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.
Brooke—All My Children—2003
Kylie—Search for Tomorrow–2003
Caleb—As the World Turns—2011
Haley—As the World Turns–2000
Holden—As the World Turns–2011
Jackson—All My Children– 2011
Jasmine—As the World Turns, Days of Our Lives-1993-94
Jonah—Days of Our Lives—2008
Kayla—Days of Our Lives—1995-96
Kendall—All My Children—2011
Lexie—Days of Our lives—2010
Savannah—Days of Our Lives–2006
Taylor (girl)—As the World Turns—1994-96
Azure—The City—not yet, but a color name that could pop
Braden—All My Children–2005
Brady—Days of Our Lives—2007
Connor—The Bold and the Beautiful—2004
Cooper—Days of Our Lives–2010
Lark—The Bold and the Beautiful—not yet, but definitely on the rise
Mateo—All My Children—2011
Do you know of anyone who was named for a daytime drama character? Or any other TV character for that matter.