Reese Witherspoon Welcomes Baby Tennessee

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon welcomed her third child, her first with husband Jim Toth, on Sept. 27. Looking for a name to go with siblings Ava and Deacon, Reese chose one close to her heart by naming the baby boy Tennessee James Toth, after her home state of Tennessee.

While Tennessee isn’t a very popular name – it’s never ranked in the top 100 baby names – it fits perfectly with Reese’s background. Her roots in the state go deep. Her mother was from Harriman, Tennessee, and Reese herself was raised in Nashville. Though she’s talked before about her early embarrassment over the state (she told USA Today, “Everybody would just make terrible fun of me: ‘What, do y’all walk around barefoot, and are you married to your cousin?'”), she now proudly references her Southern upbringing. And she has a lot to be proud of! Reese earned her 2005 Oscar for Best Actress by playing June Carter Cash, the famous country singer who lived with husband Johnny Cash in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Reese recently returned to Tennessee to film parts of Water for Elephants. She and her state have helped each other immeasurably over a lifetime.


State names are no rarity. We’ve all heard Virginia (No. 576), Carolina (No. 429), and Georgia (No. 305). Geographic names in general are hot among celebs–there are BronxBrooklynIndiaMoroccoIreland, and Paris. Little Tennessee definitely won’t feel like the odd man out in a Hollywood nursery.

What do you think of the name Tennessee? Would you call Tennessee James by his full name or choose a nickname like T.J. or Tenny?