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Déjà vu: 9 Celebs Who Used the Same Names

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?

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9 Responses to “Déjà vu: 9 Celebs Who Used the Same Names”

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indiefendi2 Says:

January 26th, 2015 at 2:26 am

I normally really dislike Margaret but Vivienne Margaret is a knockout! Vintage names together really can be stunners. 🙂

natasha8 Says:

January 26th, 2015 at 3:08 am

You forgot Harper. As for Vivienne Margaret, didn’t Jenna Bush use Margaret for her daughter also.

epowell Says:

January 26th, 2015 at 10:43 am

Vivienne Margaret is just lovely! And, I have to agree…Violet is way to popular and established to be a copy cat. It’s a classic.

Chloe14 Says:

January 26th, 2015 at 12:40 pm

Lots of celebrities use the same name for their children, but it doesn’t mean their copying each other. They may just simply love the name and want to use it for their child. Lot’s of celebrities used the name Ava though.

KickinKay Says:

January 26th, 2015 at 3:21 pm

I think that most of these are coincidences, however, the Camden Conspiracy of 2012 and the Maxwell Lue/Maxwell Drew situation were both so odd. Many celebrities also gain name inspiration from other celebrities as we do.

skizzo Says:

January 26th, 2015 at 7:12 pm

What about those 2 celebrity parents that welcomed sons named Bodhi in the same week?

findemaxa13 Says:

January 26th, 2015 at 8:50 pm

Everytime I see Uma Thurman’s daughter’s full name I just cringe violently. Almost every single name there is trying too hard, but the full monty is just grotesquely ornate. I really like Luna, though. Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz had the right idea just giving their daughter an actual stand-alone pretty name!

cgwaltney Says:

January 26th, 2015 at 11:04 pm

I’m bummed that Vivienne is gaining so much attention because of celebrities. It makes me regret choosing it for my daughter : (

peacebird10 Says:

January 26th, 2015 at 11:20 pm

I was thinking Marlowe and Monroe both getting a lot of celeb attention lately, and then Jenna von Oy went and named her daughter Marlowe Monroe!

@skizzo: I was thinking the same!

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