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cowboy baby names

We often hear that a name has a lean and lanky ‘cowboy feel’—we’ve said it ourselves—but why is that? Why Clay and not Ray, why Bo and not Moe, Zane and not Wayne? Well a lot of it goes back to the westerns of the thirties to the fifties and sixties, both on the big and small screens, and to a few real life western heroes as well. So beyond the Texes and Slims and Dallases and Bucks, here are some of the most usable and cowboyish of the cowboy baby names.

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TV’s Out-of-Synch Name Syndrome

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TV names

By Nick Turner

Walk into any kindergarten in America and you shouldn’t be surprised to find kids named Olivia, Quinn or Harrison. Maybe you’ll come across an Owen, Jackson or Callie too.

The names are popular picks for parents in the 21st century, which is why you’re much more likely to encounter a toddler Owen than one who’s middle-aged.

But all those names are actually characters from Scandal and Grey‘s Anatomy, two shows from the prolific Hollywood producer Shonda Rhimes. And they’re portrayed by actors in their 30s and 40s.

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Why TV Characters Have Boring Names

CharlieCoxWGirlscompressed

By Lisa Takeuchi Cullen

When the actor James Gandolfini died recently, TV watchers around the world mourned the simultaneous passing of one of the best-named characters of all time.

Sure, Tony Soprano was so much more than his name. The character was both rough and smooth. Affable and violent. Powerful and weak. But don’t all those qualities also describe that name?

It’s not every day you stumble upon a brilliantly named TV character. I’ll tell you why in one word: legal.

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TV baby names

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Let’s face it—most TV character names are predictable and dull.  It’s almost as though the screenwriters close their eyes and stick a pin into a list of what seem like age-appropriate monikers—Jim for Grandpa, Jack for Dad, Jackson for Son or Betty for Grandma, Beth for Mom and Becca for Girl.

But luckily there are some exceptions, the creative minority that shine out from the others like glistening gems.  The names below are drawn from the character lists of current shows or those that have recently expired—running on a bewildering number of channels—network, cable and online.  Reality and animated shows not included.

I’ve starred the names that have already seemed to have had an influence in the real world.

GIRLS

Adalind—Grimm

*AmeliaPrivate Practice

*AriaPretty Little Liars

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grandmaviolet

If you don’t have a beloved Gran of your own to name your baby after, how about looking for some outside inspiration from a pop culture Nana?  Here’s a list of TV grandmothers, from the maternal to the monstrous (looking at you, Livia Soprano), the chic to the crotchety, whose names were seen as elderly at the time of their shows’ creation—from the 1950’s to the present—but which have become totally baby friendly today.

Here, the Nameberry picks of the 20 best Grandma TV baby names:

Adele   True Blood

Thanks in large part to the single-named British singer, Adele popped into the Top 1000 last year at Number 627 and we expect to see it ranking considerably higher on the new list to be released next month.  Molly Ringwald used it for her daughter in 2009.

Bea  That ‘70s Show; Bee  The Andy Griffith Show

Bea and Bee have come a long way from Opie’s Aunt Bee (who was actually a surrogate Grandma, but let’s not get technical), because of the newfound popularity of Beatrice and Beatrix

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