Celebrity Names Blog

A Girl Named Maxwell for Lindsay Sloane

A Girl Named Maxwell for Lindsay Sloane
Revolutionpix/Fame Pictures

Lindsay Sloane is the latest celebrity parent to embrace what has been thought of as a "boy name" for her new daughter.

The actress — who is best known for her roles in TV's Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and Weeds, as well as movies including Bring It On and Horrible Bosses — welcomed her first child with her husband, talent agent Dar Rollins, on Jan. 19. Maxwell Lue Rollins is the new addition who the couple call their “sweet little girl.”

The trend of boys' names "going girl" has been a frequently discussed topic here on NameCandy. We've seen Rebecca Gayheart and Eric Dane welcome Billie, Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell choose Charlie, and Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen go with Sam, to name a few. Maxwell is a little more surprising than some of the others, but when you think of its feminine counterparts Maxine and Maxie as well the nickname Max for girls, it doesn't sound that unusual.

Plus, it didn't seem like Lindsay was hoping for an super girly-girl, flowery, frilly baby name anyway. Soon after the actress found out she was having a girl, she was asked whether she'd be dressing her little one in pink all the time. She answered: "Eh, I don't think so. She'll embrace blue if need be!"

It seems Lindsay could have fallen for Maxwell when she scored her gig on HBO's Weeds because her character is Maxeen. The show also has another Max, a boy, so it's a popular name on the set. Maxwell, which is a common surname, has never been on the Social Security Administration's popular names list as a female name but for a male name it has actually been at its most popular for the last two decades. It hasn't cracked the Top-100 names just yet, but it's currently No. 134 and seems to be holding steady in that range.

Other celebrities who gave the name Maxwell in recent years are Lance Armstrong and then The Bachelorette's Trista and Ryan Sutter — in both cases it was used for boys. In pop culture, we think of Maxwell Smart from TV's Get Smart, the Beatles song "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and of course the smooth as silk sounding R&B singer Maxwell. In the 2009 movie Orphan, there was a little girl named Max.

As for baby Maxwell Rollins' middle name — Lue — it's a different take on the traditional Lou. (Soon-to-be exes Heidi Klum and Seal's youngest daughter is Lou Sulola Samuel and Keri Russell just welcomed Willa Lou Deary.) And Lou (Lue and Lu), a name that fell of the charts completely in the early 1970s, seems to be getting more play as a middle name. It makes us think of Lou in a similar way to how we think of Lynn, which lost popularity as a first name but, starting in the 1960s and '70s, was widely used as a middle name. Plus, Lue paired with Maxwell gives the name a feminine touch.

What are you thoughts of "male names" being embraced for girls? Are there any that you really love? Any that you really dislike? And what do you think of Maxwell Lue? Let's talk about it below.

--S.B.

More on androgynous names...

* In Search of Truly Androgynous Baby Names
* Where Have All the Boys' Names Gone?
* Charles, And Other Boy's Names on Girls

Comments

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January 28, 2012 10:51 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

There are so many perfect names for girls from frilly to plain. I don't see why people have to poach from the boys list.

January 28, 2012 11:06 AM
By Joyce (not verified)

I always lived Ryan and Griffin for girls.

January 28, 2012 12:16 PM
By Jennie

Funnythat Lue sounds feminine, bc as a first name, Lou is all boy!

January 29, 2012 3:19 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I disagree that Lue gives the name a "feminine touch", because to me, that is fully androgynous. Maxwell on the other hand sounds terrible for a girl.

January 30, 2012 1:36 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I have no problem with boy's names being used on girls or girl's names on boys (though that hardly ever happens) but Maxwell is pretty bad.

January 30, 2012 12:49 PM
By Suzy

I know a lot of people who are using Lou as a middle name for girls--Zoe Lou, Billie Lou. In college I knew a Bonnie Lou and Bobbie Lou who were roommates! They had their names painted on the wall because it connected them. I actually can't think of a single guy named Lou my age or younger that I know.

January 31, 2012 12:52 PM
By court (not verified)

Why do people get so upset by parents giving girls a boy name? I love the creativity and boldness of choosing Maxwell for a girl and think Max as a nickname is really cute. Cute name; love it!

January 31, 2012 1:24 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Two reasons
1. It inspires every person who meets the poor child to do a double take as she introduces herself.

2. It makes the name feel less usable for boys.

I'm super sad when I hear one of my favorite boy names, Elliot, being used on girls and when I see the little girl I just get mad. Sad but true.

January 31, 2012 2:32 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think that when you use a masculine first name for a girl, you really should use a feminine middle name. I seriously dislike Maxwell for a girl, but if they could have at least tempered it with a girly middle name, it would have helped just a bit. Like Soleil Moon Frye's daughter is Jagger Joseph Blue...way too masculine!

January 31, 2012 11:54 PM
By Faye (not verified)

The amount of gender-normativity going on on this site makes me imagine that everyone here has baby rooms in nothing but pink and blue. Relax! She didn't name her kid "Kindle", I think we're okay. (Oh god, I'm just imagining Apple [Martin] picking on Kindle on the playground.)

I mean granted, when I hear Max for a girl I think Dark Angel but that's because I'm a child of the 80s/90s with some weird television tastes. There are some other good girl Max-es I'm not thinking of.

But yeah. Maxy. Maxine. Max. It's fine as a girl name. I think it's pretty cute, really.

I honestly think saying that the mere fact of a girl possessing a name makes it less usable for boys is misogynist. What you're saying is that "boys can't have GIRLY names/things/etc". As someone who had to deal with multitudes of 5 year old boys in a day camp screaming and throwing tantrums if they were handed purple-handled scissors and holding up the class, I cannot deal with people maintaining a gender binary that severe. All it does is cause anxiety from the time kids are literally toddlers.

February 1, 2012 10:34 PM
By shadelit (not verified)

Meh. I'm pretty against hardlined gender roles, get my kids both "boy" and "girl" toys (mostly just gender neutral educational stuff, really), let my son paint his nails. Both boy and girl like to play sports, take martial arts, play with dolls, and play dress up, including princess dress up. They're both going to learn carpentry and cooking. But I still am not a big fan of the trend of poaching traditionally boy names for girls. For one thing, I grew up with a boy's name myself and it was a pain in the A. Constantly getting assigned to the boy's locker room by my schools, for example, or put in the wrong dorm hall. People always thinking it was funny to mock my name, or try to hook me up with a same-named boy no matter how much we hated each other. For another thing, I was close to a couple of guys who were named Morgan and Jordan before the names became almost overwhelmingly female, and it was a giant pain in the A for them as well, and got to where they hated their names. It shouldn't be that way--I suppose ideally all names would fall into the same genderless pool--but it's reality, even in my extremely liberal area. When you look at history, names that used to be predominantly used for males but crossed over into common usage for females generally do not survive as useful male names. Shirley, Hillary, Marion, for example--the boy's name pool shrinks as this attrition continues. A boy named Shirley would be tormented, and that sucks and it does say something about sexism in society but it's still a fact. I gave my son a rarely-used but classically male name,I hope he will always love the name his mother gave him, and so I admit I would hate for it to turn into the next trendy girl name... although I would also hate for it to turn into a trendy name, period, because I'm not a fan of top 100 names, either.

Anyway, Lou/Lue/Lu is neutral IMO and cute, but I'm not big on Maxwell for a girl. Although in some ways it's better than Maxine, just because I prefer the sound of it.

February 10, 2012 6:25 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Totally agree with Shadelit. I'm a feminist and I try to treat all kids equally, whatever their gender. But I wouldn't name my son Kelly, or Kim or Shannon just to prove a point. That's not fair to my son. I want him to define his masculinity, not feel like he has to defend it.

I agree with the poster that thinks it's sexist for boys to not want anything GIRLY, but I'm not going to sacrifice my son to that.

I also think it's sexist to name your daughter a boy's name to make her sound strong or powerful or fiesty. Maxine isn't strong and fiesty enough?

June 17, 2012 10:53 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

agree!

August 14, 2012 4:42 AM
By Find boys name (not verified)

I think you can choose according to both of you(parents) name of your daughter name. but take care that it should not like odd.

October 5, 2012 2:02 AM
By Shakira Toliver (not verified)

it doesn't sound that unusual.

October 9, 2012 1:33 AM
By Lera Coyne (not verified)

The trend of boys' names "going girl" has been a frequently discussed topic.

November 7, 2012 3:22 AM
By Georgine Carlos (not verified)

it didn't seem like Lindsay was hoping for an super girly-girl.

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