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Déjà vu: 9 Celebs Who Used the Same Names

January 25, 2015 Abby Sandel

By Abby Sandel, AppellationMountain

I know that Hollywood isn’t one great big playdate, with A-list moms and reality starlets alike pushing their designer strollers through the park together. There’s no reason to think that Blue Ivy Carter and Tennessee Toth will attend the same preschool, or that Tori Spelling and Angelina Jolie are trading tips on managing big families.

Which is a long way of saying that of course sometimes one set of high-profile parents will choose the same name that some other headline-worthy couple chose.

To spectators, those repeats can seem significant. Tabloids accuse Blake Lively of stealing a Garner-Affleck baby name. We declare names The Next Big Thing if it pops up on lots of celeb birth announcements.

Sometimes that’s true.  Think of Ava. Aidan Quinn and Elizabeth Bracco’s Ava was born in 1989, when the name was barely in the US Top 1000.  Heather Locklear and Richie Sambora followed in 1997, and then Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe in 1999. It’s since become a go-to name for the famous and the not-so-famous, reaching the US Top Ten in 2005, and remaining cemented there ever since.

Every one of the high profile birth announcements from this week’s baby name news could cause the slightest feeling of déjà vu.  Because whether you’re walking the red carpet or not, finding a truly distinctive baby name is harder than it looks.

Here are nine baby names shared by more than one high profile arrival:

Tatum Paulina Gretzky, daughter of NHL legend Wayne Gretzky, and her pro golfer husband Dustin Johnson recently welcomed a son. This week we learned his name: Tatum.  Country music’s Luke Bryan also has a son called Tatum. But Tatum makes the list because it is one of the all-time legendary starbaby names: Tatum Beatrice O’Neal, daughter of actor Ryan O’Neal, and an Academy Award winner in her own right.

Violet – We’ve yet to get an official Blake Lively/Ryan Reynolds confirmation that their daughter’s name is Violet, but all signs point to the stylish botanical. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner chose Violet for their firstborn in 2005, when it was still relatively underused.  Despite a few headlines claiming baby name theft, Violet has since gone from obscure to Top 100 in recent years. While it is a great choice, Violet is much too common to claim copycatting.

Indigo Boy Meets World alum Rider Strong is back as Shawn Hunter on sequel Girl Meets World.  He’s grown up with the rest of the cast – in fact, he’s now a dad! Rider and wife Alexandra Barreto recently welcomed son Indigo Barreto Strong. They’re calling him Indy. Other famous parents to use the blue-hued name include Lou Diamond Phillips, who called his daughter Indigo Sanara in 2007.  And, of course, the color blue inevitably brings to mind Beyonce’s baby, while Indy suggests Indiana: the name of Ethan Hawke’s daughter and Casey Affleck’s son.

Atlas – Actor-director-producer Ed Norton is in the news for two reasons: first, he’s up for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his work in Birdman. Second, we finally learned his son’s name. Norton and wife Shauna Robertson welcomed a son in early 2013, and last week news broke that his name is Atlas.  Atlas was a surprise when actress Anne Heche gave the name to her son in 2007. Since then, it’s become an appealing mythological possibility for boys, breaking into the US Top 1000 in 2013.

Camden Remember the great Camden coincidence of 2012? Kristin Cavallari welcomed Camden Jack in August, and Nick Lachey’s son Camden John was born a month later.  By 2013, Camden had climbed more than 50 spots to break into the US Top 100, joining popular place names like Brooklyn and London.

Penelope – Another mythological name that’s gone from obscure to everywhere in just a few years is PenelopeTina Fey’s second daughter, Penelope Athena, arrived in August 2011. A year later, Kourtney Kardashian welcomed Penelope Scotland. By 2013, Penelope had galloped up the popularity charts to arrive at #56 in the US.

Maxwell – Yet another coincidence? In May 2012, Jessica Simpson announced that she had named her daughter Maxwell Drew.  Earlier that year, actress Lindsay Sloane had named her daughter Maxwell Lue. While there’s been the tiniest uptick in girls called Maxwell since then, this is one name that remains solidly Team Blue.

Luna Uma Thurman’s daughter answers to Luna – but she was born Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence in 2012.  Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem went with just Luna for their daughter in 2013.  Neither celebrity truly gets credit for the rise of this celestial name.  That goes to JK Rowling’s quirky Harry Potter heroine, Luna Lovegood.

Vivienne Ali Larter and Hayes MacArthur chose a lovely name for their daughter, Vivienne Margaret.  Vivienne joins big brother Theodore Hayes. Vivienne is the new Ava amongst the glitterati, chosen by Rosie O’Donnell in 2002, the Jolie-Pitts in 2008, and Rosie Pope in 2012.  As of 2013, Vivienne ranked just #280, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if this Hollywood favorite followed Ava and Penelope up the popularity charts.

Which names have you been hearing more and more often?

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.

View all of Abby's articles

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