Celebrity Names Blog

New Baby Alert: John C. McGinley Gets Fresh with his Baby Name

New Baby Alert: John C. McGinley Gets Fresh with his Baby Name

John C. McGinley and wife Nichole have a new daughter: Kate Aleena, PEOPLE reports. She's a sister for Billie Grace, born in 2008, and for McGinley's son Max.

In Billie Grace, the McGinleys chose an offbeat first name with a conventional middle name. (Check out the celebrity babies middle-named Grace. Also, if you missed it, our essay on Billie.) In Kate Aleena, that strategy is reversed. Aleena made the charts for the very first time in 2004, and in 2009 ranked #580. Similar-sounding names like Alina and Elena also charted. Aleena may be hot, but we think Kate sounds fresh.

Celebrity Kates

Kate is an old-fashioned favorite (#97 in the 1880s) that lost standing. Although it has never left the charts, it's never regained its former popularity. Our Celebrity Baby Names database lists only four other Kates. Goldie Hawn's daughter is Kate (Hudson). Ione Skye -- who chose Goldie Priya for her newest baby -- has an older daughter named Kate. Harry Connick, Jr. has a daughter named Sarah Kate, and Nicole Richie has Harlow Winter Kate.

Kate graces contemporary high profile actresses and models -- Kate Winslet, Kate Beckinsale, Kate Hudson, Kate Moss -- and popular television figures (Lost's Kate Austen, Kate Gosselin of Plus Eight). It's also the nickname of Katharine Hepburn. Taken together, they make for a (mostly) pleasant cultural profile for the name Kate.

Popular Sounds

But Kate also has the right sound. It fits the demand for what a Namipedia contributor called "short and bold" names (think Liv, June, Cash, Grant, Jet, Colt), and the mania s that end in a "t" sound (Violet, Wyatt, August, Scarlett, Everett, Juliet, Beckett and many others are rising steadily in popularity). The "Kat-" names are classic and will no doubt remain popular. But where Kathryn and Katelyn sound tired and overly familiar, Kate fits the sound zeitgeist and sounds fresh.

What do you think of Kate Aleena? Do you like Kate & Billie as a sibset?



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July 9, 2010 2:53 PM
By GeorgiaPeach (not verified)

I love Kate! One of my favorite names is Cecilia Kate.

July 9, 2010 3:45 PM
By elleireland (not verified)

Kate is so fabulous, I'm surprised it's not used more. I think it's perceived as more common than it is. Too bad about all the "Katies." The sound is totally different--"Kaydee." It's the crisp "T" that makes Kate such a stand-out.
If my name was Katelyn, I'd drop the "lyn" in a heartbeat.

July 10, 2010 11:56 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I don't like Kate any more-Kate Gosselin ruined it!

July 10, 2010 11:07 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Both names are fine are their own, but together it sounds like you are mispronouncing "Catalina."

July 12, 2010 12:15 AM
By JoJo (not verified)

I love the name Kate! I think "strong, smart, independent, beautiful." In fact, that's my daughter's name (born in 2006).

July 13, 2010 2:28 PM
By Kate (not verified)

I think the reason that Kate has never regained its popularity is the fact that it is so often used as a diminutive. I myself am a Katherine, and I know countless other Kaitlin's or Katelyn's or Katherine's that go by Kate. Many also go by Katie, but that can easily be shortened to Kate as well. I personally love being a Kate, but I also love having the strong, traditional 'Katherine' to back it up.

July 13, 2010 4:26 PM
By Tirzah (not verified)

Kate is definitely not fresh. See all of those moms named Kate up there? Plus there are a ton of tween Katies out there. Kate/Katie replaced Kathy as the nickname for Katherine a long time ago.

July 14, 2010 7:00 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Loved Billie Grace but Kate is over used and not really a name I think fits a child of today. Kates are in their thirties or late twenties now. As for the middle name Aleena. Really nothing there. Nothing special.

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