What's In a Name? Suri Cruise, Nearly 4

Celebrity Moms Apr. 14, 2010 AT 4:10PM
What's In a Name? Suri Cruise, Nearly 4 Credit: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Nameberry.com editors Pamela Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz -- who penned the books Baby Name Bible and Beyond Ava & Aiden-- are blogging for UsMagazine.com about why celebs choose the names they do, and what they mean.

Suri Cruise turns 4 this Sunday, and Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' little princess still holds the crown for one of the most intriguing and original celebrity baby names.
 
Fans and even baby name experts were stumped when Tom and Katie announced that they'd chosen Suri, an obscure form of Sarah, which means princess in Hebrew ot "red rose in Persian.

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Quickly, other interpretations of the name and possible meanings sprang up.  Suri can be a breed of llama, another name for the Hindu God Krishna, an Ethiopian clan, a title used for Jain monks and a Japanese word for pickpocket.
 
Cruise and Holmes have never gone public with their reasons for choosing the unusual Suri, a name that hasn't caught on with the general baby-naming public.  Although such formerly-unknown names as Maddox and Harlow have climbed the popularity ladder after being selected for their offspring by celebrity parents, Suri remains far shy of the Top 1000 baby names list.

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Why has Suri not caught on the way other celebrity baby name choices have?  Suri Cruise is certainly an adorable child who gets plenty of attention.  And her name, in many ways, is cuter and more accessible than such appellations as Apple Martin or Bronx Mowgli.
 
But perhaps as a name Suri is too singular and too distinctive, so that any parent who chooses it (or girl who bears it) will always have to say, "Yes, like Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' daughter."
 
Another unusual, for these times, aspect of Suri's moniker is that she has no middle name.  While a generation or two ago it may have been more common for children not to have a middle name, with the idea that they might acquire a confirmation name or a maiden name to eventually use in the middle, today one middle name is accepted practice. Two middle names – like Nicole Richie's daughter Harlow Winter Kate Madden -- is becoming unremarkable.

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But little Suri remains a one-name wonder, destined to perhaps be the Madonna or Cher of tomorrow.

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