What's in a Name? Stella McCartney's Daughter, Reiley

Celebrity Moms Nov. 30, 2010 AT 11:23AM
What's in a Name? Stella McCartney's Daughter, Reiley Credit: Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

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.

Stella McCartney has chosen the name Reiley for her newborn daughter. The fashion designer, who's the daughter of The Beatles' Paul McCartney, has three other children with art dealer husband Alasdhair Willis: sons Miller, 5, and Beckett, 2, and daughter Bailey, 3.

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Reiley is a spelling variation of an Irish surname meaning "courageous." As Riley, it's reached the Top 40 for girls in the U.S. and is just below the Top 100 for boys. The 'Riley' spelling was given to over 5,500 girls last year (and 3,700 boys), while Reilly, which has dropped out of the Top 1,000, was used for 162 girls, and Reiley for just 29.

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Katie Wagner and Holly Marie Combs have sons named Riley, while Norah O'Donnell has a daughter Riley.

Bailey, the name of McCartney's older daughter, is also in the Top 100 for girls in the U.S., where surnames are much more widely used as first names than they are in McCartney's native England. As with many surnames, Bailey originated as an occupational name, meaning "law enforcer" or "bailiff."

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Miller, the name of McCartney's oldest son, is another occupational surname meaning "grinder of grain," used also by Melissa Ethridge, as well as Tea Leoni and David Duchovny. Ethridge also has a Beckett, the name of McCartney and Willis' younger son, an English and Irish surname meaning "dweller near the brook." Malcolm McDowall and Natalie Maines also have sons named Beckett, which shot up 66 places last year to become one of the fastest rising boys names.

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While the couple's older children all have family names in the middle -- Miller Asdhair James, Bailey Linda Olwyn, and Beckett Robert Lee -- no middle names have been announced for newborn Reiley.

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