Celebrity Names Blog

Ashton Shepherd's Raden: Fun With Grandma-Name Mashups!

Ashton Shepherd's Raden: Fun With Grandma-Name Mashups!
Flickr cc/Bristol Motor Speedway & Dragway

Ashton Shepherd's unusual choice for her baby daughter, Raden, has gotten the expected number of online disses from namers who think she just made it up.

Not so fast, though. This isn't just the latest phase of the Age of Aidan. It's the latest phase of the Age of Renesmee. The singer told Country Weekly in May,

If it's a girl, we're going Raden. My mama's name is Denise. My husband's mama's name is Rachel. So we put Raden together, for Rachel Denise. Her name would be Raden Delilah, cause my name is Ashton Delilah.

Naming her child for its grandparents? This is the same logic Alyssa Milano used when choosing the name of her son Milo Thomas, who is named for grandpas Miller and Thomas. Mayim Bialik also uses her grandparents' names as baby name starting points. Kate Hudson's baby, Bingham Bellamy, is another wee babe wearing a name inspired by grandma

However, Raden is particularly fun because it is a mashup name. Remember when Renesmee was the Name of the Year? This Twilight-baby was named for her grandmas, Renée and Esme.  To once again quote Laura Wattenberg, "Renesmee is the spark that lit a long-building cultural bonfire to usher in the Age of the Mashup Baby Name." Some of the logs in that fire? Bennifer, Brangelina, TomKat, Naleigh.

Mashup names can be done with taste. To honor grandpas George and Edward, the Name Lady once suggested Gage. But they can also result in awkward mouthfuls, like Eddi-Rue (Rue McClanahan's birth name) or MaClay DaLayne

Which is Raden? You tell us. As YCCII pointed out, the Denise/Rachel mashup could also yield Elise. But then it wouldn't have felt like a mashup. Does that matter?

Do you like mashup names? Do you like Raden? What would your baby be named if you created a grandma-name mashup? 



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

September 13, 2011 3:26 PM
By Megs (not verified)

I personally find Raden a horrendous choice for a child's name, let alone a little girl. Taking random letters out of a name and smashing them together to make a new one all while using the guise of "honoring family".

September 13, 2011 3:44 PM
By mk (not verified)

Still not a fan of Raden, but it is far better than Renesmee from Twilight, which I think is horrible.

I like honoring family, but this seems too far removed to me.

September 13, 2011 3:45 PM
By Lane

My grandma mashups: Coranna? Anco? Nara? Corrie?
Maybe Mara.

September 13, 2011 3:47 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I really dislike Raden, it is very similar to Radon. I do get the appeal of smash ups, but I think a lot of the made up smash up tend to be horrible or far fetched for sounds. Elise would have been lovely, familiar but not common,and clever without using your child as a billboard for your creativity.

September 13, 2011 4:53 PM
By Lisa (not verified)

I think Elise would have been a better choice than Raden, especially for a girl. It sounds more like a boys name to me. Besides that, I agree with the anonymous poster above, mash ups tend to sound horrible and usually make me think of Kath and Kim (Australian sit com) and the baby Epponnee :P.

My grandparents were Valda and Phyllis, I'm very glad my parents didn't try to combine them LOL But perhaps it's just a sign of the times, my children would have been a combination of Ann and Carole, Caran perhaps? Anca?

September 13, 2011 5:42 PM
By Kira (not verified)

With grandma middle names Jo and Ann, my daughter received Anjoli as a middle name.

I would have faired okay with Millenia or Virgie.

As for Raden ... poor child. Sounds like bugspray to me.

September 13, 2011 5:54 PM
By Melanie1 (not verified)

Since I never had girl number one to get to girl number two, but we had talked briefly about naming a second girl Belinda in honor of grandmothers Beth and Linda. I don't mind the idea of mash-ups, I just think that the sound has to be just right or it is a no go. My parents mashed up my brother's middle names to honor grandparents: T4lbert and Th4d4m. Not a lot of good reactions to those.

September 14, 2011 2:45 PM
By katybug (not verified)

Mashups are great when they are give special meaning in a "regular" name like Elise for Rachel and Denise, or Belinda for Beth and Linda like another commenter mentioned. Otherwise it feels forced. My grandmothers were Kathryn and Lota--Kalo? Loka? Loryn? No thank you.

September 14, 2011 8:51 PM
By Zoe (not verified)

Wow, how lucky she is that when she combines those two names she happens to get one that is so super trendy! What an interesting coincidence! I wonder what she would have done if they had been named Ashley and Olivia? Or grandpas Bill and Mitch? Or like in my case, Teresa and Audrey which gives you Taudrey (pronounced like Tawdry).

September 15, 2011 9:12 PM
By shadelit (not verified)

I'm not a fan of the mashup, in general. However, I was a fan of the name Esme, until it was corrupted so horrendously by Twilight. Renesmee? Really?
Raden--meh. I'm not in love with it, but if you just listen to the sound of it it's not so bad. It does remind me of a bug spray, though. I predict the little girl will be a "Ray," or go by Delilah. Now, Delilah is a name I DO love, so I think they made a good call there.

If I were a grandma mashup, I'd be Virgila? Virila? Virginila? Possibly Matvir? Thumbs down, all the way around.

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