Embarassing Names May Lead to a Life of Crime

Filed under: Celeb Kids, Research Reveals: Babies

Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz aren't the only celebrity parents who gave into the temptation to name their precious newborn something cute, trendy and unusual.

Bronx Mowgli, Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa, and Huckleberry Edward Jocelyne will all likely live a life of privilege, but a recent study found that average kids with less-than-average names might be more likely to commit crimes. Here's to the Jacobs and Emilys of the world.

Celebrity Baby Names

    Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa
    Former "Cosby Show" queen Lisa Bonet takes top honors for now with their newborn babe. Bonet says that the child "was born on the stormiest, rainy night, so Nakoa (warrior), Mana (strength/spirit), Kaua (rain) and po (dark). Multiple middle names? Could become a trend for 2009?

    Bobby Bank, WireImage

    Princess Tiaamii
    British "glamour model" Jordan (aka Katie Price) and "former pop star" Peter Andre named their daughter Princess because it was "unique." When the name was announced in 2007, The BBC reported that Jordan had wanted to call her Tinkerbell, but there were too many famous dogs with that name. Because that's really the only reason not to go with Tinkerbell.

    Getty Images

    Jermajesty Jackson
    Amazingly, this is not a child of Michael. Jermajesty is the son of Jermaine Jackson Alejandra Oiaza. And they say Mike is the crazy one.


    Barron Trump
    The only thing that would make this name better is if it were Barron Von Trump. But alas, the middle name of the spawn of Donald and third wife Melania is William. Still, with dad's money and mom's bone structure, the kid is basically American royalty even if his name is Pubert.


    Tu Morrow
    Rob Morrow may have been trying to revive his career when he named his daughter Tu in 2001. (Tu Morrow. As in "see you") It may have worked. Though Morrow's first TV series, "Northern Exposure", was canceled in 1995, he currently appears on "Numb3rs." Maybe Shelley Long should have a baby and name her Tu. (Tu Long? Get it? Oh never mind)

    Eric Charbonneau, WireImage

    Moxie CrimeFighter
    Penn Jillette and wife Emily clearly decided that they want their little girl to grow up to be a magician just like daddy. That way she can make this awful name disappear.

    Ethan Miller, Getty Images

    Harley Quinn
    Kevin Smith named his daughter after the Joker's sidekick in Batman comics. If he and wife Jennifer have a boy they can name him The Riddler, Clayface, Scarecrow the possibilities are endless.


    b>Kal-El Coppola Cage
    Speaking of children named after superheroes, Nicholas Cage (née Coppola) and wife Alice Kim went with Kal-El, which every geek knows is Superman's real name. Little-known fact: it's also an ancient Hebrew phrase that, loosely translated, means, "My parents are rich and I will never have to hold a real job."

    David Westing, Getty Images

    Audio Science Clayton
    Son of actress Shannyn Sossamon and Dallas Clayton. You didn't realize Audio was a boys' name? For shame.


    Brooklyn Joseph Beckham
    The oldest of the three Beckham children continued a trend in the Posh Spice household wacky first name, regular middle name. Cruz David (pronounced "Cruth", since they live in Spain) and Romeo James round out this crew that could make a rap album without changing their monikers.

    BIG PICTURES / bauergriffinonline.com

When researchers cross-matched crime records with popular names, they found that uncommon names -- such as Ernest, Kareem, and Malcom -- were associated with a higher likelihood of crime among both black and white teens. What gives? They suggest that unusual names may be associated with high-risk childhoods, or that teasing may make it difficult for them to make friends.

Here's where it gets a little Big Brother, though: "First name characteristics may be an important factor to help identify individuals at high risk of committing or recommitting crime, leading to more effective and targeted intervention programs," the authors conclude.

Targeting kids by first names? I'm not so sure about that. As Laura Wattenberg, a name expert and founder of BabyNameWizard.com, points out, "Uncommon and unpopular are two very different things." She gives the example of Lilian and Lillian. "By their measure," says Laura, "A girl with with one L might be ostracized, while a girl named with two Ls would not." Hardly makes sense.

Her advice to parents. "Don' just consult (popularity) charts, but think about the signals a name sends to society." This is a good reminder for parents that -- a life of crime aside -- it might seem cute and quirky to name your baby something like Tu Morrow or Daisy Boo, but eventually those bundles of joy are going to grow up and give you a choice name or two for their impossible weird or adorable names.

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