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Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelly Name Daughter Adalaide Marie Hope

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Last month actress Katherine Heigl and her husband Josh Kelly announced that they’ve adopted their second daughter, Adalaide Marie Hope, though domestic adoption. (Their first child, Nancy Leigh “Naleigh,” was adopted from South Korea in September 2009.) Get the story behind Adalaide‘s name from Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond  of Nameberry.

Adalaide is a distinctive spelling of the place name Adelaide, which has made a resurgence in 2005 after Rachel Griffiths picked it for her daughter. It currently ranks number 407 on the year’s 1,000 most popular names list,  the highest it’s been since 1925.  Adelaide is rising in tandem with Adeline (nickname Addie), which now ranks at Number 288, and was chosen just last week by The Big Bang Theory star Simon Helberg.

Marie was once almost as common as Ann and Lynn for middle names—it’s Katherine Heigl’s own middle moniker—then fell out of favor and is now making a comeback, often having some family connection. Other celebs who have a child with the middle name Marie include Jessica Alba and Cash Warren for daughter Honor, Thomas Gibson for Agatha, Kevin James for Sienna, Giada De Laurentiis for Jade, and Lance Armstrong for Olivia. The biblical name Hope was first used by the Puritans. The use of two middle names is becoming increasingly common.

Adalaide’s big sister was named Nancy Leigh in honor of her grandmother Nancy, and Heigl’s sister Margaret Leigh.

Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran are the creators of the baby name site Nameberry and the authors of ten bestselling books about names, including Cool Names for Babies and The Baby Name Bible.

Photo: Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelly at the CMA Awards via s_buckley/Shutterstock.com

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The Most Popular Baby Names of 2011

Monday, May 14th, 2012

In May, the Social Security Administration (SAA) reveals the previous year’s top names. This morning the most popular monikers of 2011 were announced, with Sophia and Jacob earning the top slots. Get the full list, as well as what the names mean, from Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond  of Nameberry.

Sophia captures the top spot for girl names, unseating Isabella, while Jacob has held onto first place for boy names for the last 13 years. The only newcomer to the Top Ten for both sexes is Mason, up from #12 last year to second place on the boys’ list this year. Anthony fell off the Top Ten.

The full Top Ten lists for both sexes are:

Girls

1. Sophia
2. Isabella
3. Emma
4. Olivia
5. Ava
6. Emily
7. Abigail
8. Madison
9. Mia
10. Chloe

Boys

1. Jacob
2. Mason
3. William
4. Jayden
5. Noah
6. Michael
7. Ethan
8. Alexander
9. Aiden
10. Daniel

The celebrity influence remains strong, with Mason, the name of Kourtney Kardashian’s little boy, and Harper, the well-publicized name of the Beckhams’ daughter, among the fastest rising popular names.

Other names leaping up the list thanks to celebrity influence are Briella from the Style Network’s reality show Glam Fairy and Brantley inspired by the country singer Brantley Gilbert, along with Angelique, from Dark Shadows, and the unlikely Iker, name of Spanish soccer star Iker Casillas Fernandez.

Sophia is a Greek Name meaning “wisdom” while Jacob is an Old Testament name that means “supplanter.” Variations Sofia, Sophie, Jake, and Jacoby, along with cousin name James, are also popular, though the SSA counts all spellings and variations separately. Aiden and Jayden, if all spellings were taken together, would be the Number 1 and 2 boys’ names, according to the SSA. (See all of the top names for 2011.)

Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran are the creators of the baby name site Nameberry and the authors of ten bestselling books about names, including Cool Names for Babies and The Baby Name Bible.

Photo: Baby via Lev Dolgachov/Shutterstock.com

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Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson Name Daughter Maxwell Drew

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Fashion mogul Jessica Simpson and her fiancé Eric Johnson welcomed their first child together, a daughter, in Los Angeles on May 1. The couple named their baby girl Maxwell Drew Johnson. Get the story behind this celebrity baby name from Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond  of Nameberry.

Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson are the latest celebrity parents to pull a gender switch by naming their new daughter Maxwell Drew. But, surprisingly enough, this isn’t the first female Maxwell born to a celebrity this year: actress Lindsay Sloane dubbed her daughter Maxwell Lue in January.

This Scottish Gaelic surname has been exclusively male in the past, with playwright Maxwell Anderson and actor Maxwell Caulfield being the most well-known people with the moniker. It’s one of a whole constellation of Max-names popular with parents—Max itself, the imaginative Maxx (used by Scott Hamilton), and Maximilian (Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony). Other celeb parents of boy Maxwells include Brad Garrett, Kerry Katona, and Lance Armstrong.

Gender bending has been a growing trend in the celebrisphere, with Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon’s daughter Monroe (granted, that was inspired by a very female Marilyn), Brendan Fehr’s James, Ziggy Marley’s Judah, James Barbour’s Hudson, Soleil Moon Fry’s Jagger, and Johnny Knoxville’s Arlo, to name a few. Sometimes a celebrity switch is enough to permanently tint a name pink; recent examples include Avery, Emerson, Harper and Finley. It’s hard to say whether this will happen with Maxwell, but we can picture Max taking off as a nickname for girls, a la Sam and Charlie.

Maxwell  Johnson’s middle name, Drew, is Jessica Simpson’s mother’s maiden name, a nice way of incorporating family history.

Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran are the creators of the baby name site Nameberry and the authors of ten bestselling books about names, including Cool Names for Babies and The Baby Name Bible.

Photo: Jessica Simpson in Los Angeles via Helga Esteb/Shutterstock.com

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Actors Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney Name Son Leo Grey

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Actors Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney, co-stars of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, welcomed their second son on April 5 at their home in Los Angeles. The couple named their boy Leo Grey McElhenney. Get the story behind this celebrity baby name from Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond  of Nameberry.

Leo is a short but powerful lion-related name that is growing in popularity, at its highest point now since the 1950s. It definitely got a bit of a bounce as Leonardo DiCaprio’s well-known nickname. Leo has a lot more going for it: its image of animal strength, an energetic “o” ending, a zodiac reference, and some interesting namesakes, from Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy to characters on The West Wing and Grey’s Anatomy to the roaring MGM icon. It’s an international hit as well—Leo is currently in the Top 10 in both France (where it’s pronounced LAY-o) and Sweden.

The middle name Grey provides a soft contrast to Leo and is part of a growing color-name trend, from Scarlet to Violet to Rose. Blue has been a unisex middle name option since Cher used it for her son Elijah in the 1970s, and since then there have been star babies named Jackson Blue (Maria Bello), Molly Blue (Veronica Webb), Jagger Joseph Blue (Soleil Moon Fry), Raquel Blue (Joe Don Rooney), and the Frenchified Ella Bleu (Kelly Preston and John Travolta). Could Grey be the next Blue? It’s possible. Lisa Rinni and Harry Hamlin used the alternate spelling Gray for their daughter Amelia’s middle name.

Axel Lee is the name of Leo’s big brother (all of 19 months)—an excellent match in terms of image. Influenced by heavy metal rocker Axl Rose (who was born William), this popular Scandinavian form of the Biblical Absalom, has been growing in popularity along with other names featuring the powerful letter ‘x’. Will Ferrell and his Swedish wife Viveca Paulin named their third son Axel.

Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran are the creators of the baby name site Nameberry and the authors of ten bestselling books about names, including Cool Names for Babies and The Baby Name Bible.

Photo:  Rob McElhenney and Kaitlin Olson via Helga Esteb/Shutterstock

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Hilary Duff Names Her Son Luca Cruz

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Actress Hilary Duff welcomed her first child, a son, with husband Mike Comrie on Tuesday, March 20. The couple named their boy Luca Cruz. Get the story behind this celebrity baby name from Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond  of Nameberry

Luca is a red hot baby name right now, both in the U.S. and across Europe. In this country, it has zoomed up more than 350 places since it entered the list in 2000, and is now Number 272. In Italy, where the name originated, Luca is in the Top 10, and it’s among the 25 most popular names in Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Hungary. Both Colin Firth and Vincent d’Onoforo also have sons named Luca; Jenny Garth crossed gender lines when she gave the moniker to her daughter.

Luca is just one of many mega-popular names beginning with “Lu.” Others include the variant spelling Luka (chosen by celebrity chef Tom Colicchio), Luc (Peter Gabriel), Lucia (Mel Gibson), Luciana (Carnie Wilson), Lucille (Maya Rudolph), and Luna (Constance Marie.)

The middle name that Hilary and Mike chose for their Luca fits into the same colorful category. Ever since Cruz was chosen by the glamorous Beckhams for their third son, it has felt right at home on American birth certificates. In fact, there were just under 1,000 little Cruzes born in the U.S. last year. Meaning “cross” in Spanish, Cruz is used for both boys and girls in Latino families.

Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran are the creators of the baby name site Nameberry and the authors of ten bestselling books about names, including Cool Names for Babies and The Baby Name Bible.

Photo: Hilary Duff at the world premiere of her  movie The Perfect Man in Hollywood via Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

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