Celebrity Names Blog

Hugh Grant Welcomes Baby Jessica

Hugh Grant Welcomes Baby Jessica
Barcroft/Fame Pictures

While Hugh Grant may be known for his movie About A Boy, right now he's actually all about a girl: his new daughter!

Earlier this week news broke that the dashing British bachelor fathered a baby with ex-girlfriend Tinglan Hong, a Chinese actress, after what his rep described as a "fleeting affair." The baby, born in late September, is the first child for the Golden Globe-winning star of Four Weddings and a Funeral. Although his spokesperson wouldn't share further details about his baby girl — other than noting, "Hugh could not be happier or more supportive" — multiple reports, including one in the UK tabloid The Mirror, state that her name is Jessica.

In a world in which babies names like Bear, Colt and Poet Poppin' are becoming more common, Jessica is very refreshing to us. It is of Hebrew origin and means "He sees." As simple as it may sound to some in these times, Jessica is still a very Hollywood name. Think: mom-to-be Jessica Simpson, Jessica Alba, Jessica Capshaw, Jessica Lange and Hugh's Did You Hear About The Morgans? costar Sarah Jessica Parker. Celebrities who gave the name Jessica to their children include Bruce Springsteen and Harry Potter wizard J.K. Rowling.

In terms of popularity here in the U.S., Jessica has been losing footing since its heyday as a Top-10 baby name, which was from 1976 through 2000. Although it was No. 1 for nine years during that period, it slid down the list to No. 92 in 2010. However, in the UK, Jessica is No. 9 in popularity. It’s not far-fetched to think that Tinglan, who grew up in Eastern China, wanted her daughter to have a typical British name now that she's fully relocated to London, where she’ll be raising the baby in a new home, which was purchased by Hugh. Her love for England is obvious — when Hugh was photographed visiting her and the baby on Wednesday, Tinglan's Union Jack doormat was on display.

What else do we know about Tinglan Hong? Although she's listed in the press as an actress, there’s no record of her on IMDB. Her name is a place name — Tinglan is in China’s Shandong region. The new mom goes by the nickname Ting, which means “graceful.”

What do you think of the name Jessica? As it's decreased in popularity a bit, does that give it a newness in your eyes? Weigh in below.



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November 4, 2011 1:31 PM
By mk (not verified)

I always liked the name Jessica. Despite growing up during the height of its popularity, I didn't actually meet a Jessica until I was in college, and since then I've met few more. So the name never seemed extremely popular to me. Plus I like that it is a Shakespearean name too.

November 4, 2011 2:26 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think the name Jessica is very pretty, but I don't think I could ever use it simply because I grew up with so many girls named Jessica. There were at least 3 in every one of my elementary school classes! Now, they're all getting married and having babies, so I think our children might feel that it's a "mom name."

November 4, 2011 3:36 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

He didn't twitter anything,he doesn't have a twitter account...just because it says "Hugh Grant" doesn't mean it is him, and it isn't verified. And Liz hurley has stated he doesn't have one. And he isn't the type to have one. And i know for a fact he doesn't! he is thrilled to hae a daughter perhaps, but not thrilled about Ting, a few night stand who trapped him and now, because despite what people thing, Hugh is a decent guy, has her life set up for her.

November 4, 2011 4:05 PM
By Elea@BBN (not verified)

Jessica actually ranked #6 in England and Wales in 2010, which maintained its rank from 2009. It was #5 in 2007 and 2008, #3 in 2006 and #1 in 2005.

November 4, 2011 4:14 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

If I had not been named what I was, I would have been named Jessica. My parents decided to go with the name I have because we had a dog named Jessie and they did not want to have to explain why I was named after the dog. I don't think I could ever use it for the same reason, once it is a dog's name (particularly a dog's name that you know), you just can't use it on a person :) But it is a very nice name. I remember being in first grade and really liking it.

November 4, 2011 7:35 PM
By elleireland (not verified)

I can hardly believe Hugh had a part in this naming.....too bad it's not Jessamyn, after the great writer Jessamyn West, or Joclyn, which is interesting and fresh.

Jessica might hit the right linguistic notes for a speaker of Chinese. It has very pretty sounds.

November 7, 2011 10:43 PM
By Juli (not verified)

It's funny, I grew up during Jessica's heyday here in the U.S., yet I only ever had one classmate named Jessica. I loved the name back then, even though the one exemplar was less than friendly. It's still in the "like it for other people" category for me.

November 8, 2011 1:04 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Nothing at all wrong with the name; it's just boring at this point.

November 8, 2011 2:07 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

My mother ( born in the early 1940s) is named Jessica. She always said she got the worst of both worlds-- what was at the time an all but unheard of name, but (despite the fact that fewer than 150 jessicas were born in the US that year) one that she shared with one of her grade school classmates. And, to make matters worse, they both had to go by their full names, since they had the same last initial.

November 10, 2011 4:25 PM
By Holix (not verified)

I was just thinking the other day how odd it is that I have met so many baby Jessicas lately. All their moms seem to be in their mid 30's to early 40's. Personally I find it a boring name, but it does lend for some decent nicknames.

November 11, 2011 4:31 AM
By Zoe (not verified)

I literally did a double take on this one. Jessica is a funny name because I grew up more or less surrounded with Jessicas and the name intrigued me because it was so common. I couldn't imagine any parent actually choosing them because it was just so blah. Amanda was another name that felt so done. With my unusual name (at the time), it seemed like the name Jessica took no thought at all.

No offense to any Jessicas, Amandas or their parents! Just my eight year old name nerd in training's opinion!

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