Celebrity Baby Names Insider: Viggo Moriah

Celebrity Baby Names

We teamed up with’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 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.

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17 Responses to “Celebrity Baby Names Insider: Viggo Moriah”

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Lola Says:

December 23rd, 2008 at 5:49 pm

I still find it odd next to his siblings, but then, I think the same thing of the Mortenson gang. I always wondered the thought patterns behind the name, especially when it so obviously steps out of the group as Viggo Moriah does. So this was a most interesting read for me.
I’ll bet you Viggo doesn’t go by his middle when he’s older! ( I know 2 little Moriah girls here in central MA and I’d be willing to wager it skews feminine; SSA only shows it as feminine when you search back 127 years with none as a gender type). Good thing Viggo is so, um vigorously male! 🙂

Maddy Says:

December 23rd, 2008 at 6:05 pm

Love, love Natalie Hanson!

Can’t wait for more Hanson babies!!

pam Says:

December 23rd, 2008 at 6:13 pm

I have to say, she was a total doll! And definitely a knowledgeable and adventurous baby-namer. I love her idea of searching for names on — I’m going to have to try that and write a blog post about it.

kerri Says:

December 23rd, 2008 at 10:31 pm

nothing personal against taylor or natalie but seriously i dont think that name goes well together…. i love the fact that its original and such but i dont think that this poor child is going to be able to live down the dorkyness of it

taylor J Says:

December 23rd, 2008 at 11:02 pm

I wouldnt have given a boy a girls name like moriah. And why any parent would want to have the meaning behind their child’s name be war s beyond me. One of the othe biblical names would have been better then they could have named a girl Moriah. that’s just my thought. also it’s a little weird that Natalie is the one who did the interview, she isnt the celeb she is just married to the celeb. well thats my piece.

Nessa Says:

December 23rd, 2008 at 11:23 pm

It doesn’t really go with his siblings names, but then, what DOES Viggo really go with? I like it. I think the Viggo Mortenson reference will help people recognize it and they won’t get as many “you named him what?” comments as they might otherwise. And I like that they used to find the name, they get a thumbs up from me.

PLEASE do blog about looking for names on, that is the greatest site! If you have your family tree on there you can actually look at it as a list of names (mine currently has 1,842!)… it’s a great great great resource for finding a name with family significance when you don’t have anything recent that appeals to you.

angela Says:

December 24th, 2008 at 1:52 am

when i first found out that taylor and natalie had named their 4th viggo moriah i immediately looked up the meanings on the net. it’s a very strong name and while at first i was like “wth?” i don’t think they could have picked a better name for him 🙂

K Lye Says:

December 24th, 2008 at 2:42 am

hmm… the only thing i can really say is that when i heard the name viggo.. i immediately thought of the bad guy in ghost busters 2 named viggo… yknow.. the one in the painting.. lol. I HOPE VIGGO HANSON doesn’t turn out evil like that guy! haha…
but in defense of Natalie, I can understand why they would totally want her to explain the whole name thing, because, well, it’s usually the moms final say on what the babies name will be. Also, I’m all for keeping family names and such, some people scratched their heads at the name I chose for my son, but it works.

ALSO.. good grief people, let her rest a little before you start pressing her for more babies!!!!

Dawn H. Says:

December 24th, 2008 at 9:37 am

First off, Congrats to both Taylor and Natalie.(and the siblings)… and I LOVE that people still take the time to research names for their children. May some think it to be an odd name, it means something to them… I say, ‘kudos’!

Keep Rockin’ Hanson!!!

Claire Says:

December 24th, 2008 at 1:03 pm

While im not a fan of the name, i do love that they pick interesting names for their children, i myself picked a uncommon name for my daughter. Ezra is a gorgeous name as is Penny and River. I have a strange last name which i grew up hating however i now love it purely because its nice not having a name thats within the norm. Its actually really nice reading an interview with Natalie (she may not be the celeb but she is the wife of one and they mother of Viggo so she has every right to be interviewed and asked about her child), she seems like a very sweet and endearing person.
I hope they all have a wonderful christmas and new year and congratulations guys on the birth of your new son.

Ashton Says:

December 24th, 2008 at 3:27 pm

The Hanson family is costom to using out of the ordinary names for children. From the 3 brothers we have Jordan Ezra(i love the name Ezra from the Bible and Jordan because of Taylor, not a weird name at all) Penelope Anne(i love Penny as a girls’ name and the Hanson song Penny & Me), River Samuel(Another Hanson song ‘River’ I think is a cute name, i wasnt too sure about it when he was born but I think it is so cute) and now Viggo Moriah(Once again i love the biblical reference and it will probably grow on me after a while!) Clarke Everett & James Monroe(Isaac Hanson’s boys) And last but not least John Ira Shepherd( Zac Hanson’s boy) and I think that name is too cute for that adorible little baby 🙂

lmf Says:

December 24th, 2008 at 10:52 pm

Even Viggo Mortensen did not continue the tradition with his own son, choosing the name Henry instead (after his uncle in Denmark). Mr. Mortensen has stated that in Denmark, the name Viggo has the same aesthetic equivalent as “Oswald” does here in the States. While I like the name, its meaning flies in the face of such a pacifist as Mr. Mortensen is; still, any child beset with the inevitable questions and comparisons to Viggo Mortensen is in my opinion a lucky child indeed.

Jen Says:

December 25th, 2008 at 12:01 am

I was touched by the Biblical reference. Possibly because of the fact that the name Isaac is fitting for Tay’s brother… In Genesis, Isaac was supposed to be sacrified by Abraham, but God spared him at the last minute… We almost lost Isaac last year, but God spared him, for which I am more than thankful for.

I love the name, and I love the fact that they take the time to research names for meanings. Also, I too love names, like Natalie.

Congrats again to Taylor and Natalie, and I think Viggo Moriah is a handsome name. Just like the rest of the Hanson sons.

Have a Merry Christmas, Hanson! And everyone else!

amanda Says:

December 26th, 2008 at 10:17 am

being a hanson fan of about 9yrs now i had to investigate the name when i first heard it and i am so glad i was right!! haha..although Hanson pick different names for their children i am glad they stand for something. The first time i looked it up i got Viggo meaning warrior.. so i got warrior on the mountain in which isaac got killed. I found that funny being that Isaac Hanson is indeed the for the next child i do hope Zac is referenced…though i think its time to send them some birth control lol

Rachel Says:

December 27th, 2008 at 10:24 am

At first when I heard about Viggo I was like “You’ve got to be kidding me” but then it kind of grew on me. I love Hanson and support anything they do even if I don’t agree with it.

B Says:

May 27th, 2009 at 8:15 am

Lets remember…Viggo may be odd..but calling your son River? That’s a little strange…but It works for Hanson

Natalie Hanson Gives the Scoop on Viggo Moriah | Says:

January 7th, 2013 at 9:49 am

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