Celebrity Names Blog

Baseball's Next Top Name?

Baseball's Next Top Name?
Wikimedia Commons

As we wrote about last week, big sports nicknames are on the wane. But how can we complain when the newest sports stars have such great given names?  Last year, we were predicting impressive rookie Buster Posey might inspire some baby Busters.  This year, the name whose star power we're gauging is Starlin.

Chicago Cubs' shortstop Starlin Castro is impressing people all over the place with his stellar hitting. The Dominican-born player, who at age 20 became the youngest player in the major leagues when he was called up a year ago, has inspired comparisons to baseball greats. Think his name has star potential?

Is Starlin plausible as a name for baby boys in the US? It's a cousin to Sterling, a name that derives from the Old English for starling.  Starlin does rhyme with a couple of boy's names, Marlin and Arlin, which charted in the 1930s. And Carlin (the middle name chosen by Jodie Sweetin for daughter Beatrix Carlin) is equally used for boys and girls.

But Star makes the name more glittery and also more girlie. Starr made the charts in the 900s for girls in the 1940s and 1950s, and Starla peaked in the 1960s.

Starlin rhymes with darlin', and sounds a bit like a bird (as in Sparrow and Starlin'). It's also a boon to headline writers, who have jumped full-throttle on board with puns like "A Starlin is Born" (SI.com).

What do you think? Can you see baby Starlins in the future? And when you imagine a baby named Starlin, do you picture a boy or a girl?



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May 17, 2011 8:58 PM
By Maria (not verified)

It makes me think of Stalin, especially when pronounced with a British accent. Not a good association!

May 18, 2011 1:34 AM
By BritishBabyNames (not verified)

Yep, I agree with Maria. I hear Stalin.

May 18, 2011 11:52 AM
By Zoe (not verified)

A friend of mine named her son Chase after Chase Utley, this was a few months after the Phillies won the 2008 world series and her husband is a big Phillies' fan. I also know people who around the same time were considering other Phillies inspired names like Shane, Jayson and Rollins after Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth and Jimmy Rollins.

May 18, 2011 6:51 PM
By Mom (not verified)

When I hear Starlin, I picture a girl. I know a young lady named Starla.

May 20, 2011 4:16 PM
By Genie Apple (not verified)

Starlin is pronounced exactly the same as Stalin, at least in the area of England in which I live. However, if I could shake off the association, I think I'd find it a solid name with a lot of potential. It's glamorous, sounds ambitious, echoes some of the surname/firstname names, and to me it sounds masculine - though I think the name would inevitably be used for girls at some point.

May 24, 2011 6:09 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Starlin siunds like stalin- as in the dictator of the Soviet Union during World War 2

November 2, 2012 1:22 AM
By how to treat lupus (not verified)

A friend of mine named her son Chase after Chase Utley, this was a few months after the Phillies won the 2008 world series and her husband is a big Phillies' fan.

May 24, 2013 7:40 PM
By k-star (not verified)

I named my son Starlin after Starlin Castro on the Chicogo Cubs. His father is Dominican and we liked that it was a young, fresh name, and we also want our son to play baseball! It's also a name that both Americans and Dominicans can pronounce.

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