Celebrity Names Blog

New Celebrity Baby Alert: Clay Walker Welcomes Mary-Elizabeth

Country singer Clay Walker has welcomed his third daughter (and first with wife Jessica). According to a news item on his official website, the new baby is named Mary-Elizabeth.

No middle names are reported, making Mary-Elizabeth apparently the first child not to bear her a form of famous father's name. Her brother is William Clayton, and her older sisters are MaClay DaLayne and Skylor ClayAnne. (Insert your own George Foreman joke here.) The older two girls' names reportedly also incorporate elements of their mother's name, Lori Jayne.

Mary remains a top-100 name, and Elizabeth remains top-10. Like brother William's name, these names are about as classic as it gets, and offer a marked contrast to the mashup-style names of the older girls. Together, Mary and Elizabeth form a sweet, likable double name with just a hint of Catholic school.

Celebrities who use double names include Mary-Louise Parker, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Mary Kate Olson.

There's a strong Southern US tradition of double first names, although they have been on the wane. The same is not true everywhere; Scotland's list of top baby names for 2009, for example, includes dozens of double names, most ending with Leigh/Lee, Louise, or Mae. Aimee-Leigh, Demi-Leigh, Demi-Lee and Jamie-Leigh were the most frequently given, but Lily-Rose, Katie-Leigh, Daisy-Mae, Summer-Louise, Lacey-Lee, Kaci-Leigh, Ellie-Jay and Keira-Louise -- among many others -- were also popular. Mary has been a popular first name for US double names (as in the double named celebrities above), but today's parents might be moving toward names like Anna-Kate, Lily-Belle and Emma-Claire.

Mash-up names, on the other hand, are a US trend. In fact, a name mash-up of parent names achieved the status of Baby Name Wizard's Name of the Year (albeit not without some controversy)!

What do you think of the new baby's name? And which do you prefer -- old style double names, or new style mashup names?

--L.R

Comments

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January 7, 2010 3:46 PM
By Mom to 3 (not verified)

I think Mary-Elizabeth won the best name in the family prize. I'd hate to be saddled with MaClay DaLayne. Hopefully someone gave that girl a good nickname - Mack? Lanie? Laya?

January 12, 2010 9:40 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I'm French-Canadian, and there is a strong tradition of naming girls Marie-(name) and boys Jean-(name), but more and more, you see very different names mashed together.

January 12, 2010 2:14 PM
By Zoe (not verified)

Mary-Elizabeth is gorgeous! Although I'm not a fan of hyphens I have to admit that Mary-Elizabeth is eons better then MaClay DaLayne. Lucky, lucky girl.

January 28, 2010 9:07 PM
By Bridget (not verified)

Just a little correction to your post. This is actually Clay and Jessica's 2nd baby. They had a baby boy in 2008 named William I believe, but don't hold me to that name. This is their 2nd and he has the other 2 with his first wife Lori.

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