Serena Williams' daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. was born on September 1, and she's already a trailblazer. At least when it comes to her name.
Alexis Olympia, named after her father Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, is a female "junior," which is extremely rare. Not only is it not very likely for children to be named after their parents these days, but girls are rarely, if ever, juniors — plus, boys who are juniors traditionally also take their father's middle name.
Pamela Redmond Satran, the cofounder of baby-naming website Nameberry.com, confirms that this is an unusual choice for Alexis' parents, who introduced her on Instagram this morning and posted a sweet video documenting the pregnancy. "In this case, the baby should be called Alexis Olympia Ohanian 'the second,' using Roman numerals," she told Yahoo! Beauty. "I haven't seen a construct like this in 30-odd years I've been in business."
Alexis, according to Nameberry, means "defender" and shot up in popularity thanks to the Dynasty character Alexis Carrington in the 1980s. In 1999, it peaked as the most popular girls' name. Today, it's #119 for girls and #350 for boys.
Olympia relates to Mount Olympus, the mythological home of the Greek gods, and is therefore perfect for an offspring born to the tennis champion. "Olympia has to be a strong nod to Serena's Olympic athlete goddess status," Redmond Satran tells Refinery29.
Baby-name conventions are changing, and this choice feels more significant than simply a desire to be different. Redmond Satran says there is a feminist undertone to naming a baby girl after her father, "kind of like a first-born daughter ascending to the throne." She adds: "I think this has been so rare partly because the heyday of juniordom predated [modern-day] feminism and predated the rise of unisex names."
She thinks that, like many juniors, Alexis will go by her middle name or nickname — perhaps Alex, Ally, or Lexy. Either way, she's already a little star in the making.
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