(Lainey: please see Duana’s article and then details on our pool below that. This is a throwdown!)

I know the fear of all mothers these days is judgment.  Everyone worries they’re going to get judged for what they do or don’t feed their kid, who takes care of them, and whether or not they have foot-discovery skills by five minutes old.  I’m not a judger.  I’m nobody’s parent yet, everyone does what it takes to get by, and I don’t think that one or two Fun-Dips, complete with Lik-m-aid™ in a kid’s life is going to set them on an irreversible path to mass murder.

There is, of course, one exception.

I am a name snob.

Sorry. I’m sorry, but I am. This comes partly from having an unusual name and desperately wanting one that fit in (when I was five, I told a lady in a store my name was Megan, to my mother’s mortification). But I also write about made-up people all the time, and nobody searches a baby name website (this is my favourite) like a childless writer trying to figure out the best name to describe a down-on-his-luck waiter.

So I have opinions, they are copious, and they’ll probably piss off many people.  Did you name your baby Liam after 2000? Have you loved the name Nicole since you were 7?  Do you kind of think that your Isabella is different than all the other Isabellas? Yes, sorry, I do think you’re unoriginal. I don’t think it’s going to scar your kids or anything, and there are many, many successful people named Jennifer and Michael…but still.

There’s another type of namer: the type who has lists under their email signature like “Future mother of Aurelia Charlotte and Evangeline Clementine, unless you think Evangeline Charlotte and Aurelia Clementine sounds better?” (Lainey: REALLY? PEOPLE DO THIS???)  These people are down the rabbit hole of naming, and will mentally up their expected kid tally to six, just so they can use up all the names they love, many of which involve the resurrection of “Freidrich”.

The question is, what kind of namer is Jessica Simpson?

Yesterday, the quote released in her Elle interview said this:

“It’s nothing shocking and nothing you’ll have to add to the dictionary. Still, when people hear it, they’ll know … why.”

My first thought, of course, is that this was a dig at young Bronx Mowgli. Her own nephew, it seems, doesn’t have the kind of name that passes muster for Jessica.  You know what? I’m into that. Good for her. Aside from the obvious and delicious sibling bitchery, that is not the kind of name that’s going to endure, and subsequent generations are not going to talk about what a strong, noble choice “Bronx” still is.

Then, of course, there’s the mysterious “they’ll know…why”. So she’s honoring something or someone - a vague statement, a clear indication of the baby’s sex, and irresistible to name nerds (because I know I’m not the only one); it’s the perfect storm:

Welcome to the First Ever LaineyGossip Baby Name Pool!  

Of course, I can’t win.  But I can handicap a number of choices to get you started.

I think we can safely dispense with Ariadne or Persephone or anything that some of you would describe as a “weird” celebrity name. Not just because she said as much, but because, when all is said and done, this child is a product of a Jessica and an Eric.  It’s not gonna be that out of the box. I was discussing this with the wonderfully-named Ceri (shortened from ‘Ceridwyn’) the other day.  The less typical your name is, the more open you are to unusual names. Even though J. Simp later called the name ‘nontraditional’, there’s a wide swath of interpretation here.

Isn’t this fun?

We know she’s having a girl, so, like many, my first thought was Josephine. She can honor Creepy Joe Simpson, it’s a name that’s on trend but not popular, and people would know “why”. Shudder.

Then again, her mom’s name is Tina. She could name a little girl Christina, honor both mom and, you know, the son of God, who was a big part of her life at one point, remember?

But there’s another factor that goes toward my number one draft pick.   

As Lainey points out, this interview would have had to have been done awhile ago, in order to make it to print now. Certainly before any current events came into play.

But Jessica used to perform, waaaay back in the day when she was a country/gospel artist, with Cece Winans who is the godmother of one Bobbi Kristina Brown. She’s born in 1980, putting her right in the pocket of the era of the female vocalist as a major influence. She’s got southern roots.

I don’t believe it was what she meant when she said the quote in question – but if she chose this name it would fit with the quote anyway, and I do believe it’s the kind of thing she would do.

Whitney Josephine.

Feminine, “meaningful”, and nothing you’d have to add to the dictionary.   Oh, and completely taking advantage of the media’s obsession with this kind of thing.    Sounds like Jessica Simpson to me.

It’s my official pick.  What’s yours?

(Lainey: you want to enter the pool, go head to head against Duana and me? My pick, if you recall yesterday, was Daisy. I’ll go with Daisy Erica Johnson.  Email [email protected] with your pick. If you hit it, and you have to HIT it right on, I’ll send you a gift basket full of my favourite spring things. I should tell you, not modestly, that I am a GREAT gift giver. In the end of a tie, the person who emails first wins. The deadline is tomorrow, Friday March 9th, by 6pm PT*. And, obviously, we’ll know when she delivers. Which, by the looks of her, for her sake, will hopefully be soon.Good luck!)

*Disclaimer: you will not be considered eligible if Jessica Simpson gives birth before the deadline of Friday March 9th by 6pm PT and your entry is sent in after that time.