What's in a Name? Angelina Jolie's Son, Maddox Chivan

Celebrity Moms Aug. 5, 2010 AT 11:49AM
What's in a Name? Angelina Jolie's Son, Maddox Chivan Credit: Eric Charbonneau/Le Studio/Wireimage.com

Nameberry.com editors Pamela Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz -- who penned the books Baby Name Bible and Beyond Ava & Aiden -- are blogging for UsMagazine.com about why celebs choose the names they do, and what they mean.

Happy 9th birthday, Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt!

The name Maddox was virtually unknown in the U.S. when Angelina Jolie adopted her first son, born August 5, 2001. A Celtic name meaning "son of Madoc," it relates to the Welsh root "Mad," which means "fortunate."

BLOG: Read more "What's in a Name?" columns

The original Madoc was a legendary Welsh prince who discovered the New World 300 years before Columbus. Maddox is a common surname in Wales.

Though just a handful of American boys received the name in the years before Jolie chose it, it broke the U.S. Top 1,000 in 2003 and today stands at No. 180.

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The x ending of Maddox's name started a pattern for the Jolie-Pitt boys, with the names of brothers Pax and Knox also ending in the edgy letter.

Other x-ending names that have been stylish recently include Alex, for both boys and girls, Beatrix, Jax and Max. Celebrity babies with names that end in x include Bronx, son of Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz; Felix, son of Gillian Anderson; Rex, son of Coldplay's Will Champion; and Phoenix, daughter of Spice Girl Mel B.

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Maddox's middle name, Chivan, means "life" in the Khmer language of Cambodia, according to some sources. Maddox was born in Cambodia, where his name was originally RathVibol.

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