Jocelyn Howarth and Nancy Bird, ca. 1930-33 / ...
Jocelyn Howarth and Nancy Bird, ca. 1930-33 / by unknown photographer (Photo credit: State Library of New South Wales collection)

Pilot is among the most maligned celebrity baby names ever, regularly topping the lists of crazy choices, second only to Apple and Dweezil.

But is Pilot really such an out-there appellation?  We love occupational surnames for boys, from Carter to Mason.  And his sound is solidly masculine.  Plus Pilot’s parents have a sweet story about choosing his name from a song.

Pilot comes from a Greek word for helmsman, which probably traces back to pedon oar.  The word has been in use for centuries, originally applied to the person steering a boat.  Once airplanes were invented, pilot was applied to aviators, too.

I’ll admit that I would have paired Pilot with anything other than Inspektor.  To me, it is the first-middle combination that feels over-the-top.

What do you say?  Would Pilot work for a non-celeb child, or is he just too out there?  Pilot, yea or nay?

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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. It’s the combination of two commonly known words that gets Pilot on the “Crazy Baby” name lists… Just like Moxie Crimefighter and Audio Science. If the celebs in question had named their kids Pilot Joseph, Audio Daniel and Moxie Jane… only name-nerds would remember their names.

    Shepherd Kellen Seinfeld and Sailor Lee Brinkley Cook are both unusual… but neither child’s name appear on the “crazy” lists.

  2. I like Pilot, but not Inspektor. I agree that it is both names together that makes it over the top.

    P.S. I found a Pilot the other day. His middle name. Jupiter. Pilot Jupiter makes me think they want him to grow up and be an astronaut.