Marion and Tabitha: Behind the Parker-Broderick's Name Choices
|Paul Schmulbach/Globe Photos|
The birth of twins Marion Loretta Elwell and Tabitha Hodge by surrogate on Monday afternoon had the CBB comments hopping! Among the congratulatory messages for Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick was a divisive discussion about the girls’ names — some loved, some hated, and some were reminded of their pet cats! We spoke to Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran, authors of Beyond Ada & Aiden and webmistresses of nameberry.com about the history behind the names. Here are their thoughts:
“Sarah Jessica is known for her individual style, and wouldn’t be expected to simply follow current trends — after all, she and husband Matthew named their first child the classic James. So, while many parents claim to want names that are ‘unique,’ the couple managed to come up with a pair that are truly distinctive, that sound cool and yet are not overused or gimmicky.
Unlike parents who seek similar names for their twins — especially same-sex pairs! — Sarah Jessica and Matthew have opted for names that are very different, almost opposite in style and feel. What they do have in common is that neither is particularly popular or trendy right now — in fact, Marion peaked way back in the 1880s.
A French medieval variation of Marie, Marion has a solid, serious image, and is the kind of traditional name more and more parents are starting to reconsider these days. Tabitha, a New Testament name that came onto the American baby-name radar following the introduction of the cute little girl with supernatural powers on the TV show Bewitched, still retains some of her slightly quirky charm.
It’s a little unusual for twins not to be given the same number of names — Marion has two middles and Tabitha just one, with both Elwell and Hodge coming from the actress’ family tree.
In terms of sound, both names have three syllables and a soft ‘a’ sound, making them consistent in that respect — if a bit of a mouthful when they’re being called in for dinner!”
What are your thoughts on the Broderick babies’ names?