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Celebrity Baby Name News: Rhodes, Ripley, and Edith

March 8, 2015 Abby Sandel

By Abby Sandel, Appellation Mountain

Welcome to a bumper crop of nicely-named starbabies!

This week’s celebrity baby names news proves that there’s more than one way to choose a great name, whether you’re welcoming your first child or your fourth.

Two place names, at least three family names, a vintage gem, a Biblical boy, some daring middles, and a bunch of modern favorites all made headlines last week. There’s creativity but also a sense of tradition in these names. It’s a balance that many parents try to find.

We eagerly awaited American Idol alum turned Nashville mainstay Carrie Underwood’s big news. Carrie had talked about narrowing down names with husband Mike Fisher, and reported that they had a shortlist together for their son’s arrival.

Then there was this week’s delightful surprise: a fourth baby for Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton! The Oscar-winning actress and her screenwriter husband were already parents to three impeccably named sons. Their choice for their daughter did not disappoint.

But let’s get to the names. The nine celebrity baby names in the news this week are:

Isaiah MichaelCarrie Underwood and Mike Fisher chose a popular Old Testament name for their firstborn. Isaiah has been in the US Top 100 since 1996, and fits right in with other Biblical Boys like Number 1 Noah and Number 11 Elijah. Middle name Michael honors dad. It’s the kind of down-to-earth choice we expected from Carrie.

Ella RoseGood Morning Britain co-host Charlotte Hawkins also went with a mainstream favorite for her firstborn. Daughter Ella Rose arrived earlier in February, but it took the new parents a while to announce her name. Charlotte explained that she and husband Mark Herbert were stuck between Ella Rose and Rose Ella. Ella currently ranks Number 15 in the US and is just as popular in the UK. Rose is a go-to middle in the English-speaking world. No wonder, though – common or not, it’s a pretty combination.

Eva-Deia – Another double name makes this week’s list. Eva-Deia is the first daughter for Sam and Isabella Branson, and the third grandchild for larger-than-life entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson. Eva comes from Sam’s grandmother, Eve Branson, while Deia was borrowed from a village in Majorca where the family vacationed. The proud grandfather said that his daughter Holly had considered using the place name, too – though she ultimately named her December 2014 twins Artie and Etta.

Alaïa – Telemundo host Adamari Lopez and fiance Toni Costa also honored family with their new daughter’s given name. All of Adamari’s family members have A names, as does the newest arrival, Alaïa. It’s a Basque name meaning happy, and also the surname of Tunisian-born fashion designer Azzedine Alaia. Alaia is rare in the US, but feels like the kind of name that could wear well. Stephen Baldwin and his Brazilian-born wife Kennya gave the name to their daughter in 1993.

Violet Moon – Television actors Sarah Shahi and Steve Howey are now the parents of three: son William Wolf, and their new girl/boy twins. They gave their new daughter a name that’s all nature. But while Violet is a gentle botanical choice, at home in the nineteenth century as well as the twenty-first, the celestial Moon makes for a bold middle. Violet has been a Top 100 choice in recent years, but Moon is rarer than rare. Of course, with Luna and Phoebe in vogue, maybe we’ll be hearing more of this night sky name.

Knox BlueViolet’s twin is Knox Blue. Knox was seldom heard until the 2008 arrival of the youngest JoliePitt brother, Knox Leon. The name has been rising ever since. And while Violet is more familiar than Knox, they do sound great together. And check out those middles: Blue and Moon! It’s a quirky, not-too-obvious way to connect the siblings’ names.

Rhodes Emilio – Another famous family is growing! Actress Sara Gilbert is already mom to son Levi and daughter Sawyer with her ex, Allison Adler. Now Sara and new wife Linda Perry, formerly of 4 Non Blondes, have welcomed a son. No word on how they chose Rhodes’ name, but it’s an on-trend pick, somewhere between preppy surname Brooks and ancient favorite Atticus. The Colossus of Rhodes was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford is one of the world’s most prestigious academic honors. It’s a lot to live up to as a name, and yet it feels very 2015.

Ripley DorothyRipley was the surname of Sigourney Weaver’s character in 1979’s Alien. To date, there have been four appearances by Weaver as the fearless Ellen Ripley, and a fifth is in the works. Thandie Newton named her daughter Ripley back in 2000, and now Australian model Robyn Lawley has also chosen the name. Lawley and partner Everest Schmidt haven’t indicated if they’re big fans of the Alien heroine, or just loved the name. But they did reveal that middle name Dorothy honors Robyn’s late grandmother.

Edith Vivian PatriciaCate Blanchett and Andrew Upton are among my favorite celebrity baby namers. Their sons are Dashiell John, Roman Robert, and Ignatius Martin. Now the couple has welcomed their fourth child and first daughter: Edith Vivian Patricia. Edith remains obscure in the US and elsewhere in the English-speaking world, but might be primed for a comeback. There’s stylish nickname Edie, the Downton Abbey character, and now, of course, little Miss Upton.

That’s quite the list of new arrivals, isn’t it? Which ones are your favorites? I’m all about Edith, but Rhodes and Alaïa are great, too.

About the author

Abby

Abby Sandel is nameberry's Senior Editor and resident Name Sage. Look for her baby name news round-ups every Monday, and her Name Sage columns on Wednesdays. Abby is the creator of the baby name blog Appellation Mountain and mom to Alex and Clio. For a chance to have your questions answered, contact Abby at namesage@nameberry.com.

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