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Hilary Duff Names Her Son Luca Cruz 28195

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.

Beyonce's Baby Girl: The Meaning Behind Her Unique Name 28172

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