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HollyWord Name Game

Just plain Bill banned in Hollywood name game

If you have ever wondered what’s in a name, consider: Brooklyn, Moxie Crimefighter, Bluebell Madonna, Suri, Phinneaus, Apple and, debuting just last week, Shiloh.

All these are names that celebrities have bestowed upon their newborns in their quest for the unusual, outlandish or off-the-wall. Consider plain Bill boring and banned.

The experts say it is only a matter of time before the latest trendy new names spread to the general public. For example, ordinary people in the Bronx could start naming their children Brooklyn — a name British soccer star David Beckham and his ex-Spice Girl wife Victoria chose for their son.

Although some name experts think the public might embrace Brooklyn as a first name, they might not jump at the name another former Spice Girl, Geri Halliwell, gave her daughter — Bluebell Madonna.

Shortly before the birth, Halliwell told a British magazine she saw bluebells everywhere and took that as a sign. As for the name Madonna, she explained it this way: “No one else has the name except the Virgin and the singer, who I adore.”

It might take a few years to see if the name Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt gave their new daughter — Shiloh — when she was born on Saturday catches on with the general public.

A girl called MessiahPaul JJ Payack, the head of Global Language Monitor, which monitors word and name usage, says Shiloh is unusual in several ways: it is the site of one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War, a male name and means Messiah.

“This is, indeed, a very unusual trend, where the baby’s name is seen as just another Hollywood adornment,” Payack said.

“Having children has become a fad, and as will any fad emanating from Hollywood, self-augmentation, adornment and going to the extreme are going to be present,” he said.

Pam Satran, co-author of the bestselling baby naming book “Beyond Jason & Jennifer,” says that for years bland names were the order of the day, but not any more. In fact, the next edition of her book will be titled, “Beyond Jason & Jennifer, Madison & Montana” to recognize the first name revolution.

“Twenty years ago celebrity baby names were pretty simple. It was Kate, Kate, Max, Max. Now celebrities are trying to outdo celebrities,” she said.

In the 1950s, if a celebrity had an unusual name he or she would change it something simple and socially acceptable like Ken or Debbie.

As the decades passed, new fads included using boys’ names for girls, like Drew, Cameron and Stockard. Then came the place names: Madison, Brooklyn, Paris and now, Shiloh.

“These days if you have an ordinary name in Hollywood you change it to a weird one. The more distinctive your name is the better. There’s a whole issue of image and branding out there,” Satran said.

She added, “Celebrities are very much aware of the power of their image.”

And with that in mind, here are some example of what celebrities have recently called their children: Julia Roberts, Hazel and Phinneaus; Gwyneth Paltrow, Moses and Apple; Jason Lee, Pilot Inspektor; Joely Fisher, True Harlow; and Nicolas Cage: Kal-el.

According to the Social Security Administration the 10 most popular male names of the 2000s so far are Jacob, Michael, Joshua, Matthew, Andrew, Christopher, Joseph, Daniel, Nicholas and Ethan.

For girls they are Emily, Madison, Hannah, Emma, Ashley, Abigail, Alexis, Olivia, Samantha and Sarah.

Or to sum up in a single word: BORING.


Top 15 HollyWORDS of The Year

HollyWords — Top Words of the Year from Films

WBAL, Baltimore, NBC Nightly News

Naturally, I’m way too uncreative and lazy to actually have come up with this list; it comes courtesy of the Global Language Monitor. I have no idea who they are or what they do, but I’m relatively sure they’ve put some severe sanctions on Sarah from Real World Philly, whose declarations of “How dare her!” plague my very soul. But for those of you want to see these top 15 words in action, I figured I’d be a benevolent soul and put ‘em to use in a sentence so you can get the gist on how to use ‘em correctly.

1. Pinot (Sideways): Recently, I compared myself to a pinot to try to show a waitress my “true self”; she suggested that unbuttered toast, being both bland and unpleasant, was a more appropriate metaphor.

2. Genius (Ray): The next film snob who tells me Lars Von Trier is a genius is going to be smacked…hard.

3. Hand Washing (Aviator, etc): I’ve tried obsessively hand washing for months, but I suspect I’ll always feel unclean ever since my hand accidentally grazed against a White Chicks DVD.

4. “Mo chuisle” (Million Dollar Baby): In Million Dollar Baby, Clint Eastwood was originally going to buy a robe for Hilary Swank that read “girlie tough” but since they were out he settled for Mo chuisle.

5. Gipper (The Knute Rockne Story): My theory is that James Brolin’s portrayal of The Gipper (Ronald Reagan), not pneumonia, was what led to his demise.

6. Neverland (Finding Neverland): Remember the good old days when Neverland conjured up images of boys refusing to grow up instead of…well…ewwww?

7. Antiquity (Troy, etc.): In the eyes of Roman Polanski, Lindsay Lohan is probably an antiquity by now.

8. OCD (The Aviator): The portrayal of people with OCD in transparent attempts to win an Oscar is going to be the wave of the future. The wave of the future. The wave of the future.

9. Girlie Men (Arnold): When Chris Rock implied that only girlie men watch the Oscars, he pretty much ensured that he was no longer going to be invited to Orlando Bloom’s Oscar parties.

10. Yo! (Garden State): Yo, Zach! I beg of thee, please tell me that Mandy freakin’ Moore is the one who makes you like you’re at a Motel 6 and not like you’re “home”?

11. Animation (Incredibles, etc.): Due to her excessive use of Botox, Nicole Kidman is no longer able to show any animation on her face whatsoever.

12. Snub (Giamatti, Saarsgard, etc): With this year’s snub of actors like Paul Giamatti, Peter Saarsgard, and Javier Bardem, the Academy continues to prove it’s about as good a judge of talent as anybody who publishes Michael Medved.

13. Small screen (Depp, DiCaprio, etc.: With flicks like Hitch and Welcome To Mooseport, isn’t it clear that we must ensure by any means necessary that stars of CBS comedies like Kevin James and Ray Romano need to stay on the small screen instead of further polluting the big one?

14. Frass (Sideways): The people who created this “relevant” list insist that the word frass from Sideways has profoundly influenced the English Language, but have you ever heard a person say this word? Ever?

15. Fahrenheit (Fahrenheit 9/11): I had a really good line I was going to use about a certain fella who’s not a fan of Fahrenheit 9/11, but I hear the weather in Guantanamo is unbearable this time of year.

Related tune: No More Words by Berlin (Windows Media via


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