The real meaning of Chloe Sevigny’s new baby’s name

May must be baby season — already we’ve welcomed the latest little Musk, whom we’ll call Baby X for the time being, and now we have this joyful news from Chloe Sevigny — the most joyful part (for us) being, she didn’t name her child after some seemingly random keyboard smash, but instead went with an actual name name — a name we can work with.

Backing up just a bit, in case you hadn’t heard all about Chloe’s pregnancy, the actress who once told W Magazine that she owed her youthful looks to her carefree, child-free existence finally took the plunge into motherhood at age 45. Her baby daddy, according to Observer, is the director of the Karma art gallery in NYC’s hipster-ridden East Village. His name is Sinisa Mačković, and according to his Instagram passport pic, he’s a native of Zagreb, Croatia — which explains the couple’s decision to name their baby Vanja Sevigny Mačković.

The meaning of Vanja

The name Vanja is, according to Behind the Name, the Croatian and Serbian form of the name Vanya, which is itself a diminutive form of the Russian name Ivan. The most famous Vanya-with-a-y is probably the Uncle Vanya from the turn-of-the-(last)-century play by Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov (no relation to Star Trek‘s Mr. C), while the most famous Vanja-with-a-V is probably the one who just got born. While Vanya is typically a masculine name, it (as well as Vanja) can also be a woman’s name, as anyone who’s watched The Umbrella Academy will know.

As to whether baby Vanja has a middle name, or his mom’s last name of Sevigny is meant to serve as a middle name, Chloe didn’t exactly specify, but since she supplied just the three names of Vanja Sevigny Mačković, we’ll be assuming the latter unless and until further details are forthcoming. While there should be no trouble whatsoever with the name of Vanya (or Sevigny, for that matter), there may just be one slight complication ahead for this happy little family, at least if New York, like California, frowns upon including “nonstandard characters” on its birth certificates. Nah, this is New York, baby! The biggest melting pot of them all! If they can’t handle a few little accent marks, then nobody can.

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