What's in a number? Beckhams' new arrival brings another name enigma
Tuesday 12 July 2011
With elder brothers by the names of Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz, no one was expecting that her name would be as ordinary as Rachel, Sarah or Emily. But the moniker handed to the latest addition to Team Beckham, a baby girl born in Los Angeles on Sunday, has probably surpassed them all.
"I'm so proud and excited to announce the birth of our daughter Harper Seven Beckham," her father told the world, via Facebook, on Sunday. "She weighed a healthy 7lbs 10oz and arrived at 7.55 this morning, here in LA. Victoria is doing really well and her brothers are delighted to have a baby sister xx."
The Beckhams have since offered no reasons for their chosen name, but a number of theories have emerged.
The No 7 shirt
Beckham's shirt number while playing for Manchester United – in his most successful playing period – and for England was No 7.
Conserving tattoo space
The names of the first three Beckham offspring have been etched somewhere on their father's heavily inked body, so there is little room left. Mercifully, the footballer already has "VII" – the aforementioned No 7 shirt number – tattooed on his right forearm.
The time, date and weight
Harper Seven arrived in the seventh month of the year, at 07.55 in the morning, weighing 7lb 10oz. These are important omens.
Becks is a Seinfeld fan
In the US sitcom Seinfeld, George Costanza floated the notion of naming a baby Seven. "It works for a boy or a girl," he said. "And it's [baseball great] Mickey Mantle's number. Not only is it a beautiful name, it's a living tribute."
HarperCollins has released several Beckham books, including his 2004 autobiography My Side. The publisher's marketing people must be hoping for a future suitor named Collins for the young lady to complete a PR triumph. The young Beckham may choose to go double-barrelled instead. In so doing Ms Harper Seven Beckham-Collins (HSBC for short) would open up alternative promotional opportunities.
The US novelist, 85, is the most famous Harper around. To Kill A Mockingbird was on the GCSE syllabus in the early 1990s, so may be one of the few books both David and Victoria have read.
Victoria has appeared on the cover of the fashion magazine several times.
What a penalty
It is possible that David remembers blasting a penalty past Newcastle's veteran keeper Steve Harper in a 1-1 away draw in December 2000.
Numbers for names
The 1-2-3 Kid
One of several stage names chosen by the American wrestler Sean Walton in his long career – "1-2-3" is the count given by the match referee.
The stage name of the US rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur, who was shot dead in Las Vegas in 1996, aged 25, before achieving considerable posthumous success.
Professor Perri 6
The British social scientist changed his name from David Ashworth in 1983. He claimed to be amused by the notion of "6, P" appearing in academic papers.
Andre Lauren Benjamin, the frontman for rap group Outkast, was forced to take on the name because his former stage name, Dre, was deemed too similar to rapper, producer and label boss Dr Dre.
Stanley Marsh 3
The Texan artist is one of many Americans named after their fathers and grandfathers – but most use Roman numerals and call themselves "the Third" (golfer Davis Love III, for example). This, says Mr Marsh 3, is pretentious.
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