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.
With the news that Olive Cohen, daughter of Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen, will soon have a sibling, there's speculation about the new baby's name and whether it will be, like Olive, classic but quirky.
Despite the enormous popularity of Olivia, currently No. 6 on the Social Security list of top girls' names, few parents had turned to this logical alternative until the birth of Olive Cohen in 2007, when it suddenly reappeared on the list. Before that, it hadn't been seen since 1950; although it once had been in the Top 100 for a full quarter of a century, reaching No. 82 in 1893.
Some blame Popeye's gawky girlfriend Olive Oyl for its downturn. But modern parents are beginning to look beyond that to see the many assets of Olive. One of the first botanical names to be applied to people, it also fits into the trendy color name category. Another plus: the olive branch has been the symbol of peace since ancient times and an olive wreath celebrates honor and success. The name got rejuvenated via Abigail Breslin's young character in the film Little Miss Sunshine in 2006 and there's currently an Olive on Mad Men.
The fact that Olive Cohen has no middle name is a comparative rarity in the celebrisphere, though some other recent examples include Will Ferrell's Axel, Emily Mortimer's May, Jon Cryer's Daisy, Nick Hexum's Echo, Kathryn Hahn's Mae, Paz Vega's Ava and Hank Azaria's Hal.
Olive's parents have interesting name histories as well. Isla, a Scottish place name pronounced eye-la, was hardly heard of in this country before the ascent of Ms. Fisher, and is now No. 623 and rising. As for Olive's father, he is one of few people to have all three spelling variations of his name (Sacha, Sasha, Sascha) on the popularity chart.
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