Posts Tagged ‘ naming trends ’

Actress Tori Spelling Names Daughter Hattie Margaret

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Tori SpellingTori Spelling and husband Dean McDermott recently had their third child together. If you haven’t already heard, they named their daughter Hattie Margaret. What’s the story behind their baby name choice? Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond  of Nameberry offer their insight on the celebrity baby name.

Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott have chosen the sweet, old-fashioned nickname name of Hattie Margaret for their third child.

Hattie, originally a pet form of Harriet, which is the feminine version of Henry, has rarely been seen on birth certificates since the 1960s, but it has several notable namesakes: the first female U.S. Senator, Hattie Caraway, clothing and jewelry designer Hattie Carnegie, and the first African American to win an Oscar, Hattie McDaniel, for Gone With the Wind.

Hattie was wildly popular at the end of the 19th century, in the Top 50 from 1880 to 1900, along with other similar names like Lottie and Letty and Tillie and Millie. This category of names could well be ready for a comeback, replacing the previous generation of Annie and Katie, Maggie and Molly nickname names.

Some other celebrities have already climbed on board, naming their kids Millie (Amy Grant), Sadie (Adam Sandler, Christina Applegate, Finola Hughes), Edie (Samantha Morton), Dolly (Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connor), Billie (Rebecca Gayheart and Eric Dane, Ethan Suplee), and Birdie (Busy Phillips and Maura West).

With their first two children, Liam Aaron and Stella Doreen, the Spelling-McDermotts chose family names as middle names—honoring Tori’s late father and Dean’s mother. Although they haven’t revealed its source, Margaret sounds like it could well be a family name as well. Margaret is a rich, classic name used in the past for queens and saints. Though not in the Top 10 as it once was, it is still a popular choice among conservative families.

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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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Actress Kristin Davis Names Adopted Daughter Gemma Rose

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Kristin DavisKristin Davis is now the mother of a baby girl she has named Gemma Rose. What’s the story behind her baby name choice? Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond  of Nameberry offer their insight on the celebrity baby name.

Gemma is a gem of a name, meaning ‘jewel’ in Italian, which has been popular in Britain for decades but has just begun being appreciated here in the past couple of years. It entered the US Top 1000 in 2008 and has already jumped into the Top 500. Why the sudden attention? Could be because it’s a more exotic relative of the mega-popular Emma.

Gemma has a long history in Italy; it was the name of the wife of the poet Dante Aligheri. Another modern celebrity who chose it is Catherine Bell, for her daughter born in 2003. Gemma got a lot of notice as the name of the dynamic matriarch character played by Katey Sagal in TV’s Sons of Anarchy.

The English equivalent, Jewel, had a comeback in the late 90s, coinciding with the career peak of the single-named singer by that name, but has now faded. But individual gem names, which were all the rage a century ago, are very much having a renaissance. Jade (used by Mick and Bianca Jagger for their daughter back in 1971 and more recently by celebrity chef Giada de Laurentiis as the English version of her own name) is now ranked at #115, Ruby (the celeb choice of Tobey Maguire, Charlotte Church and Gillian Barberie) is #113 and rising fast, and Pearl, picked by Maya Rudolph, is just on the cusp of a comeback.

Middle name Rose has been the soft and sweet go-to middle name of the millennium, used by countless celebs, from Jennifer Garner & Ben Affleck to Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban to the Jon Stewarts. Sylvester Stallone liked it so much he used it for all three of his girls.

nameberry, celebrity baby names, baby names

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.

Image via US Weekly

UPDATED: This post was updated on October 11 to correct the name of the Katey Sagal show to Sons of Anarchy.

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Actor Mike Myers Names Son Spike

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Mike MyersMike Myers and wife Kelly Tisdale recently had their first child. If you haven’t already heard, they named their son Spike. What’s the story behind their baby name choice? Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond  of Nameberry offer their insight on the celebrity baby name.

When Mike Myers and Kelly Tisdale named their new baby boy Spike, they made him an instant member of the Extreme Celebrity Baby Name Club.

Spike has always been thought of as a nickname, and a pretty spiky one at that. In fact, all the previous well-known Spikes have had different (and decidedly unmacho) names on their birth certificates. Director Spike Lee was born Shelton, musician Spike Jones was Lindley, filmmaker Spike Jonze was Adam, and British comedian Spike Milligan was Terence.

But the Myers boy can find other celebrity playmates with comparable names that (we hate to say it) once upon a time were equally considered canine. These include Michelle Hicks and Jonny Lee Miller’s Buster, Roseanne Barr’s Buck, Jamie Oliver’s Buddy Bear and Alicia Silverstone’s Bear, Justine Bateman’s Duke, Damon Dash’s Lucky, and Robert Rodriguez’s Rocket, not to mention such poodle possibilities as Coco and Gigi.

There are also a number of fictional Spikes, such as a vampire character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, Fonzie’s cousin in Happy Days, and several others in soap operas, comic books, cartoons, and video games. Spike was also the name of Snoopy’s brother in Peanuts — but we won’t get into the other canine characters. It also has rock n’ roll cred as the name of an Elvis Costello album.

One nice bonding thing about the names of Mike Myers and his son Spike: they rhyme.

nameberry, celebrity baby names, baby namesLinda 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.

Image via Wikipedia

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Mad Men’s January Jones Names Son Xander Dane

Friday, September 16th, 2011

January Jones gave birth to her first child earlier this week. If you haven’t already heard, she named her son Xander Dane. What’s the story behind her baby name choice? Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond  of Nameberry offer their insight on the celebrity baby name.

Xander, pronounced Zander, is right in step with the current fad for names with the X-factor, whether at the start (Xander, Xen, Xavier), in the middle (Axel, Dexter, Jaxon, Huxley, Paxton, and all the Alexander and Max offspring), or at the end (Felix, Rex, Beatrix, and the three Jolie-Pitt sons’ names—Maddox, Pax and Knox).

Xander, a short form of Alexander, came to the fore in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer as the character Xander (born Alexander) Harris, introduced in the 1997 premiere episode and supposedly based on series creator Joss Whedon. By 1999, it had hopped onto the popularity lists, reaching its peak in 2003, though still widely used—there were more than 1300 little Xanders born last year. Twin name Zander—a General Hospital character– has been running neck and neck with it since the Millennium. Xander Cage was Vin Diesel’s name in the film xXx.

Xander and Zander are far from the only nickname or variant forms spawned by the name Alexander. Just a few of the others are Alex, Alec, Sandy, Lex, Alexis, Alexa, and the international Alistair, Alessandro, Alejandro and Sasha.

Xander Jones’s middle name Dane is one of those appellations that have been more popular for a longer period of time than you might think. It has been on the Most Popular list every year since 1945, currently at Number 410, down from its high of 220 in 1986. It’s one of several rhyming names now in favor—Kane/Cain, Blaine, Rain, Zane—which have taken over from the old Waynes and Duanes/Dwaynes.

Dane originated as an English surname, one of the meanings of which is “from Denmark.” Its most celebrated current bearer is stand-up comic and actor Dane Cook.

nameberry, celebrity baby names, baby namesLinda 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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Spice Girl Melanie Brown Names Daughter Madison

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Melanie Brown gave birth to her third daughter last week. If you haven’t already heard, she named her daughter Madison. What’s the story behind her baby name choice? Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond  of Nameberry offer their insight on the celebrity baby name.

The third daughter of Melanie Brown, aka Mel B., aka “Scary Spice,” was born last Thursday, but it was almost a week before her name was announced. It had been publicized beforehand that the Spice Girl’s daughter Phoenix, aged 12, would be afforded the privilege of picking her baby sister’s name and it was she who finally settled on Madison.

Madison was a logical choice for a tween to pick, as it was enormously popular as Phoenix was growing up. It suddenly burst on the scene in the mid-1980s, one of the only names — besides the animated Ariel — to be inspired by a mermaid, the one played by Daryl Hannah in the movie “Splash,” who adopted it after spotting it on a Madison Avenue street sign. By 2001, Madison was the second most popular name in the country; and between the years 2000 and 2006, there were close to 150,000 baby girls given the name.

Once seen as a presidential male name, meaning ‘son of Maud’, Madison is now almost exclusively female. Although it has been slipping in the rankings lately, it is still in the Top 10, at Number 8. Madison has almost been overtaken by its younger cousin Addison, so there are now almost as many new Addies as there are Maddies.

Mel B. is one of the few Spice Girls to choose a popular, mainstream name — a switch from her first two more unusual choices — Phoenix Chi and Angel Iris. Victoria (“Posh Spice”) Beckham, of course, has her boys Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz, and new daughter Harper Seven; Geri Halliwell (“Ginger Spice”) named her daughter Bluebell Madonna, Melanie C. (“Sporty Spice”) has Scarlet Star, and the two sons of Emma Bunton (“Baby Spice”) are Beau and Tate.

nameberry, celebrity baby names, baby namesLinda 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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