What’s in a Name? Bristol Palin’s Son, Tripp Easton


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.

Now that Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston are back in the news as a newly-engaged couple, the name of their adorable 18-month-old son Tripp Easton Mitchell deserves a fresh look.

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

Tripp's name is in line with the Palin family tradition of using one-syllable names beginning with T for males. His grandfather, former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin's husband, is named Todd and his uncles are Track and Trig.

Often used as a nickname from a boy who has the same name as his father and grandfather — Tripp or Trip can be short for Triple, as in The Third — Tripp is a strong enough name to stand on its own.

Trip can also represent a journey, actual or metaphorical, as the young couple’s adventure from small town sweethearts to the national spotlight to pre-birth breakup to surprise reunion must seem.

Tripp appeared for the first time on the U.S. Most Popular Names list in 2008, the year Palin and Johnston's son was born, at number 930, and then leapt last year to number 671. In 2009, there were 361 baby boys named Tripp.

With two middle names, Tripp is following an old royal tradition — which originated to squeeze in the names of as many important relatives as possible — used widely in England and crossing the pond now as well.

Easton, an Old English name meaning "eastern town," continues another Palin family practice of using place names. Bristol's own name, along with her sister Willow's, is a place name, and brother Trig's middle name Paxson is a snowmobiling area in Alaska.

Tripp's third name, Mitchell, is grandpa Todd's middle name. An English variation of Michael, it means "Who is like God."

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