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.
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.