Celebrity Names Blog

Why Rue McClanahan was the Original Renesmee

After musing yesterday on the prospects of the name "Rue" in the wake of Rue McClanahan's death, we were schooled today by the New York Times. Rue isn't a name that never made the fashion grade; rather, it's part of a birth name that was ahead of its time. McClanahan's birth name is the first known celebrity example of a mashup name.

McClanahan's birth name? Eddi-Rue.  Like Renesmee -- the name Twilight characters invented by combining the names of grandmothers Renée and Esme -- Eddi-Rue was formed by taking shortened pieces of two family names. Writes the New York Times on McClanahan's name:

Her first name was a contraction of her parents' middle names. She dropped the Eddi when, mistaken for a man, she was drafted into military service after high school.

Not everyone likes mashup names. When our sister site, Baby Name Wizard, selected Renesmee as 2009's Name of the Year, it was a controversial choice. Also controversial have been celebrity mashup names like MaClay DaLayne.

What do you think of Eddi-Rue? What mashup names have you heard or seen in real life?



Please do not add links to your comments. Thank you.

June 4, 2010 10:51 AM
By Kristina (not verified)

My friend's 18 month old nephew is Alexime because one parent wanted to call him Alexi and the other one wanted Maxime.

June 4, 2010 11:00 AM
By Scarlett Mama (not verified)

I know two: Bealaine (as a MM, combination of the grandmas' names of Beatrice & Elaine) and Jacorian (don't know all of it, but it was part Jacob).

Also know a couple whose mothers were Elaine & Sharon, so they named their daughter Erin. That's a mash-up I like!

June 4, 2010 11:03 AM
By Smismar (not verified)

Chosen before I was even aware of Twilight, my daughter's middle name is Caron. It's a mix of my mother's name (Carol) and my MIL's name (Sharon).

June 4, 2010 11:23 AM
By Manda (not verified)

I doesn't count, but my daughter's name is a mash minus of my name (Amanda without the man= Ada). That is a hilarious story about how Rue came to be called Rue!

June 4, 2010 11:41 AM
By Lane

Manda, I love that derivation for Ada! (Which is what we call my daughter too, short for Adelaide.)

June 4, 2010 12:02 PM
By Jessica (not verified)

I know a family where the daughter is named Delaine, D-for the mom's name, and Elaine for a grandma.

June 4, 2010 12:07 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I once knew a girl named Chayra - Her father's name was Charles and her mom's was Myra. I also know a girl named Joannette - Jo from Jorge (her father) and Annette from her mother. Actually, know that I look back, I've known a lot of people with mash-up names. eve

June 4, 2010 12:56 PM
By Elissa (not verified)

Most of my African American friends have mash-up names... Sherika's dad is Sherwin and her mom is Erika. Latrice's dad is Larry and her mom is Patrice. Dashawn's dad is Darius and his mom is Shawna. It's a pretty popular phenomenon!

June 4, 2010 1:58 PM
By Mandy (not verified)

Although she went by her middle name, I went to school with a girl whose first name was Kenlan, for her parents Ken and Lana.

June 4, 2010 10:47 PM
By Marie (not verified)

Not sure how it was spelled, but the girl's name was Tonilyn, after her father Tony and her mother Lynn.

June 5, 2010 8:52 AM
By RB (not verified)

I knew a girl several years ago named Jud@isy. Apparently her parents couldn't decide between Judy and Daisy.

A less astonishing example I've come across is L@ureen (Lauren + Maureen,) which I think is actually quite lovely.

June 5, 2010 5:18 PM
By elleireland (not verified)

Old acquaintances named their daughter Danabri - because they liked it more than either Danielle or Brianna.

Personally, I prefer Daniela (sounds European) and Anna. There is always a better way.

People should stop making up names out of thin air. Unfortunate sounds are inevitable.

June 6, 2010 4:32 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Rue McClanahan is the second celebrity to have the mash-up name: you've forgotten about ZaSu Pitts.

June 6, 2010 2:18 PM
By Lane

Ah, good call, Anon! Wikipedia tells me ZaSu was named for her aunts, Eliza and Susan.

June 7, 2010 11:35 AM
By Kira (not verified)

I know an Alexina, after parents Alex and Sinna.

June 8, 2010 12:00 PM
By Ayme (not verified)

Similarly, my aunt's name (Marlaine) is a mashup of Margaret and Elaine which I believe were two of her great aunts. My sister also received the name after our aunt died young. Using names or bits of names or inspired by names is tradition in my family.

June 8, 2010 12:09 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I know a Jocil (pronounced Joceel), named after her 2 grandmothers, Josephine and Cecilia!

June 8, 2010 1:03 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I worked once with a woman named Lizanne (pronounced Liz-Anne). I always thought that was a pretty "mash-up."

June 8, 2010 1:06 PM
By NWMom (not verified)

I grew up in Utah, and knew a surprisingly large number of families who embraced multi-generational name mashups: Verjean (Vernon and Jean), LaDonna, LaPriel, Valjean (NOT Les Miserables-based), Leron, Joyven, Koryl (Kory and Ryland). This seems to have been a much bigger deal in my parents generation, but it's still prevalent, although more often replaced with Duggar-like adherence to matchy matchy letters or syllables.

June 8, 2010 2:33 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I knew a Terbrie (Ter-BREE) after her parents, Teri and Brian. I thought it was pretty awful, and no one knew how to pronounce it on sight. Those kinds of names seem to send the message that kids are just "mash-ups" of their parents, and not unique individuals.

June 8, 2010 2:34 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My niece is the only one in the family with a mashup in her name. Her mn is Elise, after great-grandmas Eleanor and Louise.

June 8, 2010 3:51 PM
By sharalyn (not verified)

I have a friend named Philena (phi- LEE-na): Dad was Phil, Mom is Jolene. Her mom stated that they changed the last e to an a for the flow. :-)

June 8, 2010 7:10 PM
By Lora (not verified)

I know someone named Lilma, a mashup of the names of her grandmothers, Lillian and Mary.

June 8, 2010 9:51 PM
By Jennifer (not verified)

I have a good friend who named her daughter after two family members. Her name is Ellelouise pronounced "Eloise"
I thought it was pretty cute.

June 9, 2010 7:35 AM
By Erin (not verified)

we plan to name a daughter Merrilee for our fathers Merril and Leo. I always thought Rue was rather pretty.

June 12, 2010 5:48 PM
By Cassie (not verified)

My great grandmother's name was Minnie LaRue. She was Minnie as a nickname for her mother's name, which was Modena. Incidentally, her twin daughters (my grandmother and great aunt) were Willa Dean and Willa Mae, after their father, William. My granny went by Dean and my auntie went by Billie.

January 3, 2011 7:08 PM
By Me (not verified)

Shyrlene (Parents: Shyrlen and Kathleen)
Kaylen (Brother of Shyrlene, Same parents)
Sharlanna (Mother and Grandmother Sharlene and Anna)
Jalizabeth (after two grandmothers, I can't remember the "J" name, obviously Elizabeth was the other)
Brielle (Parents: Brian and Rachel)
Danette (Parents: Daniel and Annette)this couple thought they had invented the name and were shocked when they met other Danettes or Donettes.

January 11, 2011 3:29 PM
By Anonymous! (not verified)

We have a friend of the family named Daralyn, named after her father Daryl.

March 10, 2011 9:15 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I suggested the name Jolie to my husband when we were pregnant with our first child. My name is Joanna and his name is Wesley. As well we entertained the name of Rosalie because my middle name is Rose. He didn't like Jolie because of Angelina and I thought the Rosalie was too old-fashioned. Of course, now we would've been ahead of the curve of Twilight-inspired names!

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