(Lainey: clearly Duana has found her people, because some of you are just as name nerdy/snobby as she is.)
“Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson, better known to family and friends as Luna”. That’s from the publicist, whom I assume was cringing as she wrote this.
I think it is prudent, in this situation, to list the meanings of the given names, as many as we can:
Rosalind – Spanish, means Red Dragon
Arusha – Sanskrit, means Red
Arkadina – no meaning found on Nameberry, my name-bible , but the name shows up in Chekov’s The Seagull
Altalune – no meaning found on Nameberry
Florence - Flourishing, Prosperous. (It’s worth it to look at the graph of when Florence was popular. You want a below-the-radar name? Try this one.)
Um. Red Red Chekhov “Luna” Prosperous Thurman-Busson. I guess that’s a theme? Sort of?
Well, let’s first talk about cohesiveness, shall we? Uma’s own name is Sanskrit, and her baby’s father, Arpad, has two children named Arpad Flynn Alexander and Aurelius Cy Andrea, so if you were wondering whether or not his dick grows bigger when he gives children names starting with his initial, well, now you don’t have to wonder anymore. (For what it’s worth, People says these children are called Flynn and Cy.) There’s also Uma’s two children, Maya Ray and Levon.
I mean of course it’s utterly ridiculous. There is no goddamn need to hoard five first names and sixteen syllables when you’re going to call the child Luna. Is there a shortage? Does she think, like that letter-writer who hit up Sasha last week, that nobody else will use the names now that she’s claimed so many of them?
But she’s Uma Thurman. In addition to being a bit of a cipher in her own life and letting Ethan Hawke go (sorry, but 15 year old me can’t deal with that, still), she is the daughter of a family who had the Dalai Lama drop by casually when she was growing up; her siblings’ names are also unusual and I believe many are also of Sanskrit extraction.
So here’s the question, one that is a little taboo and a lot annoying to the people who think the answer is No…
Are you more entitled to name “weirdly” if you have a weird name yourself?
There are millions of subsections here. I remember an outcry when Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie named their baby Luca – neither of them presents as particularly Italian, so how dare they take that name? Suri has Hebrew and Sanskrit roots, but because she’s an All-American darling, it somehow seems okay and “normalized” for a girl whose parents are Tom and Katie? We have millions of interfaith, intercultural couples having children – does the name have to reflect each, or either? If you’re sixteenth-generation Canadian, does that mean you have to avoid a name like Aziza, even if you think it’s gorgeous?
Can we justify Uma and Arpad naming their baby something so outlandish because they have to top their own unusual names? I’ll be honest, as someone whose name doesn’t come up every year, let alone every day, it does give you a certain freedom to make it your own. But when little R.A.A.A.F.T-B, “Luna” to her friends, is wearing the same overpriced designer sweatshirt as everyone else in fourteen years, you really think it’s going to make a difference to her self-image? Do the three As do anything except prove that her parents wanted to amuse themselves?
On the flip side, there are still people who complain about why we can’t have children named “normal” names (I actually saw a woman on a mainstream site the other day use the term “Christian names” which...seriously? In 2012? Romney?) and by those they mean commonly used English names used within the last 50 years. Guaranteed if she had just named the girl Rosalind Florence there would have been some complaints over that, how “dried up and boring” it is. There is a world in which people can’t win unless they choose Sophia (don’t choose Sophia!).
In conclusion: while I’m utterly disgusted with the number of names and the famewhorey release of them, I find some kind of lovely. Especially “Arusha”. But overall, I kind of hope the child chooses a life of obscurity because if she goes for anything involving press, the name will always precede the person.