In Name Only

Robert Downey, Jr. and Wife Susan Name Son Exton

Robert Downey, Jr. and Wife Susan Name Son Exton 28178
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.

Actress Connie Britton Names Son Eyob 28156
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 /