People Are Giving Their Babies Super-Pretentious Names & We Kind Of Love It

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While celebrity baby names often make people's eyes roll all the way back into their heads, we are actually ridiculously inspired by this latest crop. The Hollywood Reporter just came out with a very ow-it-hurts-but-I-can't-look-away "how the 1% lives" guide that includes a £120,000 vape, something called "healing hyperbaric chambers," and weird-ass baby names, and naturally, we had to investigate the bizarre baby names.
"Elite parents in urban areas lean toward very fashion-forward and sophisticated names," Pamela Redmond Satran, cofounder of Nameberry.com and author of 10 baby-name books, told THR. "They are attracted to quirky, not-so-easy-to-like names that are more difficult to embrace."
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Nameberry.com reports that popular rich-people baby names really vary by city. In New York City, it's all about literary appellations: Dashiell (after mystery writer Dashiell Hammett), Sophie, Matilda, Ophelia (presumably Hamlet's Ophelia).
L.A.'s names are a bit more trippy and unisex: Zen, River, Story, and James (for girls). No wonder Lauren Conrad (or at least her staff) is smitten with the name River (as well as Hazel and Sailor). "While this name may not be at the top of the baby names list for 2017 (we consider that a good thing!), we’re still smitten. River may be a unisex name, but we think it would make an adorable little boy’s name!" the editors on her site LaurenConrad.com wrote earlier this year. James? That's Ryan Reynolds' and Blake Lively's name for their baby girl, and while it may be controversial for some, we think it breaks new naming ground.
In Washington, D.C., which is more classic-minded, however, the top names still sound like they're meant to be monogrammed onto linen napkins: Sam, Charlotte, Jack, Lily. Chelsea Clinton's 2-year-old daughter Charlotte is right on trend. And in a town steeped in Kennedy lore, there will always be room for little Jacks.
Satran says that many 1% parents treat baby names like steak (the rarer, the better): As soon as a name starts to reach peak popularity — like Penelope, which is what both Tina Fey and Kourtney Kardashian named their daughters — it loses traction. "Now Penelope feels too popular, too common — and we’re not hearing much about it anymore," Satran tells THR.
Because every name tells a story, we think the philosophy behind bestowing names should be less about trendsetting and more about expressing your individuality. But that doesn't mean we don't love tracking all the trends and seeing celebs get creative. If James is becoming a girls' name, who's to say that Jack won't? And if Story is becoming popular, is Sonnet next — or, perhaps, Villanelle?
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