Edward is a British name that's long been used by the royal family, and appeared in several of Shakespeare's plays—it means "happy guardian." Of course, these days it's more commonly associated with the sparkly undead romancer from the Twilight series, which may turn off some who would otherwise choose the name. It's a classic name that's never fallen out of fashion, remaining in the top 150 names in the country from 1880 on (it's currently at 148), and it's a name that comes with a few good nicknames: Ed and Eddie are most common, but Ned and Ted can also be used.
Duke is actually a title of nobility—and its most famous namesake is jazz great Duke Ellington, and it was also a nickname for the great John Wayne. The name hasn't broken the top 1000 here in the U.S. since 1970—but I think it makes a lovely middle name for those who like the spunkiness of Jack or Max but want something with a little more panache.
My only beef with the name is that the "d" at the end of Edward blends too easily in with the beginning of Duke, making them less distinct from each other. But otherwise, hats off to Giuliana and Bill for choosing a fabulous name for their brand new baby.
What do you think of Giuliana and Bill's name choice? Would the Twilight association affect your decision to choose Edward? Is Duke too "out there" for you to use?
Photo: Bill and Giuliana Rancic by s. bukley/ Shutterstock