Blake Lively pregnant: Let the baby name buzz begin

Blake Lively announced she is expecting on Monday. Will the actress and husband Ryan Reynolds go with a quirky name for their little one, something more traditional, or a modern gender-neutral moniker?

Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
Blake Lively and husband Ryan Reynolds attend The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala May 5. On Monday Lively announced she is expecting her first child.

The news that Blake Lively and husband Ryan Reynolds are expecting brings a wave of speculation. What will Ms. Lively and Mr. Reynolds name their bundle of joy?

Will their child receive a unique celebrity moniker à, la Blue Ivy, Apple, and Suri? If the couple follows national trends, signs point to no.

According to BabyCenter.com, the US’s five most popular male names last year were Noah, Liam, Jacob, Mason, and William. For baby girls, Sophia topped the list, followed by Emma, Olivia, Isabella, and Ava. 

But a significant group of US-born babies had names that BabyCenter.com said could apply to a broader gender spectrum – like the names Blake and Ryan, for example. Of BabyCenter’s top 100 girls names, the website indicated that nine “work for boys and girls:” Addison, Aubrey, Bailey, Charlie, Harper, Kennedy, Peyton, Riley, and Taylor. For the top boys names, 12 of the 100 listed fall into the same category, including Alex, Jordan, Logan, Riley, and Ryan.

About 62,000 of every million US babies born in 2013 was given one of these popular, gender-neutral names, according to national data listed on BabyCenter’s site. The most popular name in this category was Logan – in 2013, 6,134 babies had the name. 

But even if Lively and Reynolds choose something uncommon, it may not remain unusual for long. BabyCenter’s database estimates that 54 babies per million births will be named Apple in 2014, the atypical name actress and singer Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin gave their daughter in 2004.

Lively revealed her news Monday in a post on her website, Preserve, creating such a sensation that the site was down for part of the day.

“Preserve at its core is about family,” the post began. “With family on our mind, we looked to the origin of it all — to the women in our lives who are right there, in that special moment, at the creation of family.”

After the text of the post, a series of pictures showed celebrating mothers-to-be. Lively is pictured with her hand resting on her stomach, a portrait taken by her brother, Eric Lively.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.