Natalie Portman allegedly named her son “Alef” (update: “Aleph”)


Natalie Portman gave birth to her son nearly three weeks ago, but until now, we haven’t heard much about what she named the little boy. Some people said that not announcing the name is a Jewish tradition…? If it is, I guess I understand. Plus, Natalie and Benjamin both have been in hiding since the birth – there have been no paparazzi photos that I’m aware of either of them. So… if we ever did find out the baby name, how would Natalie do it? A simple confirmation to People Magazine would have been my guess. But this works too – an Israeli talk show host announced the name in Israel. That name? Alef. It’s Hebrew. I’m assuming it’s pronounced Ah-LEAF. Correct me if I’m wrong.

After almost a month of waiting, Natalie Portman and her fiance Benjamin Millepied have reportedly let the news slip about what they named their baby boy, who was born in mid-June.

According to the Israeli TV show Good Evening with Guy Pines (remember, Natalie was born in Israel!), Natalie and Benjamin have chose the name Alef for their son!

Alef is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It has been said that the letter represents the “oneness of God” and is related to the element of Air.

Natalie and Benjamin declined to confirm the name.

Now that we know baby Millepied’s name, we’re simply waiting for those first baby photos!

[From Holly Baby]

Ah, so naming your baby Alef is like naming your baby after a LETTER? Like, Alpha? Or Kay. Or Jay. Or Dubya. I thought Alef was going to be, like, the Hebrew version of “Alex”. It’s kind of let down for me, because there are some really lovely Hebrew names for boys. Noah, Abraham, Jonah, Isaac, etc. But no, we’ve got Alef.

Sidenote: It seems the baby name speculation involved the names “Alf” and “Arthur”. Alef is certainly better than those picks.

UPDATE: Someone close to Natalie (re: her publicist) confirmed the name to People Magazine. It’s “Aleph” not “Alef”. One of the meanings of Aleph is “primordial one that contains all numbers.” THAT is what they should have named him. Primordial One Numeric Millepied. And to those of you yelling at me for my lack of knowledge about Hebrew… yeah. You’re right. My bad!



Photos courtesy of Pacific Coast News.

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74 Responses to “Natalie Portman allegedly named her son “Alef” (update: “Aleph”)”

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  1. Tierra says:

    I wonder if they have split already. There was a blind item reveal on CDAN that was about them, who knows if its true but here it is, I C/P from CDAN

    This pregnant B list actress. I just realized that covers about half of Hollywood at this point now doesn’t it? Umm, award winner. Big award. Anyway, she has been non stop gushing about her guy and blah blah blah. Turns out that is only for the cameras. Once award season is over, the guy is out the door. Maybe, just maybe she might keep him around until the baby is born, but I am hearing March.

    Natalie Portman

  2. gee says:

    Personally, I think Arthur is cuter than Alef. But she could have done a LOT worse. I completely forgot she had a baby. I don’t really like brunette goopy though.

  3. Sam says:

    Alef also means leader if I remember correctly. I like it, its a nice name. Its pronounced like “Olive” but instead of a V sound its an F. So Ol-if.

  4. Dien says:

    Alef is also the first letter in the Arabic alphabet!

  5. tripmom says:

    It’s pronounced AH-lehf. It’s the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It’s like she named her kid “A.” Ridiculous.

  6. Annie says:

    Arthur and Alef are beautiful names…Alf not so much.

  7. TQB says:

    Whatever, just glad our favorite bitchface did not go with Isaac… The notion of sharing a baby name with her was keeping me up at night.

  8. ladybert62 says:

    I dont like the name. He will be ridiculed by other kids. What ever happened to names like Abraham, Adam, aaron, etc etc etc

  9. lolas says:

    The name is traditionally announced 8 days after birth, at the bris (circumcision). It’s pronounced Ah-Leff. It’s a first born son, so A being the first letter of the alphabet, it makes sense. A bit pretentious maybe, but as much, or even less so than say, naming your child Apple or Bronx.

  10. Boo says:

    She does things like this just to bug us.

  11. Laura says:

    I would LOL so hard if she named her kid Alf, but who seriously thinks she’d name her kid that?

  12. brin says:

    OH, I was so hoping she would go with Croissant.

  13. Pix says:

    I find Natalie Portman insufferable. I’m sure any day she’ll be shoving that baby down our throats and then lecturing us about her superiority in breastfeeding, natural childbirth and cloth diapering.

  14. notpretentious says:

    Boo: You are too funny! And also TQB!

  15. Hellen says:

    She could have named him Apple. Or Zuma. Or Banjo. Or Bronx Mowgli. Or Kal-El. Or Jermajesty.

    Is Alef sounding a little better now?

  16. Sumodo1 says:

    My parents wanted to name me after Gertrude Lawrence and thought they would call me “Trudie.” What do I know? Actually, Alef is nice and may be a currently trendy Israeli boys’ name. I worried when my Israeli cousin named her boy “Shai” (pronounced “Shy”)twenty years ago, but it was a cool name then in Israel, and still is, now.

  17. MollyB says:

    I know nothing about this, so forgive me. Some commenters have explained that it is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet but is this actually used as a first name? Is it common or is she just being weird/pretentious?

  18. Chloe says:

    Ah well. Apple, Alef.
    To each their own.

  19. REALIST says:

    Alef sounds respectable. Most of the readers of CB aren’t fluent in Hebrew, nor in Israeli culture.
    @ Hellen-well said!

  20. John Wayne Lives says:

    @ Boo, lol oh man thanks for the chuckle lol

  21. lucy2 says:

    I have to laugh that the article says they declined to confirm it, yet the next sentence says “now that we know…”

    If that is the name, it’s not great but not horrible. Jermajesty still holds as the most hilarious celebrity baby name (poor kid!)

  22. Praise St. Angie! says:

    Hellen, you forgot Pilot Inspektor and Audioscience.

    Alef is a nice name. Simple, yet different, and also not something stupidly trendy.

    I still don’t like her, though.

  23. Penguen says:

    Great. Now I have the Hebrew alphabet song stuck in my head. That song usually sticks around for days.

  24. theotheryael says:

    meh, i’m not up on israeli name trends, but i’m sure they all sound weird to north american ears.

    my name is yael (not widely known in n.a. – i’ve met 3 people in 24 years who have heard it before), and my brothers are shai and nadav. here we are weird, back in israel we blend in with the hundreds of others with our names.

  25. Katija says:


    Didn’t some B-list actor name his kid Inspektor Gadget a few years back? Or some weird shizz like that?

  26. Katija says:

    Oh, nevermind, someone said it! Pilot Inspektor. Wow.

  27. dread pirate cuervo says:

    Is that his actual name or his Hebrew name or both? I think it’s a beautiful name & has a wonderful sound.

  28. Gecko says:

    “Noah, Abraham, Jonah, Isaac”

    None of these are Hebrew names – they’re English translations of biblical names. The Hebrew versions of the above would be Noach (Noa for a girl), Avraham, Yonah and Yitzchak. (with the CH pronounced as a back-of-the-throat gutteral).

    Israeli boy names tend to be more along the lines of Yonatan, Aharoni, Dov, Ori or David (pronounced do-VEED).

  29. Ally says:

    Perhaps she’s planning a large family, and wants to help keep the kids straight in her head?

    Those familiar with the Hebrew alphabet, what will B, C, D, E and F’s names be?

  30. Gecko says:

    Ally: the Hebrew alphabet doesn’t go in the same order as the English one. If they keep going (lord help them) through the Hebrew alphabet, they’ll get:


    To which I can only say oy vey ist mir.

  31. ZenB!tch says:

    I’m just glad it’s not Shlomo. I know its a perfectly decent name in Hebrew but my American ears giggle whenever I hear it. This was hard to deal with when I met my friend’s dad. The US version – Solomon isn’t that great either. I’m fond of Moshe, Shmuel, Elijah…

  32. dd says:

    its more like A-LEF.
    just so you know

  33. renee says:

    @ Tripmom – maybe she really likes Radiohead.

    I dunno, I like the name. I don’t speak Hebrew so when I hear it I don’t think of a letterI just hear the sounds and I like how it sounds.

    @ Yael, I know of two artists how have your name!! One of them is Canadian and another is Israeli and is quite well known in contemporary art circles, I love her work that I have seen!

  34. original kate says:

    i think alef is a lovely name, actually. i like it more than jason or aiden, etc. but i really like unusual names. for those who fear alef will be ridiculed by other kids, have you been tp a playground recently? weird names are normal now. i personally know kids named huckleberry, silver, heaven, ember, levon, and antigone. *shrugs*

  35. mia girl says:

    Alef… I kinda like it.

  36. courtney says:

    who cares most celebs don’t use their real names anyway Avrom hirsch Goldbogen ring any bells which was film producer Mike Todd’s real name or Patsy Neal was better known as Patricia. Natalie Portman is way too pretentious for her own good who cares what she named her baby boy most people only do because she stole an academy award unlike for example Carlo Nero’s mother Vanessa Redgrave who earned all of her nominations and sole win and is still working now at age 74. or simillar to if one of Melissa Newman’s sons had been a daughter and she and her husband had named her Eliza Joanne Eliza for her parents dear friend Elizabeth Taylor and of course Joanne is her mothers name

  37. normades says:

    @gee: “brunette goopy” – love it!

  38. tanya says:

    @katija: LOLOLOLOL! I think you mean Jason Lee who named his kid ‘Pilot Inspektor’, if I’m not mistaken. Sorry, Inspektor Gadget, bwahahahaha! Thank you, that made me laugh! I don’t know which is more ridic!

    Edit: Sorry, didn’t see that someone already answered, I was too busy laughing at all this celeb name tomfoolery – i.e. Jermajesty, etc…

    I’m not a Natalie fan, but she could have done a lot worse. It’s a nice name. Like many have said, at least she didn’t pick something trendy and otherwise completely insane!

  39. mimi says:

    I don’t understand why don’t you see her in the most positive manner.

    She is smart, talented, pretty and tried to do well with her influence and fame and help others.

    I wish more Hollywood “actresses” were more like her.

    She is a class act. So may of them are so trashy, stupid and not even pretty/ talented.

  40. Nanea says:


    How original!

    Poor kid.

    @ 24 & @ 34:
    I also know two Yaels, one is a med student, the other a violinist.

  41. nona says:

    Who cares how she named her son?
    It’s HER kid!

  42. Tiffany says:

    LOVE the name Yael. Love love love. Beautiful name, high five to you.

    I kind of like Alef. When I think of boys’ names, I think, could this be a baby, a boy, a teenager, a man, an old man? Some names fall into only one category and I think this one works for all of them. It has grown on me in the time it took me to read the post and all the comments, so I think it’s safe to say it has that quality (at least for one person so far lol). It’s interesting and original without being weird or (too) hard to pronounce.

    And for this baby’s sake and Nat’s sake I hope Benjamin and Natalie are happy and together. She strikes me as a little arrogant but rather intelligent and totally harmless, and he strikes me as a cad. I really hope all is well for them, there are too many broken homes in the world.

  43. Ally says:

    @Gecko, thanks! I look forward to those!

  44. Callumna says:

    Alef is the first letter of the alphabet in many semitic languages, Hebrew and Arabic among them.

    It’s a strange name if true. It is indeed naming your child “A” for what it’s worth.

  45. jc126 says:

    So it’s akin to naming your kid “A”. Ugh. It’s not even a nice-sounding name. What a bizarre choice.

  46. Hannah says:

    If it’s confirmed by PEOPLE, the kid’s name probably is really Aleph. But when I first read the article I truly thought it was a joke that didn’t translate well.

    I’m Jewish and the daughter of an Israeli so names like Shlomo, Shmuel, Oded, and definitely Yael seem normal to me. Since most of the world doesn’t speak Hebrew it’s not an awful sounding name. But, for those of us who do speak Hebrew….she freaking named her kid A.

  47. Lisa Turtle says:

    Aleph Millepied – Ugh.

    I’m just putting it out there… often Jewish people have a “Hebrew name” as well as a given name. Aleph may just be the child’s Hebrew name, and he may be known as something else to his parents. Natalie changed her own name for her family’s privacy, I wouldn’t be surprised if she used two names for her son for the same privacy concerns.

  48. olcranky says:

    @theotheryael – at least your family had the wherewithal to spell your name correctly in English. I think mine accidentally looked at a Christian bible and misspelled it with a J.

    @Tiffany – the name is pretty, the meaning not so much (loosely translates to mountain goat or spring goat). sadly, it fits my general personality to a T

  49. islandwalker says:

    ” Primordial One Numeric Millepied.” Now that would have been awesome. Primo for short.

  50. Hannah says:

    Even if Aleph is just the kid’s Hebrew name it’s still odd. I like the way my parents did our ‘regular’ vs. Hebrew names. Same names/different pronunciation. Hannah is not my real name but the principle applies.

  51. Devon says:

    The meaning of Aleph as found on

    As One who is compose of both the upper realm of heaven and the lower realm of the earth, connected by the humility of the body, Aleph is a picture of the God-Man unity that is Yeshua HaMashiach, “Who, being in the form of God…took upon himself the form of a servant…as a man”
    Moreover, in Revelation 22:13 Jesus refers to Himself as the Aleph and Tav, the First and the Last, and thereby told us directly that the Hebrew Alphabet would provide revelation about Him…

  52. StraightfromA says:

    I am a sucker for Biblical names and their Hebrew translations- esp. the Hebrew translations. The sounds are very comforting to me and I know from experience the names hold up well as a child ages. My own son, who I love more than life, is named Solomon. He loves his name, is fiercely protective of it, and is received very well by others because of it.

    Sorry to the commenter above who isn’t wild about Sholomo- or translations of it. I greatly disagree.

  53. foolery says:

    it’s pronounced AH-LEF. It’s the first letter in Farsi too.

  54. theotheryael says:

    @olcranky – i literally guffawed at your comment. people never believe me when i tell them it translates to mountain goat! to highlight the point, my own father (who insisted on the name), gave me a postcard of a mountain goat (labelled on the card as “the yael”) for one of my birthdays.

  55. Shay says:

    Whatever…screw political correctness and all that.
    I’ve never come across any Jewish males with this name. It’s yet another celebrity ‘I have to be different’ ritual.
    Seriously the names these celebrities give to their children are a reflection of their own ego: they have to be ‘different’. Names are just fashion statements for actors and other celebrities.
    I mean…who names their child Apple? Sage? (commonly known as an herb). Don’t get me started, bust aleph isn’t that atrocious.
    Shiloh is a Biblical name. Not Aleph. Aleph is just the name of the first letter in the alphabet and makes up many known (‘famous’) phrases in the Old Testament.
    The only consolation is that Aleph actually sounds like a name and Natalie (thank goodness) didn’t name her son Dweezil or Moon Unit or Zowie.

  56. MorticiansDoItDeader says:

    “Natalie and Benjamin both have been in hiding since the birth – there have been no paparazzi photos that I’m aware of either of them.”

    Can we talk about this?

    My guess is, she’s starving herself and he’s helping her get back into dancing shape; so that, when they resurface she is perfect once more *eyeroll*

    she could learn a thing or two from pink.

  57. the truth says:

    She is so full of herself. So is her boyfriend. They could name the baby old piece of crap and would try to make it hip.

  58. judyjudy says:

    I think it is a nice name.

    I’ve always loved Natalie Portman and I don’t understand why so many people dislike her. Just because she’s not out getting wasted or flashing her bits for the paps? She’s beautiful, educated, and seems like a good person. Why all the hate?

  59. rosmarina says:

    Not a name I would choose. I dunno – maybe only the first letter of the baby’s name has come out. Maybe they just named him Ari or something like that and want to keep it private. Who knows? By the way, my husband has ruled out “Beta” as a name for a second child, boy or girl. Sob!

  60. Lady D says:

    judyjudy, I agree with your assessment that she is beautiful, educated and probably a good person, but her arrogance is a total turnoff.

  61. LeenB says:

    It’s not pronounced aleaf it’s pronounced a-leph. Just how it’s written. It’s both the first letter in Hebrew and Arabic and it’s a stupid name. Lol

  62. munchies says:

    I find the name sounding good… anyway, whatever… it still cant beat my 6feet tall officemate who has the best name so far in my list – Tinybee.

  63. Ruby Red Lips says:

    Aleph is a lovely name, slightly uncommon but not out there ridiculous!

    Don”t get all the hate for Natalie, she’s a great actress, educated and beautiful & so what if she’s said a couple of immature comments, which have more than likely been twisted by the media! We all say dumb things when we’re younger and then learn from them and lucky 4 us ee don’t have world wide media coverage of them!

  64. Olga says:

    nice name, all the best to boy and mom

  65. KCT says:

    She’s ‘nesting’ with her baby. It’s admirable that they both are laying low during this time. They chose unique but meaningful name…unlike many celebrities who just want to shock people at the expense of their kids.

    @Hellen – you hit the nail on the head.

    @theotheryael – love your name.

  66. Eve says:

    @ Lisa Turtle:

    Aleph Millepied – Ugh.

    I still think it’s more like Aleph Aronofsky…

  67. stacia says:

    Which do we prefer:

    Aleph Millpied Hershlag?


    Primordial One Numeric Thousand Feet Hershlag?

    What does Hershlag translate to anyway?

  68. buckley says:

    I always thought I’d name my kid Griffin.
    Apropos of nothing…

  69. Jenni says:

    I love the name :) ! Cool sound and meaning. I took Hebrew when I was about 14, and thought it was a really cool language. We get our word “alphabet” from the first two letters of the Hebrew language which are Aleph and Bet. It’s not like she named her kid “The letter A!” as, I’m not Jewish, but from my memory I believe the letters are much more than “letters” in Hebrew. It’s much deeper than just a symbol for a phonetic sound (or a number). I also like that she gave her kid her name too. :) It’s cool she is a feminist. (Polanski-support notwithstanding :/… ) Though when I have kids I think I’ll name the girls after me, and the boys after their dad, to avoid the hyphen mess. I hope she’s having a wonderful babymoon with little Aleph. :)

  70. Jenni says:

    @Hannah …I just saw your comment …ok I guess I’m wrong. So she named her kid “A” … :/ Hmmm Still sounds cute and good meaning though.

  71. NY says:

    Alef/Alif is a common boy name for Arabic speakers & Muslims too. Nothing too new there.

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