What’s in a Name? David and Victoria’s Son, Romeo James


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 eighth birthday, Romeo James Beckham!

For their middle son, Victoria and David Beckham chose a distinctive, attention-grabbing name, just as they did with his older and younger brothers Brooklyn and Cruz.

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The name Romeo, which means "pilgrim to Rome," has largely been shunned outside of Italy in the past because of its powerful connection to the Shakespeare hero, and its romantic connotations, but it has been rising in popularity since the Beckhams gave it their stamp of approval, now ranking at No. 411 in the most popular lists.

Cruz, which means "cross" in Spanish and was given to the Madrid-born boy when his father was playing for Real Madrid, has seen a similar bump, now at No. 346 and now being used outside the Latino community. As for Brooklyn, it has climbed the charts too –but for girls much more than for boys.

To balance their sons' unusual first names, the Beckhams have given each of their sons a classic middle name: Joseph for Brooklyn, James for Romeo and David for Cruz.

Jon Bon Jovi followed the Beckhams' path, naming his son Romeo in 2004. And a number of other celebs, some with Italian roots and some not, have chosen Italian names for their sons. These include Patricia Arquette and Annabeth Gish (Enzo), Vincent d'Onofrio (Luca), Diablo Cody (Marcello), Adam Carolla (Santino), Madonna and Guy Ritchie, Jillian Barberie (Rocco), and Beck and Marissa Ribisi (Cosimo).

A few have even double-dipped: Ricky Martin named his twin boys Mateo and Valentino, Jill Hennessy's sons are Marco and Gianni, and Colin Firth's are Matteo and Luca — quite logically in the later two cases as both Hennessey and Firth have Italian mates.

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