What's in a Name? Tiger Woods' Son, Charlie Axel
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.
When Tiger Woods and wife Elin Nordegren welcomed a baby boy a year ago, they closely followed the pattern they had set with their daughter Sam Alexis when they named him Charlie Axel. Both first names are unisex -- traditionally male names Sam and Charlie are now found more and more on female birth certificates -- and Alexis and Axel are similar in sound and feel, both starting with the letter 'A' and containing the strong consonant 'X.'
In the celebrity world and beyond, there is a major trend towards going right to the nickname and ignoring the full formal name completely. In addition to the celebs who have joined the Woods family in choosing Charlie for their sons and daughters (including Julie Chen and Les Moonves, Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell, Mimi Rogers, Soledad O’Brien, and Sarah Chalke), we can point to Charlie Sheen's Bob, Adam Sandler's Sunny, Samantha Morton's Edie, Jamie Lynn Spears' Maddie, Jon Stewart's Maggie and Kate Winslet's Joe, to name just a few who have opted for short forms.
Charlie, one of the friendliest names on the planet -- just think of the expression, "Good time Charlie" -- has dozens and dozens of pop cultural references, from Charlie Chaplin to Charlie McCarthy to Charlie's Angels to Charlie Parker to Charlie Rose. It derives, of course, from the classic name Charles which, in turn, comes from a German word meaning "free man." It became very popular in France during the middle ages due to the fame of Charles the Great, a.k.a. Charlemagne.