The name Brooklyn has been done before, so Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz turned to another New York City borough in naming their newborn son: The Bronx.
She hails from Texas, he grew up near Chicago, and the pop-rock power couple haven’t said whether the Yankees’ territory (and arguably the toughest real estate in New York City) inspired their unusual choice: Bronx Mowgli Wentz.
That ranks right up there with Zuma Nesta Rock — Gwen Stefani’s baby boy — in the category of quirkiest baby names.
The Associated Press consulted its panel of baby-name gurus to weigh in on the scrappy-sounding moniker.
Expert: Whitney Walker, co-author with Eric Reyes of “The Perfect Baby Name” and consultant through ThePerfectBabyName.com.
Specialty: Phonetics and rhythm — how names sound and flow together.
Impressions: “I actually like the name Bronx. ... It is kind of a poser move to name your kid after this particular neighborhood that’s seen as being a tough New York neighborhood. But if they have some connection to it, then that’s nice.”
“That ‘x’ ending and the short ‘o’ sound — those are things that are going to be appealing to people, so it’s not surprising that Bronx is a choice. ... It sound tough, and hopefully the kid will be a little bit tough, and he probably will with Pete Wentz as a father, because Pete Wentz comes across certainly as a prankster. ... Bronx isn’t the name for some nerdy, shy kid, you know?”
“Mowgli is a character (from the Rudyard Kipling stories and the Disney film ‘The Jungle Book’) who’s got a lot of independence, and he’s brave and he saves the day, and I think there’s a great tradition of naming your kids after a fictional character ... that represents an ideal that you want to impart to your kid.”
“The reason that I’m giving it a minus is because Bronx ends with an ‘s’ sound and Wentz ends with an ‘s’ sound, and to have two one-syllable names in a row like that (both) ending with the same sound? It’s almost like it’s rhyming. It’s a little bit too repetitive.”
Expert: Maryanna Korwitts, author of “Name Power 101” and founder of BabyNamingCentral.com.
Specialty: The holistic approach, from sounds and meanings to the impact of names, possible nicknames — even initials — on personality traits.
Impressions: “With Bronx, it’s got some positives: It’s short, not a name that’s going to be shortened with a crazy nickname, so it is what it is. It does have a very masculine sound. There’s a lot of appeal to x’s and z’s in names for some reason for people, and so that’s another positive in the way that the name looks. It’s got a nice, hard sound in the beginning — and easy to spell.”
“Subliminally, it’s a name that’s gonna encourage this child to be very independent, very headstrong. ... He’s going to have a stubborn streak and really want to do things his way, which will help him growing up in a celebrity family.”
“This is a child that’s going to grow up using his physical traits and talents, so he would be the kind that you talk to him the wrong way, he might throw a punch. Or he might turn his sights to sports.”
“One of the things that I always caution my clients on is to choose a middle name that a child is not going to be embarrassed by later on, and this is one that could definitely be one of those that’s hidden. ‘What’s your middle name?’ ‘Oh, I don’t have one.’ ... That’s kind of a downer, and I think when choose a name like that, they’re picking it more on the basis of their own likes and dislikes and not really thinking about the child going forward.”
“Bronx Wentz? Little problem in the flow there in saying the name. ... We’ve got some problems in that Bronx and Wentz are both one syllable, and it’s a very herky-jerky type of thing when you’re saying it.”
Expert: Jennifer Moss, author of “The One-in-a-Million Baby Name Book” and founder of Babynames.com.
Specialty: Practicality. Moss focuses on the research process, looking for influences such as family history and life experiences.
Impressions: “The sound of it — Bronx Wentz — is really a harsh sound. And the name Bronx itself sounds like a honk, you know? ... It associates with a certain place — not that there’s anything wrong with the Bronx, but it’s, like, why? ... I mean, I don’t know, it’s just like naming somebody Detroit.”
Composite panel grade: C
Previous panel results:
- Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline, twins of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt: Knox Leon: C, Vivienne Marcheline: B+.
- Zuma Nesta Rock, son of Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani: C-