Category: names from TV
By Linda Rosenkrantz
Ever since I spotted the name Honeysuckle on the credits of the ITV series Foyle’s War, I have been riveted by the cast rolls at the end of other British shows. For if the characters on these comedies and dramas have good names, some of the actors—particularly the women—have fantastic ones, and to me at least, they seem quintessentially British. Here are some of the best I’ve spotted.
Fifty years ago, a prime-time comedy launched on ABC. That show was Bewitched, and it put the name Samantha on the map. Here’s how the numbers pan out:
- The year before the show, 1963, there were fewer than 100 born in the U.S.
- By 1964, there were over 400 born
- By 1965, there almost 2,000 born
And no wonder. When perusing his shows, the character names range from the classics to the bold.
Here’s a list of some of the most interesting character names and which show they were featured on.
Angel: A vampire with a soul; at least on most episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and her spinoff show, Angel. Angel’s real name (pre-vampirism) was Liam. His vampire without a soul name is Angelus.
There’s a certain species of girls’ names that we’ve referred to in our books as freckle-faced, pigtailed and button-nosed: they’re the kind of character names inhabited by Shirley Temple as a curly-haired moppet, and Judy Garland as a wide-eyed, innocent teen, as well as starring in dozens of old popular songs. Basically nickname names that have long stood on their own, none can be found any longer in the current Top 1000 — though one of them ranked as high as Number 31 in the 1930’s.
They’ve been gone a long time, but they still project a lot of spunk, and so, with the revival of nickname names in general we’re wondering if any of these could get their youthful mojo back.
We’re talking about:
Gone since 1995; Highest rating: Number 228 in 1959
Betsy originated as a combination of other classic pet forms of Elizabeth—Betty, Beth and Bessie, and makes appearances in two Dickens novels—Pickwick Papers and David Copperfield. The ‘B’ Elizabeth nicknames were superseded by the ‘L’ ones– Liz, Lizzie, Liza and Lisa– but maybe now might be the time for a switch back.
Gone since 1975; Highest rating: 52 in 1936 and 1941
Gone since 1989; Highest rating: 31 in 1937
Peggy, a pet form of Margaret, is the one that’s climbed the highest of all these names. Perky and pure, Peggy was the perfect date for the prom—in 1953. In later decades it’s been traded in for Maggie.