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While Jools and Jamie Oliver have yet to formally announce their new son’s name, it looks like... Read More

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Shining a spotlight on names in the news

River

River, long among the out-there nature names for babies, has become a favorite with modern parents, especially celebrity parents. The latest high-profile family to embrace the name? Jamie and Jools Oliver! They recently confirmed to TODAY Parents that their newest addition is named River Rocket.

Jools hinted at their new son’s name in an Instagram post earlier this week:

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A photo posted by Jools Oliver (@joolsoliver) on

River fits in beautifully with the older Oliver children’s nature namesPoppy Honey Rosie, Daisy Boo Pamela, Petal Blossom Rainbow, and Buddy Bear Maurice.

A handful of boys were named River in the 1970s, as parents sought out bolder possibilities. It might have stayed on the fringes, except that one of those boys was River Phoenix.

As Phoenix‘s star rose, so did his distinctive given name. Following the actor’s tragic death in 1993, the name entered the US Top 1000. It now ranks Number 244 for boys in the US, and Number 350 for girls.

Keri Russell gave the name to a son in 2007. More recently, Kelly Clarkson welcomed daughter River Rose, and Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green named their son Journey River.

Besides the name’s appealing ties to nature, River also boasts an on-trend sound. It shares the stylish letter v with Oliver and Everett, Ava and Olivia. And we’re wild for -r ending names, for boys and girls, from Carter to Piper. River fits right in.

In the UK, however, River like other newly-minted nature names remains relatively uncommon. Could the Olivers’ latest edition change that? It seems likely. Following the Beckham‘s choice of Harper for their daughter in 2011, Harper has cracked the Top 100 for girls in England.

Congratulations to the Oliver family on their nicely named new son, and expect to hear more of this stylish name throughout the English-speaking world.