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Babes in TV Land: Kiddie character names

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Guest blogger Abby Sandel, whose blog appellation mountain is a top nameberry fave, takes a look at the names TV characters have given their offspring–and which of them have had a lasting influence.

 From Peyton Place’s Allison to Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Xander, plenty of television characters’ names catch on after expectant parents tune in. 

Some of those characters eventually have fictional children of their own.  Mad Men couple Pete and Trudy just welcomed daughter Tammy90210’s Jen has a brand new son called Jacques.  In honor of the two new arrivals, here’s a look back at some notable small screen births.

Everyone was watching I Love Lucy when Ricky and Lucy welcomed Enrique Jr. – LilRicky – in 1953.  The show was a sensation, but Richard was already a Top Ten mainstay, and even Ricky was in the Top 100 before the baby’s arrival.

The first influential television baby probably came from 1964’s Bewitched, a sitcom with a supernatural twist.  Bewitching wife Samantha’s name caught on, as did daughter Tabitha, who arrived in the show’s second season.

There’s more than one way to add a child.  The Brady Bunch’s six kids became seven when Cousin Oliver came to stay during the show’s final season.  While his name is the height of fashion today, it didn’t catch on until decades later.  The character did lend his name to Cousin Oliver Syndrome – the phenomenon of adding a younger child to revive a fading show. 

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Werewolf Names

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Nameberry intern Danielle Miksza, who wrote for nameberry last Halloween on vampire names, turns her attention now to names inspired by the new popular monster in town — werewolf names.

Last year the world was falling into the icy clutches of the vampires. The Salvatore brothers of L.J. Smith’s The Vampire Diaries were fighting over the beautiful Elena Gilbert, lethally handsome Edward Cullen once again rescued his mortal love, Bella Swann from a gruesome death in the new Twilight movie, Eclipse, and a vampire child by the name of Abby has been terrifying audiences in Matt Reeve’s new film Let Me In.

Unfortunately, not all of us are lucky enough to escape the bite of immortality, but fear not fellow name lovers! There is hope for us mortals yet, a hope that comes in a very furry form.

This Halloween goes to the wolves. The vampire reign is in danger of coming to a close as the popularity of werewolves quickly rises. The vampire-werewolf rivalry is one of the oldest feuds in existence, so it’s no wonder that we humans have been caught in the middle once again. At least the wolves will get the vampires off our backs for a bit. Right?

Okay. You may be thinking that werewolves are just as bad as vampires, but let’s think about this. Unlike vampires who have absolutely no escape from their condition, unless they go a day without sunscreen, werewolves only change during a full moon. So if someone you love is carrying the curse of the Lycan, it’s best to take a little vacation from them once a month. After all, we all need a little me time. Also, werewolves aren’t constantly craving your blood. They’re actually quite normal in human form (I should know because I used to date one), whereas vampires obsess over the sound of blood pumping through your veins. Hence, werewolves are the lesser of two evils.

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TV Character Names: So what’s new?

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Every new TV season or so we like to check out the recently launched shows, as well as those still running, for any interesting names that have emerged since the last time we looked. Most scripters continue to come up with the obvious and the formulaic, giving their characters names like Jessica and Jeff and Rick and Robin, Amy and Andy.

But there are some who do think out of the box—though usually for not more than one character per show.  The list below steers clear of reality shows, so no Khloes or Kourtneys, and no cartoon characters or kiddie shows.

Girls

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John Today, Gianni Tomorrow

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Guest blogger SONIA TSURUOKA, who’s been interning at nameberry this month, examines the long rise and recent fall of the name John and the advent of its upstart cousins.

Pretty much everybody knows someone named John.

Backed by its rich history and plenty of timeless appeal, this all-time favorite enjoyed its moment of baby-name stardom, gaining a measure of glitz and glamour thanks to high-profile hotties John Travolta, John Cusack, and Johnny Depp, along with celebrity parents like Michelle Pfeiffer, Bono, and Rob Lowe all named their sons John.

Yet after dropping out of the Top 25 this year for the first time in recorded baby name history, John seems destined to keep sliding.

Which leads us to ask: what, exactly, is its future? What newer, more timely forms are taking the place of the original? And what made John such a classic to begin with?

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Sci-Fi Names: Beyond Zorg and Zalga

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Loyal nameberryite Linelei leads us into the arcane world of science fiction names.

As both a science fiction nerd and name nerd, nothing gives me greater pleasure than combining the two. Since I was a little girl, I adored not only the stories but the names within the fantastical plots, and collected them as I read. While there are many science fiction names which have a tendency to be hokey, conjuring up images of green men and relying a little too heavily on the letters Z, Q, and X, there are some fabulous gems to be found in the sci-fi realm.

For example, names like Kayen and Cade, both from the expanded Star Wars universe, would mesh nicely with a classroom full of Aidans and Cashes, while names like Serenity and River, from the sci-fi show, Firefly, resonate with current nature naming trends for girls. So here I present you with boy’s names from science fiction, old and new, well-known and obscure, that may pique your interest. After all, how much fun would it be to explain that your baby was named after a psychic alien who fought to save the galaxy from total annihilation?

Boys:
Mass Effect:
KAIDAN – human soldier, one of the good guys
GARRUS – alien who teams up with the good guys
THANE – alien assassin, but still a good guy!
Firefly:
MALCOLM (MAL) – captain of the ship.
DERRIAL – Shepherd (preacher)
Farscape:
STARK – has the power to help souls pass peacefully into death
BIALAR – turned against the bad guys
TALYN – living, sentient ship
RYGEL – deposed leader of many planets
Chronicles of Riddick:
RIDDICK – Vin Diesel. Need I say more?
The Fifth Element:
KORBENBruce Willis’ character who saves the universe
VITO CORNELIUS – priest who assists Korben
Blade Runner:
DECKARD – main character, a Blade Runner
HOLDEN – another Blade Runner
TYRELL – genius who created the Replicants

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