Why not the Apple of our eyes?

Oct 18th 2004

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow named her daughter Apple. Perhaps you heard? Perhaps, in fact, you heard about this from half a dozen sources? Perhaps you even gathered with friends to giggle over the name?

Young Apple was born in May and captured headlines around the world. The internet teemed with messageboard discussions, athrill with horror over her name. Here at baby name central, I fielded a flood of messages about it. Yet the odd truth is: Apple isn't that odd a name.

In the months leading up to Apple's arrival, other celebrities welcomed children with names like Banjo, Lucky, and Pilot Inspektor, to no fanfare whatsoever. Meanwhile, names like Genesis, Serenity and Miracle rank among America's top 500 girl's names. So why do we pick on Apple?

My guess is, because it's easy. Apple is disarmingly unpretentious, the "Jane" of weird names. A baby called Persimmon or Tamarind would be a tougher target..."maybe," you'd think, "I just don't get it." You'd start to feel a little uneasy, and decide to disregard the name as "a Hollywood thing." But Apple, we all get. Its weirdness is completely accessible and unguarded, a clear and easy target. And perhaps for that reason, I feel the urge to protect it. For what it's worth, I think the name Apple is rather sweet. And I like Jane, too.


By Anonymous (not verified)
November 9, 2004 11:21 PM

I agree with you. I believe that Apple is a beautiful name. Although i'm not quite old enough to have children myself, I do plan to give them a name that is unusual..to me at least. I think that a name for a baby should be what ever the parents just so happen to like. Take my friend for example: she plans to name her son Bicycle. Odd for sure, but very origonal. As for myself, i plan to name my son Ryder Bain, or my daughter Emma-Leigh. My alternative would be a very common Jacob Alexander. Well, thank you for reading my coment on your artical. (by the way Jane is a nice name) =D..From:Ellana.

By Anonymous (not verified)
February 10, 2005 2:38 AM

The name, Apple, wasn't being attacked. Her mother was. When you have such a popular actress who comes off as highly talented, intelligent and beautiful, you imagine a name more like her own. Think Isabella or Lillian. Banjo and Pilot Inspektor didn't receive as much flak, because their parents aren't as popular and we don't have any expectations of them as far as the naming of their children. We expected more from Gwyneth.

By Anonymous (not verified)
February 10, 2005 11:28 AM

Ryder isn't unusual sadly.

By AkaXakA (not verified)
February 13, 2005 9:20 PM

That's it. I'm calling my next child iPod.

By Anonymous (not verified)
February 16, 2005 4:20 AM

Please don't tar Rachel Griffiths with the same brush! Her Banjo was not named after the good ole boy instrument, but rather a famous 19thC poet from here in Australia, Andrew "Banjo" Paterson (He wrote "Waltzing Matlida" and "The Man From Snowy River" - remember that movie with Kirk Douglas?? _ among many, many others.)Whilst not receiving universal acceptance here either, it seemd a much more understandable choice than "Apple" !!PS My third son is called Jonty - an anglicised version of the Scottish "Seantaigh". His name doesn't appear ANYWHERE! Help!

By Faustina (not verified)
February 23, 2005 4:05 AM

I'm 28, and I knew a girl when I was a teen named 'Apple'. Her parents were hippies, and her first and middle names were Apple Pie. She's in her early 20s now, I believe.

By Anonymous (not verified)
March 2, 2005 11:21 PM

Come on, let's tell it like it is. Apple is a dumb name, simple as that. Why not Lime or Cantaloupe?These "artists" can't help themselves. Apple IS a pretentious name. I'm all for unique and original names, but this is ridiculous.

By Fafaflunky (not verified)
March 2, 2005 11:26 PM

Come on, let's tell it like it is. Apple is a dumb name, simple as that. Why not Lime or Cantaloupe?These "artists" can't help themselves. Apple IS a pretentious name. I'm all for unique and original names, but this is ridiculous.

By Anonymous (not verified)
March 4, 2005 11:02 AM

I love the name Apple. I don't think it is "dumb," I think it shows the parents gave the name some thought. Apples and babies and little girls and young women, there's a wealth of great imagery there. I do believe it is dumb to hear a name from the top ten, say Katie or (shudder) Madison or Taylor and say "wow! I'm going to name my daughter that too!" Imagination is almost always better than following the pack.

By Anonymous (not verified)
March 6, 2005 2:45 AM

I am from another country (read: not from USA) and quite frankly, "Apple" is a common name where I am from. I have known many "Apple's" from Kindergarten to College, so I dont see why they think this name is so unusual.

By Anonymous (not verified)
March 11, 2005 8:58 PM

[by Driftwood] When I was an undergraduate at Cornell in the early 2000’s, I encountered a young woman named Page Turner, and blessed with this title she eschewed a purely literary field and majored in fashion and textiles. Then there was the matronly secretary in my high school principals office, the sweet Candice Cane.*** Bicycle? Absurd. Acceptable only if paired with the venerable Wheeler.

By Anonymous (not verified)
March 11, 2005 9:04 PM

Ive heard of a couple naming their boy Jax Danger (first, middle). Your thoughts?

By carolinacarol (not verified)
March 16, 2005 11:17 AM

i went to school with a girl named melanie rose..............bush !

By Anonymous (not verified)
March 22, 2005 4:13 AM

I wonder if my favorite computer company sent the Martin-Paltrow family some complementary products. Pink iPod mini would be my suggestion preloaded with Coldplay's complete discography.

By Anonymous (not verified)
March 22, 2005 11:31 AM

I think Apple is cute. If it was a nickname people would not be as crtical but, because she used it as an official name it becomes criticized. I would sooner name my child "apple" than Gwenyth for sure!!! People wake up and embrace fresh changes...everything does not have to stay the same! Besides we are in a "New name age" and as with fashions being a pick your favorite flash back look names seem to be everywhere on the map as well. I think it's great!

By Anonymous (not verified)
March 23, 2005 7:33 AM

[by Driftwood] I know of a little girl named "Sativa". I've had a client who named her daughter 'Alize', inspired by the cognac-fruit juice concoction. My buddy also named (in homage to a departed elder) his son 'Rook'.

By NameNymph (not verified)
March 23, 2005 5:24 PM

I have a family member called "Astra Royds".I don't think Apple is THAT bad... It would never have been my first choice in a million years, but their logic was that apples are cute, and round and sweet and rosy and everything that a little girl embodies. They chose it for the characteristics which it embodies.By that logic, which is not in ANY way unprecendented, Apple is a logical and reasonable name. At least as much so as Laurel (plant), Heather (plant), Summer (season), Ruby (jewel), Willow (tree), Dakota (First Nations People), Mercedes (popular 1980's luxury car), or Dallas (city).And besides, don't forget that all of our 'standard' names come originally from mundane or special words in other, or ancient forms of our own languages.The name "Pomona" is just a greek form of the name Apple. If she'd named the baby Pomona, there wouldn't have been half the fuss as was created when she stuck to her own language. Despite the identical origin and meaning.If things get rough for little Apple, I recommend Gwyneth bring her over to play with wee Bicycle, or, the kids in my area who are named Pebbles and Eaglechild.2 hours with them and she'll be thanking her lucky stars that "Apple" was the worst she got.

By Shannon (not verified)
April 14, 2005 4:47 PM

I'm sorry but Apple is an awful name. It is a fruit. I think Pilot Inspecktor, Audio Science and Fuddy are awful too.

By Anonymous (not verified)
April 17, 2005 4:33 PM

The problem with Apple is that an apple, or any other round red fruit, is subtly symbolic. I'm no prude, but it seems a tad lewd to me to name a girl Apple.

By evilfairy (not verified)
April 20, 2005 5:48 AM

i don't find the name Apple pretentious at all. To me it is all about simplicity and sweetness. I liked the name and couldn't understand the uproar about it.

By Stacey (not verified)
April 21, 2005 9:18 AM

Apple, humm, well when it comes down to it, its none of our business really. Their people just like us,deserve their privacy and can make their own choices. They entertain as a job. If it was the lady at Burger King it wouldn't have hit the tabloids, whats the difference.

By Anonymous (not verified)
May 20, 2005 4:54 AM

Apple is such an adorable and creative name! The name is very spunky, even when said! It makes me think of a little girl in pigtails and freckles! I don't know why, but it does. I am young now, but when I am ready to have children, I would consider Apple, however, my boyfriend knows I first heard the name from Gwyneth and Chris! See, I am a HUGE fan of both Coldplay and Paltrow! He would probably think it was a little obsessive of me to go that far! But....anyways, believe me or not but I adore the names Olive, Olivia, or Oliana. Oliana is the Hawaiian word for the Oleander flower.

By Kate (not verified)
May 21, 2005 8:06 PM

I thought that the name was at least unique and original, until I found out that one of her husband's bandmates had named his baby that just a few months before, completely negating the "unique and original" idea.

By Amber (not verified)
June 19, 2005 4:30 AM

Ten years ago I read a poem by Cicely Mary Barker about the Apple Blossom Fairies, at that moment I decided if I ever had a baby girl I would name her Apple. Four years ago I had a baby girl and named her Apple Anna Sorcha,no other name could have suited her more! Most people she meets think her name is beautiful,its not one you hear all the time! Anyone who makes a rude comment is just an unhappy person with a closed mind and no creative energy!There are so many different, lovely names out there that are rarely used, why not use them!Try to give your child a name so when they go to school they are the only one with that name.

By Justine Case (not verified)
June 29, 2005 6:35 AM

Yes, people, be creative! Give your kid a name that no other kid in their school will be guaranteed to have--like Coffeemug, or Vodka (Vaughdkhaa, for all you tryndee spellers), or Postit, or Bedpan! Darn it, our kids will be stuck in classrooms flooded with Johns, Jasons, and Jennifers. We don't want them to SUFFER from having three other kids by the same name in their classes like we had to. We would never put them through the complete and utter MISERY of having to be another Melissa or Tracy! So, let's give our kids dazzlingly unique names like Apple, Peaches, Bicycle, and Catheder, because we would never, ever, in a million years, want them to SUFFER!

By Anonymous (not verified)
July 11, 2005 10:55 PM

I don't understand the uproar over the name Apple or any other name for that matter. A newborn's name is an expression of the love felt by the parents for the new 'miracle' in the parents' life. Who are you/we to judge someone else for the name they choose for their children? (My kids names: Taylor, Madison, and Caden-2 days old)

By julie (not verified)
July 15, 2005 11:15 AM

Apple wouldn't be a horrible name if her father's band (Coldplay) didn't have a song ("Clocks") that contained the line "shoot an apple off my head."THAT is why i think naming the kid Apple was a bad lapse in judgment. otherwise it'd be sweet.

By Holly (not verified)
July 18, 2005 2:46 AM

Why objects people? Why not be totally original and come up with something new? It's not that hard!

By Anonymous (not verified)
July 19, 2005 2:42 PM

the name apple makes me think of a gerber baby. i love it! i think of gwyneth's beautiful fair skin and rosy cheeks! i just found out i am pregnant and i am seriously considering naming my daughter apple.

By Anonymous (not verified)
July 20, 2005 4:55 AM

Here are some interesting children's names from my work at an innercity community centre. Some are just interesting in spelling or the combination of hyphenated names.Jean Henry and Johnrhey (brothers)Royal (boy)Anjoe (boy)Delainey (boy) Musky (boy)Dancing Willow (boy)Roman (boy)Aris (boy)Arynn (girl)Marinah (girl)Rey-Anthony (boy)Philip-James (boy)Andre-Justin (boy)Johnjon (boy)Telueh (girl)Tharsan (boy)Salome (girl) Micah (girl)

By Anonymous (not verified)
August 7, 2005 2:27 PM

What's the problem here? She has freely admitted that her assistant (or Coldplay associate) named her daughter Apple, and it seemed lovely to her, it just stuck the way some names do! Anyone here Pilipino? Go there and you might find a family of girls named; Apple, Cherry, and Peach Pie- and I went to school with a "Cherry". They are beautiful names and should not even be mentioned as "odd" when freaks are naming their little girls Asshole (pronounced Ash-o-lay)!!!

By Anonymous (not verified)
August 18, 2005 4:08 AM

At first I thought Apple was kinda wierd and strange, but now I think that it's not so bad.

By Anonymous (not verified)
October 1, 2005 6:41 PM

I think that when you are naming a child -- one needs to remember that they will grow up and be a productive member of society. I think it is important to name your children names that they can grow into not out of.

By Anonymous (not verified)
October 5, 2005 11:00 PM

I'm all for giving your individual, unique child a individual and unique name, no two people are identical in any way, shape or form so why should we stick to the standard (and often boring) names just because it "sounds" better or does or doesn't "mean" something. Just as your child is and individual, so should their names be individual! My sons' name is Tannon...after absolutely nothing at all, just came up with it! He likes it, we love it and most of all no one else has it that we are aware of. It's as individual as he is.

By Anonymous (not verified)
October 22, 2005 12:51 PM

I know of a woman called Arsola - she pronounces it Ursula..ahemm, oh and in this case its Arsola by name and nature unfortunately for her.

By Anonymous (not verified)
November 11, 2005 2:08 AM

Brings to mind the Robert Frost poem "Maple" . . . .

By Anonymous (not verified)
November 13, 2005 2:53 AM

Part of the problem here is that Apple should be a NCINAME. Like the "apple of my eye". I have a girlfriend who calls her daughter bunny, but that is not her real name!! Apple is a fruit for heavens sake! PLUS, ok, yes it may be "cute" for right now when she is a baby, but HELLO, she is not going to be a year old forever. At some point this girl will probably get married, go to college, have children herself, etc. Imagine at the ceremony....do you , Apple take Cantaloupe to be your husband....c'mon now.

By Anonymous (not verified)
November 14, 2005 3:21 AM

Well, I am afraid that anyone who doesn't like the name Apple here in America might as well just suck it up or plug their ears, because I can hear it coming down the tracks like a freight train. We named our first daughter Emma 4.5 years ago. About 3.5 years ago, Jennifer Anistons' character "Rachel" on friends named her fictional daughter Emma, and since then it has become one of the most popular girls names in America. We're unfortunately all about copying the celebs here....

By Antoinette (not verified)
November 22, 2005 4:01 PM

I think Apple is just a bit goofy. I could see it being a nickname though. Jane is lovely.

By Ingrid Magnussen (not verified)
November 29, 2005 5:46 AM

I know of a little girl named "Sativa". I've had a client who named her daughter 'Alize', inspired by the cognac-fruit juice concoction.My buddy also named (in homage to a departed elder) his son 'Rook'.I think that Alizeh is a lovely name. And apparently so does Geena Davis. Her daughter's name is Alizeh Keshvar which means "joyful" in Hebrew, and "country" in Persian. i thought it was nice considering that Alizeh's father is Persian.

By Ingrid Magnussen (not verified)
November 29, 2005 6:02 AM

i plan on naming my children the following:first sonfirst: Roman Judemiddle: Stellan Caleb Sundarfirst daughterfirst: Mischka Satinemiddle: Julianne Ada Makembasecond daughterfirst: Mariska Madelainemiddle: Marcia Ava Carolsecond sonfirst: Ganden Ewanmiddle: Duchovny Carmine Zelmanand of course their last names will be Magnussen, like mine is

By Anonymous (not verified)
December 23, 2005 11:11 PM

I love the name Apple. Its so sweet I'm only but I think almost all girls think of there childrens names. I'm going to name my little girl Apple Ani. But twin run in the fam so I need another name of equle likness.I also Love the name Timberly!

By Anonymous (not verified)
January 18, 2006 3:12 AM

All Gwenyth, or whatever her name is, wanted to do was make a big uproar. Just think how would you like to be named banana, personally I think that would be a curse cuz I hate bananas. Some names are very ridiculous and may ruin that childs life, at least Apple isn't that threatning but it's up there.

By Anonymous (not verified)
January 23, 2006 2:57 AM

It's not that Apple is THAT... in fact Applette sounds rather nice. It's that her name is Apple Martin.... add one "i" and you've got an alcoholic drink.I would't be suprised if she named her son Orange

By Anonymous (not verified)
January 23, 2006 10:59 PM

Hi I like the name Apple Ani. I think i'v seen you at the mall looking at baby clothes with your pretty belly. I heard you say it and it had a lovey ring to it. And congrads!!!!

By Chiponshoulder (not verified)
September 5, 2006 8:41 AM

You Americans are so over the top about everything! Just look at that girl called JoBenet, pronounced "Jobenay" or something like that. It is awful. I can't even work out if Ingrid Magnussen is joking or not but I seriously hope so. If ever these children want to come to Europe to live and work they will not be taken seriously if they are called Apple, Asshole, Timberley, Musky, Dancing Willow, unless of course they are children of pop stars and then it doesn't matter what they're called!!

By Amy A (not verified)
January 21, 2007 12:41 PM

Mercedes isn't just the name of a car; it's a beautiful classical name, which is where the nickname Sadie comes from. The guy who invented the car named it after his daughter Mercedes.
As for Apple, I like it! There are girls called Peaches and that seems (almost) normal, there are girls named after flowers, months, seasons, countries... I think the name Apple will grow on a lot of people. It's fresh, sweet and simple. It's different, but not in an obnoxiously misspelt or random-amalgamation-of-trendy-prefixes-and-suffixes way. I wouldn't call it pretentious either; it's an everyday word.
But Apple Martin(i) - wow, I hadn't thought of that! Well, I guess it could be worse. Anyway, she might grow up to see the funny side and be nicknamed Martini by her friends!

By kristi (not verified)
March 15, 2007 5:26 PM

For siblings of Apple, how about other simple sweet word names, perhaps Gem or Heart.

By Kat (not verified)
April 14, 2007 12:40 AM

I'm not even 100% certain, yet, that I am pregnant, but I already had a dream with my theoretical baby girl in it and her name was Mischka. But, in the rare instances that I've seen the name online, I think it's supposed to be a boy's name. Can it be both? Anyone know anything about the name?

By no name (not verified)
May 3, 2007 12:26 AM

Yes, Mischka is a Russian male name, however, it is also a female Slovak name! A very nice name, too. My Slovak girlfriend has this name.