Celebrity Names Blog

Liberty Grace -- Joey Lawrence Announces Name of His Daughter Before She's Born

Liberty Grace -- Joey Lawrence Announces Name of His Daughter Before She's Born
Photo Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin.com

Liberty Grace is on her way, due to arrive in a of couple months, Joey Lawrence and Chandie Yawn-Nelson told PEOPLE.  Whoa baby -- take a moment to enjoy that the actor from Blossom so linked with this phrase now has daughter number two on the way.  Liberty Grace will join older sister Charleston (3 1/2).  Announcing your baby's name pre-birth is becoming quite the trend these days, most recently seen when Jane Carrey announced her plan to name her son Jackson Riley.  Perhaps the most extreme example is Mariah Carey, who announced that even though she won't share it publicly, she has her baby's name chosen -- and she's not even pregnant yet!    What do you think of this trend?  Are Lawrence, Yawn-Nelson and others tempting the fates, toying with hubris?  

Such questions aside, taking a look at this girl and name on the way:  Liberty, Joey tells PEOPLE, is a name that he has always loved.  Liberty has had a huge upswing in popularity in the last few decades.  Not in the top 1000 names in the 1990s, Liberty reached spot 502 by 2003.  As Baby Name Wizard comments, Liberty "surfaces at historical moments when Americans contemplate their freedoms," such as after the 9/11 attacks.  Currently the name is at spot 620, at a time when America is engaged in two wars overseas and home front domestic battles.  With all that is occurring, we could all, regardless of political persuasion or belief, use a little grace.  Perhaps this partly inspired Joey and Chandie to choose Grace, a name meaning beauty of form, mercy, kindness, favor.  But there is also a personal tie-in to the name -- Joey's grandmother, Grace, passed away this year, and he is naming his daughter in the older Grace's honor.  

While Liberty and Grace are both popular names these days (Grace has been in the top 1000 since the 1800s, and in 2003 was ranked #13), Charleston, Joey and Chandie's first child's name, is more off the beaten naming path.  The first two syllables are well-known: Charles made the top 1000 female names through the 1960s, while Charles for a boy has been in the top 1000 since the 1880s and is currently ranked #63.  Charleston makes neither list.  The name is certainly unique for a girl, but the choice is in keeping with a fire-hot trend -- androgynous names (see Name Candy and Name Lady for more on this trend).

So -- thoughts?  Do Liberty Grace and Charleston match well as a sibling duo?  Would you release your baby's name pre-birth, laying claim to that name?  Or is it a hubristic act?  Share your take on announcing names before the baby's born.



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November 14, 2009 7:56 AM
By Lane

I think it's a little bit weird. I have a friend who refers to her not yet born baby by its name and it just seems strange to me. I mean, what if it turns out to be the opposite sex than they thought? I do understand why the parents might enjoy using the name, instead of "the baby" or some nickname, but from the outside it seems weird. Plus, people feel free to comment (negatively) on a name if there's not an actual baby out in the world attached to the name.

Does Charleston go by Charlie? I wonder if Liberty might go by Libby.

November 14, 2009 11:19 AM
By Jennie

Yes, Charleston goes by Charli.

November 14, 2009 8:15 PM
By Valentine (not verified)

I have several friends who have announced their baby's name and gender MONTHS before the delivery. Is anything a surprise anymore? And some friends who have repeat c-sections also announce the chosen date well in advance too!

There's nothing left to be surprised about. I think it's lame. I would shut my ears if I could.

One friend called her baby "Greyson" for 4-5 months and then a week before he was born, changed the name to "Ryan." That was pretty strange. This baby is now 9 months old and I'm still tempted to refer to him as "Greyson."

Another friend decided to name her baby Devon as soon as she got pregnant---regardless of the child's gender. Turned out he was a boy---which we all found out at 20 weeks.

Others leave the middle name as a surprise. Well, that's a lame surprise because it's a trivial detail unlike gender or first name.

My brother is expecting his first baby and recently revealed he is hoping for a girl and they will find out the gender in a few weeks. He feels finding out will "save money" in the long run. Really? It's your first baby. If you buy a pink stroller it might not work for your next child. Just admit that you can't wait!!!!

My friends who announce name and gender ahead of time feel it's a "surprise now or a surprise later." Well, I still don't get it. If I look at my Christmas presents today instead of waiting until Dec. 25th, it's not the same level of surprise because I peeked in advance.

Would a surprise birthday party be as fun if you found out in advance?

Suspense and anticipation is part of the surprise, don't you think????

I prefer not to know the name until I see the face. It makes it all more special.

November 14, 2009 8:54 PM
By Dominique

Announcing name selection before the baby's been born does appear to be a shift from past protocol. Mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers out there -- what do you remember? Have expecting parents been doing this for years, or is this truly a break from the past?

November 15, 2009 9:10 PM
By Bethany (not verified)

I'm a planner. We actually chose names for my children before either one of them were conceived. (I also like to bargain shop.) So, in trying to plan and bargain shop at the same time, it was helpful to know what gender I was having before hand so I could purchase clothes off the clearance racks for the following year.I am not one to have my child wear yellow and green for an entire year because I decided to wait until the baby was here to find out the sex.

Both times we had more than one sonogram, so the sonographers were very confident in the sex. I think there are so many other things still left to discover the day that the baby is born: what the baby looks like, a baby's personality, etc. that knowing the gender ahead of time didn't seem to detract from the surprise.

As far as telling the name, because we had them picked out, we told immediately. (This is a great way to make sure a cousin or sister-in-law who is pregnant at the same time will go ahead and scratch the name off the list. If you "claim" it first by announcing it to the entire family, then it would hardly be acceptable to take that name even if their child is born first.) Obviously, some people are really bothered by this practice, but it's what suited our family best.

November 16, 2009 8:40 AM
By Zoerhenne (not verified)

Everyone is different. Some like surprises, some don't. We announced ideas and the gender. We still left the final say till after the child was born.
I think Liberty Grace is very pretty, but I'm not sure it matches well with the style of Charleston. It seems like Georgia would've matched better or maybe TOO much-not sure.

November 18, 2009 8:47 AM
By Carol (not verified)

I do not think Liberty and Charleston go together. Nicknames sound good together though so maybe that is the plan.

November 18, 2009 8:03 PM
By Azure (not verified)

My sister is Liberty Grace nn Libby! Born 1977.

I don't care about surprises either. So my friends don't get to be surprised. Who cares? I like being able to decorate the nursery, order personalized items and get gender appropriate clothing at the baby shower.

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