Celebrity Names Blog

Neil Patrick Harris Shares Story Behind Twins' Names

Neil Patrick Harris Shares Story Behind Twins' Names
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Now that their twins have reached toddlerhood, TV star Neil Patrick Harris and his partner David Burtka are sharing the stories behind Gideon Scott and Harper Grace's distinctive names. When Gideon and Harper were born in 2010, we nominated the pair for the best celebrity twin names of the year (up against Mark McGrath's Hartley Grace and Lydon Edward). Our commenters agreed that Gideon and Harper made an adorable sibset. Now the story's out: what inspired these twin names?

David told Out magazine, “We named Gideon after an artist we collect, Gideon Rubin, and Harper after Harper Lee. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of our favorite books.” In our original coverage of the twins' birth, we guessed the Harper Lee connection. Harper is a trendy celebrity baby name; since Neil and David had their children, Hollywood has also welcomed Harper Seven Beckham (daughter of David and Victoria) and Harper Hader (daughter to Bill). Its increasing visibility in celebrity circles is demonstrative of its rising popularity around the country. Harper currently ranks No. 297 in the United States.

We didn't predict the art world connection for Gideon, however. Gideon Rubin is a contemporary artist whose work addresses childhood and family. We're not surprised to hear of the couple's deep connection to high culture--Neil is not only an actor but an accomplished singer and dancer (he's hosted the Tony Awards four times) and an award-winning magician, while David is both an actor and an accomplished chef. These two polymaths' passions clearly extend to the literary and visual arts as well.

Would you choose a baby name inspired by an author, artist, or performer you admire?

--J.P.

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