What’s in a Name? Padma Lakshmi’s Daughter, Krishna Thea

 Henry S. Dziekan III/Getty Images

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.

Months before her baby was born on Feb. 20, Top Chef star Padma Lakshmi let it be known that she intended to choose "a classically Indian Sanskrit name," and that's just what she did. Krishna is a Sanskrit name meaning "black" or "dark one," and is commonly heard in India as both a first and last name.

In Hindu tradition, Krishna was the human incarnation of the god Vishnu, a heroic figure representing love and joy. The familiar "Hare Krishna" is a chant to this deity.

Although Krishna is associated with a male deity, it is not unusual for it to be used as a girl's name. During the past decade it has been extremely popular in Chile, for example, reaching No. 12 on their favorite girls' names list in 2002, and was still in the Top 25 in 2006

Look back at Padma and other celebs' baby bumps

Other spiritual names of all persuasions have been spotted in the celebrisphere. These include the Buddhist Bodhi, used as a middle name by Padma's fellow celebrity chef Tom Colicchio (his son with wife Lori Silverbush is Luka Bodhi) and as a first by Amy Brenneman (her son is Bodhi Russell). Country singer Trace Adkins and Diane Farr named their daughter Trinity, Corey Feldman named his son Zen and Brooke Burke and Lil' Mo both named their daughters Heaven. Nelly Furtado named her daughter Nevaeh, which is Heaven spelled backwards. Allen Iverson has a daughter called Messiah.

Can you guess whose baby bump this is?

Making the name truly multicultural is the use of Thea as the baby's middle name. With a choice of pronunciations (THEE-a, THAY-a, TAY-a), Thea is a Greek name meaning "goddess," and has been used as a short form of the names Theodora, Dorothea or Althea. Although it has never cracked the Top 1000 on the Social Security list, it's beginning to be heard around playgrounds and preschools — but has a way to go before it catches up with its popular twin, Theo.

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