Celebrity Names Blog

To The Letter: Tia Mowry Embraces Family Naming Tradition

To The Letter: Tia Mowry Embraces Family Naming Tradition
GHOST/Fame Pictures

Tia Mowry had it a little easier than some when it came to selecting a name for her first son -- she already had his initials picked out!

The former child star, who memorably costarred with her twin sister Tamera Mowry on the hit TV show Sister, Sister, adopted a naming convention her own parents used. She and her husband, actor Cory Hardrict (He’s Just Not That Into You), gave the baby boy -- born June 28 in Los Angeles -- a first name beginning with the letter “C” in honor of dad and a middle name starting with “T” to represent mom.

The result? Cree Taylor Hardrict.

Cree is an uncommon name that can be used for both boys and girls. It is the name of a large First Nations/Native American tribe living mostly in Canada. As North America was first being explored by Europeans, many of the guides were from Cree tribes and they were known for being “great warriors” and “travelers.” Cree is similar to dad’s name Cory (No. 579 on the Top 1000) -- think Cory without the letter “o.” It’s also in the same grouping as Crew, which made the popular name list for the first time in 2010 (No. 1000), as well as Creed.

If you can remember back to when The Cosby Show spin-off A Different World was on the air in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, one of the stars alongside Lisa Bonet (who changed her name to Lilakoi Moon) was Cree Summer. And Cree’s mother, Lili Red Eagle, is a member of the Plains Cree First Nations. Although she was born in Hollywood, Cree grew up on the Red Pheasant Reserve in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. She later returned to Hollywood to act and sing and has launched a successful career doing voice work.

Prior to baby Cree Taylor Hardrict’s arrival, mom Tia Mowry revealed that she’d be taking her parents’ lead when it came to baby naming. Her father, Timothy Mowry, and mother, Darlene Mowry, gave each of their four children first names starting with “T” (recognizing dad) and middle names starting with “D” (for mom). The full names are:

  • Tia Dashion Mowry
  • Tamera Darvette Mowry
  • Tavior Dante Mowry
  • Tahj Dayton Mowry

“I like it -- I really like it,” Tia said about the naming convention passed down from one generation to the next. “I think it brings meaning to the name."

Tia and Cory’s pregnancy -- as well as Tamera’s recent wedding to Fox News correspondent Adam Housely -- will be documented in an upcoming reality series for the Style Network called Tia & Tamera. Expect some of the series to include talk about baby names as the topic has special meaning to the sisters and the entire Mowry family.

Does your family have a naming style similar to the Mowrys? What is it that your family does? Also, what are your thoughts about Cree? Weigh in now.



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July 1, 2011 6:25 AM
By Lane

It's really interesting to see so many second-generation namers, using a similar pattern to the one established by their parents. The Duggars too...

I think Cree is an un-boring C name, so that's cool.

July 1, 2011 9:16 AM
By Suzy

I agree, Lane! It's cool to see the traditions passed down. I think Tia's quote was right on -- it brings a special meaning to the name. But with all these special naming conventions, I'm beginning to feel intimated about coming up with the right name when the time comes! My family never had a special process. I think my mom and dad threw darts at a random list names or something. Ha ha.

July 1, 2011 9:30 AM
By Saira (not verified)

Anyone feel like this is a little sexist? Why always the father's name first? I like the idea of naming a baby girl with the mother's initial first and then the father's, and a baby boy with the father's initial first and then the mother's.
But maybe I'm just taking it too seriously....

July 1, 2011 9:30 AM
By HiLary (not verified)

My mom said that if I was a boy, I would have been named Kreigh, after Kreigh Smith, an Indiana basketball player. I always loved the name and plan to use it some day. Love Cree, too!

July 1, 2011 9:42 AM
By Sebalek (not verified)

My sisters and I were all supposed to have CM_, until my dad changed his mind at the last moment with my younger sister. Instead, she ended up RD_. Both her and my MNs come from my dad's side of the family, while I'm the only one with a name connected to my mother's side.

My husband is from a country where they still have a patronymic tradition. In his country this would mean that your child's FN would be after the paternal grandfather, the MN would be after the father and the last name (also fluid) would be after the great-grandfather (though LN are now standardizing and passing down from one generation to the next).

In our family, our sons' MNs are patronyms of their father's name. For example, if my husband were Georgi, my boys would be Georgiev (gee-or-gee-ehv)...I won't use my husband's name b/c he's the only one in the US and it's an extremely rare name in his home country (passed on from his grandfather).

July 10, 2011 11:03 AM
By hillary (not verified)

There's a little girl at my daughter's preschool named Cree. I am not sure about it for children who don't have a connection to the Cree Nation. It's not offensive from an aesthetic/sound perspective though. It reminds me of Bree or other short nicknames.

My husband and I share a naming tradition with his brother's family. We have all given our children "E" middle names. We only have one child but if we have another we will continue the naming pattern so that all the cousins will match. It was started accidentally...they gave their daughter an "E" (Emily), we gave our daughter one (Elizabeth after my mom), and then they gave their son one (Elliot). Three makes a pattern! If/when we have another, we like Evelyn, Ellen, Everett, and Edward.

June 8, 2012 6:11 PM
By Jenn (not verified)

my hubby was named after both of his grandfathers and my middle name was a spinoff of my moms middle name. There is also a strong J tradition for both mine and my husbands families. When our daughter was born, we knew she would also start with a J. We incorporated many family names and came up with Jaclynne Kay (my MILs middle name is Lynne and my moms middle name is Kay.) My baby girl and I have the same initials:)
I find its so much more interesting when there is a "story" behind a name!!!

October 23, 2017 10:22 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Cree is a nice name and it fits him perfectly.

My mommy is like that too. I have 3 siblings and all our first name starts with A ( from Dad) and middle name O ( from Mom).

And I will definitely do it too. That statement from Tia is so true and deep.

January 31, 2018 11:21 AM
By Sam (not verified)

Lol all of them have the different middle name even if it starts with D. We hardly see them talking about their middle name though. I've been following Tavior for a while and haven't seen him talking about it http://itisweird.com/biography/tavior-mowry/"

January 31, 2018 11:23 AM
By Sam (not verified)

Lol all of them have the different middle name even if it starts with D. We hardly see them talking about their middle name though. I've been following tavior for a while and haven't seen him talking about it. http://itisweird.com/biography/tavior-mowry

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