Celebrity Names Blog

Geographically-Named Bryce Dallas Howard Goes Classic With Baby Beatrice Jean

Geographically-Named Bryce Dallas Howard Goes Classic With Baby Beatrice Jean
Photo Credit: MOE/Fame Pictures

Bryce Dallas Howard, star of The Help and daughter of Ron Howard, welcomed baby girl Beatrice Jean Howard-Gabel on Sunday. Bryce's famous dad broke the news on Twitter, saying “Beatrice Jean Howard-Gabel Born Jan 19 2012 8lbs 6oz Bryce & Baby B are spectacular Daddy Seth & brother Theo are beaming ear to ear :-)”

But that’s not the end of the proud papa’s part in this story. Ron and Cheryl Howard famously took an unusual route in naming their four children -- one that, for the kids, is more than a little squirm-inducing. 

Bryce is the oldest of four -- after her are twins Paige Carlyle and Jocelyn Carlyle, and Reed Cross. The common thread? All four were named after the place they were conceived -- Dallas, Texas; the Carlyle hotel in New York City; and Cross Street in London. Bryce isn't shy about her distaste for her parents' naming method, calling it "gross."

Bryce’s name has a modern, gender-neutral feel. Between the uncommon male-crossover first name and the geographic middle name, it follows two of our rules for a hip androgynous name. This makes her choice of classic Beatrice Jean all the more interesting. One might think a creatively-named mom might choose an equally innovative name for the baby, but that isn’t always the case. Bryce is also mom to Theodore Norman, born in 2007. It makes us wonder what today’s Rileys and Brooklyns will be naming their babies in twenty years -- Equinox, or Susan?

After peaking in the first decade of the 20th century, Beatrice has seen a small comeback in the last decade. The catalyst for the recent surge was arguably Paul McCartney and Heather Mills’ Beatrice, born in 2003. Mad Men’s Rich Sommer is also the dad to a Beatrice, born in 2008. The name is multicultural (currently the 20th most popular name in Italy) and feminine, with lots of cute nickname potential (Bea, Bebe, Beadie).

What do you think of Beatrice for Bryce Dallas Howard? Do you think moms with modern androgynous names will pick equally creative names for their own kids, or will they go a more traditional route?



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January 22, 2012 9:39 PM
By Lisa (not verified)

TBH I think if my parents made a point of naming me after the place I was conceived I too would go with more traditional names for my children. I mean, come on, children do not want to think of how they came into being, no-one wants to admit their parents may have DTD! Having the place of conception as your name... ew! LOL I would probably have changed my name to remove it :P

But perhaps it depends on how each person feels about their own name as they were growing up. For some having uncommon names may have been difficult so they look for more common or traditional names and vice versa. For example I have one of the most popular names from the 70's (when I was born) and I have chosen less popular names for my own children. I went through school with at least 2 other Lisa's in every class. So far my children have skipped sharing their name with anyone their age LOL

January 23, 2012 2:40 PM
By Juli (not verified)

I think the grass is almost always greener on the other side: people with common names try to give their children unique monikers, while people with "weird" names use the most classic names they can find for their babies. The common denominator nowadays is that neither group wants _popular_ names, whether classic or invented: nobody wants to use "the next Jennifer". I wonder how long it'll take for this long-term effect of the Jennifer-glut to wear off.

January 24, 2012 2:23 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Beatrice is like a reworking of Bryce, in a way...perfect choice!

January 24, 2012 2:29 PM
By court (not verified)

If she thinks it's so "gross," why does she include Dallas in her professional name? She could just go by Bryce Howard.

January 27, 2012 3:51 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Naming gets so complicated and in my family...heartbreaking. When my sister-in-law found out she was having a girl, she decided to name her after her mother: CLARA MAE. Clara is making a small comeback, and is feminine and cute. Well, the balloons, decorations, etc. at the baby showers said Welcome Baby Clara Mae and so forth.

Baby arrives and excited grandma rushes to the hospital to see her namesake...but the baby is now Avery Madison. We were all disappointed a little miffed, and definitely sad for grandma.

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