Celebrity Baby Names Insider: Viggo Moriah

Celebrity Baby Names Insider: Viggo Moriah

We teamed up with people.com’s Celebrity Baby Blog to bring you this look behind Natalie and Taylor Hanson’s choice of the name Viggo Moriah for their fourth child.

Musical brother Taylor Hanson is the latest celebrity to choose a baby name that’s reminiscent of another celebrity, when he and wife Natalie named their newborn son and fourth child Viggo Moriah.

While actor Viggo Mortensen wasn’t the direct inspiration for the baby’s name, says Natalie. “He’s a great actor and a handsome modern reference for the name.”.

Natalie and Taylor were combing through records on ancestry.com in search of a distinctive yet historic name when they hit upon Viggo, a Scandinavian name that means “war.”“It’s a strong name with a great sound and matches our Danish last name and we just loved it,” says Natalie.

The baby’s middle name Moriah was Taylor’s choice, inspired by the Book of Genesis story of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac, which took place on Mount Moriah.

The couple didn’t anticipate the celebrity reference of that Biblical place name.“People have been asking us, ‘Oh, like Mariah Carey?,’ and we didn’t even think of that,” says Natalie Hanson.“We were thinking of other Biblical names like Josiah and Jeremiah that to us sounded so masculine.”

Baby Viggo Moriah’s three older siblings, Jordan Ezra, 6; Penelope Anne, 3; and River Samuel, 2, so far pronounce his name “Biggo,” laughs Natalie.“It’s so cute, we always make them say it.”

“I’m such a name fan,” says Natalie, who was poring over name books long before she started her brood with the middle Hanson brother.With the world watching, how does she feel about the pressure to choose the perfect name?“The pressure is worse from my Mom and the in-laws,” she laughs.“But once they see the baby, he’s so precious, they say he looks like a Viggo.”

Taylor Hanson uses his middle name as his first, an informal tradition in the family, with grandpa Clarke Walker known as Walker and Taylor and Natalie’s oldest son using his middle name Ezra.Taylor will sometimes switch things up the other way and identify himself as Jordan – his actual first name – Hanson.Having a built-in alias can make life easier for a celebrity who likes to keep a low profile, says Natalie, as do the Oklahoma-centered Hansons.

Baby Viggo joins other celebrity babies and children who share their names with stars, including Ava (as in Gardner), daughters of Reese Witherspoon and Hugh Jackman,: Harlow (Jean), daughter of Nicole Ritchie, Audrey (Hepburn), daughter of Greg Kinnear;and Gable, (Clark) son of Kevin Nealon.Soleil Moon Frye’s daughter’s first name is Jagger, while Madonna is Geri Halliwell’s daughter Bluebell’s middle name.

As for Viggo Mortensen, the Lord of the Rings star is actually a junior—he inherited his name from his Danish father.It’s a Norse name meaning ‘warlike’ but its real-life image is one of energy and—well—vigor.This Viggo too has brothers with more ordinary names—Charles and Walter.Maybe that’s why they turned out to be geologists.

About the Author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry and Baby Name DNA. The coauthor of ten groundbreaking books on names, Redmond is an internationally-recognized baby name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show, CNN, and the BBC. She has written about baby names for The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and People.

Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its sequel, Older. She has three new books in the works.