July 7, 2011
Natalie Portman names son ‘Alef’ according to Israeli media
There is a strange competition among famous people over who can come up with the most original baby names.
According to a rumor swirling in the media, the Jerusalem-born Natalie Portman has named her son Alef, according to a report published in the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom, though Portman’s camp has not confirmed the news.
If it is true, however, then Portman has joined a long list of celebrities who prefer, shall we say, ‘obscure’ names for their kids. This little game usually results in place names; Dakota (Fanning), Ireland (Baldwin and Basinger’s daughter), or you better believe it: Mars (that one, from singer Erykah Badu); then there are food names; Gwyneth Paltrow went with ‘Apple’ for her daughter, Food Revolution chef Jamie Oliver named his ‘Poppy’; military-sounding names; Demi Moore and Bruce Willis named two of their three ‘Rumer’ and ‘Scout’; oddly spelled names; “Cruz” Beckham or “Reign” for rapper Timbaland’s daughter.
The list of wacky names is endless (Alicia Silverstone named her son ‘Bear Blu’!). And then there are names that are equally as wacky but sound nice—anyone know where ‘Suri’ came from?
This peculiar fad for exotic baby naming can only stem from one thing (narcissism), although it comes with an ironic twist. First celebrities insist that their children have names that, God forbid, no ordinary children of the world can share, and then US Weekly does a cover story and suddenly the most popular baby name in America is ‘Zuzu’.
What this means for Jews, and especially pregnant Jews, is that ‘Alef’ just got added to the list.