When Guiliana and Bill Rancic recently named their son Edward Duke, the Edward was for family members on both sides, but they always intended to call him by his middle name, because, said Guiliana, Duke is such a strong name.Â And sheâs not the first celebrity to think so. Diane Keaton bestowed it on her son in 2001, and Justine Bateman followed suit the following year.
In fact, several of theseÂ blue-bloodÂ titles have been a lot more popular than you might imagine.
Earl is the one name in this category that came to be accepted as a name apart from its noble heritageâbut has anything but a lofty imageâespecially since My Name is Earl.Â But EarlÂ didn’tÂ fall off the list until 2006âbefore that it was a Top 50 name until 1939 and then stayed in the Top 100 through 1954, attached to such distinguished figures as Chief Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren, banjo player Earl Scruggs and jazzman Earl âFathaâ Hines, as well as basketball star Vernon Monroe known as âEarl the Pearl.âÂ Perry Mason-creator E. Stanley Gardner spelled his first name Erle.Â Is it possible that Earl could follow sister Pearl back into favor?
King was in fashion at the turn of the last century, when captains of industry might be referred to as King Such-and-Such and musicians had royal nicknames like King Oliver and Count Basie, and an important early Hollywood director was christened King Vidor.Â Today King might still be used on its ownâas more than 700 American parents did last yearâor as a short form of Kingston or Kingsley.
PrinceâYes, the singerâs birth name is really Prince Rogers Nelson (a salute to his fatherâs stage name, Prince Rogers, and yes, Â Michael Jacksonâs sons are named Prince Michael Joseph Jackson and Prince Michael Jackson II (aka Blanket). Â Â Now thatÂ we’veÂ got that straight—you may be surprised to know that Prince has not been restricted to singing stars or vetsâ waiting rooms: at this moment, Prince ranks at Number 481, the highest itâs been since 1910!Â A prominent example of human-canine crossover.
Princess, on the other hand, has remained more of a nickname for Daddyâs little girl, just as she wasÂ in the 1954 Father Knows Best. Exception: prominent British celebs Katie Price and Peter Andre who named their daughter Princess Tiaamiiâa choice met with considerable derision.
DukeâBut back to Duke.Â Used much more as a nicknameâas it was for John Wayne and Edward Kennedy Ellington, Duke has been chosen as a first by others than Diane Keaton and Justine Bateman.Â After being on the list sporadicallyâreaching as high as 719 in 1956âit fell off in 1971. But between that E!Entertainment couple and hunky characters like Channing Tatumâs Duke Orsino in Sheâs the Manâwe think it could make a comeback.
Baron has a certain sophisticationâif you donât let The Red Baron or Baron Munchausen get in the way.Â Baron Davis is an admired basketball player, and theÂ Donald Trumps spelled their boyâs name Barron, as in the financial newspaper; hotel magnate Barron Hilton is the grandfather of Paris and Nicky.
MarquisâÂ A marquise is a nobleman ranking between a duke and earl or count.Â The name Marquis has had some popularity among African-American parents, especially in the 1980s and 90s. Rapper 50-Cent named his son Marquise, Â David Caruso has a Marquezâwhich just might be after the great Colombian writer.
And now we get to a few variations on the theme:
QueenieâQueenie takes the royal image, does a flip, and turns it on its head.Â Saucy showgirl that she is, Queenie was a turn-of-the-last-century fave, inspired by Queen Victoria, and stayed on the US list most years until 1927.Â Lisa Bonet, Rachel Ward and Taraji P.Henson have all played characters named Queenie.
RexâUnlike most of these names, the dashing Rex, Latin for king, is an up-and-comer, nowhere near his Top 300 highs from 1911 to 1966, but on the rise, along with all the other x-men.Â Several celebs have fallen in thrall to Sexy Rexy, including Will Champion, Natascha McElhone, Sophie Kinsella and Niki Taylor.
ReginaâRexâs consort has had a steady presence on the popularity list, never sky high, but on it from the beginning.Â Her high point was the 1960s, when Regina was a Top 100 name; sheâs now at Number 561.Â An infamous namesake is Regina Giddens, the indelible central character in Lillian Hellmanâs playÂ The Little Foxes. Modern bearers include actresses King and Taylor, opera diva Resnik, and Russian-American singer-songwriter Regina Spektor.Â Trivia tidbit: Regina is the birth name of Jenna Fisher.
Would you consider any of these noble names?