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Fantasy Names From Eighties Movies

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By Brooke Cussans of Baby Name Pondering.

If you grew up in the 1980’s you probably have fond memories of some of the fantasy adventure movies from that decade. For many, these movies were an early introduction to a different style of naming. Sometimes they were a slight twist on an old familiar name, other times they seemed completely magical and fantastical. But the great thing now is that those names are an instant reminder of those beloved films. Here are 20 of the top picks:

Atreyu (The Neverending Story) – Pronounced ah-TRAY-yoo, he was the warrior boy of the story. It is thought that the name has both Indian/Hindu origins – where it means ‘warrior’ – and German origins in the name Atreju, which means ‘son of all’.  Both are quite apt for this character, who was raised by a village when his parents died. The name is still rare, but has seen some use since the early 1990’s.

Aquila (Ladyhawke) – Aquila is traditionally a male Latin name meaning ‘eagle,’ but is more often used as a girls name in America. Pronounced either ah-KEE-la or ah-KWIL-la, it was the name of the land in Ladyhawke.

Auryn (The Neverending Story) – The Auryn was the name of the amulet Atreyu wore to protect and guide him in his quest. It was also on the cover of the book Bastian was reading ‘The Neverending Story‘ from. This name could go to either gender, as it sounding similar to both girls’ name Lauren and boys’ name Oren, and has only recently started appearing on the US charts for both.

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woody allen family

We don’t particularly think of Woody Allen as a cutting-edge filmmaker, but there is one area in which he has been—if unwittingly—prescient, and that is in giving some of his characters names that would later become trendy choices for babies.  (Though there are no babies in his films—children hardly exist in Woody’s World.)

For those characters he created for himself, he chose, with a few exceptions, pretty ordinary, sometimes nicknamey names—Alvy, Sandy, Mickey, Lenny, Larry, Jerry, Sid, Gabe, Sheldon, Isaac.  But for others, he did come up with some inspired choices:

AlfieYou Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger, 2010 (Anthony Hopkins).  A fittingly British choice for a British character—but it’s doubtful if Woody knew that Alfie was the fourth most popular name for UK baby boys born in 2010.

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You don’t have to be a rabid movie buff to associate certain names with classic movie stars. For many people, Judy Garland will always be Dorothy, Clark Gable is forever Rhett and Humphrey Bogart lives on as Rick. But obviously they all inhabited any number of other movie character names throughout their careers, many of which now seem bizarrely unlikely. For example, Clark Gable played a character named Candy, Marilyn Monroe was Sugar Kane, Barbara Stanwyck a Sugarpuss, Sophia Loren, Bonbon, and Hedy Lamarr, Sweets.

So here are some iconic stars, and what we consider to be their two best character names—in Nameberry baby name terms— together with the one that stands out as the most incongruous and the movie in which he/she answered to that name.

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Cool Baby Names: Character Names


Cool baby names today may reference celebrities, sure, but more and more parents are looking to fictional characters for inspiration when naming their children.

Based on nearly two million visits to Nameberry’s individual name pages over the past three months, we see these character names — from classic literature and futuristic fantasy, Old Hollywood films and modern animation — attracting big jumps in interest.

This is one cool baby names trend that makes sense.  Fictional characters embody positive, uplifting qualities that their mortal counterparts often fall short on.  And in the ever-broadening search for names with personal meaning, parents may find referencing a favorite book or film to be a perfect way to make an important style statement and give their child a namesake to look up to.

Here, the hottest character names on Nameberry right now:

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Movie Marquee Names: Eli, Ella and Evan


This week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel finds fresh inspiration from the title character names on recent movie marquees.

Want to see your baby’s name in lights?

There are a few ways to go about it.  There’s the Toddlers & Tiaras approach, courting fame with elaborate hair-dos and dance routines from an early age.  Or you could choose the name of a Hollywood legend – Ava or Marlon or Humphrey.

Here’s my new favorite:  head to the multiplex.  Right now Hanna and Arthur are on the marquee.  Even if you aren’t into movies about teenaged assassins or immature playboys, odds are that you’ll notice their names.  Many a stylish appellation has graced a movie poster.

Not every name catches on, of course.  It will take more than a singing chipmunk to revive Alvin, and Americans might love the boy wizard, but we’re not naming our sons Harry – yet. 

Looking back over the past few years, choosing a baby name from movie ticket stubs might be a winning proposition.






BettieGretchen Mol portrayed controversial pin-up girl Bettie Page in a 2005 biopic.




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