Serena Williams's baby girl and the meaning behind her name

Elise Solé

Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. has made her Instagram debut!

On Wednesday, two weeks after Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian welcomed their baby girl, Williams posted a sweet snap of a mother-daughter moment.

Serena Williams has given her daughter a unique name. (Photo: Instagram/serenawilliams)

The 35-year-old tennis star, who got engaged to Reddit co-founder Ohanian in December, also shared a clip on her Instagram stories, saying in the footage, “So we’re leaving the hospital after six, seven days. It’s been a long time, but we had a lot of complications, but look who we got — we got a baby girl.”


And her name, just like those of her famous parents, is unique.

Alexis is a unisex name that became more popular for girls in the 1980s, when Joan Collins played a character of the same name on the television show Dynasty,” Pamela Redmond Satran, co-founder of baby-naming site Nameberry, tells Yahoo Beauty. “It’s the 119th most popular name for girls and the 350th most popular name for boys.”

What makes the name choice unusual is that the baby girl is named for her father — not her mother — and the fact that these days, not many babies are named after either of their parents.

Alexis Ohanian and Serena Williams hit the red carpet. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Additionally, the “Jr.” suffix skews tradition for two reasons: It’s used for a girl — and the baby doesn’t have the same middle name as her father, a configuration that’s actually required to carry the title. “In this case, the baby should be called Alexis Olympia Ohanian ‘the second,’ using Roman numerals,” says Redmond Satran, adding, “I haven’t seen a construct like this in 30-odd years I’ve been in business.”

Gender-fluid names run in the Ohanian family, as dad’s middle name is Kerry. However, the middle name Olympia radiates femininity. “Olympia means ‘Mount Olympus,’ which is the home of the Greek gods, and it has a goddess-like aura,” says Redmond Satran. It’s also acknowledgement of Williams, who has earned four Olympic gold medals.

It’s likely the little girl will be called a nickname to avoid confusion with her dad’s moniker. “Alex, Allie, or Lexi are possibilities,” says Redmond Satran. “They may even call her Olympia.”

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