Celebrity Names Blog

Kristin Davis Channels the Italian Middle Ages with Gemma

Kristin Davis Channels the Italian Middle Ages with Gemma
Juan Rico/Fame Pictures

Kristin Davis has welcomed her daughter, Gemma Rose Davis, through domestic adoption, PEOPLE confirms.

Gemma comes from the Latin for precious stone or jewel, according to Teresa Norman's A World of Baby Names. As for provenance? Think with us, if you will, back to the Middle Ages. The big name in art was Giotto. The big name in math was Fibonacci. The big name in exploring was Marco Polo. And in literature, the big name was Dante -- which was actually a contraction of the man's birth name, Durante. 

In something like 1274, Dante, the poet known for The Inferno and for inspiring the name of chef Tom Colicchio's eldest son, met a young girl at a party and fell in love. Her name was Beatrice, from the Latin for happy and blessed. It was an infatuation for the ages, one of the archetypal poetic romances still today. But although Dante included Beatrice (real name: Bici) as a character in his poetry, he never got together with her. Instead, he married a woman named Gemma.

And why not? Today's name enthusiasts are mad for Beatrice, which re-entered the US top-1000 in 2006 and has since risen modestly, into the low 800s. But Gemma is the hotter name, leaping from rank 0 in 2007 to #449 in 2010. As Emma's reign as favorite name has waned, Gemma has appeared from nowhere to take her place. Catherine Bell also has a Gemma.

Also recently entering the US charts? Jemma, making her debut in 2010. Can the re-appearance of Jemima be far behind?

What do you think of Gemma?

--L.R.

Comments

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October 8, 2011 3:54 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Gemma is a fairly popular/common name in the UK, so interesting to see it here described as from the Italian Middle Ages... Incidentally, Jemima is very popular for baby girls here too...

October 8, 2011 6:52 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

@ anonymous 3:54

Jemima would never work on an Afician American child in the U.S. though. So parents who like the sound should go with Gemma.

October 8, 2011 7:34 PM
By Katie

The name reminds me of Gemma Ward, the model.

October 8, 2011 10:33 PM
By Juli (not verified)

Dunno about Kristin's motivations, but the first thing I thought of was the character in the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. Granted, Lady Gemma is only "on scene" for a few pages, but she is Jaxom's mother...

October 9, 2011 5:23 AM
By Cassandra (not verified)

Gemma Rose is so cute! Although I wouldn't consider using Gemma since it sounds too much like Emma.

October 9, 2011 7:59 PM
By Another Lindsay (not verified)

Love it! Just named our baby girl, born in April, Gemma Lark.

October 10, 2011 5:05 PM
By <3 sgc <3 (not verified)

I agree that Gemma is super popular in the UK. When I visited there a few summers ago, it seemed like every other little girl was named Gemma!

October 11, 2011 9:31 AM
By HiLary (not verified)

Wasn't her character on Sex and the City, Charlotte's, daughter named Rose??

September 16, 2014 7:01 AM
By archive.org (not verified)

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