Celebrity Names Blog

New Baby Alert: Juan Pablo Montoya and the Ladylike Exotics of 1925

New Baby Alert: Juan Pablo Montoya and the Ladylike Exotics of 1925

Following fast on news of Jimmie Johnson's Genevieve Marie, a new NASCAR baby: Juan Pablo Montoya and his wife, Connie Freydell, have welcomed Manuela.

Manuela is a feminine form of Manuel, the Spanish cognate of the Hebrew name meaning "god with us." It's the #96 name in Spain. In the US?

It's an old lady name.

Maneula enjoyed a long

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Shakespeare Names: The Merchant of Venice

Shakespeare Names: The Merchant of Venice

Last Saturday we took a look at the names of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, and today we look at The Merchant of Venice.  Though the two plays are running in New York's Central Park, the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park productions tend to get nation-wide exposure -- thanks to the stars (Al Pacino this year) and to the philosophy (it matters that everyone go to the theater, regardless of income, so free tickets).  And thanks, of course, to Shakespeare.  Presidents from Lincoln to Obama have turned to his plays for advice; authors and filmmakers turn to this words for titles (think The Sound and the Fury and What Dreams May Come); and his expressions are everywhere in our daily speech (one fell swoop; what's done is done; it was greek to me; in my mind's eye).  So, we wonder, what does Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice provide for naming inspiration?

The Merchant of Venice

Shylock

  • Unlikely to be appearing on the charts.  Merchant is perhaps the most infamous of Shakespeare's plays -- given the play's anti-Semitism and how Shakespeare depicts Shylock -- and it's impossible to separate the name from the play and its disturbing discrimination.

Portia

  • A strong and sexy name, it also sounds intelligent and commanding.  
  • Not likely to be shortened.
  • Also seen in Julius Caesar
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Would You Let Twitter Name Your Baby?

Would You Let Twitter Name Your Baby?

Can't get enough of vintage names? Check out Twitter. With #OldPeopleNames one of the hottest trending topics on Twitter right now, Twitter users are putting out vintage suggestions at the rate of several dozen per minute. We've seen lots of suggestions for RufusAgnes,Gertrude, and "anything with Mae." Also suggested: Cleofus, Melouise, Gussie.

Twitter + Old Lady Names? We love it when two of our favorite things come together. If you'd like to tweet your own, may we suggest (our essays on) EllaNylepthaBernice or Louisa

Clearly, the folks suggesting "Adam and Eve" are having fun. But names and Twitter can be serious business too. Just ask Mario Lopez.

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Angelina Jolie's Thigh Tattoo Inspires a Name Game

Angelina Jolie's Thigh Tattoo Inspires a Name Game

Angelina Jolie's new thigh tattoo set tongues wagging when she refused to tell a reporter what it said, offering only that it was "for Brad." This being the age of internets, the Mystery of the Obfuscated Love Tat was quickly solved by a Jezebel commenter. 

Jolie is known for her tattoos, including the geographical coordinates of the birth places of her children, Maddox ChivanPax Thien, Zahara MarleyShiloh NouvelKnox Leon, and Vivienne Marcheline. Her latest tattoo, the theory goes, reads Whiskey Bravo -- William Bradley Pitt's first initials rendered in the military spelling alphabet. Which, it turns out, has a lot of cute celebrity baby names on it. 

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Shakespeare Names: The Winter's Tale

Shakespeare Names: The Winter's Tale

These summer nights in New York City's Central Park, Shakespeare fills the air.  The Public Theater's Shakespeare In The Park is in full swing, with The Winter's Tale and The Merchant of Venice running in repertory.  (Tickets are free and available for all intrepid line waiters.  Apparently if you want to see Merchant, plan on getting in line before 6am -- the name Al Pacino perhaps a bigger draw than even that of Shakespeare.)  Shakespeare is great with stories, the messiness of life, and emotional truth.  Another talent: he's great with names.  So today we look at the names of The Winter's Tale, and next Tuesday we'll take a look atThe Merchant of Venice.

The Winter's Tale

Hermione

  • Lots of recent attention given J.K. Rowling's choice of the name for her Harry Potter character.  Might Rowling have been inspired by this Hermione, who shows her honor, integrity and heart in a very trying situation?  Also, Rowling's Hermione dabbles in time travel, as does Shakespeare's Hermione -- in a sense.
  • In the play, Hermione is Queen of Silcilia.  This names sounds as elegant and regal as Margaret, Catherine, Victoria.
  • Not all that nickname friendly -- if you go with this name, plan on using it in full. 

Paulina

  • Strong and feminine name.  Could this name have a future?
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What Will Miranda Cosgrove Fans Name Their Babies?

What Will Miranda Cosgrove Fans Name Their Babies?

By now you know that Despicable Me, the animated film that ruled the box office last weekend, features "three adorable orphans with old-lady names." One of them -- Margo -- is voiced by Miranda Cosgrove, the popular star of Nickelodeon's iCarly. If you've read this blog lately, you know we love old lady names, so we're thrilled by Despicable Me's young Margo, Edith and Agnes. But is Margo really an old lady name? And how does its appeal compare with that of other Miranda Cosgrove character names?

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New Baby Alert: Bree Turner's Baby Name + a "Stellar" Celebrity Sibset Quiz

New Baby Alert: Bree Turner's Baby Name + a "Stellar" Celebrity Sibset Quiz

The Ugly Truth's Bree Turner and her orthopedic surgeon husband recently welcomed a daughter: Stella Jean. According to Teresa Norman's A World of Baby Names, Stella is Latin for star and was first made popular by poet Philip Sidney in the 16th century.

Ella may be a celebrity dude favorite, but Stella is also nineteenth century revival and big celebrity hit. Our Celebrity Baby Names Lookup shows ten celebrity Stellas.

But who do they belong to? Well, Ellen Pompeo, for one, and Jennifer Grey, for another. But let's test your celebrity naming mettle. Can you guess which celebrities have the following Stella sibsets?

  1. Stella, Mary Anna, James and Beatrice
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Chris Daughtry Picks Twins' Names -- But He's Not Telling

Chris Daughtry Picks Twins' Names -- But He's Not Telling

Chris Daughtry, of American Idol fame, and his wife, Deanna, are expecting twins.  The two -- a boy and a girl -- are due in November.  PEOPLE reports Chris saying:  “We do have names picked out but we’re going to keep them to ourselves until further notice.”  Hmm, so they know.  Can we guess?

The twins will join Griffin and Hannah.  Are there similarities between these names, any clues as to what Chris and Deanna like in a name?  Hannah has always been in the top 1000 names in America, but has experienced its greatest popularity the last few years (high point: #4 in 2003) and ranked #23 in 2009Namipedia's entry for Hannah tells us the name derives from Hebrew -- and means

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A Baby On The Way For Project Runway's Nina Garcia

A Baby On The Way For Project Runway's Nina Garcia

Nina Garica -- Project Runway judge and Marie Claire fashion director -- is expecting a second child with her husband, David Conrod.  Garcia tells PEOPLE the baby is due in December.  Any thoughts on what this style maven might name her baby?  When she and Conrod had a child three years ago, they went with Lucas Alexander for their son.  This is an elegant and imposing name, not at all out of place on the runways of Paris or Milan.

Guess away -- what names might we see for a new baby boy or girl?  With Lucas Alexander, Garica and Conrod went slightly against tradition, putting

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New Baby Alert: Scott Stapp's New Baby's Name

New Baby Alert: Scott Stapp's New Baby's Name

Creed frontman Scott Stapp and his wife Jaclyn welcomed a son named Daniel Issam last week on July 4. Daniel, a name that currently ranks as the 7th most popular boy's name in America, is named for his mother's brother according to PEOPLE.com. Issam

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