Latina singer Shakira Mebarak and Spanish soccer player Gerard Pique have revealed the name of their recently born son, and it's a rather uncommon one: Milan.
According to the new parents, 'Milan (pronounced MEE-lahn), means dear, loving and gracious in Slavic; in Ancient Roman, eager and laborious; and in Sanskrit, unification.'
OK, but in most of the world today it means a city in Italy. Oh, and it is also the name of boxer Mike Tyson's daughter.
Why do so many celebrities give their children such unique (and in some cases, awful) names?
Baby-naming expert Pamela Redmond Satran believes, 'It's just another element of celebrities using kids as publicity.'
I'm not so sure that's the case with the parents of little Milan Pique Mebarack, but who knows. I suppose other reasons could range from adventurousness to thoughtlessness to silliness; and in some truly strange cases, outright abusiveness. Regardless, there certainly are much odder names in the world – especially looking at the world of the famous.
Take for example Pilot 'Standard' Inspektor, the unfortunately named son of actor Jason Lee (My Name is Earl). Lee apparently decided to curse his child with that that bizarre moniker after hearing the words in a song. I suppose the kid should be grateful dad didn't go for the song's title: He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot.
Then there is the unlucky daughter of actress Shannyn Sossamon (A Knight's Tale), who was called Audio Science somewhat by chance.
Sossamon explains: "We wanted a word not a name, so my boyfriend read through the dictionary three or four times."
Let's hope her soon to be born second child at least receives a more human sounding designation.
Moving on from the dictionary as place to look for baby names, literature, religion and geography were sources of inspiration for Cate Blanchett when it came to naming her three sons. Her oldest is Dashiell, in honor of Dashiell Hammet, the author of The Maltese Falcon, while her youngest is Ignatius, in honor of St. Ignatius of Loyola. In comparison, her middle son seems to have lucked out with the relatively common sounding Roman.
Geography and literature also worked for singer Ashlee Simpson, who may be from Texas, but obviously has a thing for a certain part of New York City, not to mention The Jungle Book. Why else gift her boy with the name Bronx Mowgli?
Rudyard Kipling can also be blamed for inspiring Spanish author Fernando Sanchez Drago to name his youngest son Akela, after the wolf who welcomed the fictional Mowgli into his pack.
Meanwhile, other naming examples seem to stem from sheer megalomania. Like Jermaine Jackson, for instance. Not to be outdone by brother Michael Jackson's selfish conceit in naming not one, but two, of his sons Prince, Jermaine christened one of his male heirs Jermajesty. What royal pains those 'titles' must be.
In another glaring example of what looks like extreme thoughtlessness, actor Rob Morrow (Numb3rs, Northern Exposure), got the bright idea of condemning his daughter to having to deal with an awful pun as a name – Tu Morrow. Downright cruel, if you ask me.
One of the twins of Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon received his name because dad had an apartment decorated in the style of a certain North African country and liked the adjective used to describe it – thus the boy's name Moroccan was born.
Some celebreties choose to name their children after some of their favorite things: so Gwyneth Paltrow called her daughter Apple because she likes the fruit, while Beyonce chose Blue Ivy for hers because she loves the color blue and 'Ivy' is like the Roman numeral IV, which supposedly brings good luck. Alicia Silverstone went with Bear Blu for her son.
Nicolas Cage, is a fan of comics, so his son is Kal-el, Superman's Kryptonian name, and his last name is Coppola, which is in reality Cage's original surname.
Beautiful people David Beckham and wife Victoria named their offspring in this order: Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper Seven. Perhaps the last of the crew has the oddest name, so papa Beckham has explained that Harper is not only an old English name but Harper Lee is one of Victoria's favorite writers. Regarding Seven, the soccer player pointed out that not only is this the number that Beckham wore on his jersey when he played for Manchester United, it also "symbolizes spiritual perfection."
Speaking of glamorous star clans, some of the Jolie-Pitt children's names were chosen with symbolism in mind: Maddox, the Cambodian boy who was the first to be adopted by Angelina, is a word in the Khmer language meaning 'son of the lord.' Zahara Marley, their Ethiopian child, has a first name from the Arabic word for flower and a middle name to honor Jamaican reggae star Bob Marley. After them came Pax Thien (Pax means peace in Latin and Thien means sky in Vietnamese), Shiloh Nouvel (Shilow is Hebrew for peace and Nouvel is French for new), Knox Leon (in honor Brad's grandfather) and Vivienne Marcheline (in memory of Angelina's late mother).
Perhaps Uma Thurman takes the cake when it comes to giving a child a name with special personal meaning. Her youngest daughter, born last July, is named Florence Rosalind Altalune Arkadina Arusha, because each name reportedly has some special significance to either mom or dad, the millionaire Arpad Busson. Despite the long list of official names, the child can count her lucky stars that at home she is simply called Luna.
Other infamous names of progeny of the famous include Exton, the son of Robert Downey Jr.; Bluebell Madonna, the daughter of Spice Girl Geri Halliwell; Zuma Nesta Rock and Kingston Rossdale, Gwen Stefani's sons – and the list goes on and on: Thais and Zeus (Sara Montiel), Suri (Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes), Nahla (Halle Berry), Rumer Glenn, Scout LaRue and Tallulah Belle (Bruce Willis and Demi Moore), Thiago (Leo Messi), Ever Gabo Anderson (Milla Jovovich), Memphis Eve (Bono), Diesel Denim (Toni Braxton), Destry Allyn (Steven Spielberg), Bingham 'Bing' (Matt Bellamy and Kate Hudson), Kahekili Kali (Evangeline Lilly), Chynna (Michelle Phillips), China (Grace Slick)...
(FYI, Chynna is pronounced China.)
China's actually not so bad when you consider that if Grace Slick hadn't changed her mind her daughter would have been blessed with god as a name – small g on purpose.
Of course, when they become adults children can always choose to reject an odd or outlandish given name.
The singer Sting (born Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, by the way) has a 30 year-old daughter who has put aside her colorful first name Fuchsia in favor of her more sensible sounding middle name, Kate.
As for those who stick with their birth names, perhaps they should take heart from the lines of Shakespeare:
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."