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TV Names: Happy Soap Opera Day!

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Today is officially Soap Opera Day (woo hoo!) and though this isn’t as big of a deal in the baby name world as it once was, with a lot fewer sudsers on TV than there were when soap operas were the main staple of daytime programming, we have to acknowledge the influence that they did have in the past—just as powerful as reality show show TV names do today.

This is true both in terms of trends (as in sometimes condescendingly considered “soap opera names” on the order of Thorne and Trent, Blade and Brent, and also place names like Sierra and Egypt, boys’ names for girls) and individual names—the classic example of which is Kayla.  It’s highly doubtful that there would have been 16,000 baby girls named Kayla in 1996 if popular good girl Kayla Brady hadn’t appeared on Days of Our Lives a decade earlier.  And the same goes for all those Ashleys too.

What follows is a list of soap opera names across three decades that did have some influence—though it sometimes took as long as a decade or two to make an impact (and of course there could be other factors involved)—followed by the year in which they were at the peak of their popularity.

1970s

BrookeAll My Children—2003

CameronGeneral Hospital-2000

IndiaThe Secret Storm–2001

KyleGeneral Hospital–1990

KylieSearch for Tomorrow–2003

LoganThe Edge of Night–2007-10

MaeveRyan’s Hope–2010

PaigeThe Edge of Night–2003

RavenThe Edge of Night–1993

1980s

ArielAs the World Turns—1992 (The Little Mermaid came out in 1989)

AshleyThe Young and the Restless—1991-2

AvaLoving—2007

BrittanyAnother World—1989-91

CalebAs the World Turns—2011

ColeThe Young and the Restless–2000

ColtonGeneral Hospital–2011

HaleyAs the World Turns–2000

HoldenAs the World Turns–2011

HunterAnother World–2000

JacksonAll My Children– 2011

JasmineAs the World Turns, Days of Our Lives-1993-94

JonahDays of Our Lives—2008

KaylaDays of Our Lives—1995-96

KendallAll My Children—2011

LexieDays of Our lives—2010

LucasGeneral Hospital—2011

MarleyAnother World–2008

MirandaAnother World–1995

SavannahDays of Our Lives–2006

SkyeGeneral Hospital—2004

SkylarThe Young and the Restless–2011

Sydney (girl)—Santa Barbara—1999-2002

Taylor (girl)—As the World Turns—1994-96

1990s

AzureThe City—not yet, but a color name that could pop

Blake (female)—The Guiding Light—2011 (debut on the girls’ list)

BradenAll My Children–2005

BradyDays of Our Lives—2007

ConnorThe Bold and the Beautiful—2004

CooperDays of Our Lives–2010

JaggerGeneral Hospital–2011

Jasper aka JaxGeneral Hospital—2001 for Jasper, 2011for Jax

KylieGeneral Hospital—2004

LarkThe Bold and the Beautiful—not yet, but definitely on the rise

MateoAll My Children—2011

ZeusOne Life to Live—not yet, but stay tuned

Do you know of anyone who was named for a daytime drama character?  Or any other TV character for that matter.

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