OK, Owen Wilson doesn’t even know I exist, so he can’t really steal anything from me. But that’s how it felt when I read about his 2-year-old son’s name: Ford.
Although, maybe Mr. Wilson and I are even now.
Thirteen years ago, my husband and I had our first baby boy and named him “Ford,” from my maiden name. Two years later, we had our second baby boy and named him ... “Owen.”
So, yes, today there is an Owen and Ford Wilson and an Owen and Ford Smiley.
When asked about the name Ford, Owen Wilson told E! Online: “Jade [Duell] and I just liked the name. Thought it was a good name, a very American-sounding name, and I don’t know a lot of kids named Ford so it seemed kind of original.”
He’s right. According to Baby Name Wizard’s Laura Wattenberg (whose Name Voyager is a must-see), “the popularity of the name Ford peaked back in 1915, when it was ranked at #483, and it has been a rare bird for most of the time since.”
“Ford” ranked #608 for baby names in 1910 and slipped to #757 in the 1920s. By the 1930s, it was gone from the chart completely. (The Name Voyager doesn’t track names that didn’t reach a rank of at least 1,000 for that year.)
“But in the past few years we’ve started to see a Ford revival,” Wattenberg said. “The name is now poised to crack the boys’ top 1,000 list for the first time in decades.”
“Thanks to Wilson?” I asked.
“Wilson’s son did help, but the upward trend was already underway.”
“So, like, in the past 10 years, since I published my first book?” I asked mostly in jest.
And then: Hmmmmm, maybe Wilson stole it from me. Which is only fair, since I stole Owen back in 2002.
The name “Owen” was not a chart-topper when we picked it eleven years ago, though it’s gaining popularity lately, perhaps due in part to actor Owen Wilson’s fame. Wilson’s career blossomed in 2001, when he had roles in “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Zoolander.”
In 2005, the name Owen was ranked 60th. According to Nameberry, for 2013, “Owen” is in the Top 10 of most viewed baby boy names on their site.
Together, Wilson and I will rule the world with Fords and Owens!
No, but seriously: For nearly a decade, calling out “Ford and Owen” has been uniquely mine: “Ford and Owen, get off the sofa with your baseball pants!” “Ford and Owen, share with your brother!” “Ford and Owen, it’s time for dinner!”
In some kind of weird way, it stings to know that right now, in Hollywood, someone might be saying, “Are Ford and Owen [Wilson] coming?” Or, “Did you see Ford and Owen [Wilson]”?
Names are funny things, and naming a baby feels intensely personal.
Wilson also told E! Online this: “[N]ow, it’s just like what I was saying to you, I can’t imagine him having any other name because he is Ford.”
I feel the same way about mine.