Chris Martin declares that a name is just noise

07/08/2008 at 04:30 PM ET

Chris_martinColdplay’s Chris Martin has heard every negative thing there is to be said about the uniqueness of his 4-year-old daughter Apple Blythe Alison‘s first name.  And when it comes down to it, the 31-year-old sees nothing wrong with giving children names that are not the norm.  In fact, he doesn’t understand what is so odd about them at all.

There’s nothing weird about calling your baby Chewbacca if that’s what you want to call your baby. It’s no stranger than Sarah. A name is just a noise, and if you like it, then f–k what everyone else says.

Despite his busy schedule, Chris is a very hands-on father — not even smelly diapers faze the rocker.  He says he’s of the belief that "men should always change diapers," considering it "mentally cleansing" and a "very rewarding experience."

It’s like washing dishes, but imagine if the dishes were your kids, so you really love the dishes.

Chris and his wife, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, are also parents to son Moses, 2.

Source: Blender; August issue; Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage.


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heava on

I completely agree…It reminds me of the book Ishmael where he explains that animals don’t “know” their names…it is just a noise that they learn to react to. I think Apple is lovely…and why people get so wound up about it is beyond me. It is what THEY wanted to name their child.

stéph on

He is so right! a name or a word is simply a sound. The proof is that when you repeat it again and again, it looses its meaning.
It’s just letters together that make a word or a name. People are critizicing because they never heard it as a name, that’s it.

You rock Chris! Love the names Apple and Moses and all unusual names!

CC on

I totally agree. I mean, you can name your child after a tree or flower (Daisy, Rose, Willow), but not after a fruit? I personally love the name Apple for a little girl.

Brooke on

I have completely fallen in love with the name Apple…I think it is darling and fits her perfectly and think he said it all.

lis on

I’ve always loved the name Apple. And I think Chris is completely correct.

BeckyPooBear on

Kudose to him for standing his ground. In fact, hearing him speak to this, I dare ask “Could we reintroduce mass English immigration into the Americas?” The independent and non-comformist spirit that you often find there is a joy to behold.

Come be with us Chris and family.

Erica on

I agree, a name is just a noise…until your parents name you Audio Science, Felony, Chaos or DeVodka, or LaPleasure (all real names/people by the way). In theory Chris is right, but the reality is is that how many people here would name their kids Cabbage or Potato then say “well, it’s just a noise!” and not be accused of child abuse?

I actually love the name Apple, but a name ceases to be just a noise when it already has an established meaning/connotation/history. So to me his justification is a huge cop out.

Kate on

I don’t quite agree on what Chris said there. We just do live in a certain society, and some names are just looked at weird by some. Take kindergarten for example, if someone is different from what kids know it’s not always met by acceptance. If a name is weird to kids, they’ll say that out loud and possibly make fun of it. It’s just part of their development. I don’t know how to express myself so it makes sense (English isn’t my native language), but I don’t think Chris is entirely right with what he said.

Wozzy on

Didn’t Chris & Gwyneth “borrow” the name Apple from one of his bandmates’ kids?

Anon. on

Uh, sorry, but I don’t agree. If you give your child a ridiculous name, THEY have to deal with it the rest of their lives (or until they’re old enough to have it legally changed). I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Apple, even if it is strange, but I do think there are many things that children shouldn’t be called. Like it or not, there are many people who don’t buy into the ‘a name is just a sound’ school of thought.

Dee on

I agree with Chris. All names started out as being strange anyway. Apple may get picked on for her name, but kids will pick on you for anything. I understand name popularity among different societies, but it seems every newborn to 5yr old I meet is named Jaden, Caden, Aiden, Hayden, Braden, Lola, Emma, Stella, Madison, etc. All good names, but very vanilla to me personally.

Renee on

Good for Chris. I don’t understand why some people get upset about what complete strangers name their own kids. If the kids hate the name, they can change it when they are older legally. Also, has it occurred to those of you who criticized Chris for his comments that not everyone wants a common name.

Grayson's Girl on

Kate, I understand what you’re saying completely. The thing is though, kids are going to tease and torment if they want to for ANY reason. If it’s not name, it’s ears, it’s eyes, it’s height, it’s weight. I think it’s more important to start teaching kids tolerance and acceptance from that age rather than trying to conform to encourage it. I’m not a fan of “normal” names (Jack, James, John, Kate, etc.) just because I feel they lack character. While I think you have to be conscious of the name you give your children and not just pull something because it gave you a laugh or was a slap against society for the sake of it, people shouldn’t be pressured to stick to conventions either.

Chris is right. A name is just noise we train our kids to answer to. If it’s something with meaning and it gives the chid character and a bit of individuality why not?

As with everything else, historically, when someone does something new or unusual there’s always a mob to cry foul and shoot it down as wrong or impossible until it becomes an accepted success and the innovator is hailed. Just think, there was a time when Jennifer, Emily, Robin, Faith, Rose, and other classical names were categorically called “weird” until the masses caught on. Someone has to be brave enough to be different with a purpose sometime.

Stephany on

I see Chris’ point but I also don’t know if I totally agree with it. Although, a name is just a name. It doesn’t define you nor should it. And Apple is a beautiful name. I love it.

Valerie on

I agree with Erica and Anon-
Does he mean that this applies to all names?
How about the name Stupid, or Idiot? That is a huge generalization he made. He’s trying to sound all intellectual but it’s not a great argument!

Ans on

I agree, Kate and Anon. While I think it’s great that he’s defending something he believes in, I don’t agree with him. He says “if you like it, then f–k what everyone else says” – it’s not HIS name, it’s his daughter’s. And while I have no particular problem with the name, I don’t feel that his comments are fully realised.

think people think! on

Erica: Those names you lised are crazy . Apple isnt.

Also, how is naming your child Apple child abuse?

…that is just it. Gwyn/Chris has children. THey dont ahve to justy sh*t to ANYONE!

@Kate: Even if the kid is names Kate they’ll be made fun of. That is jsut how growin up goes.

@ Anon: No 1 has 2″buy it”. They names their kid what they wanted to.

aristeia on

See, Apple and Moses are lovely and extraordinary names. But, I sure hope he’s kidding… b/c if you name your kid “Chewbacca” that’s what I consider one form of child abuse. It’s selfish and inconsiderate– this is someone’s life we’re talking about. A name is very personal and regardless if it is just “noise” to us, other jerks pick on a name like Apple.

Erica on


Yeah, Chris and Gwyneth didn’t even come up with the name Apple as they “borrowed” it from a friend’s daughter, so it’s not as if they were being super creative anyway. IMO, if you give your kid a strange name, instead of trying to justify it with ridiculous reasons why not just say that you like the name and that’s that? And GG, while I see what you’re saying I really don’t think you can compare obscure names to say, naming your kids after an STD. Chris is just wrong when he states that a name is a noise because again I highly doubt anyone would jump to his defense if Apple was Syphilis.

tracey on

I agree with Chris. It’s all sounds – when you choose a name, it’s a preference of sounds. If you don’t get it or it doesn’t sound right to you, then that’s OK – it’s not ‘music to your ears’, so to say.

We all have reasons why we name our kids a certain name, don’t we? Why discount parents who choose something a little different? It’s not like we’ve never heard of the word ‘Apple’ before … lol. I get laughed at and hear bad things about our choice for our son’s middle name ‘Pollux’, which is not uncommon. There’s no need for it.

ma74 on

hehehe.He’s funny.I like the names of his children.It’s very personal.In other cultures names we hear every day in most European or the North American cultures might be strange to them.

Grayson's Girl on

Erica, I completely agree about names with purposefully negative connotation. That’s why I said initially that we have to be careful not name them something for laughs or out of direct rebellion against society for the sake of it. That being said, even if someone chooses to name their child Syphillis, however unfortunate that may be, it does come down to a word that was given to a disease. If they decided tommorrow that Syphillis was wrongly named Syphillis and issued it some other scientific nomenclature based on the bacterial name, given time, the connotation would wear off and the word has the potential to become something positive. Simply put, it’s a word, and we decide the meaning and connotation.

J.M. on

When I first heard Apple I thought it was horrible but 4 years later I guess with names like Pilot Inspektor and Moxie Crimefighter it isn’t so bad.

It’s as if though each celebrity just tries to top one another…for attention maybe? Come on is it really noise or is it all about whose kids has the most talked about name in hollywood? It seems nobody puts any real thought into their children’s names these days. When Nicole Kidman named her baby Sunday I was like eww what an awful name but now after hearing the meaning behind it I think it’s nice. It’s one thing to name your child a certain name because it has a special meaning and another to do it for attention (which imho I think many celebs do). I am all for unique and different names but not one’s that are so far fetched your child will be ridiculed for the rest of his/her life!! And yes kids are mean and it does reflect your child’s self esteem no matter what you may think!

Becky on

I don’t agree with him at all. He doesn’t have to live with an odd name. His name is Chris for heaven’s sake. What could kids have tortured him with with that name? They can’t. So he doesn’t know what it feels like to have a weird name. His daughter is going to have to live with that name. And like someone said, she can change it later if she doesn’t like it….that doesn’t help her at all growing up when kids pick on her badly for her name. Your job as a parent is to protect your child and when you give them a name (a sound) that so obviously is going to set her up to get picked on and tortured with is not having your child’s best interest in mind. Apple is a pretty word, but it’s very odd and different for a name and children WILL pick on her for it and I am sure she will be in tears over her name more than once. Think about your kids! You have a huge responsibilty when choosing your child’s name.

BeckyPooBear on

I believe that Chris presumes that most parents would operate using a modicum of common sense and social-comsideration for the child. Any freedom or act of non-comformity can be taken to the nth extreme and devoid of common sense. He’s not advocating the absolving of parental responsibility. The name “Syphillis” is an extreme too far.

I think that the name Chewbacka, was thrown out as evidence of a name that could be acceptable, given different cultural norms. 10,000 years ago in America, in a different time and culture, the name Elizabeth would have been a lot more unacceptable, than Sitting Bull. And as such, a name like Apple, for their enlightened circle of friends, is just fine. For some staid, traditionalist types, it might not. You can’t please everyone. But, a name like Apple is light years away from some of the other names thrown out. Not even close.

eileen on

I find it really interesting that while Chris & Gwyneth insist that their daughter’s name isn’t a big deal and people make it so outrageous…yet they are the one’s constantly bringing it up. Practically every article with an interview they discuss Apple’s name. How old is this child? Trust us, we got over Apple just like we got over Pilot & Moxie.

Elizabeth on

Considering the crowd her parents tend to run with, most of the kids Apple will be going to school with will have names like Pilot and Moxie, so I doubt she’s going to be teased very much about her name. I think she’s more likely to be teased about the sort of things Ava Phillippe gets teased about- what kind of clothes she’s wearing or the fact that somebody took her picture. The name Apple is really not a big deal.

Renee on

Becky, you do realize that pointed out that kids will pick on other kids for any reason. Your child could have a regular name and still get picked on. Bullies don’t care. I still don’t get the big deal. This is their child, not ours.

Lorellie on

here in the Philippines, apple is just a regular name… we even had a child actress named strawberry!!!


I love him.

lizzielui on

I think Chris’ point is, you would have thought he and Gwyneth DID name their child Chewbacca with the way people reacted to the name Apple. Apple Blythe Alison sounds like a perfectly fine, innocuous name to me, yet the pop culture public went crazy saying how awful it was, despite the fact that it is a perfectly common name in other cultures. I don’t think people think about how hurtful their comments can be sometimes when they say things like, “I hate the name,” or “they could have name her so and so.” Yes they could have name her so and so, but they didn’t for reasons that are personal to them so what is the big deal? I couldn’t imagine walking into my child’s pre-school and seeing the mother’s whispering about my child’s name. And as much as people want to make this argument about perceived ridiculous names like, “Pilot Inspektor” and “Moxie Crimefigter” most of the uproar comes over names with far less bite. Jamie Lynn named her daughter Maddie Briann and there was an uproar. “Why couldn’t she just name her Madison?” Same with Jessica Alba and Honor. Soleil Moonfrye and the name Jagger, Jennifer Lopez with Max and Emme, Nicole Kidman and Sunday Rose. It just gets ridiculous after a while, the expectation that anyone would name their child something based on other’s opinions and beliefs. And trust me, with the name Elizabeth I was teased plenty as a child. PLENTY!!!! LIZARD, ELIZARD-BREATH, E-LIE-ZA- Beth, Lizzie the Lezzie. I have heard it all. Just goes to show you that children will tease each other no matter what the circumstances, no matter how traditional or eccentric the name may be.

Jen on

I agree to him to some extent.. but yeah, I’ve heard of some very weird names that don’t make sense at all.. I’ve seen some Korean names that are literally translated into slangs for sex, fart, dog and so on (and they all ended up changing their names). Same goes to English and other names, like Sunday. I like unusual names and I’m most likely to give my kids one but we gotta be careful.

Tonya on

I think what some people fail to realize is that our children are a different generation of names. What seems different to our generation will become the “norm” for theirs.

All four of my children have “different” names, and none of them get any flack. We live in a very small town (2500 pop) and my eldest child had 4 other children in her classroom who didn’t have common names. There are alot more children out there with different names than you know about.

fay on

the thing that i don’t get is that… Apple’s mothers’ name is GWYNETH, and her grandmother is BLYTHE… non of those are very common name… my name (fay is not my real name) is very unusual (in America) and i’m going to name my babies unusual names… but in the grand scheme of things… it’s MY baby, and i can name him/ her whatever i and my partner want… bah..

if ppl spent half as much time worrying about themselves than they do worrying about other people, this world would be a MUCH better place to live…

Elizabeth on

I have a theory that part of the reason there was such an uproar was because Gwyneth has a somewhat poetic name,and the public was expecting a “ballerina” name that sort of matched that (her mother’s name Blythe makes two generations of this to my mind). I think the public was expecting Angelina, Fiona, Luciana, something like that. The name Apple is not very lilting and I think that is why the public reacted so poorly to it.
I think there are plenty of other celebrities who have cultivated a different image than Gwyneth (and have a different name!) and could name their child Apple with little to no uproar.

Miranda on

I don’t agree with him. I don’t think people should be allowed to name their kids stuff like Toilet or Garage just because they like the sound of the word.

Anais on

Quote – “Could we reintroduce mass English immigration into the Americas?” The independent and non-comformist spirit that you often find there is a joy to behold.

What magical America is this? Non-conformist my foot.

jj on

You bet names matter. Everything has a vibration and everything is energy – positive or negative – and every name has its own connotation for better or for worse. Would you name a kid Jeffery Dahmer or Ed Gein? No. You probably wouldn’t name him Adolf either. You get my drift. It’s also a heavy load for any kid to carry a name to live up to – and then present them with the most difficult of life scenarios so they feel like failures in not measuring up to their names. Both the names he chose are within the context of *positive*. Moses was a great man, prophet and leader and an apple is sweet, is beautiful and eating one a day keeps the dr. away. What could be better than that?

Natasha on

If it isn’t a big deal…why do Chris & Gwyneth keep issuing statements and commenting in magazines about it? It’s just weird to me how they insist that its a normal, nice name, yet constantly talk about people’s “outrage” about it. They obviously didn’t care what people thought when they named her, so why continue defending it out of the blue?

Nat on

I’m guessing i’m the only person who actually likes the names Moxie Crimefighter and Audio Science!I like odd names, I doubt anyone would go so far as to name their child Garage or Toilet!
I think the best idea is that, if you want to play with fun names, is to put them in the middle, after the first name (like Rooster McConaughey did with son ‘Miller Lyte’).
For all UK’ers out there, my son is called (Mathew) ‘Grant Mitchell!-from ‘Eastenders’! People are going too far calling it child abuse – it’s a name they’ve given their child, they’re hardly ‘abusing’ them!

candi on

I actually love that they named their children regarding “personal” feelings towards it. Apple was something Chris and Gwyneth both loved because of a close friend (coldplay’s tour manager)….and Moses was named after a coldplay song Chris wrote for Gwyneth when they first started dating. (lovely song by the way).

I think they’ll have great stories to tell their kids one day, when they ask…why did you name me that? 🙂

Silvermouse on

it’s people that critize names that make them bad.

I’m like Chris, why do we care about names so much. I do like how my name sounds though. *the first one* which is not Silvermouse lol