Celebrity Names Blog

Is This Shonda Rhimes’ Newest Baby Name?

Shonda Rhimes, the creator of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, had another daughter recently and tweeted the news of the little one’s arrival last week. It seems that one of her shows’ stars has spilled the beans on the little girl’s name, reports US Magazine.  We’ve written about Shonda Rhimes in the past for her trendsetting ways on her shows as well as with her two other daughters. She was way ahead of the curve in naming her eldest daughter Harper all the way back in 2002, and she picked another name on the rise with second daughter Emerson last year.

This year (if Scandal star Dan Bucatinsky’s slip was correct) she picked another unusual and literary name for her youngest child, apparently a girl named Beckett. Samuel Beckett, the Irish poet and playwright sprang to mind when we first heard this name, which fits right in with Harper (as in Harper Lee) and Emerson (as in Ralph Waldo).  As a boy’s name, Beckett has gone from totally unknown to trending sharply upward in the last seven years.

The trio of names is all surnames, all masculine/androgynous, and at the time she bestowed them, none were very popular. But with Beckett, Rhimes’ made a pick that is much rarer than her older daughters’names. There were only 37 girls named Beckett born last year, compared to about 250 when Harper was born and 1300 Emersons born last year.  Despite its rarity and usage as a boy’s name, given Rhimes’ reach on television, she may be enough of a tastemaker to make the name popular for girls.

What do you think of these three names together: Harper, Emerson, and Beckett? Are there other famous Becketts that might have inspired Shonda Rhimes?



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September 24, 2013 8:26 AM
By Denim (not verified)

They all sound terrible on girls, especially Emerson.

September 24, 2013 12:00 PM
By Stephanie (not verified)

I love the nameset, they go very well together. I've noticed before that many of the characters on Grey's Anatomy, who are often called primarily by their last names, have last names that could also be used as first names (Grey, Bailey, Burke, Avery, Sloane). In fact, at least two doctors on the show have children who bear their parent's surname as a given name. So it's not surprising to me that this is Shonda's favorite style in naming her kids, too.

September 24, 2013 12:19 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

The thing about the names "Emerson" and "Beckett" at least, is that there are very obvious, feminine, traditional-sounding nicknames that can be used for them (Em, Emmy, Emma, and Becky). Harper's a little tougher on that score. But while I'm generally opposed to "last names as first names," I think those particular names will at least give the girls a nice choice when they get older as to what they want to be called.

September 24, 2013 5:43 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Who wouldn't want a little girl nicknamed Harpy???

Beckett brings to mind St Thomas Becket(t), Archbishop of Canterbury, murdered/martyred in his own cathedral.

September 24, 2013 6:14 PM
By Anne (not verified)

This is no surprise like Stephanie said with her characters names. I like the trio together but really hate the boy names for girls trend. My least favorite is Hunter for a girl. Let the boys keep their names!

September 25, 2013 12:49 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I don't really like Beckett but I do like Harper and Emerson. I don't think names should be for "boys" or "girls."

September 25, 2013 11:13 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Completely awful & pretentious. Picking a random author's surname for your child doesn't make you well-read.

Emerson Rhimes sounds like "'Em are some rhymes."

September 25, 2013 12:35 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

How do we know it's a random author? Maybe these are all authors she loves.

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Wow! That's cool! Children are named after the great writers. Kind of interesting!

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The name 'Paris Hilton' is the best for me.

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