What's in a Name? Neil Patrick Harris' twins, Gideon Scott and Harper Grace

Celebrity Moms Oct. 27, 2010 AT 2:45PM
What's in a Name? Neil Patrick Harris' twins, Gideon Scott and Harper Grace Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/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.

It's a boy and a girl for Neil Patrick Harris and partner David Burtka, parents of twins Gideon Scott and Harper Grace.

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

Gideon is an Old Testament name that, until recently, was neglected in favor of more popular brothers Adam and Jacob and Benjamin. A Hebrew name meaning "feller of trees," Gideon has now risen to No. 549 on Social Security popularity list, chosen for just under 500 baby boys in the entire country last year.

PHOTOS: Stars with twins!

Harper, meanwhile, is a stylish favorite for girls, rising to number 174 on the girls' popularity list (and No. 734 on the boys') and used for nearly 2,000 baby girls last year after debuting on the Top 1,000 only five years ago. An English occupational name that means "harp player," it's found favor among a new generation of fans of Harper Lee's classic To Kill A Mockingbird.

PHOTOS: Celebrity parents' words of wisdom

Other celebrities who've recently chosen Harper for their daughters include Tiffani Thiessen, who has a Harper Renn; Dave Grohl, whose little girl is Harper Willow; and Dixie Chick Martie Maguire, with a Harper Rosie. Laura Allen has a two-year-old son named Harper Edward, and Paul Simon's grown-up son is also Harper.

PHOTOS: Unconventional Hollywood families

Harris and Burtka's daughter Harper's middle name Grace is one of the most popular middle names for girls these days, rivaling Rose. It's a virtue name that means exactly what it says, as is Scott, a 1960s favorite that means "from Scotland."

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