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Nameberry 9: Top new TV names

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For this week’s Nameberry 9,  Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel got busy with her remote as she surfed for the most fascinating names from new TV shows.

The kids are back in school and there’s a chill in the air – must be time for the new Fall television line-up!  I’ve been listening for character names – bland, bold, and everywhere in between.  Last week we discussed Walden, the new roomie on Two and a Half Men.  The jury is still out on how the series will fare with Ashton as a co-star, but berries agreed – Walden is a winner of a name.

Even the most high profile shows today attract a fraction of the viewing audience that tuned in just a decade back.  That might be good news if you’ve been planning to name your newborn Walden, but it does make me wonder: are the days of television launching new names over?  So many great choices, from Allison to Xander, owe their popularity in part to a television character.

Or is the opposite true?  You couldn’t name a kid Jed in the 1960s without conjuring up The Beverly Hillbillies. Now that we’re all watching dozens of different shows, maybe it will feel less problematic to borrow a name from a favorite series.  Here are a few that caught my eye:

Anders – Comedy Central’s sophomore sitcom Workaholics follows three slacker friends – Adam, Blake, and Anders, known as DersAnders ranked #936 in 2010 – that’s pretty obscure, but it is also about the best the name has ever fared.  The evergreen Andrew might strike some parents as too ordinary.  The character’s nickname, Ders, works for Anders or Anderson.

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TV Baby Names: Blasts from the Past

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The names of characters from the television shows that we watched when we were young often stick with us forever, from kiddie shows to teen-oriented programs to favorite sitcoms.  Grover, Oscar, Kermit–those Muppetish images are hard to shake: Oscar seems to have recovered from his Grouchiness, but Kermit might stay green forever.  Ditto the shows we might have been glued to through our school years–especially if they happened to feature a teen idol.

A name from an old TV show might remain with us because we found it especially appealing, or if it was attached to a favorite character, or perhaps if we hadn’t heard the name before, giving it a fresh resonance.  Here’s a list of some examples from the past few decades that fit one or more of those criteria and which might inspire a baby name choice today. (Some of the shows continued running from one decade to the next, but we’ve listed them under the one they started in.)

1970s TELEVISION SHOWS

ALMANZO — Little House on the Prairie

BAILEY  (girl)– WKRP in Cincinnati

BARNABYBarnaby Jones

BLAIR — The Facts of Life

BO –The Dukes of Hazzard

DAISY —  The Dukes of Hazzard

FLORIDA — Good Times

ISAAC — The Love Boat

JOSIEJosie & the Pussycats

SABRINACharlie‘s Angels

TANNER — The Bad News Bears

1980s TELEVISION SHOWS

ADDISON — Moonlighting

ALEXIS — Dynasty

BRUNO — Fame

CHASEFalcon‘s Crest

COCO — Fame

COLT — The Fall Guy

LEONARDO — Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

LILITH — Cheers

LIBERTY — De Grassi, The Last Generation

MADDIE — Moonlighting

MALLORY — Family Ties

MURPHYMurphy Brown

SUMMER — Baywatch

THEO — The Cosby Show

WINNIE — The Wonder Years

ZAX — Benji, Zax & The Alien Prince

1990s TELEVISION SHOWS

AIDAN — Sex in the City

ANGELBuffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel

AVERYMurphy Brown

BRIGHT — 7th Heaven

CORDELIA  — Buffy the Vampire Slayer

COSMO — Seinfeld

DAWSONDawson‘s Creek

FELICITY — Felicity

FOX  —   The X-Files

GENEVA —  Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper

GRIFFIN — Party of Five

JOSIAH — The West Wing

MABEL  — Mad About You

MAYAJust Shoot Me

MEADOW — The Sopranos

MICHAELA  — Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

MIRANDA  — Sex in the City

OWEN — Party of Five

PIPER — Charmed

PO — Teletubbies

PRUE  —  Charmed

SIX — Blossom

URSULA — Mad About You

XANDERBuffy the Vampire Slayer

XENAXENA: The Warrior Princess

WILLOW —  Buffy the Vampire Slayer

ZOEY — Cybill/Zoey 101

Do you have your own nostalgic favorites? Is there one that you’ve actually used or would consider using for your child?

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