Celebrity Names Blog

New Baby Alert: Gary Busey Welcomes a Son Named Luke

New Baby Alert: Gary Busey Welcomes a Son Named Luke
Photo Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin.com

Actor Gary Busey and girlfriend Steffanie Sampson welcomed a son named Luke Sampson Busey earlier this week.  Busey also has two other children from previous relationships, actor Jake Busey (whose birth name is actually William Gareth Jacob Busey Jr.) and Alectra, who goes by Ellie.  Clearly, with such divergent naming styles across this family, we can only assume that the children's three different mothers had a big impact on their naming choices.

As for the name Luke, it has seen a sharp rise in popularity since the 1990s and is currently the forty-third most popular name for boys in the United States.

The name Luke is a variant of Lucas, which itself derives from the latin root "Lux" meaning light.  The most famous Luke is no doubt Luke the Evangelist, author of The Gospel According to Luke and Acts of the Apostle. Luke's popularity today probably has more to do with style -- its single syllable and hard "k" sound are reminiscent of the even more popular Jake -- as well as its pop culture association with heroic Hollywood Lukes from Paul Newman's Cool Hand Luke to Star Wars' Luke Skywalker. 



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February 25, 2010 7:32 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I'm not sure about your etymology, and I've checked a few sources that corroborate my suspicions.

There is indeed a Latin root "luk-" (not lux) meaning "light", but the name derived directly from this root is not Luke, but Lucius, and thence Lucien (from the derivative Lucianus). I don't know of a straightforward process by which this could become Lucas or Luke, because there's no indigenous masculine ending -as in Latin, and because the [k] would have become "ch" or [s] in the modern Romance languages.

The name of the evangelist Luke actually comes from Greek, and means something like "man from Lucania" (the original Greek form being "Loukas" - don't worry about the spelling of the first vowel; it's pronounced [u]). "Lucas" is the Latin form of the Greek name.

Because of the similarity of the names, it's not surprising they get confused for each other.

February 25, 2010 10:58 AM
By Jennie

Your points are well-taken Anonymous. Our source is our sister site BabyNameWizard.com's Namipedia (http://www.babynamewizard.com/namipedia/boy/luke), sourced by Teresa Norman. According to her, Luke is the middle English or Anglo French variation of Lucas. And similar to you, she references the possible Greek origin Loukanos "man from Luciana" as another possibility.

February 25, 2010 1:25 PM
By Helen (not verified)

The name Luke/Lucas is fine (super popular, but what can you do) - but I don't like it paired with the last name. Lots of "ooh" sound.

March 1, 2010 3:05 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Interestingly, the director Ridley Scott also has two sons named Jake (just Jake, in this case) and Luke. And Willie Nelson has a Jacob and a Lucas. I guess those two names sound good together for a lot of parents.

September 3, 2014 6:11 AM
By source (not verified)

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