We have to admit. When we first heard Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth decided to name their baby boy Tennessee James, we were already searching for nicknames for the little lad. No, it’s not the worst celebrity baby name we’ve ever encountered. But it definitely felt a little clunky and forced. As the wonderful Eve Vawter put it, “That sounds like a hillbilly pharaoh!”
Well, it turns out Reese is completely aware of the hillbilly link. She even joked about it on the latest Chelsea Lately.
Is it a girl name? A boy name? Or “Just a redneck?”
We have to admit. Hearing Reese’s laid-back humor about her name choice makes us like the moniker a little better. We love any celebrity who doesn’t take themselves too seriously.
Even more, Reese’s joke about little Tennessee makes it sound like she might just be using one of the nicknames we suggested. Perhaps the name, which admittedly had plenty of meaning for successful actress and her husband, was never meant to the name they used everyday.
To some that might sound odd, but I distinctly remember having the following conversation with my husband:
“I like the name Eleanor.”
“That’s a big name for a baby,” he warned me.
“Well, we’ll call her Ella,” I replied.
“Then why wouldn’t we just name her Ella?” He asked.
“Because I like Eleanor.”
Somehow, these things make sense in a mother’s mind. Reese and her husband could have sat around saying, “Well, we’ll call him TJ.”
Whether they decide to go with a nickname or not, I have admire the adorable and cheerful way that Reese dealt with her pal, Chelsea Handler’s teasing. It felt light-hearted and sweet. It seemed like she was completely happy with her choice, no matter what anyone else had to say. She wasn’t the least bit defensive. Who knows? Maybe Tennessee will grow on us, no nickname needed.