Green Apple (pro)
Green Apple by Energetic Spirit via Flickr

She’s among the most controversial baby names in all of Hollywood, and has been since her name was revealed, eight years ago today.

With a happy birthday to little Miss Apple Blythe Allison Martin, our Baby Name of the Day is Apple.

I’m deeply appreciative of wacky celeb baby names.  They expand the boundaries of what we mere mortals can name our children.  Apple is top of the heap, the one name always listed in round-ups of daffy starbaby appellations, right after Dweezil and Moon Unit.

And here’s the kicker: I’m not convinced she’s all that out there.  As her mom, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, said in an Oprah interview:  “there are people named Lily or Ivy or June, or you know, lots of pretty nouns.”  And right she is.  Nature names have always been with us, and they’ve exploded in recent years.

Could it be Apple’s status as forbidden fruit that made it so jaw-dropping?  Perhaps.  But there’s lots to Apple.  Into the 1600s, the world apple was interchangeable with the word fruit, and plenty of other edibles are described as a kind of apple. In French, pommes de terre are potatoes – apples of the earth.  A banana was once known as an apple of paradise.

Back to the question of Adam and Eve … it isn’t certain that the forbidden fruit would have been an apple.

Never mind, though, because apples featured in stories and myth long before the Garden of Eden.  There’s the Apple of Discord, pitched by a jealous goddess at a newlywed pair.  When Paris gifted Aphrodite with an apple, he raised the ire of Hera and Athena – and set off the events that led to the Trojan War.  The Twelve Labors of Hercules included an excursion to retrieve golden apples.  Snow White was poisoned with an apple, and I’m not sure what to make of the whole William Tell tale.

None of this is inspiring, but some uses are.  The fair and swift Atalanta was finally won over by the slightly-less-fleet Hippomenes, mostly thanks to a trio of apples.  In Norse mythology, golden apples kept the gods forever young.  New York City is the Big Apple, a Roaring 20s-era nickname by touring musicians and others who called any city an apple.   Steve Jobs changed our lives with Apple.  There’s the apple of my eye, apples for the teacher, and an apple a day keeps the doctor a way.  Apples are lovely, sweet, thoughtful, pure, healthy.

This seems to be what Gwyneth Paltrow and rocker husband Chris Martin, frontman of Coldplay, were thinking about in 2004.  They’ve also said in interviews that Coldplay’s manager already had a daughter called Apple.

Some edible names are finding favor in recent years – like Olive and Clementine.  There were two dozen girls called Apple 2010.  Something tells me that Apple’s notoriety is the only thing holding her back from being considered by more parents, the same ones embracing Autumn and Lily and Skye.

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. I love Apple! Whenever anyone brings it up as the “craziest” celeb baby name, I try to gently remind them about Rose, Clementine, River, etc. and that as word names go, it’s really quite tame.

  2. I never understood the uproar over Apple. Perhaps Apple isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but Apple Blythe Allison is gorgeous!

  3. I’m not sold on Apple, maybe because I’m very, very fussy about which ones I’ll eat! My problem with Gwyneth’s Apple is simply this: add an ‘i’ to the end of Apple Martin and she’s alcoholic! Same boat Brandy & Chardonnay are in. Yuck. Sweet & wholesome apples may be, but capitalise Apple and I’m no fan. Then again, Clementine is feminine Clement to me and then I remember the fruit! Maybe it’s because I was raised Roman Catholic? Apples got short shrift in the Bible. 😀 I don’t know and I’m tired of trying to puzzle why I dislike Apple as a name of a person, I just don’t like it much. As a middle, nothing bothers me. But as a first name, Apple falls flat for me. Sorry!

    1. I agree with Lola- I don’t think the name Apple itself is so controversial, but its the Apple Martin being one letter away from Apple Martini that I find strange.

    1. Thanks, Nina – great article find! I know they’ve said they asked permission, but I do wonder how the other couple REALLY felt about it … Then again, if they named their daughter Apple, they might have just assumed she was an ordinary as Emily or Jane.

  4. I’m not entirely sure what to think of Apple, she suffers from the fact that there was such an uproar when Paltrow choose the name all those years ago, and I guess this must put some parents off. Although that said, the company could also play a part since not everyone likes Apple Inc. Meh, pretty in theory but likely to never enjoy extreme popularity.

  5. While my style is more traditional, I don’t understand the whole “Apple-hatred”, when Fable, River and Willow get are all considered completely delightful.

    Maybe if Apple had been born to a more “earthy” celebrity like Drew Barrymore or Uma Thurman the name would have taken off. But since Gwyneth seems, well, a little pretentious… the name gets called “Crazy!”

  6. I’ve never understood the uproar over Apple. I have to agree with Ms. Paltrow. I find it completely sweet and wholesome.

  7. Pre-2004 we had this on our list a middle name, since my g-g-g-grandmother’s maiden name was Apple [her father was born in Germany, so I’d assume it was originally Apfel]. We did think it was sweet. Now, it’s just a celeb baby name. *sigh*