Are These Stars Guilty of Namenapping?
Last month, Lauren Conrad named her son Charlie Wolf—the same name as Zooey Deschanel’s son born two years earlier. There are no hard feelings between the two, with Deschanel telling US Weekly, “That was so weird, right? I don’t think she knew it.” Conrad, in her statement to the magazine, said, “It sounds like I’m a follower. They’re just both family names. Charlie, or Charles is a family name and a name that my husband and I both really like, and then Wolf actually comes from his side.”
Just when it seemed as if this issue had been put to bed, Bachelor in Paradise alums Carly Waddell and Evan Bass welcomed a baby boy on November 12th named Charles “Charlie” Wolfe. Said Waddell in an Instagram post, “Charles is a beloved family name on both sides and we wanted to incorporate the name wolf because he was born on a full moon and started howling the second he was born.” She poked fun at the recent name coincidence, adding, “Apparently this is a very popular name right now. Which makes my grandfather seem even cooler than he already was!”
Charlie is a friendly, unisex name historically used as a nickname for Charles. It currently ranks at #218 on its own for boys, the way Deschanel and Conrad used it. Charles was at #52 in 2018—an unknown, but certainly significant, proportion of them will go by Charlie. It’s received a lot of attention over the past few years thanks to the rising number of baby girls being named Charlie. Millennial parents are less likely to abandon boy-turned-unisex names for their sons—in fact, Charlie has continued to rise for boys as well.
Wolf and Wolfe do not appear in the US Top 1000 but are part of the larger trend of animal names. Animal names are especially popular as middle names, where there is more room to push boundaries and be creative. In the past few years, celebrities have given their children names like Colette Koala, Ryder Falcon, and Rocco Robin.
Celebrity Babies with the Same Name
Mabel Ray: Dermot Mulroney was the first celebrity to embrace the name Mabel when he gave the name to his daughter in 2008. Plenty of stars took note, and today Mabel is a frequent choice for celebrity babies. Bruce Willis and Emma Hemming used it in 2012 and ended up giving their daughter the exact same name as Mulroney’s—Mabel Ray.
Liam James: Lauren Conrad is implicated again—she was not the first celebrity to use the name Liam James either. Scottish-American actor Craig Ferguson named his son Liam James in January of 2011, while Conrad and her husband William Tell would go on to use it in July of 2017. Much like the situation with Charlie Wolf, this can be chalked up to a common first name plus a trendy middle name.
Jackson Wright: 2011 saw the birth of two Jackson Wrights just four months apart. The first belonged to John Henson, comedian and TV host. Later that year, Maya Rudolph gave birth to her Jackson Wright, who goes by Jack.
Colt Daniel: Actors Cynthia Daniel and Cole Hauser named their son Colt Daniel in 2008—a clever honorific that blends elements from both parents’ names. Country singer John Rich followed suit in 2011, also naming his son Colt Daniel—a brother to Cash (yes, Cash Rich).
Poppy Louise: In 2015, news anchor and presidential daughter Jenna Bush Hager named her daughter Poppy Louise in honor of her grandfather, President George H. W. Bush, who she calls Poppy. Singer Joy Williams of the Civil Wars more recently named her daughter Poppy Louise in August of 2018.
Angelo James: Although Adele famously kept the name of her 2012-born son private after his birth, it was eventually revealed that she named him Angelo James. Angelo James is also the name that Nicole “Snooki” Polizzo and Jhonni La Valle of The Jersey Shore chose for their son, born in May of this year.
Ava Grace: Reality star Melissa Ryecroft and husband Tye Strickland named their daughter Ava Grace in 2011—a combo that is quite common among parents, celebrity or not. Therefore, it was almost expected that another little Ava Grace would show up in 2014, this one a daughter to Stacy Keibler.
Leo James: Leo James was the name chosen by actors Courtney Ford and Brandon Routh for their son born in 2012. British actor Sean Maguire and his wife Tanya Flynn used the exact same name for their son, born five years later in December of 2017.
What do you think—coincidences or copycatting? Does your child share a name with someone you know?