I've been wondering this for a while, and with the spate of celebrity babies born recently it's really been niggling at me - are we SURE the names announced are legit? This isn't a reaction to "those crazy celebrities and their weird baby names", but rather wondering if, rather than revealing the child's real name to the world, "those crazy celebrities" are seeking some privacy - and secretly snickering about fooling us - by announcing fake names. That was my first thought when I read "Wyatt Isabelle". I can see Ashton and Mila doing this, because they're so much smarter than the rest of us. Now Hayden and Rachel announce "Briar Rose", an actual decoy name in literature.

What do you think? Am I giving celebrities too much credit or are they feeling smug every time some outlet refers to their child by the wrong name?


You know, it was the word ‘smug’ that did it. I got this email on Friday and it stayed with me through the weekend. Was it possible that we’d been played all this time?   That all the baby name analysis was not only for naught, but for the celebs to toss back their heads and laugh at us over their champagne cocktails?

I get a lot of letters that don’t give me pause, but this one did, so I started to think about why. Wyatt Isabelle? I don’t know. I don’t believe those two would give us a decoy name, because they gave us a decoy baby face, and used it to lecture us on how all babies are cute and how they need their privacy. Somehow I feel that if Ashton Kutcher were smart enough to give his baby a fake name, he’d want you to know about it, don’t you think?

Other baby names that come to mind – RDJ’s Avri? Absolutely. No question – it fits too well with the naming pattern he established years ago. Scarlett Johannson? No, I’ve made my feelings pretty clear on that one. I think the name Rose was strategically chosen to keep her in the background, but not necessarily one to act as a decoy.

Briar Rose, though, I think you may be on to something. I got emails about other Briar Roses, so it is something that’s happening in the zeitgest, and it sounds on-trend enough, but as you point out, Briar Rose isn’t just a fairytale-type name – it’s an actual Fairytale Decoy Name used to hide the princess Aurora. So…no less princess imagery, but maybe yes, they think their tiny precious is worthy of some undercover identification. Yes, I can see that being the choice. And Briar Rose is the tipoff- if you know the story you know, but you’re still not getting to know the real name. You’re not insider enough for that. (Lainey: AS IF Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen need a f-cking DECOY. Are they Brange now? Really?)

Oh and when it’s Blake Lively’s turn, I fully assume she will say the baby can choose its own name when it’s old enough to decide which meaning is most meaningful to her.

Agree? Disagree? Thanks for the letter, M!