Jason Lee Baby Name Mystery Solved! Pilot Inspektor's Sister Is...
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.
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, Press, Bear 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?