This Athlete Power Couple Went For The Gold With Their Baby’s Ultra-Trendy Nickname
— Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images
Former Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson East and her husband, former NFL player Andrew East just welcomed their third child together, a boy. They gave him a baby name that’s super on-trend — and took it a step further by bestowing upon him, already, his nickname.
On Tuesday, December 12, Shawn and Andrew announced the birth of their son in their family newsletter, FamilyMade. Shawn then shared the details on her Instagram, posting photos of her little boy and the caption, “12.12.23,” along with a bear emoji, which was a cute hint to the trendy nickname for their little boy.
Two days later, Shawn shared more details, officially announcing her little boy’s name with a photo. “Barrett ‘Bear’ Madison East — We’ve all been waiting for you,” she wrote, adding a blue emoji. The photo featured a photo of her family, including her two older kids, 4-year-old Drew Hazel and 2-year-old son Jett James.
Barrett is of German origin, Nameberry reports. It means “bear strength,” and while it’s not made its way into the top 100 most popular name lists—it’s ranked 208 for boy names in 2022, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration, its popularity has been on a slow but steady rise since the early 2000s, according to Nameberry.
Barrett is just the right mix of being on trend without being overly popular — gender-neutral names have become more popular over the past few years, and are predicted to become even more popular in 2024. Plus, the nickname for Barrett, which Shawn hints they plan to use more than his full name, Bear, is ultra on-trend, following the rise and popularity growth of “short and sweet names.” It makes the kids of the family a trio of trendy babies for that exact reason: Drew, Bear and Jett!
Bear is a nickname that also follows several other naming trends that have been on the rise beyond the short and sweet and gender-neutral trends. According to BabyNames.com, Dictionary names are also on the rise, becoming more popular for nature names and proper nouns, the site notes. They call out trending word names like Forest, Chase, and Fox, along with Bear, as names on the rise in 2024.
In an interview with People, Shawn said the name Barrett Madison has a sweet tie to her husband’s family, and they’ve been considering the name for some time.
“We’re so happy we got to use the name Barrett Madison for our son and love calling him ‘Bear.’ We knew if we had a boy, we wanted to pay tribute to Andrew’s dad, who passed away last year, and his name was Guy Madison East,” she shared. “Andrew’s Grandpa’s name was also Madison, and it was later passed down to his dad, making it a really special family name.”
She told the publication they love the nickname “Bear” and “considered using that name for Jett.” Shawn said that when she and Andrew saw their newest son for the first time, they “knew this name was the perfect fit.”
Shawn and Andrew’s older kids — Drew and Jett — also have names that are nods to family members. When their daughter was born, Shawn shared that she was “named after the most incredible person I know … her daddy.” Jett James’s name is a combination of Andrew’s brother’s name and her great-great-great grandmother’s name.