Comic Strip Names: Charlie Brown, Linus and Frieda

posted by: denisekpotter View all posts by this author
Comic Strip Names

By Denise Potter

For fifty years, Charlie Brown and his team of usual suspects made us laugh and learn life lessons. The last official episode of the Peanuts comic-strip appeared fourteen years ago this February. Gone but not forgotten, we’re honoring its memory with a survey of Peanuts’ most notable names. And while adorable pet names Woodstock and Snoopy will probably never translate into the baby-name scene, there are plenty of interesting choices you may have not expected, drawn from the real life of artist and creator Charles M. Schulz.

Charlie – It’s only fitting that the lovable, friendly four-year-old who stole hearts with his catchphrase “Good grief”! has the friendliest boy name. A diminutive of the German Charles, there have been lots of pop-culture Charlies over the years, from Charlie Chaplin to Charlie’s Angels, though none of them cuter than the Peanuts‘ protagonist.

Patty –“Peppermint Patty” was the freckle-faced tomboy who called her pal CharlieChuck” on the baseball field. Schultz named her after one of his cousins, and got the idea for her nickname after seeing peppermint candies in his house. Today Patty is usually a nickname for the “noble” Latin Patricia, whose short forms also include Patsy, Tricia, Trish, and Tish.

Violet – In the comic strip, Violet Gray was a girl with a ponytail and a trademark green dress. Now Violet, with its botanical purple connotation, is in the top 100 for girls’ names, joining other popular flowery names like Daisy, Lily, and Rose.

LinusLinus van Pelt, who was named after a longtime friend of creator Schulz’s, was the best pal of Charlie Brown who often held onto his blue security blanket and sucked his thumb in the early 50’s and 60’s strips. A popular name in Germany, Sweden, and Norway, the ancient Linus was the inventor of rhythm and melody who taught music to Hercules, according to Greek myth.

LucyLinus’s big sister and famed Peanuts bully was LucilleLucy” van Pelt, the sassy eight-year- old.  Suitably, the name Lucy is saucy yet solid, with associations to I Love Lucy and Beatles hit “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Schulz named Lucy after his former neighbor, and modeled her after his wife.

Frieda – Though her last reign as a Peanut was in 1985, this short-lived character was memorable for her naturally curly hair, of which she was very proud. Schulz named her after a colleague from the Art Instruction Schools in Minnesota. Meaning “peaceful ruler” in German, this name is similar sounding to Freya, the Norse god of love.

SallyCharlie Brown’s couch-potato younger sister was Sally Brown, who was madly in love with Linus, though the feelings weren’t mutual. Originally used as a diminutive for Sarah, this cheerful nickname has long since been used independently.

Franklin – The first African American Peanut was Franklin Armstrong, who appeared in 1968 when he met Charlie Brown at the beach. Schulz added Franklin to the Peanuts gang after a fan wrote to him in 1968, urging him to introduce a black character to the cast. This English name brings up images of the Roosevelt era.

Marcie – Peppermint Patty’s nerdy best friend wore glasses and hopelessly crushed on Charlie Brown. Marcie, a diminutive of Marcia, is associated with Mars, the god of war.

Eudora – The last main character to join the cast of Peanuts was Eudora, who wore a knitted hat and earned the resentment of Sally Brown by charming baby-faced Linus. The name of five minor goddesses in Greek mythology, this euphonious girl’s name means “generous gift.”

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About the author


Denise Potter is senior at Montclair State University, where she majors in English with a concentration on creative writing. After graduation she plans to pursue a career in publishing or journalism. Her work at Nameberry includes everything from researching the history of names to finding illustrations for slideshows and tracking celebrity baby names.
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10 Responses to “Comic Strip Names: Charlie Brown, Linus and Frieda”

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Kibby Says:

February 26th, 2014 at 9:30 am

I used to HATE the name Linus. Then I met my best friend. We are actually friends because of his name in part. I heard the name called during the first day of classes in college six months ago and immediately looked to see who Linus was! We met officially a few weeks later. His entire family is named beautifully, sister is Eleanor (Elle), Mother is Virginia /swoon. He is named for a scientist though, not a peanut.

Lu Says:

February 26th, 2014 at 11:23 am

My dad loves Peanuts; it is only somewhat coincidence that I am named Lucy and my sister is Eudora 🙂 (though her name was honoring my grandma as well). I think Linus was on the list before my brothers were born, but my parents ended up going with different choices.

Giinkies Says:

February 26th, 2014 at 3:31 pm

I love Peanuts, one of the best comic strips ever.

LuMary Says:

February 27th, 2014 at 10:06 am

Charlie – Charlie Brown a 4-year-old? They were school-aged. Remember the teacher who sounds like the train conductor over the intercom on the NY subway system. Actually, I prefer the Charley spelling, as a diminutive of Charles.

Patty – I’m actually beginning to like this diminutive of Patricia over Tricia.

Linus – is a New Testament name

Lucy – I like Lucy as the formal name or Lucinda, Lucia, and Lucretia

Sally – I prefer the spelling ‘Salley,’ and Sadie or Sukey as Sarah diminutives.

Aurora Says:

February 27th, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Charlie Brown may have started in the strips as a 4-year-old; the characters aged a very little over the first several decades. Lucy was introduced as a toddler and Schroeder (I don’t see his name here–no surprise!) and Linus as babies.

I think Linus is ready to make a comeback. I have a friend who’s thinking of using it for her nearly-due baby boy.

Jacquielle Says:

February 27th, 2014 at 5:59 pm

I love Linus, Lucy and Patricia (not Patty) and would probably name my next boy Charlie.

taliesin Says:

September 24th, 2014 at 10:14 pm

LINUS. I love the name ‘Linus’.
All the names are nice. There was also the Beethoven-loving Schroeder and another Patty who hung out with Violet and mocked Charlie Brown.,

taliesin Says:

September 24th, 2014 at 10:15 pm

LINUS. I love the name ‘Linus’.
All the names are nice. There was also the Beethoven-loving Schroeder and another Patty who hung out with Violet and mocked Charlie Brown.,

taliesin Says:

September 24th, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Also ‘Rerun’.

CarriePo Says:

February 9th, 2017 at 1:34 pm

You left off Schroeder! And PigPen for the Deadheads.

I like Lucy the most, short for Lucille. And Patricia.

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