Over the weekend, Ashlee Simpson (sister of Jessica Simpson) and Pete Wentz (bassist for Fall Out Boy) had a baby, and in true celebrity fashion they gave it an unusual name: Bronx Mowgli. Yes, that’s Bronx, as in the borough, and Mowgli, like the protagonist of The Jungle Book.
Leaving the Mowgli aside for a minute — actually, let’s never bring that up again — Bronx is just the next in a series of celebrities naming their kids after places on the map. There’s Brooklyn Beckham, son of David Beckham and Posh Spice; Paris Jackson, daughter of Michael Jackson; even Ron Howard’s IMDb page says his children’s middle names are chosen after the places they were conceived (creepy!), which is why two of his kids have the middle name Carlyle, after the Hotel Carlyle in New York City. (The last one is Bryce Dallas.)
Speaking of Dallas, Ashlee Simpson is from Texas, and Pete Wentz is from Illinois, so it’s not immediately clear to me that either of them have ever even been to the Bronx. If they had just thrown their baby-naming dart a little bit northward, little Baby Wentz could have had a name inspired by a locale in the Hudson Valley. (Hey, Gwen Stefani named her son Kingston, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility.) If any other celebrities are looking for a hipster baby name — but don’t want to be a poseur and pick one with a “tough” sound to it like Bronx or Brooklyn — I’ve scoured the Valley’s towns and hamlets and will count down the top ten Valley-inspired baby names here, free of charge:
6. Sugar Loaf
5. Minnewaska (or Minnie for short)
Hopefully, little Coxsackie won’t be made fun of by all of the Apples, Cocos, Banjos, and Moxies out there.