Q: Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin just named their baby girl Apple. Larry King's kids are Chance and Cannon. Christie Brinkley has a Sailor, and John Mellencamp has a Speck. When I have my next child, should I pull out a dictionary and pick a noun, any noun, for a name? Or should I just think of my favorite fruit/state/candy and go with that?

Jenny Cohen

A: By the time you actually become a celebrity, you've been well-exposed to the cruel and sometimes arbitrary marketing influences that govern product names. You come up with a cool name for your band, only to have the record company decide to change it. You come up with some evocative title for your second album, only to have rock critics make fun of it. Test audiences turn up their noses at your new movie, and one of the studio's solutions is to change the title, and then change it again. A vice president for marketing thinks your new book title sounds "too something, I don't know what." And on and on. Pretty soon, it seems like you're always having to change the names (and scripts and soundtracks and wardrobes) associated with almost everything you do. Celebrities rarely talk about the pain of compromise, but it's always there. It hurts because most celebrities consider themselves to be primarily artists (yes, even Anna Nicole Smith).

Then comes a baby -- your own self-produced, big-budget extravaganza made your way. Ergo (culled from celeb baby name Web sites): Moon Unit, Dweezil, Fifi Trixibelle (and sister Peaches and half sister Heavenly Hirani Tigerlilly), Audio Science, Chastity, Rumer, Piper Maru, Diezel (and brother Denim), Hopper, Kyd, Reignbeau . . .

Creative control is not always forever: David Bowie's son, Zowie, has reportedly changed his name to Joe, then reverted to Duncan, one of his original names. You can also expect your next little noun to possibly decide he's an adjective, or maybe he'll just want to be like Mike.

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