Celebrity Names Blog

A Name Place in Music History for Neko Bell

A Name Place in Music History for Neko Bell
Juan Rico/Fame Pictures

Justin Guarini of American Idol and the Broadway musical American Idiot (quite a patriotic guy, eh?) welcomed his first child this week with his wife Reina, who already has a daughter from a previous relationship. Baby boy William Neko Bell Guarini was born on Tuesday, April 26, 2011.

William is currently the 8th most popular boy's name in the United States, and it is also #8 in England where Prince William lives. But perhaps more fitting for the Season 1 Idol runner-up's son is his second name Neko, a name that appears a few times in music history. It is usually a girl's name, reminiscent of female singers Nico of the Velvet Underground and Neko Case. It also goes nicely with the second musical middle name Bell, which again is traditionally a girl's name, sometimes spelled Belle. (Read what we've written about musical names.)

Though this baby boy has 2 girl's names, he's not too far off from gender tradition: Neko becomes a boy's name when spelled Niko, Nico, or Nikos and can also be short for Nicholas or Nicodemas. Related girl's names are Niki and Nika.

Neko also means "cat" in Japanese, and is a name that appears many times in Anime and Manga comics. And you know those little waving cat sculptures you always see at Chinese food restaurants? They're called Maneki Neko.

Does Neko Bell have a nice ring to it? Do you think the first name William has anything to do with the current Prince William craze?

-- M.F.


Please do not add links to your comments. Thank you.

May 3, 2011 12:36 PM
By Miriam (not verified)

Um, it's Nicodemus, not Nicodermus, which is reminiscent of a smoking cessation aid.

May 3, 2011 2:11 PM
By Amanda (not verified)

Makes me think of Taco Bell.

May 3, 2011 3:23 PM
By Jennie

Tx for the catch-- and the laugh-- Miriam. Typo corrected!

May 3, 2011 7:06 PM
By Karma (not verified)

"Neko" is also Japanese for "cat", so I'm reading this kid's name as ... William Cat Bell Guarini.

Hmmm, maybe not the feel I'd give to a child's name...

May 9, 2011 2:10 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Neko is an okay boy name, I suppose Bell could be- Alexander Graham Bell perhaps. Maybe they have hopes that their son will be very creative, but gave him a standard first name so that he can be as traditional as he wants. If he ever does become an artist or something, he could always shorten his first name to Liam, and Liam Neko Bell has a more creative ring to it. I think of Neko and Grady of Sonny with a Chance who are both boys. So it could work, but I really associate Bell with girls whether it has an e on the end or not.

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