On September 9, Nicole Richie has given birth to a boy named Sparrow James Midnight Madden. While the name Sparrow might make you think she’s a huge fan of “Pirates of the Caribbean” (Jack is also a common nickname for James), name experts are insisting that Richie and boyfriend Joel Madden are once again on top of the hottest baby name trend: bird names for babies.
Experts claim the couple’s choice of name for their son show they are “free spirits” and also keen to given their child a fashionable moniker. “Bird names are definitely getting hotter,” said baby name expert Pamela Redmond Satran, who co-wrote Baby Name Bible and runs Nameberry.com. “Of all the animal names, bird names are the hottest.
According to Satran, bird names have a spiritual symbolism. “They’re seen as light, one with the sky and nature and in a more uplifting, positive way than other animals, like a fox, which is more macho.
“It’s an interesting choice for a son because you really can’t tell if it’s a boy or a girl. Something we’ve started to see is parents being much more open to giving their sons names that have a feminine feel or are unisex.”
Satran also points out that Sparrow and Harlow, Richie’s 20-month-old daughter, have the same ending: “ow” sound. The middle name, James, is “conventional,” Satran points out, “in case they want to go by that later in life.” (Harlow’s middle name is the traditional Kate.) Midnight, like Harlow’s second name Winter, denotes a time or season, which is often found in African culture, Satran says. “Some of the earliest African names in the U.S. were Afternoon, Easter, Christmas and Friday,” she says. “You have to think there’s some pattern [with Harlow and Midnight].” Midnight “might be the kind of name you would expect somebody trying to make it as a punk rocker to give themselves,” adds Satran.