Richard Roeper Blog

Add Jay-Z and Beyonce’s ‘Blue Ivy’ to list of head-scratching celebrity baby names

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Beyonce and Jay-Z have welcomed a baby girl, who was born last Saturday night in New York.

And how refreshing is it that these two superstars gave their child the very old-fashioned, traditional name of Ann Marie! Maybe it’s the start of a new trend.

Just kidding. The baby’s real name is Blue Ivy, which sounds like a rash you can pick up while hiking in South America or the offspring of a Batman villain who’s out to seek revenge.

People magazine says there’s speculation the couple came up with the middle name of “Ivy” as a derivation of the Roman numeral “IV,” because of the significance of the number four in their lives.

As in, “We’re four times richer than just about everyone else in the world!”

(Actually, Beyonce’s birthday is Sept. 4, Jay-Z’s is Dec. 4, and they were married on 4/4/08. And Jay-Z has an album titled “Blueprint,” which may or may not explain the first name.)

“Welcome to the world Blue!” Tweeted Gwyneth Paltrow, who has a child named Apple.

“Congrats to Jay and B! And many more!” Tweeted Sean Combs, aka Diddy, Puff Daddy, etc., etc.

Diddy has five children, including D’Lila Star Combs, Jessie James Combs and Chance Combs.

We’ve spoken numerous times over the last two decades about this trend — which by now is a tradition — of celebrities giving their children unusual names. Rumer Willis turned 21 last year. Her sibling Scout is 20, and Tallulah Belle will be 18 next month.

I continue to maintain that if you call your kid Apple, Moroccan, Bear Blu, Zuzu, that’s more about the parents calling attention to how clever and artistic they are than  about envisioning their offspring dealing with that name for the rest of their lives. Actor Rob Morrow named his child “Tu,” as in “Tu Morrow.”

Never pass up the opportunity to turn your child’s name into a wince-inducing pun, eh?

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

What’s in a name?

I’ve long talked about these kids going to school and having to spell and/or explain their names to their teachers. Getting teased on the playground. Dealing with a lifetime of talking about their names every time they’re introduced to someone new. Imagine having to tell the story of your first name for the 784th time and thinking, “I hate you for doing this to me, Mom.”

But if every other kid on the playground has a “unique” name, if half the people you meet on your life’s journey don’t have traditional first names, the avant garde becomes the norm. Who’s going to make fun of Blue Ivy — Nicolas Cage’s son Kal-El? Jason Lee’s kid Pilot Inspektor? Ocean Whitaker, Rocket Rodriguez, Audio Science Sossamon, Moxie Crimefighter Jillette?

(Not that any of these celeb kids have anything on one Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop, who was arrested last Sunday in Madison, Wis., and charged with a number of offenses that allegedly violated his bail conditions. But Mr. Zoppittybop-Bop-Bop can’t blame his moniker on his parents, as he’s the one who legally changed his name from Jeffrey Drew Wilschke last October. Imagine that thought process, so to speak: “This will be just the change I need to turn my life around!”)

And it’s not just celebs who give their children unique names. Everybody knows somebody who gave their kid a name that made you laugh or shake your head or say, “Wait a minute, what?”

If you’ve got a story about someone you know who gave their child a unique name, I’d love to hear it.

In the meantime, consider this. Jermaine Jackson named his kid Jermajesty. Epic!

Which is probably also some kid’s name.

3 Responses to “Add Jay-Z and Beyonce’s ‘Blue Ivy’ to list of head-scratching celebrity baby names”

  1. eric c Says:

    Yeah – How much do names matter anyway? I can’t remember the last time I got in a cab and could pronounce the driver’s name. At the same time, Barack Obama isn’t the type of name that you think would be marketable to become US President. A name is what you make of it, and if you happen to have a traditional name (i.e. Sean Carter), you can always change it later on to Jay-Z or Hova or Beezow Doo-Doo.

  2. Jeff Hammer Says:

    Having the last name Hammer, I tried to sell my wife on a number of names. None had then initials of M.C. nor did I suggest Jack, this were too obvious. I did however suggest Claw and Sledge. But my favorite was Arman. Get it? Thanks Richard for the great reviews, you’re an inspiration to me. I recently got a gig as a published critic, you, Ebert and Phillips are my favorites.

  3. Eliza Says:

    I suppose Condaleeza and Barack may have had to explain their names more than a few times and they seem to be doing okay. What you call “traditional” most of us call slave names. Richard is actually a very common English name given to young males to honor a king in a country most of us have never been to but still paid homage and taxes. Your critical remarks about what free thinking people choose to name THEIR children is very petty. I guess you could fight the “problem” of these names you feel so strongly about by naming any offspring you produce John and Mary. Let the rest of us do whatever we want. I don’t see why its bothering you or how its any of your business.

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