Saturday, March 30, 2013


Response to the news that Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell named their daughter Lincoln generally fell into 2 camps:
"It's unique. I love it!"


"It's unique. I hate it!"

I don't like it, but I'm not sold on Lincoln's unique-ness.

1. Is it unique to give a child a surname as his/her first name?
Well, there's Munroe Cannon, daughter of Mariah Carey who is named after Marilyn Munroe. Marlowe is the daughter of Sienna Miller. Exton is the son of Robert Downey Junior. Matthew and Camilla named their son Livingston McConaughey. Russell Crowe's son is called Tennyson.

My Answer: No.

2.  Is it unique to give a girl a name that is more closely associated with boys?
Maxwell  Drew Johnson, daughter of Jessica Simpson, would probably say no. Ditto for Johnny Knoxville's daughter Arlo.  One of the guys from Green Day has a daughter named Ryan. Heidi Klum's youngest daughter is simply "Lou." Melissa Etheridge has a daughter named Johnnie. Charlie is one of Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell's twins -- obviously she's not their favourite.

My Answer: No

3.  Is it unique to give a child the surname of a President? 
Don't we all know at least one girl named Kennedy, Madison, Reagan or McKinley?  Or one boy named Jefferson? Tom Hanks' son is Truman. Ditto for the grandson of Martha Stewart. One of Kevin Costner's sons is Hayes. Jackson was the name Natalie Maines gave her son.

My Answer: No

These first three points are based upon the widely held belief that Bell and Shepard named the girl after American President Lincoln. However, it's entirely possible that Lincoln Bell Shepard is named after one of the 42+ municipalities named Lincoln in the USA. Ergo:

4.  Is it unique to use a place name as a given name?
Not even close. There's Egypt, son of Alicia Keyes. One of the Beckham boys is Brooklyn. Badly-named Maxwell has a cousin named Bronx. Consider that Chris Hemsworth daughter is India. Tennessee is the unfortunately named child of Reese Witherspoon.

My Answer: No

Which brings me to the fifth possible reason that Lincoln MIGHT be a unique name. A quick online search shows that Shepard is ridiculously proud of his souped up 1967 Lincoln Continental.

5. Is it unique to name your child after a mode of transportation? 
In the "no" column there's Ford Wilson, son of Owen Wilson. He's keeping company with Jett given by George Lucas and John Travolta to their sons, and by Lisa Ling to her daughter. Director Robert Rodriguez has a son named Rocket.

My Answer: no, but that's because I'm a hard ass who thinks a car is a poor namesake. Also I don't put a high premium on "unique" names for human beings.

What do you think about Baby Girl Lincoln?


  1. My grandfather's first name was Lincoln and it's my son's middle name so I don't think of it as strictly a last name. And I also remember Clarence Williams 111 - Lincoln "Linc" Hayes on the Mod Squad. However, as a girl's name - NO.

    1. Linc Hayes -- best afro EVER.

      I love family surnames as first names for children, though not every single surname works for both genders. Which is why my "maiden name" (now a popular girl's name) is my eldest son's second middle name. He still has a connection to my side of the family tree, but he's not going to get teased about it.

  2. I don't hate the name Lincoln, and I do love your commentary on Celebrity Baby Names. Celebrity Baby Names are like a special gift they bestow upon us commoners.

    PS: I, too, love your audio feature.

    1. Next time my kids are loud I'm going to ask them to shut off their audio features!

      (All the same I'm going to delete that spam comment -- even though I am curious about the best anti aging face cream ever.)

  3. I don't think Lincoln is a good girl's name but between Kristen's sloth video and Dax's story about his dad's death, in my eyes they can do no wrong.

    So I'm torn.

    1. I biased against them because based upon their resumes they don't seem to warrant the degree of fame and power they currently have. Thought the sloth video was funny, but very odd. I

  4. I'm with Hannah. And I love Veronica Mars, although all her movies have pretty much sucked. And the celebrity stupid-baby-name bar has now been set so high that I can't really get terribly exercised about Lincoln.

  5. I have trouble in the first place thinking of these two procreating. Shudder. I adore Kristen Bell - Veronica Mars has won her endless, bottomless adoration from me - so couldn't she do better than Dax Shepherd? UGH. It's just so...wrong.

    As for the name, I am okay with it, but in general I am worried about the ongoing stealing of boys' names for girls. I fear eventually there will be no boys' names left. The other day I was telling my kids that "Lynn" used to be a boys' name, and gave several examples, but they were dubious, and rightly so as it's now considered absolutely and without question a girls' name. My husband and I had several other examples of boy-names-turned-girl-names and it seems like the boy name pool is shrinking. Soon boys will be named things like "Fork" and "Chainsaw" and "Snowboard."

    (Afraid to Google, as surely there actually *are* children in the world with those games, GAH.)

    1. My husband's name is now a girl name, it's actually very confusing at times. When it came time to name our sons we both wanted solid "boy" names and that was a tough task. It's only gotten harder in the last 9 years.