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Charlize Theron Names Son Jackson

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Academy Award-winning actress Charlize Theron has adopted a baby boy named Jackson. What’s the story behind this popular baby name choice? Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond  of Nameberry offer their insight on the celebrity baby name.

South African-born Charlize Theron has chosen a quintessentially American name, Jackson, for her newly adopted son. Jackson, the name of the seventh president of the United States, is a current celebrity fave, having taken over from the previous frontrunner, Jack. But after all, Jackson does mean “son of Jack.” In addition to being Presidential, like other popular surnames Madison, Taylor, Tyler, and Truman, the name Jackson’s popularity was also influenced by both Jackson Browne and Michael Jackson.

With its lanky, cowboy air, the moniker Jackson has been popular in the celebrisphere since 1982, when Patti Smith gave it to her son. Since then, Bill Murray, Spike Lee, Carson Daly, Soledad O’Brien, Scott Wolf, Poppy Montgomery, Maria Bello, Natalie Maines, Maya Rudolph, and Jay Mohr have all chosen to name their sons Jackson.

The name Jackson, which has ranked 25 on the popularity list for the past two years, was given to more than 11,000 babies last year alone–and that doesn’t even count all the Jaxons out there!

See a photo of Charlize’s new son

Photo: Charlize Theron at the 23rd Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala via s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

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.

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Can You Guess What Jessica Simpson Will Name Her Daughter?

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

In Elle magazine’s current issue, Jessica Simpson poses nude, reveals that she’s having a little girl, and drops some titillating hints about the name that she and fiance Eric Johnson plan to give their first child together. “It’s nothing shocking and nothing you’ll have to add to the dictionary,” she says. “Still, when people hear it, they’ll know … why.”

To find a name that may fulfill the prophecy of ‘they’ll know…why,’ and that isn’t outrageously shocking, the experts at Nameberry examined every detail of her bio. Here are their best guesses.

Drew: Her mother Tina’s maiden name is also a male surname that Drew Barrymore made popular for girls.

Josephine: This favorite revival of a vintage name could be chosen to honor Jessica’s dad, Joseph.

Abilene: Jessica Simpson’s Texas birthplace is occasionally used as a girl’s name and has the advantage of the nickname Abby. Granted, it’s a bit of a dark horse.

Nicole: It’s highly unlikely that Jessica would use her sister Ashlee’s first name—but she might consider her middle name. Or do a spin on Ashlee like Ashling, Ashton, Asha, or Aspen.

Destiny: Jessica toured with Destiny’s Child last year, and Destiny is a popular “word” name that certainly wouldn’t have to be added to the dictionary.

Do you agree with us? If not, what are yours?

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 at the NBCUNIVERSAL Press Tour All-Star Party, s_bukley/Shutterstock.com

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Introducing Samuel Garner Affleck

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

When Jennifer Garner appeared on Jay Leno last month, the eight-months-pregnant actress shared that her daughters were suggesting names for their new sibling: Ralphie, Frankie, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Rosemarie. But when Garner and her husband Ben Affleck, welcomed their third baby, a boy, on February 27 in Santa Monica, they went a completely different route. Instead of the more adventurous path they took with daughters Violet and Seraphina, they chose the Biblical name Samuel for their son.

Samuel has long been a popular Old Testament classic, ranking as the 24th most popular boy’s name in the country, with over 11,000 other little Samuels born last year. The Biblical Samuel was one of the great judges and prophets of the Israelites, destined for a holy life from birth and establishing the Hebrew monarchy. Several other high-profile celebs have chosen to name their sons Samuel, including Jack Black and Naomi Watts and Liv Schreiber.

And while it’s the extreme baby namers that get all the attention, a surprising number of other celebs have made traditional choices as well, including Kelly Preston and John Travolta (Benjamin), Jennifer Hudson (David), Jon Bon Jovi (Jacob), Jon Stewart (Nathan), and Chris Daughty (Noah).

By giving Samuel his mom’s maiden name, the Afflecks followed another long tradition, one that is very much alive today in Hollywood and everywhere else—Howard for Bryce Dallas Howard’s son TheodoreRussell for Keri Russell’s boy River, and Spencer for Tennyson and Charles, sons of Russell Crowe and Danielle Spencer.

With the old-fashioned but neglected Violet and Seraphina, the pair proved to be trendsetters. Violet has moved rapidly up the popularity lists to Number 123, and Seraphina is being increasingly considered by parents.

Photo: Jennifer Garner at the 12th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards via Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

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.

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Jason Bateman and Wife Amanda Anka Name Daughter Maple Sylvie

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Yet another Hollywood baby has been graced with a unique name: Maple Sylvie, born to  Jason Bateman and wife Amanda Anka on February 10. The baby girl’s unusual name is a dramatic departure from the more conventional name the couple gave to Maple’s older sister, Francesca Nora.

Maple is on trend with a new category of nature names that we’ve seen emerge. Now that just about every flower in the garden has been adopted as a baby name—from old favorites like Lily, Rose, and Daisy, to fresher blooms like Camellia, Azalea, and Zinnia–some adventurous parents are looking to the forest (specifically trees) for inspiration.

We’ve heard of babies named Oak, Pine–and now there’s a Maple. But while most tree names are strong and masculine, Maple, with its ties to sugar and syrup, has a much sweeter, more feminine image. Middle name Sylvie, the French version of Sylvia that is gradually gaining favor in the U.S., ties in very well with Maple; its sylvan meaning also relates to the forest.

Mom Amanda Anka, daughter of singer Paul, obviously opted not to follow her parents’ pattern of same-initialed names. Amanda’s sisters are Amelia, Anthea, Alicia, and Alexandra.

Maple is the third nontraditional name that we’ve heard in Hollywood in recent weeks. Last month, there was Beyonce’s Blue Ivy, followed by Robert Downey Jr.’s Exton Elias.

What do you think of baby Maple’s name?

Photo: Jason Bateman and Amanda Anka at The Change Up World Premiere, Village Theater, Westwood, CA, via s_bukley/Shutterstock.com

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.

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Robert Downey, Jr. and Wife Susan Name Son Exton

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

When Robert Downey, Jr. and his wife Susan named their new baby boy Exton Elias, I have to admit it led to some serious head scratching among us name analyzers. The Elias part was easy. The birth name of the actor’s father, Robert Downey, Sr., was Robert Elias, which he changed to Downey after his stepfather.

But Exton? It either has some hidden connection to a picturesque little village in the English district of Hampshire, or it’s related to a town in Chester County, Pennsylvania, known primarily for its extensive shopping mall. Or perhaps the couple is following the current trend for names that have the “X factor”: the names of all three Jolie-Pitt boys (Maddox, Pax, Knox) end in X; Max now stands for Maxwell, Maximus, and Maximilian; and X-centered favorites, such as Axel, Dexter, Felix, Hendrix, Huxley, Lennox, and Paxton, are increasingly popular.

The name of Downey’s older son, Indio, is linked to his baby brother’s by virtue of their both being place names. Indio (the Spanish word for Indian) is a Riverside County, California, city near the desert resort of Palm Springs, home to a number of celebrities and the location for several films.

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: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com 

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