The Top 10 Overtly Literate Celebrity Baby Names

A List of Intentionally or Unintentionally Smart Baby Names

Yahoo Contributor Network
Welcome baby Harper!

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Welcome baby Harper!

The Beckhams welcomed the poshest little girl into the world, on July 10 and David Beckham took to his Facebook to announce the news to over 12 million of his closest friends. Soon after, Twitter lit up with various bloggers' and readers' responses.

The couple recently released an explanation for the origin of their daughter's name, but I was hoping that the name was actually a nod to the expat's adopted country and to one of our most revered writers.

After all, they wouldn't be the first to have done it -- name their child after a literary figure, that is. Here are other celeb parents who chose to name their bundles of joy after very authors or literary characters.

Harper Beckham -- The Beckhams are best known for their athletic skills (him) and fashionable wardrobes (her), but has their new daughter proved that there's something less superficial there. If babies are meant to grow into their name, their daughter Harper has some pretty big shoes to fill (figuratively and literally, I can't even imagine the closet she's going to inherit). Harper Lee was an American Southern writer, best known for her Pulitzer Prize winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee, much like her main character, grew up as a tomboy with little interest in makeup, fashion or dating. With three older brothers, there's a chance that Harper Beckham may grow up the same way. But with a mother as sartorially endearing as Victoria, who would want that?

Scout Willis -- The daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, Scout draws her name from the main female character of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. It has yet to be seen how similar she is to Lee's tomboy protagonist, but she's already had her first major magazine cover. Remember Demi's pregnant, nude Vanity Fair cover? Scout was the baby!

Alabama Gypsy Rose/Any baby named Stella

-- Here come the playwrights. Gypsy was an acclaimed memoir of prominent burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee -- which spawned a hit Broadway musical and two film adaptations (one starring Natalie Wood). "Sopranos" star Drea de Matteo gave her baby girl this name. Stella is the name of one of the titular characters in Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar Named Desire and is the name a sexy, young Marlon Brando famously bellows in the movie version. Matt Damon, Dave Matthews and Ellen Pompeo are a few of the celebrities that have chosen to name their daughter Stella.

Bronx Mowgli

-- And here come the strange names. Rockerstar parents Ashlee Simpson (nee Wentz) and Pete Wentz gave their son Bronx a middle name that they hoped he would grow into: that of a carefree, jungle-raised boy from The Jungle Book. Here's hoping he isn't home-schooled since the last jungle-raised character we saw was in "Mean Girls" and Cady Heron didn't turn out so hot.

Kal-El -- Kal-El Coppola is the son of Nicolas Cage and is also the name of Superman, er -- Superboy, I guess, because Kal-El is the name he was given on the planet Krypton and Clark Kent is his adopted name on Earth. I don't think he was ever called Kal-El in his adult life but, duh, everyone knows that. Comic book nerds, you feel me?

Romeo -- Romeo Beckham, the second son of the Beckham duo, has a pretty obvious literary namesake. Romeo was William Shakespeare's star-crossed lover in the epic tale of "Romeo and Juliet." Nope, he probably wasn't name after rapper turned college basketball player turned back to rapper Lil Romeo .

Beatrix -- "Full House" notwithstanding, Jodie Sweetin has had a pretty sour life. Engaged three times and divorced twice, she is a recovering methamphetamine addict and former abuser of alcohol. In 2010, she had her second child, a daughter whom she named Beatrix -- like the acclaimed English children's author, best known for writing Peter Rabbit. It's just sweet enough to add a little whimsy to Ms. Sweetin's life.

Beatrice - Beatrice Portinari was the muse for Dante's epic poem The Divine Comedy and has been forever immortalized in this grand epic as Dante's guide through heaven. In Latin, Beatrice means "bringer of joy" and that must be true of Portinari to inspire such great work (apparently, the real Beatrice and Dante only met twice -- she obviously knew how to make a great first impression!). Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills (nee McCartney) gave their only daughter this moniker, and believe me when I say it's a fantastic name to grow into.


-- Zion typically refers to Jerusalem and the Israel of Biblical times, The Promised Land . On Lauryn Hill's debut solo album "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" -- which won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 1999 -- she wrote a song dedicated to her son with Rohan Marley called "To Zion." In the song she sings that the joy of her world is in Zion. It only figures that someone as in tune with their spirituality as Lauryn would write such a beautiful song and would name their baby after a treasured place in the Bible.


-- On the surface Beckett seems like a sort-of typical East Coast prep name, but for Harvard educated comedian Conan O'Brien, it appears it would have to be a little more nuanced than that. Samuel Beckett is an acclaimed novelist and playwright (among other things), famous for his dark humor. He is regarded as one of the most influential writers of the 20th century --James Joyce, author of the outstanding Ulysses, cites him as an inspiration -- and he's also Irish. See, a little more nuanced, right?

Honorable Mentions:

Poet Sienna Rose -- Soleil Moon Frye; Sonnet -- Forest Whitaker; Story -- Jenna Elfman

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