Celebrity Sib Sets: The Gaines Family

Hello everyone! I've talked a little bit about celebrity baby names before but today's article is a little different and I'm excited about it! This is going to be the first in an ongoing series about celebrity sibling sets, looking at the names celebrities choose for their children within the context of the entire family. It's always interesting to see themes and patterns emerge when you look at their naming style.

To start off this series I chose one of the sweetest families on TV right now: the Gaines family! The Gaines family of Waco, Texas is featured on the remodeling show Fixer Upper. Chip and Joanna (dad and mom) take houses from downright frightening to absolutely fabulous! Their four children are often on the show as well. The work they do on houses is fascinating but it's the fun family dynamic that makes the show so charming. My husband and I really enjoyed watching the first season on Netflix!

I find Chip's name interesting. I couldn't find any place online where his full name is listed but Chip is usually a nickname for Charles, a French name meaning "free man". Charles is a name that was most popular in the early 1900's but it's fade has been gradual and it's even risen some in the past couple years.

Joanna is Hebrew name found in the Bible. It has the lovely meaning of "the Lord's grace". Joanna  was most popular in 1984 when it ranked #88. In 2014, Joanna was at #337 but it is one of many biblical girls names on the rise. I wonder if Joanna Gaines's presence on television might be positively influencing it's popularity.

To me Drake is the ultimate "cool guy" name.  It's familiar but not overly popular. It's only broken into the top 200 once, in 2010. Drake is currently #348. The possible meaning "dragon" makes Drake extra cool. One syllable names are often chosen for the middle name spot but they make excellent choices in the first name spot as well, especially if you're looking for a name that can't be shortened. 

Ella is such a sweet, simple name! I adore it's subtlety and charm! The meaning "all" or "completely" is very interesting and endearing as well. Ella is the perfect balance between old-fashioned and modern. Ella was in the top 50 in the 1900's but it actually surpassed its former popularity when it made its comeback, beginning in 1990. Ella fell out of the top 1000 in the 80's but began to make a consistent rise from 1990 until it reached #12 in 2011 and 2012. Ella is slowly slipping downward now and is currently at #17. I still think Ella will be a prominent name for some time! Ella Gaines's full name is Ella Rose Gaines, a charming little combo that flows very well. 

In my opinion, Duke is the most intriguing name in this set. Duke is an English title of nobility that comes from roots meaning "leader" or "commander". My primary association for this name is the jazz musician Duke Ellington but John Wayne was also referred to as "the Duke", so there's that association as well. Depending on what comes to your mind when you hear the name Duke, it can have anything from a proper English feel, to a hip jazz feel, to a country western feel, making Duke a very versatile name! Duke is currently #666 and I'm kind of surprised to see it up so high! It's rising really fast, too. Duke only just reentered the top 1000 in 2013 at #720! The names Drake and Duke are so similar that when I heard them talk about Duke on the show, I thought it must be Drake's nickname! Like I said, Duke is an intriguing name and I'm very curious to see how it rises in popularity over the coming years!

While Emma is currently the #1 name in the country (though not for long by my estimation), and Emily is also in the top 10, this spelling of Emmie hasn't been seen in the top 1000 since 1935! The Emme spelling used by Jennifer Lopez is also not ranked in the top 1000 but the Emmy was ranked #663 in 2014. Emmie is a very sweet name and the combo Emmie Kay Gaines is just adorable!

So, it's not hard to see the theme in the Gaines's kids names, There's almost two different themes going, one for boys and one for girls. I think all four names go well together, though. The Gaines personal style when it comes to homes seems to be similar to their naming style: classic, country, simple, sweet, with just a little bit of flair. 

Drake and Duke are very similar (maybe too similar for some people's taste) but I think they're just different enough to make it work. They both begin with D, are one syllable, and have a k sound at the end. The dominant vowel sounds are very different, though, making them distinctive. In addition to their similarity in sound, their meanings go together. With Drake meaning "dragon" and Duke making me think of a knight, I get a vivid mental image of medieval times. They could also both be cowboy sounding names, bringing up pictures of the old west.

Ella and Emmie again are very similar in sound. They both begin with E, have two syllables and have a kind of nickname-y feel. What I thought was so cool about these two names was their complementary meanings. Ella means "all" or "completely" and Emmie means "universal".

I don't know if Chip and Joanna would ever have more kids but just for fun, I'd like to play a little game I'll call "complete the sibset" and I want you to play along. I'm going to choose a boys name and a girls name that I think fit with their current kids names.

For a boys name I'd choose Dax. It doesn't have a k, but it has a k sound. I could also see Deacon, Drew, Dean fitting in as well. For a girl I'd choose Elsie. It might be a little too similar to Ella and Emmie but the Gaines family seems to like their kids names to be similar. Other names that could work would be Etta, Esme, Elaina, Eliza, Eva and Evelyn. They could also reverse their letter theme and choose names like Dinah and Edward (Eddie). 

I love the this family's name choices! Their family's charm really what makes the show so great! I'd encourage you to watch Fixer Upper on TV or Netflix if you get the chance!

What do you think of the Gaines kids names? How would you complete the sibset?

God bless and thanks for reading!

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  1. Chip's middle name is Carter and Duke's middle name is Camden. If they had another girl I like Evie or Everly to complete the girls sibset. Ella, Emmie and Evie sound so cute together. Assuming the girls both have K middle names I would suggest Evie Kate. If they had another boy I like Declan. It's longer and a little less familiar than Drake and Duke but it completes the set really well. Assuming the boys both have C middle names I would suggest Declan Cole.

    1. Evie Kate and Declan Cole are great combos!

    2. I like Dierks like Dierks Bentley the country singer plus it has a k at the end like Duke and Drake and her girls names are Emmie Kay and Ella Rose so both aren't K middle names but I do love Evie..Evie Claire or Eden Ray ( R for rose..ay for kay) but I heard it's a boy so I'm rooting Dierks!! <3

  2. We're about to find out! Baby 5 this year!😍


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