Update: Minnie Driver on name choices and her lack of an announcement

03/17/2008 at 08:11 PM ET

Update: Additional quotations and link to video added.

Originally posted March 14th: Despite speculation floating around since January, Minnie Driver says she never felt the need to make announcement. In an episode airing Monday, the 38-year-old actress tells Ellen,

I didn’t do an announcement because I’m not really an announcementgirl. I’m wearing red knickers. I’m also having a child,not really my thing. So I didn’t say anything.

Minnie did officially confirm the rumors on The Tonight Show last evening, and tells Ellen that she is "four months and a bit" along, giving her a late August/early September due date. Now that she’s announced, her next step is finding a good first name — it sounds as though the baby will be getting her last.

I have a pretty silly name. Driver is kind of a hard name to put with afirst name, particularly boys names … My friend sent me an email sayingI should call the baby Duncan Driver. Then I can call it Dunk Driver,Pile Driver, Rally Driver … I’mhoping for a girl [because the names will be easier]. I think it’s a girl.

Click below for Minnie’s reason for wearing loose dresses, to find out whether or not she wants to know the sex, and to watch the video.

Minnie shares that she’s decided to hold out for a delivery surprise.

I feel like it’s one of the last great mysteries of life. I don’t want to know. 

What about those rumors that she was buying girls clothes at crewcuts?

I was shopping for my niece! I was barely pregnant then!

As for her loose and flowy maternity style — a departure from her usually fitted clothes — Minnie says it’s all just a reaction to the genetic hand she was dealt.

Most of thewomen in my family get super girthy early on and I’ve got to say that’swhy I have this nice chiffon dress on. I’m fat!

Source: Ellen — watch the video here.

FILED UNDER: Maternity , News , Video

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Alicia on

I bet it’s a girl. I’m feeling girl.

Sasha on

LOL @ “girthy”!!!! That’s classic 🙂 Wishing Minnie the best – I’ve been a fan since Grosse Point Blank.

Max's Mom on

I say girl too. 🙂

jasmine on

congrats minnie
the baby’s last name will be driver?
has she spilt up with the father?

Sarah’s note: I don’t believe so. Didn’t sound like it on Jay Leno. She just must want the baby to have her name.

J.M. on

Is she dating anyone? Married?

I say this because she’s talking about giving the baby her last name.

Sarah’s note: If you click the link to the Jay Leno post that’s above, she talks about it and says she wants to keep him private. He’s rumored to be a British guy named Matthew.

Pam on

I kind of respect when people don’t make an announcement. It’s frustrating for us, but I like that not everyone is about putting their business out there right away. Although, of course, I’m first in line for all the details and baby photos!! 🙂

My husband has a tough last name to work with as well. We ended up giving my son a fairly simple first name, then went a bit crazy with the middle name since he won’t really use it.

As far as clothes, I actually found more fitted things on the belly worked better for me, because the belly was ‘the good part.’ In my case, my butt, thighs, and hips EXPLODED, so I did fitted shirts and then loose skirts most days.

Lara on

She’s so relaxed about the pregnancy, especially for a first time mother. She’s going to be a really good mom and have lots of fun with her kid(s).

I have so much respect for women who give their children their own last name or a hyphenated last name, because of the strength and confidence that decision requires. There’s tremendous social pressure (from other women!) to just give a baby the father’s surname.

JMom on

Why is it always assumed that the baby will have the father’s last name? My daughter has my last name, and my husband is fine with it.

Jay on

I respect women who give their children their last name rather than automatically giving the father’s last name. There is nothing wrong with either as long as its a mututal thing but everyone always assumes that the child will get the father’s last name whether the parents are married or not. I love how Bridget Moynahan gave her son her last name!!!

Valerie on

I agree with some of the comments here about children having their mother’s last name, or both the father and mother’s names. A few weeks ago, I was talking with a colleague who is Irish (I am Irish as well) and had never realized that he was Irish because his last name is Italian (his father’s name). What a loss of cultural identity (both sides of the family should be represented!).

UggaMugga.com on

I know it’s crazy, but I never thought about her last name being Driver…her name has always just been Minnie Driver to me. Kind of like I bet most people never think of what a strange name Mountain Dew soda has…mountain dew? Strange!

Anyway, I’m so excited for her. I can totally picture her with a little boy. And no matter what, I be she’ll give her child a great name!

Eliza on

Hi Pam, Would be so interested to hear what you called your son… I have a difficult last name too and love hearing other ppl’s name choices who are in that situation especially!

Emma on

I’m so loving the comments about babies getting their mother’s last name!
I’m really attached to my last name & don’t want to change it when I get married (which my partner is fine with). I feel my name is part of my identity.
I want to give my children a hyphenated last name so they have both parents represented… even though the name will be kinda long… The only problem is I don’t know what they will do when they have children, their name will already be hyphenated so I don’t know what their kids will do… Any ideas anyone?

Emma on

P.S. Also love how aAngelina & Brad have used Jolie-Pitt, I will do something similar with my name then the fathers…

Hilary on

My middle name is my mom’s last name and my last name is my dad’s last name and I’ve always used my full three names on everything. When I got married, I kept my name and didn’t add my husbands. I’m not going to hyphenate my kids names (I don’t have a problem if people chose to do so) — but, kind to Emma’s point….if my kids were to have my last name(s) along with my husbands they’ll have three last names! I just figure that they’ll have my husbands last name and when they get married then they can hyphenate (or do whatever) their last name with their spouses for their kids.

If I weren’t married though, I’d consider giving my kids my last name(s) especially if I was no longer with the husband.

Oh — and both my last names are “English” names and I’m almost all Norwegian…go figure. So sometimes names have more traditional identities with them — but other times the way names flow down from generation to generation doesn’t necessarily give a person their true ethnic/cultural identity.

Lara on

Emma, in Spanish-speaking countries, children get both parents’ surnames and when they grow up they pass on one of those names (usually the one they got from their father, but not always) to their children. For example:
Maria Santiago-Pena marries Jose Lopez-Velazquez, their son could be named Diego Santiago-Lopez (or the reverse). He would then combine Santiago with his wife’s first surname to make a surname for their children.

You can give a hyphenated name to your children without worrying about what last name your grandchildren will end up with. Your children and their spouses will figure out what they want to do, you’re just giving them more options 🙂

Jen on

In Germany, if a woman gets married and wants to take on her husband’s last name but keep her own, she would put her own surname last. For example, if Inga Stein married Wolfgang Mueller, she would be Inga Mueller Stein….which I kind of like because essentially, she still has her main name pre-marriage, but has also incorporated her husband’s name too as a kind of middle name of sorts that can also be used as a 2-name last name….my friend in Germany has done this and they gave their children the husband’s last name.

Typically in the U.S., it would be the reverse with a woman calling herself Inga Stein-Mueller with the last name of the husband being tagged on at the end.

I just think it’s interesting how different cultures have unique naming traditions.

My dad always said he thought that when 2 people get married that they should BOTH give up their last name and then choose a new last name (or a merged last name)….that would solve the problem of having super-long hyphenated names and it would be an equal playing field for both men and women because they would both be losing their last name in favor of creating a new shared identity. But i guess that has its downfalls too!

Ans on

“I’m hoping for a girl.”

Even if she does feel like that, is it necessary to share that on television? She could have left it at “I think it’s a girl.”

Lilybett on

I’ve been married for over a year and haven’t changed my name as yet. But I’m thinking about hyphenating. My lovely husband doesn’t really care if I change it or even if our kids take his name- it’s all up to me. Sometimes I think it would have been easier if he felt strongly one way or the other because I’m not sure which I’d prefer. My name is easier to match names with as he has an -on last name and I like a few first names than end in -on/-an/-en but don’t like rhyming first and last names (apologies to Mason and Braydon Wilkerson!!)

Emma on

Thanks everyone for the interesting info on last names! It was very helpful & I liked learning what different cultures do.
I don’t really know what the trend is where I live, in Australia, as most of my friends want to take their partners last name, and I am not going to!
Another reason is because my grandmother has been married twice and is known by three different names! Some ppl know her by her maiden name, some by her first married name and others by her current married name! It’s crazy! I’m not planning to get divorced (but who is when they’re wanting to get married) but I don’t wanna lose my identity like Nan has.

Pam on

Eliza, we went with Drew for the first name. 🙂

sinclaiir on

“”I’m hoping for a girl.”

Even if she does feel like that, is it necessary to share that on television? She could have left it at “I think it’s a girl.” “

She’s just being honest. What’s the problem?

A person can’t express their desire for a girl or a boy? I don’t think she’ll be crushed if she has a boy…it’s just she would LIKE to have a girl first.

Ans on

If she had just left out that comment, she wouldn’t have been being dishonest. I just don’t think that comment is necessary, and that is my opinion. Why couldn’t she just have said “I think it’s a girl”?
I know she won’t be crushed, I just don’t think it’s something you sghould feel the need to express to the country.

Sarita on

Nothing wrong with hoping for a girl and saying so.

I like that the baby will have her last name. The woman does most of the work bringing the baby into the world so why should it get the father’s name? Hyphenating is also an option in the US, but I know that in the Netherlands that’s not allowed; you have to pick one. It might be like that in other countries as well.

Eliza on

Hi Pam – what was the middle name you went a bit crazy with?
Drew is great 🙂

PSB on

I hyphenated when I got married, but my husband is English and it seems as though everybody there automatically takes their husband’s last name. Everybody always thinks I’m really posh whenever we’re in the UK, because my name is hyphenated and the only women who do that are from really wealthy, old families. They keep both old families names like WASPS from Connecticut do here, but with a hyphen, like William Kennedy Smith (though he’s kind of a skeevy example!)

Our son has my husband’s last name, but if we have a girl next, I may give her my maiden name as a middle name. Either way, I’m not too bothered, as my last name was changed by my immigrant grandfather and his brothers to avoid discrimination in the 1930’s. It’s not exactly a name that has been in our family for centuries, but my husband’s family can be traced back to the 1500’s.

Emma on

Hi PSB, or anyone else that can answer -what are WASPS? We don’t use that term in Australia, to my knowledge, and I’ve only heard it on US tv shows and dont know what it means/stands for!?

Sarah’s note: WASP.

voiceofreason on

Emma – are you for real? I’m aussie and wasp is used here. Most people know it stands for White Anglo Saxon Protestant, considering this country was overrun by them with white settlement in 1788-ish.

Back to this post – i’m with Jen’s dad. Personally i wont be changing my surname if i ever got married. if i had children, which is highly unlikely then they would get their own surname that is certainly not their father’s or mine – it would be to symbolise that they are individuals belonging to themselves.

Emma on

Hi “voiceofreason”,
Yes I am for real! I haven’t heard it used here, except like I said on US tv shows.
I’ve probably heard of some terms that you haven’t too…
But at least I wasn’t afraid to ask…

fae on

So youll create\make a family name(surname) for your children?

finnaryn on

I took my husbands last name for several reasons. 1) No disrespect to my dad, but I hated my maiden name. I was continually made fun of in school because of it. 2) Because it was changed and butchered from the original when my German ancestors arrived at Ellis Island, it doesn’t hold any cultural value anymore. It was “Americanized” by the people processing the immigrants. 3) My husband’s last name is very Irish and since he is half Irish and I am 1/4th, it is the prominent identity in our little family. Taking his name allowed me to bring back an ancestry to my name.

As for our kids, they continue with the Irish last name and have been given Celtic first names. The kids have also been given middle names from my other “cultural parts.”

J.M. on

I don’t think it’s a problem that the child has her last name I just never have heard her associated with a man therefore I wasn’t sure if there was one or this was a trip to a sperm bank 🙂 lol

Anyways, my child will def. without a doubt get the fathers last name unless of course it’s something completely outrageous (then we’ll talk). I don’t want anything to do with my father’s side or his last name therefore the day I get married and change my name is going to be a happy happy day!!

brannon on

Interesting discussion – I gave my son my last name and if I decide to marry, I will keep my name as well. I just never understood the “change your name” thing or automatically giving your child the name of the father? To each their own…I wish Minnie all the best

Margot on

I don’t think that Driver is an especially difficult surname – just avoid names that start with D, end with -er or have vehicle connotations. Something short like Max (not that I’m advocating the Max trend, but it illustrates the point quite well), or Rose, or something traditional like Michael or Imogen would work very well with the surname.

As for taking Driver in the first place, well, what’s the problem? I assume that if she’s ‘with’ the father in some capacity that she’s discussed it with him (well, it’s the polite thing to do), and if she’s not with him, it’s kind of a moot point. I’m a bit of a traditionalist – I like it when children have their father’s name, because they get their mother’s mitochondrial DNA which is far more permanent! I’m a teacher, and in that capacity (having to fill out attendance and whatnot), I’ve developed a genuine hatred of hyphenated names, and I’ve found that most of the kids I know with hyphenated surnames tend to drop one of them by about the age of fourteen. That said, it’s the choice of the parents, and after all, if the kid really hates it, they can change it permanently once they get old enough. Names aren’t necessarily for life anymore.

Certainly, I’ll be taking my future husband’s name (my surname is actually my father’s abusive stepfather’s name, so I don’t have to explain to you why it means very little to me), and our children will have his surname too. It’s easier to work with anyway.

Lilybett on

There’s a writer here in Australia who created a new last name with her husband. One of the papers here did a story about it (URL below) that’s fairly interesting. She was Tegan Bennett and her husband was Russell Dow-Sainter. Apparently they had used Mr and Mrs Daylight as a jokey nickname for themselves, and then changed to it officially after they married. Now I think she publishes under Tegan Bennett Daylight because she had previously written as Tegan Bennett. I have similar concerns about changing mine, because I’ve been writing professionally/academically with my maiden name… and it’ll be a hassle continually explaining that the old publications belong to me- which is why I’m leaning towards hyphenating. My family have jokingly mashed our surnames together and I sign cards with it – but it’s too silly to be our real surname.


Eve on

Does anyone know what the trend is for last names of same sex couples with children?
Do they hyphenate or pick one name? I think it would be harder ’cause in alot of places they can’t legally get married, which is ridiculous if you ask me (and I’m not even gay).

brannon on

Interesting question Eve – I have a lot of students with same sex parents and its a pretty even split between taking the name of one parent or hyphenating. I also have twins with two fathers – one has the last name of one father and the other has the name of the other! The reverse is true of their middle names. They love it 🙂

brooke on

She probably knows already it’s a girl, and that’s why she said it lol. Anyway congrats to her. As for last names, I’m old fashion I like kids to have their father’s last name, but to each is own. She looks cute pregnant.

Anna on

I doubt that, she was very clear why she didn’t want to know, it wasn’t a brush-off ‘no’ answer like some celebs who just don’t want to share.

a on

love her

sinclair on

“I just don’t think that comment is necessary, and that is my opinion. Why couldn’t she just have said “I think it’s a girl”?
I know she won’t be crushed, I just don’t think it’s something you sghould feel the need to express to the country.”

uh, so Minnie’s comments should be policed? not everything people say will be something you think should be expressed. Apart from that, it was not an outrageous comment. And “I think it’s a girl” does not mean the same as “I am hoping for a girl.”

Very different things and no reason for her to mask her desire for a girl. She’s didn’t confess to being a man-hater or anything.

It’s just a light conversation between her and Jay about her impending arrival, sheesh!

Ericka on

I’m a HUGE fan of hers, she was so incredibly funny on Ellen. I’ve never actually laughed during a show but the whole time I just couldn’t stop.

Congrats too her she seems soooooo incredibly happy.

orli on

my intuition says it’s a boy. She’s hillarious. All the best to her, she looks great and the dress is fab!

Nicole on

Hi Sarah,

I was just wondering if this due date was correct? “she is “four months and a bit” along, giving her a late August/early September due date.”

The reason I ask is that my due date is Sept.6, and I think of myself as only 3 months and a bit right now (I’m at 14 weeks). Am I counting wrong? Don’t mean to be dumb, this is my first baby and I just wondered if I was off in some way or if Minnie’s due date might be sooner. Thanks!

Sarah’s note: I answered on the other Minnie post you asked on, so I’m just copy and pasting it over here. 🙂

We use this, which we find very helpful. If Minnie was anywhere between 14-17 weeks when she announced last week, she will be 40 weeks in late August/early September.