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What’s in a Name? Madonna’s Son, David Banda

1285278696_banda madonna 290 editors Pamela Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz — who penned the books Baby Name Bible and Beyond Ava & Aiden — are blogging for about why celebs choose the names they do, and what they mean.

Happy 5th birthday, David Banda Mwale Ciccone Ritchie!

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

David, who was adopted when he was just over a year old by Madonna and then-husband Guy Ritchie, retained the Biblical first name he was given by his birth parents.  Upon his adoption, his two original surnames, Banda and Mwale, became his middle names.

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Banda is a common surname in Malawi, David's birthplace, akin to Smith in the U.S.

David, which means "beloved" in Hebrew, was the 14th most popular boys' name in the U.S. last year. David has been among the Top 35 American male names since the start of recorded baby-naming history in 1880, and was in the Top Ten for over half a century, from 1936 until 1992.

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In the 1990 census, David was the 6th most common male name among the total U.S. population.

Part of the enduring popularity of the name David has to be credited to appeal of the Old Testament David, the brave young shepherd and warrior who defeated the giant Goliath and became King of Israel.  David is important to the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic cultures, making the name appropriate for families from a wide range of backgrounds.

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The names of Madonna's other children, chosen by the singer herself, were much more adventurous than David's classic, relatively sedate name. They are Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon, called Lola; Rocco John Ritchie; and youngest daughter Mercy James, also adopted from Malawi, whose first name is a direct translation of her original name, Chifundo.

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