM
By serenity_ (not verified)

I have always like the name Casper, because I am a big fan of the movie "Casper the Friendly Ghost". For a boy's name, it sounds good, but for a girl, it's somewhat unusual to listen. - Travis Jones Rush Properties

April 12, 2014 8:22 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Who we are we to judge, it is up to the parent what name they would give for their baby but they should be ready for the question once their kid grow up and ask why they chose that name. - Roger Stanton

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