Category: pop culture baby names
By Aimee Reneau Tafreshi
I have fond childhood memories of my family gathered around our living room and watching movies together on weekend nights. My dad liked to watch the same movies over and over again, so naturally some of them became cult classics in my family. Other movies I discovered on my own or enjoyed watching with my younger sister or with friends. As a baby-naming enthusiast, some names jumped out at me, then and now, as those that might befit a modern day baby. I even named my youngest son after one of these characters.
Last week marked the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who‘, the highly anticipated special anniversary episode watched by avid fans (or Whovians) worldwide. The show captivated audiences from the start with its’ creativity and imaginative story lines that attracted viewers. The last of his race, the Doctor travels through time and space in his blue police box spaceship the TARDIS , regenerating each time he dies.
He travels with many different companions, many of whom are beloved by fans and have received their own spin-off shows, but the true heart of the show is the Doctor. With each regeneration the Doctor has the same memories but a distinct and different personality, meaning that each actor can put their unique stamp on the role, and all have become household names. If you’re a fan, perhaps you may like to honor your child with the name of your favorite Doctor.
The same phenomenon applies to some names from pop culture, though these can change over time. Juliet has definitely transcended its Shakespearean associations, though is Romeo still rooted to the tragic stage? What about Clementine, which for decades would inspire a chorus of “Oh My Darlin'” but now may have escaped that fate?
Our question of the week is:
Which names are still tied to one person, character, association?
By Linda Rosenkrantz
A few months ago, we blogged about lady detectives, clueing you in to some fabulous names like Trixie, Temperance and Thursday, Loveday and Precious. Now it’s time to investigate their male counterparts—and there are some real doozies—drawn from a variety of genres– from early crime novels to comic strips to contemporary TV.
Arkady Renko— a chief homicide inspector for the prosecutor’s office in Moscow, Arkady Renko is the protagonist of a series by Martin Cruz Smith, beginning with the bestselling Gorky Park. Arkady, a lively three-syllable Russian saint’s name used by Turgenev and Dostoyevsky, is certainly prime import material.
Aurelio Zen (great combo) is a fictional Italian detective created by the British crime writer Michael Dibdin; Zen, a trio of spellbinding cases based on the bestselling novels aired on PBS’s Masterpiece in 2011. Aurelio is an exotic and energetic Italian version of the sunny Aurelius.
As far as classic Hollywood cinema goes, it’s superstars like Grace Kelly (Grace is currently at Number 21) and Ava (Number 5) Gardner, and leading men like Errol Flynn (Flynn was used by celebri-couple Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr, and in the past two years has leapt from obscurity to Number 692) and Gary Cooper (Cooper’s at 83 in the U.S. and Number 11 in Australia!) whose names have most begun to influence current naming trends–and deservedly so. Hollywood’s Golden Era was chockful of enticingly simple, yet feminine girls’ names and strong, capable boys’ monikers; it’s no wonder they’ve recently been in the spotlight.
But the age of shoulder pads and pin curls and chinchilla coats was not only about the glamorous actors and actresses. Behind the scenes were the directors who helped make those stars into legends, and they happen to have had some very interesting names as well. In addition to vintage standards like Alfred (Hitchcock) and Frank (Capra), there were also such contemporary sounding appellations as King and Zion! Although I would have liked to include more female names, the truth is that before such modern icons as Sofia Coppola and Nora Ephron, women directors in the American film industry were a rare breed. I did, however, manage to find a couple of talented ladies, and their names are listed here as well.