With the arrival of son Crew on Thursday, Chip and Joanna Gaines not only broke their tradition of D names for boys (they also share sons Duke, 9, and Drake, 13) but chose a moniker that’s actually just 23 years old.
According to Pamela Redmond Satran of Nameberry, Crew is a stylish word name that broke into the U.S. top 1,000 in 2010. It stands at No. 712 now, with 339 baby boys given the name last year — and with more celebrity visibility, it’s primed to climb even higher.
That’s a remarkable achievement for a name that was just born in 1995, when it made its very first appearance on the Social Security extended list, given to a mere six baby boys. Crew’s use as a baby name grew quietly until 2005, when actor Joshua Morrow of The Young and the Restless chose it for his son.
But it’s Crew’s new popularity as a slang term for a group of friends that has inspired its widespread appeal as a baby name.
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Crew was first used as a term for a group of people doing the same work in the 17th century, building on its meaning of a company of seamen on a ship, as in a navy crew. Etymologically, crew is related to the Latin word accrue, which means increase or growth, another term whose positivity adds to Crew’s appeal as a name (and appropriate for the growing Gaines family!).
More recent influences include the trendy retailer J.Crew along with the Ivy League-ish sport crew (a.k.a. rowing), which inspired the name of the crew-cut hairstyles worn by Harvard and Yale rowers in the 1930s.
Crew can be grouped with the military-style word names that have been gaining in popularity over the past decade for baby boys, including Major and Cannon. It also relates to the sea along with other newly popular beachy names such as Sailor and Ocean.
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While Crew was used for a handful of baby girls last year and as a word name is not traditionally gendered, it is given predominantly to baby boys.
The spelling Cru and Crue, both pronounced exactly like Crew, were also each used for more than 50 baby boys last year, which means you could hear the name called out on the playground more than you might expect.