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.
Honor Marie, the daughter of Jessica Alba and Cash Warren (who turned 2 this week), may be the celebrity child with the most distinctively classy name.
Honor is a virtue name used by the Puritans from the 17th century, with an uplifting and, well, honorable meaning. The best-known examples of this genre are Faith and Hope, but in Hollywood you also have Mercy, newly-adopted daughter of Madonna, and one of the original weirdly-named celebrity babies, Chastity — now Chaz — Bono.
Honor is one of the most obscure names of its kind, never cracking the Top 1000 in its entire 130 year history. There were only 101 girls named Honor in 2009, the most recent year for which statistics are available, the same number as received such obscure monikers as Edna and Sinai
Still, there's evidence that Jessica and Cash's choice of Honor has done a lot to raise the profile of the name. In 2007, the year before Honor Marie Warren was born, only 28 girls received the name!
Honor is originally derived from the Latin male name Honorius, which was the name of an emperor, a handful of saints, and four popes. Its ancient female forms, Honoria and Honorata, are still occasionally used today.
Other forms of the name include the Irish Onora, the Italian Honora, and the French Honore. Short forms include Nora and Noreen.
Though middle name Marie, one of the standard connectives like Ann or Lynn of grandma's generation, is far less individual than Honor, it works to balance the distinctive quality of the first name.
Well played, Jessica and Cash!
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