Sunday Night Talks: Celebrity Baby Names

Way, way, back in the day, I used to post conversational stories on Sunday nights.

They’d be weekend updates, photo stories, confessions, conversation starters, or whatever else I wanted to talk about. I’d post again on Tuesday and then again on Thursday and whenever else again it took to never go four days without publishing. That’s laughable now to think about how I’d post three times a week, max. I got slightly more into the business side of blogging and started posting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for a long time. These days? I post whenever. It’s nearly every day, depending on work tides and emotional tides. I couldn’t slow down or stop even if I wanted to, which I don’t.

I found myself diving down into an article-reading frenzy. I read four articles on celebrity baby names. Four. It started because I read that 10,000 babies were named for Evangeline Lilly. 10,000! What makes that so perfect is that I named my baby for a LOST character, although not a LOST actress like she is. More on that below, though! And Scarlett Johansson? 41,000 babies! To be fair, my Scarlet wasn’t named for her, but more on that below too! It’s crazy to me how certain famous people lead to a spike in babies named after them. And I LOVED that Gillian Anderson was on that list! And for the actors, Dustin Hoffman and Elijah Wood are high on that list! Of course, at much different decades. This is ongoing!

Let’s not forget the musicians and athletes! Adele. Aretha Franklin. Jewel! Rihanna and Britney. Willow Smith is up there with Jaden Smith – so many baby names! And let’s not forget the musicians who have passed – like Whitney Houston and Selena. I admit I’m not familiar with as many names in the athletic world, but there are so many. Mia Hamm, Laili Ali, and Peyton Manning are up there! It’s sort of fascinating to follow the trends over the years and decades. If I ever have a third baby, I have a name picked out for both a boy and a girl. And the boy name is not a celebrity, but it’s in a song title. My leading girl name is also a TV character name. Oh boy – if you ever guess either, I’ll totally confess! I LOVE this stuff.

The thing is, I’m no exception when it comes to these articles. One of my kids was named – not for a celebrity – but for a TV show character. Here’s the abridged version of how we named Des. If you’re curious about Scarlet’s name, I’ve written about it here. This one is about Des since these articles made me think of it, and how I haven’t written about it a lot.

Desmond is a name we had thought about for Scarlet before we found out she was a girl at 20 weeks. We had thought of Scarlet before there was even an engagement ring, so trust me on this, we pretty much knew she wasn’t to be a Desmond before the ultrasound technician told us so. Desmond is a strong name. It’s not weird but can you say you’ve ever met one?? I know they’re out there but I hadn’t had the pleasure myself until I met my own Desmond. He is such a Desmond to us.

Desmond has a few meanings. Some sources say it means, “man of the world.” Some say it means, “man from south Munstor.” The gaelic meaning is “gracious defender.” The one baby book I bought says it means, “of universe and heavens.”

We loved the show LOST and eventually settled down to watch every previous episode during one particularly long and hard winter. It’s no secret that I fell in love with the character, Desmond Hume. Our wedding was even LOST themed, as well as moose and wolf and music themed. Years ago, Cassidy gave me a t-shirt that said, “Desmond Is My Constant.” Little did I know how true that would one day be. On our ketubah, Cassidy’s brother Sam wrote to us: “Be each other’s constant.”

“The Constant” is probably my favorite episode of LOST. In it, Desmond jumps between two time frames and is able to make contact with his “constant” – Penny, a lost love who has been searching for him for three years. In the show and in other time travel themed literature, there is the concept of the constant. The constant is something or someone that is present in both timelines. It has to be something you sincerely care about and something you can recognize. Without your constant, without something solid to attach your mind to, your brain can short-circuit during time-travel. It’s a powerful concept.

As for his middle name, Blaze, Cassidy suggested it for a first or middle name before Desmond was settled on. We were married by a dear friend, Blase, and I do think of Desmond’s middle name as somewhat of a tribute to him and how awesome he is. He’s a true gift. I think Cassidy and I also love how it sounds. And Desmond did come blazing into this world.

How did you choose your baby names?