Actress Riley Keogh — daughter of Lisa Marie Presley and granddaughter of Elvis Presley — welcomed a baby girl via surrogate in August of 2022. A year later, in a Vanity Fair cover story, she revealed that her daughter’s name was Tupelo Storm.
Tupelo’s first name is a reference to the northern Mississippi city of Tupelo (pronounced TOO-puh-loh), which is where Elvis was born in 1935. (The Presley family didn’t move to Memphis, Tennessee, until Elvis was a young teenager.)
The city’s name, which was inspired by the abundance of tupelo gum trees in the area, derives from the Creek words ito, meaning “tree,” and opilwa, meaning “swamp.”
It’s funny because we picked her name before the Elvis movie. I was like, ‘This is great because it’s not really a well-known word or name in relation to my family — it’s not like Memphis or something.’ Then when the Elvis movie came out, it was like, Tupelo this and Tupelo that. I was like, ‘Oh no.’ But it’s fine.
(The biopic Elvis was released in June of 2022.)
The baby’s middle name commemorates Riley Keogh’s late brother, Benjamin Storm Keough.
So far, the name Tupelo has never appeared in the SSA data — but do you think it could in the future? What are your thoughts on Tupelo as a baby name?
- Martin, Annie. “Riley Keough shares baby girl’s name: Tupelo.” UPI 8 Aug. 2023.
- Historic Resources in Tupelo, Mississippi – NPS (PDF)
- Our History – Oren Dunn City Museum
- Everett-Heath, John. The Concise Dictionary of World Place-Names. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.