We’re thrilled by the news that Anderson Cooper became a father this week. His announcement painted a lovely picture for us of his late father, mother, and brother, looking down at his new arrival. We’re also a bit jealous of Cooper’s ability to find the perfect, trendy baby name — Wyatt Morgan Cooper — that also honors his mom, Gloria Vanderbilt, and dad, Wyatt Cooper.
“He is named after my father, who died when I was ten,” Cooper wrote on Instagram. “I hope I can be as good a dad as he was.”
His baby’s middle name is also pretty significant, as it was his maternal grandmother’s maiden name.
“I know my mom and dad liked the name Morgan, because I recently found a list they made 52 years ago when they were trying to think of names for me,” he added. Which, it’s also pretty incredible that such a list still remains in his possession.
To dig into why we find Wyatt Morgan such an appealing name, we spoke to Jennifer Moss, the founder of BabyNames.com and host of the Baby Names Podcast.
“Wyatt follows the trend of what I call ‘XYZ’ names for boys, which is super popular now — names that have one of those letters in them like Pax, Axl, Wyatt, Wynn, Fynn, and Zane,” Moss told SheKnows.
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I want to share with you some joyful news. On Monday, I became a father. This is Wyatt Cooper. He is three days old. He is named after my father, who died when I was ten. I hope I can be as good a dad as he was. My son's middle name is Morgan. It's a family name on my mom's side. I know my mom and dad liked the name morgan because I recently found a list they made 52 years ago when they were trying to think of names for me. Wyatt Morgan Cooper. My son. He was 7.2 lbs at birth, and he is sweet, and soft, and healthy and I am beyond happy. As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I’m grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son's birth. Most of all, I am grateful to a remarkable surrogate who carried Wyatt, and watched over him lovingly, and tenderly, and gave birth to him. It is an extraordinary blessing – what she, and all surrogates give to families who cant have children. My surrogate has a beautiful family of her own, a wonderfully supportive husband, and kids, and I am incredibly thankful for all the support they have given Wyatt and me. My family is blessed to have this family in our lives I do wish my mom and dad and my brother, Carter, were alive to meet Wyatt, but I like to believe they can see him. I imagine them all together, arms around each other, smiling and laughing, happy to know that their love is alive in me and in Wyatt, and that our family continues.
Her theory is that celebrities searching for unique names started this trend. “People go to the end of the alphabet,” she said.
“Wyatt also follows the trend of using what we call ‘grandma or grandpa’ names, which started on the girls’ side and is now moving to the boys’ side of the charts,” Moss added. “Names are getting recycled in the family tree from two or more generations back.”
Which, as he said himself, is exactly what Cooper did.
“Anderson’s father, Wyatt Cooper, was from a small town in Mississippi, and it’s said they were relatively poor,” Moss noted. “Wyatt’s mother was named Rixie, and his father was named Emmet — another name that’s now popular.”
Wyatt is an old English name meaning “guide,” and it’s currently ranked the 26th most popular boys baby name in the U.S.
Of course, when we think of going back into Cooper’s family tree, we usually look to his Vanderbilt side, stretching back to railroad baron Cornelius Vanderbilt. (On a totally tangential side note, his mother’s mother, Swiss socialite Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, actually chose her own first name. She was born Maria Mercedes Morgan and decided to go by Gloria as a teenager.)
“The Vanderbilts, like most aristocracy, use family names as both first and surnames to show their prestigious lineage,” Moss explained. “Anderson and Hays (his middle name) are both surnames. However, it’s unclear if they are family names.”
Morgan, which is now thought of as a gender-neutral name as well as a surname, is of Celtic origin and means “dweller of the sea.”
As much as Cooper’s baby honors his past, we’re definitely looking forward to seeing what his promising future will bring!
These are some of our favorite baby names chosen by other celebrities.
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