Looking back on my post about Benedict Cumberbatch’s first son, maybe the passage of time has mellowed me or maybe tastes have changed, but while Christopher Carlton Cumberbatch may be a little vanilla, it’s nothing to laugh at, it’s a fine name.

Similarly, I didn’t understand why Lainey and our site manager Emily were so tickled by the name of Cumberbatch’s second son, “Auden Cumberbatch”. Why was it so funny? I know I don’t always keep up with Cumby’s roles, or haven’t heard any big announcements about him having settled arguments with the W.H. Auden Society, so…?

(I’m sorry. I’m terrible. I’m setting myself up for this terrible joke like I’m somebody’s dad…)

Then I realized that they were not writing ‘Ha! Auden Cumberbatch’, but merely typing the name of the child:


Number one, Hal is actually very next-wave. Sure, Christopher and Chris seemed a bit passé, but they call him ‘Kit’ (which they could only get away with in Britain – 100% a Kennedy-sanctioned girl’s name on this side of the Atlantic), which opens the door for swinging 60s Hal, the icy-cool nickname that distinguishes him from a billion Henrys. It’s also apparently the diminutive for Harold, but since nobody’s racing to use that one just yet, he’ll likely be the only one for awhile.

Number two, I need glasses. Or more glasses. I really thought it said ‘Ha!’

Especially ironic because this is a good name. A surprisingly good name. More than just being charming or sweet or new-sounding, Hal Auden Cumberbatch is evocative.

Because while Kit-for-Christopher ultimately turned out to be an appropriately quirky nickname to go with last name Cumberbatch,  Hal has arrived on scene that much more swaggily. It’s the Marion-from-the-BBC-video of names. Hal Cumberbatch is both an au courant name for a 2017 baby and the name of a slightly sarcastic private eye solving crimes in a Burberry trenchcoat he pretends is London Fog. I am all for it.

And if he starts signing his name “Ha!” as a teenager, well, I’ll know he used whatever passes for Google in 15 years and found it here.