Using place names for baby names is currently as hot as the Sahara (or as cool as Aspen), because they often sound unique or may have special significance. But please note: Just because you got pregnant in Honolulu or you hail from Hoboken doesn’t mean you have to holla by giving that town name to your baby! Here are some of our favorite place-names-as-baby-names.
Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham was in Brooklyn, New York, when she found out that she was expecting her first child, and that’s how her and husband David Beckham’s eldest son Brooklyn got his name. This name is hot right now for both boys and girls (and we prefer it immensely to another New York borough baby name chosen by Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz: Bronx).
Rocker couple Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale decided on their first child’s name, Kingston, while on vacation in Jamaica years before he was born. Gwen said they thought the name was so cool they kept it a secret so nobody could steal their baby-name idea!
Sydney is the name of the biggest city in Australia and a great name for both girls and boys. It’s more commonly used for girls when spelled with a “y” and the alternative spelling Sidney is currently more popular for boys.
Marcia Cross and husband Tom Mahoney are big fans of naming kids after places: They chose the Georgia city name Savannah for one of their twin daughters, and the Biblical garden name Eden for the other. Both names are feminine and unique without being too celebizarre.
Although the Brits are often thought to be very proper, capital city London is an old Celtic word for “wild.” That makes this a great name if you’re hoping your son or daughter is a free spirit. (But maybe it’s not the best name if you’re hoping he or she will be really well behaved!)
Sure, Memphis is the name of the Tennessee town famous for music and Elvis’ Graceland. But it’s also the name of the ancient capital of Egypt, which was named for a female character in Greek mythology. Whatever his inspiration, Bono’s naming of his daughter Memphis is catching on–it’s rising in popularity and is the 17th-most-popular American city baby name.
Looking for a name with Asian influence? Country name China fits the bill. It’s also the name of a celebrity kid who’s all grown up: actress China Chow, daughter of restaurateur Michael Chow and late model/designer Tina Chow. Wilson Phillips singer Chynna Phillips, the daughter of 1960s rockers and wife to William Baldwin, bears an alternative spelling of the name, but she named her own kids the more Western-influenced Jamison and Vance.
“Scary Spice” Mel B. is from the U.K and lives in California, but that didn’t stop her from bestowing Arizona city name Phoenix on her oldest daughter. According to Greek mythology, a phoenix is a colorful bird that every few hundred years bursts into flame and is reborn. Intrigued? Check out more names from Greek mythology.