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Meaning Behind The Name: Rebecca Gayheart's Daughter Billie Beatrice

I’m a little obsessed with the name Billie for girls.  Why? I have no idea, but something about the masculine name on a girly girl just screams “Adorable!” 

So, I was a little nervous when Rebecca Gayheart and Eric Dane named their little one Billie Beatrice. Will this unique name skyrocket to the top of the Baby Name List and become so popular that I will never be able to use it?

Billie has been on the top 1000 for girl’s names since 1889. It hit its peak in the 1930′s at #79, where it appeared with Willie, Bobbie, Johnnie, Jimmie, Tommie, Frankie and Freddie. It started as a nickname for Wilhelmina and gained recognition through  Ziegfeld Girl Billie Burke.

Right now the name is at #927, which makes it less used than even my name and I rarely meet another Mara. Billie is safe for now, but I’m keeping an eye out.

Some famous Billies include Billie Holiday, tennis champ Billie Jean King and actress Billie Piper (born Leian Paul). Other cultural touchstones include Michael Jackson’s unforgettable song Billie Jean, and the more than forgettable ’80′s movie The Legend Of Billie Jean. Perhaps Rebecca and Dane are big Helen Slater fans?

They’re not the only ones to choose a boyish-nickname-style name. It’s actually becoming a trend. Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell have a little one named  Charlie, Denise Richards’ and Elin and Tiger Woods’ have a girl named Sam, and Amanda Peet’s daughter Frances goes by Frankie.

Billie’s middle name, Beatrice, means “blessed” in Latin. Probably its  most famous usage was in Dante’s Inferno and in the works of Shakespeare. It hit its stride in 1910, the year the Aunt Bee and Andy Griffith show started.  Slowly but surely, it’s creeping its way up in popularity. Paul McCartney and soap star Emma Samms both have daughters named Beatrice.

What do you think of Billie Beatrice? Do you love it or hate it?

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