Celebrity Names Blog

New Baby Alert: Ever Carradine Chooses Chaplin, Invents Genre

New Baby Alert: Ever Carradine Chooses Chaplin, Invents Genre
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

Ever Carradine, an actress who has appeared on shows like Veronica's Closet, Will & Grace and 24 but whose name you might not recognize, has welcomed a daughter with one you will. Chaplin Haddow Brown was born this week to Carradine and her husband Coby Brown, PEOPLE reports.

Chaplin is a surname most associated with Charlie Chaplin, the silent film star known for his slapstick routines, his humanitarian impulses (click and watch that speech -- really!), and founding United Artists. He's one of the most important men in 20th century movies.

But Chaplin is a new first name for us, one that hasn't yet been taken up in the warm embrace of our surname-happy naming culture. For one thing, Charlie Chaplin continues to be so well-known and so well-loved that the moniker feels like it "belongs" to him. For another, chap and chaplain both bring dubious pictures to the mind (and anyway, no other boy's names on the charts in the last 130 years have that sharp "p" sound in the middle. We much prefer our P names softened, as in Christopher and Stephen).

These objections notwithstanding, Chaplin makes intuitive sense. It's a variation on what we may now recognize as a theme: recycled celebrity surnames.

Can you think of others besides those we list below?

HARLOW

Nicole Richie and Joel Madden made namers swoon in 2008 when they named their daughter Harlow Winter Kate. Harlow was hitherto most known as the surname of Jean Harlow, the glamorous Old Hollywood actress with the platinum hair and tragic ending. (If supermodels are more your thing, Shalom Harlow is another namesake.) Harlow made its debut on the top 1000 in 2009 at #902, and we expect it to rise.

MINGUS

Helena Christensen named her son Mingus Luchien in 1999. Mingus is most known as the surname of Charles Mingus, a jazz artist and civil rights activist as big in the field of music as Chaplin is in movies. (And hey, Mingus and Chaplin also share a first name.) Christensen's choice didn't spark an immediate stampede on the name Mingus (which has yet to make the top 1000), but did showcase the fashion-forward flair of repurposing a vintage celebrity moniker for a contemporary kid.

Like this kind of name but want something a little less distinct? Try these:

KEATON

The surname of Charlie Chaplin's famed contemporary Buster Keaton as well as Michael J. Fox's character on Family Ties, this name has a peppy, preppy quality. Not surprisingly, it has risen in popularity through recent decades, for boys at least. But we can also picture Keaton on a girl.

MONROE

Marilyn, of course, or Norma Jeane if you'd rather. But this glamorous name is presidential too -- James Monroe's Monroe Doctrine was an important early declaration of foreign policy. Sound-wise, Monroe seems right at home among Henry and Milo, Honor and Meadow

Can you think of other distinctive celebrity last names recycled into first names? Which such name is your favorite for a boy? For a girl?

--L.R.

Comments

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August 13, 2010 7:48 PM
By Hillary (not verified)

I know a little Jackson named after Michael. I also wouldn't be surprised to hear these as tribute names:

Presley (Elvis)
Grant (Cary)
Redford (Robert)
Allen (Woody)
Taylor (Elizabeth)
Bogart (Humphrey)
Bardot (Brigitte)
Loren (Sophia)
Denver (John)
Bond (James)
Ali (Muhammad)

August 16, 2010 9:48 AM
By Elissa (not verified)

Oh, lordy. I think Chaplin is a fine name.... for a boy. Just because "lin" is in a name doesn't make it feminine! But then again, Lynn used to be a man's name.

Hillary, I love your suggestion of Bardot!

I like...

Hendrix
Dylan (tho many babies bear his namesake now!)
Joplin (Janis or Scott)
Astaire (Fred-- love this)
Arnaz (Desi)
Fitzgerald (Ella or F. Scott)
Garcia (Jerry-- why not!)
Olivier (hot!)
Bowie

Did just come across a baby named Tressel after Jim Tressel of Ohio State coaching fame...

August 16, 2010 1:32 PM
By mackenziefay (not verified)

Oh my goodness, there are dozens of baby girl Presley's (and Preslee and Presleigh, of course) where I live. And I've heard of two girl Monroe's. I'm not a fan!

August 16, 2010 4:03 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

a friend is naming her son Lennon and were she to have had a girl would have named her Marley. Although she acknowledges that Marley was after Bob Marley, Lennon is apparently not after John Lennon but rather a name she just likes. Still, it's a couple other celebrity surnames making the transition...

August 17, 2010 9:53 AM
By Lane

Wow, great suggestions! Of course, Bardot -- that's a name David Boreanz chose recently for his daughter (and isn't the the middle name of Sandra Bullock's son?)

August 17, 2010 4:03 PM
By Chelsea (not verified)

Ooooh, how about Lenin? Stalin? They're cute.

August 17, 2010 7:03 PM
By Ashley (not verified)

My computer teacher in 8th grade was named Monroe (we called all our teachers by their first names.) He was older, like in his 50s, so he'd be in his 60s now. I wonder who he was named after...

August 17, 2010 7:08 PM
By Ashley (not verified)

Haha, just read the comments - I also had a male teacher named Lynn!

August 17, 2010 10:41 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Our dog's name is Mingus. I think it's an awesome name for a dog, but a child? Not so much . . .

August 18, 2010 3:21 AM
By Em (not verified)

My dog is a Bowie - it is Scottish, I think it means 'fair haired or blond' similar origin to Boyd.

Chelsea, i am not sure that anyone should really be naming their children after tyrannical dictators...

I wonder if in 20 years our children will be naming their babies Kutcher or DiCaprio?

August 18, 2010 11:55 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I love the name Mingus! I also like Reed(us) for a boy. Mingus has an awesome daddy too!

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