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Archive for Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What’s in a name? Perhaps ‘new Messiah’

Jolie, Pitt bestow Hebrew, French names on daughter

May 31, 2006

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— Nothing was normal about the birth of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's child, so naturally, neither was their baby's name.

The much-awaited child was named Shiloh, which means "Messiah" or "Peaceful One."

Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt was born Saturday evening - via Caesarean section, according to People magazine - in Namibia where her famous parents had withdrawn for the birth, aided by considerable protection from the African country's government.

As of Tuesday, the baby was reportedly in good health, though the family had yet to make a public appearance. The couple also have two adopted children, 4-year-old Maddox and 16-month-old Zahara.

In a statement to People magazine, Jolie thanked the staff of Cottage Medi-Clinic Hospital. Jolie's obstetrician from Los Angeles, Dr. Jason Rothbart, told People that he delivered the child, weighing 7 pounds, by Caesarean section "due to breech presentation."

Pitt, he said, "was with Angelina in the operating room the entire time and cut the umbilical cord of his daughter. The surgery and the birth went flawlessly."


Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt tour the Immaculate Conception School in Port au Prince, Haiti, in this Jan. 13, 2006, photo. Jolie and Pitt have named their new daughter Shiloh Nouvel. Shiloh is a Hebrew word that can be translated as Messiah, and Nouvel is a French word meaning new.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt tour the Immaculate Conception School in Port au Prince, Haiti, in this Jan. 13, 2006, photo. Jolie and Pitt have named their new daughter Shiloh Nouvel. Shiloh is a Hebrew word that can be translated as Messiah, and Nouvel is a French word meaning new.

A Hebrew name, Shiloh is "generally understood as denoting the Messiah, 'the peaceful one,'" according to Easton's Bible Dictionary, the 1897 work of biblical definitions.

The Web site www.babynames.com lists Shiloh as a name that can apply to either a boy or girl. It also points out the famous Battle of Shiloh in 1862, a pivotal battle in the Civil War fought in southwestern Tennessee near a church named Shiloh.

The child's middle name, Nouvel, most obviously translates from the French, meaning "new." If one were to take a literal approach to analyzing the entire name, Jolie and Pitt could appear exceedingly bold in dubbing their daughter the "new Messiah."

Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt is only the latest instance of a unique name bestowed on a celebrity child. Lately, names rooted in Hebrew are all the rage.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' baby, who was preceded by nearly as much anticipation as Jolie and Pitt's, was famously named Suri, which the couple claimed means "princess" in Hebrew (or "red rose" in Persian). Some doubted the Hebrew origin, instead suggesting the more accurate meaning was "pointy nose" from Todas, a language spoken by a Southern India tribe.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their second child Moses, born in April. Their first child, Apple, remains one of the most renowned examples of esoteric names given to celebrity babies.

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