Celebrity Names Blog

Neil Patrick Harris Welcomes Gideon and Harper

Neil Patrick Harris Welcomes Gideon and Harper

Neil Patrick Harris and partner David Burtka have welcomed their twins, the How I Met Your Mother star announced on Twitter today. The little guy and gal are named Gideon Scott and Harper Grace.

Harper is quite a trendy celebrity name. Lisa Marie Presley named her girl-twin Harper in 2008; Dave Grohl welcomed Harper Willow in 2009, and earlier in 2010, Tiffani Thiessen named her little girl Harper. 

However, the name may be meaningful in other ways for Harris and Burtka. Harper brings to mind the Angels in America character (played in the HBO Miniseries by Mary-Louise Parker) Harper Pitt, a mormon wife married to a gay man with AIDS. Writer Harper Lee, a friend of Truman Capote, is also often associated with sexual androgyny.  (Grace, on the other hand, is simply a go to celebrity middle name.)

Like Harper, Gideon is also on the way up. Gideon, along with Jonah and Silas, fills the need for fresh Biblical names. The -eon ending is also found in popular names like Leon, Keon, Dereon and Simeon. (Thanks to Expert NameVoyager.) The hard "G" in Gideon is also found in sister Grace's name, bringing a subtle matching element to the twin's names.

There's another way in which the twins' names match: Both Harper and Gideon were on the charts in the 1880s and 1890s, then disappeared until the end of the twentieth century, when they re-entered the charts and rose quickly. Of course, the Harper of the 1890s was only given to boys, whereas today it is rising for both girls and boys (although the girls are winning)?

Are they the best celebrity twin names of the year? They're up against Mark McGrath's boy-girl twins, Hartley Grace and Lydon Edward. 

Harper and Gideon, or Hartley and Lydon?



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October 15, 2010 7:07 PM
By Lane

Harper and Gideon is a cute sibset.

October 15, 2010 8:28 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Harper and Gideon are a cuter set than Lydon and Hartley. I like Gideon the best of all the names. It feels more timeless...the other names have a trendy feel to them.

October 19, 2010 8:12 PM
By elleireland (not verified)

Definitely Harper and Gideon win. Gideon was a warrior who defeated a mighty enemy army with only 300 men. It's a great story.

October 20, 2010 12:37 AM
By Karma (not verified)

Gideon & Harper, for sure. I've always loved the name "Gideon". <3

October 20, 2010 12:26 PM
By Haleypiglet (not verified)

Harper and Gideon for sure!
When I was pregnant with my son, I occasionally ran into another pregnant teacher in my county. She named her daughter Harper in honor of Harper Lee (which was so fitting as she and her hubby were both English teachers). Gideon was high on my list for my son, Liam.

October 20, 2010 7:37 PM
By ReiStar (not verified)

I like NPH. I like the names that NPH and his partner gave to their children thus making me like NPH even more. Go Harper and Gideon

October 20, 2010 8:01 PM
By A British Laura (not verified)

I like Harper and Gideon better too. I write as a hobby and have used both names for characters in my story but I do not have any characters named Lydon and the one Hartley I do have is a boy.

January 5, 2013 1:04 AM
By Build a pellet mill (not verified)

I write as a hobby and have used both names for characters in my story but I do not have any characters named Lydon and the one Hartley I do have is a boy.

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