The sometimes stressful, rarely relaxing, and always interesting process of selecting a baby name is practically a rite of passage for every parent-to-be. And if you thought the hard part would be over just because you finally picked one out, you'd be wrong. Long after your kid is out of diapers, people will still ask you about the story behind your child's name. They'll be extra inquisitive if you've selected a particularly unique moniker for your munchkin, too. Don't worry, though. This happens to all parents—even famous ones. Heaps of people have questioned how celebrities chose their baby names, too.
It can be truly comforting to realize that the stars can be "just like us" when it comes to parenthood. From paying tribute to one's heritage and honoring loved ones to heart-warming stores that give you all the feels, there are so many reasons why celeb (and non-celeb) parents have chosen a significant and meaningful name for their little one.
At first glance, it can be easy to simply roll your eyes or laugh it off as Hollywood eccentricity, but sometimes even the non-traditional name choices for celeb kids can have a sincere or inspirational story behind them. So check out how some of these celebrities selected their baby names.
In an interview with People, The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon shared the meaning behind daughter Winnie's name. Fallon said,"after struggling with fertility . . . We tried for a long time — five years. So [Winnie] is a 'win' for us." Fallon also noted that Lake Winnipesaukee, where he and wife, Nancy Juvonen, got engaged, was part of their inspiration, too.
2Rocket Ayer Williams
Pharrell Williams and wife, Helen Lasichanh, have quite the inspiration for their son's name. In an interview with Oprah, Pharrell Williams shared the story of Rocket Ayer's interesting moniker. "In the same way that the Indians name their children a force or an animal or an element, we named him after a man-made machine that was meant to go up," he said. "Meant to ascend. And, his middle name is Ayer, after [composer] Roy Ayers."
According to Yahoo, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes shared why they chose Suri as their daughter's name in a statement. "Suri is Hebrew for 'princess' and in Persian, it means 'red rose.,'" they said. "When we came to the name Suri, we both loved it."
4Bingham Hawn Bellamy
In an interview with Us, Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy explained Bingham Hawn Bellamy's name. "For those wondering, Bingham is my mum's maiden name and Bing Russell was also Kurt Russel's dad," Bellamy said. "Family connections all around." They also shared that the middle name pays homage to Hudson's mother, Goldie Hawn.
Though it might initially seem kooky, but according to an interview in People, there's a cool name inspiration behind Nicolas Cage's son, Kal-El Cage. "On the Superman comics, Kal-El was his original name. I wanted a name that stood for something good, was unique, and American, and that’s all three," Cage said. "It's a beautiful name [with] a magical ring to it." Using names from comics isn't new for Cage, whose real last name is Coppola (yup, like those Coppolas). According to Biography, he used superhero Luke Cage as inspiration in changing his last name from Coppola to Cage.
In an interview with Larry King on CNN, Madonna revealed the significance of her daughter, Lourdes' name. "Lourdes is a city in France, and it's a city of healing," she said. "There are healing waters there. It's a place where miracles occur, so for that reason, because she was a miracle and is a miracle."
According to Glamour, artists Erykah Badu and Andre Benjamin (of OutKast) named their son Seven because, "seven is a number and a force that cannot be divided." That's deep.
If you ever wondered why Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their daughter Apple, you finally have an answer. According to Hello!, Paltrow told Oprah in an interview, "[Apple] sounded so sweet and it conjured such a lovely picture for me – you know, apples are so sweet and they're wholesome and it's biblical – and I just thought it sounded so lovely and…clean! And I just thought, 'Perfect.'"
9Birdie and Cricket Silverstein
On The Today Show, Marc Silverstein and Busy Phillips explained Birdie and Cricket's name origins. "Since I grew up with a nickname — Busy being short for Elizabeth — we decided that if wanted to call our kids something, we would just name them what we wanted to call them," she said, adding that "the unique names will distinguish the girls."
10Ever Gabo Anderson
According to People, Milla Jovovich and Paul Anderson chose the names Ever Gabo because, "the name Ever is a Scottish boy's name and Paul has Scottish blood in him." Jovovich added that "the first two letters are after my mom, Galina and the last two letters are after my dad, Bogie."
11Moroccan and Monroe Cannon
Mariah Carey has long been known for her somewhat extravagant and unique style choices in life, so it's no surprise her naming process was quite similar. According to People, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon named twins Moroccan and Monroe for some interesting reasons. As People reported, "Monroe was named after Marilyn Monroe, while Moroccan comes from the top-tier of Carey’s New York City apartment, which features Moroccan-inspired décor and was also the site of Cannon’s marriage proposal."
In an interview with Hello!, former Spice Girl, Geri Halliwell explained why she chose Bluebell Madonna. "What clinched it for me was my mother telling me that the Bluebell flower is increasingly rare - so it's a precious flower, which seems just right for my daughter." Additionally, the fact that Halliwell's daughter came into the world screaming loud and with much fanfare is why Madonna seemed a fitting choice for her middle name.
13Sunday Rose Urban
According to People, Keith Urban told Ellen DeGeneres the inspiration for Sunday Rose. "When you don't have someone in your life, Sunday's the loneliest day. It went from being the most dreaded day to being the most joyous day, because we just had a family." And People confirmed that Rose is a tribute to Urban's late grandmother of the same name.
14Autumn, Sonnet, Ocean, and True Whitaker
If you're sensing a theme here, you're right. In an interview with People, Forest Whitaker explained his children's unique names. "I want them to kind of touch their destiny by their names," he said. "Autumn is sort of flighty, and Sonnet is much more of an artist, and True is very strong, and Ocean just has a big heart."
15Vida Alves McConaughey
In an interview with Jay Leno, shared by People, Matthew McConaughey told the meaning behind Vida, his daughter's name. "She came out and and she gave us life, so we named her Vida." That's not surprising given that McConaughey's wife, Camila Alves, has Portuguese roots and Vida means "life" in Portuguese.