Nameberry 9: Top new TV names
The kids are back in school and there’s a chill in the air – must be time for the new Fall television line-up! I’ve been listening for character names – bland, bold, and everywhere in between. Last week we discussed Walden, the new roomie on Two and a Half Men. The jury is still out on how the series will fare with Ashton as a co-star, but berries agreed – Walden is a winner of a name.
Even the most high profile shows today attract a fraction of the viewing audience that tuned in just a decade back. That might be good news if you’ve been planning to name your newborn Walden, but it does make me wonder: are the days of television launching new names over? So many great choices, from Allison to Xander, owe their popularity in part to a television character.
Or is the opposite true? You couldn’t name a kid Jed in the 1960s without conjuring up The Beverly Hillbillies. Now that we’re all watching dozens of different shows, maybe it will feel less problematic to borrow a name from a favorite series. Here are a few that caught my eye:
Anders – Comedy Central’s sophomore sitcom Workaholics follows three slacker friends – Adam, Blake, and Anders, known as Ders. Anders ranked #936 in 2010 – that’s pretty obscure, but it is also about the best the name has ever fared. The evergreen Andrew might strike some parents as too ordinary. The character’s nickname, Ders, works for Anders or Anderson.
Bert – No, not like Sesame Street. New series How to Be a Gentleman debuts later this week, and I’m fascinated by Kevin Dillon’s character, named Bert. He’s the laidback personal trainer to a more straight-laced friend. It is something of an Odd Couple set-up, and we know how well Oscar and Felix are doing these days.
Conrad – ABC’s new drama Revenge is modeled on the plot of The Count of Monte Cristo. The main character switches between the familiar names Emily and Amanda. Philandering husband Conrad also appears on the series, and is one of the first targets of Emily/Amanda’s schemes. Conrad feels like a name that’s mostly been overlooked, despite his long history. I also like the Italian version, Corrado, and short form Cord.
Kimantha – A smoosh of Kimberly and Samantha that just might have been invented for a minor character on new ABC series Suburgatory, it makes for the kind of name that television will always give us – current and on trend, but perhaps too extreme to consider in real life.
Maggie – On the other hand, there’s Christina Ricci’s character on Mad Men-esque series Pan Am. No word yet on whether her full name is Margaret – though I suspect that’s the case. These days Maggie stands on her own, right at home with Sadie and Molly.
Minka – Did you catch the new Charlie’s Angels? The trio’s names are pretty tame – Kate, Eve, and Abby. Friday Night Lights alum Minka Kelly plays Eve, and Minka might be one to consider. She’s just a little bit different than Mia or Maya. I’m not sure where Kelly’s parents found her name, but some sources suggest that she’s a Slavic short form of Wilhelmina.
The actress brings us back to the real world. Remember Drew Barrymore’s character in the Charlie’s Angels franchise? Dylan. Yes, on a girl. Australian model Kristy Hinze just gave the name to a daughter, Dylan Vivienne. There’s a new baby girl Dylan in my neighborhood, too. Now that Dylan is falling for boys, will it gain favor with parents looking for the next Madison? (Read the birth announcement here: http://waltzingmorethanmatilda.com/2011/09/21/celebrity-baby-news-kristy-hinze-and-jim-clark/)
Tigerlily – Nook of Names makes the case for Tigerlily, and I have to admit I’m sold. It sounded outrageous when INXS frontman Michael Hutchence gave the name Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily to his daughter in 1996. But with Lily all the rage, and florals in full bloom, Tigerlily sounds wearable today. I’m also captivated by Nook’s list of possible nicknames: Tiggy, Tilly, Ty, and of course, Tiger and Lily, too. I can’t say Tigerlily would make my personal short list, but I fully intend to use her in the next round of a Nameberry Baby Name Game.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
on September 26th, 2011 at 4:43 am
Strangely enough, Names For Real featured a baby boy called Dylan Vivian – showing what a truly unisex name combo it is!
Anders is the name of the right-wing extremist who massacred all those teenagers and young people in Norway; I can’t see it going down too well for a while.
I love Conrad though.
on September 26th, 2011 at 9:10 am
You are right about Christina Ricci character. Her boss called her Margaret last night.
I have seen a Tigerlily pop up a time or two. Usually, in the United Kingdom.
My grandmothers names are Dorothy and Lillian (but she went by Lynn) so Dylan is my favorite smoosh of their names. A stretch I know, but it makes sense to me. 🙂 DY (first/last letter of Dorothy and -LAN for Lynn. I’ll admit. I’ve thought about spelling it Dylyn. Looks so wrong, doesn’t it? I would only use it as a middle name though.
Have a good week!
on September 26th, 2011 at 12:25 pm
There are some interesting names on new TV shows this fall!
2 Broke Girls on CBS has a girl named Max and a guy named Oleg. Boss on Starz has a girl named Kitty and a guy named McCall. Hart of Dixie on CW has a girl named Lemon. Hell on Wheels on AMC features a Cullen – the actor’s name is Anson. New Girl on FOX has a girl named Cece, best friend to Zooey Deschanel’s Jess (short for Jessica, yes). In addition to Maggie, Pan Am on ABC has a Colette. Ringer on CW brings Sarah Michelle Gellar back to the TV screen as twins Bridget and Siobhan – there’s also a Malcolm on the show. Up All Night features Will Arnett and Christina Applegate as new parents, Chris and Reagan, who choose the dated Amy for their newborn daughter (wouldn’t we expect parents to be Amy and Chris and new baby to be Reagan?).
I love that Zooey Deschanel’s character has a name befitting of her age group – Jessica “Jess” is perfect. And, I think Jessica Day is a very pretty name! Clearly, Ringer was trying to go for an Irish theme when they picked Sarah Michelle Gellar’s character names – Bridget and Siobhan. Interesting. And, I think it’s nice that Cullen is getting some non-Twilight attention as the name of a soldier in the 1860s.
on September 26th, 2011 at 1:28 pm
For a long time I’ve thought that Dylan on a boy seems tired and dated, but for a girl, it seems fresh and hip. Then again, I also feel the same way about Lennon and Harrison, so maybe it’s just me.
on September 26th, 2011 at 1:53 pm
@Waltzing – Why isn’t anyone using Conrad? I do adore it. I’m also warming up to the idea of Italian middles – Corrado, Costello. Sparky in the middle spot, I think.
@lemon – EXACTLY about the Up All Night baby! And I was curious about Max – is it short for anything?
@Names4Real – I love Dorothy + Lillian = Dylan. Makes sense to me, too.
@clairels – Okay, it is official. Dylan for a girl is really growing on me …
on September 26th, 2011 at 2:11 pm
Conrad is in the top two for our December baby! We prefer Cort or Curt as a short form to Cord though.
on September 26th, 2011 at 5:28 pm
I really can’t get over the Up All Night baby – it’s just so unusual to hear of a baby named Amy! Also, I have no idea if Max on 2 Broke Girls is short for anything. Can’t find any information on the CBS site, either. I’d expect it is short for Maxine or Maxima – probably Maxine, looking at her – but then again I know a Maxie that doesn’t have an “official” name.
on September 26th, 2011 at 5:34 pm
Do you suppose that Amy is a tribute to Will Arnett’s real-life wife, Amy Poehler?
on September 26th, 2011 at 10:40 pm
I love Maggie and Minka. I uess Amy fits under that category “so far out they’re back in”. I am seeing more of my kindergarten students named Christopher, Caitlin and Lauren- all names that were very popular when I was young.
Katybug- Conrad is a great choice! It suits my little boy perfectly, so handsome and distinguished. We have not met another little boy named Conrad.
on September 26th, 2011 at 10:42 pm
Loving these baby Conrads … well if kaytbug goes with it it will be plural!
on September 27th, 2011 at 1:29 am
I sort of considered the possibility that the couple on Up All Night was trying to give their baby a cool ‘so-far-out-it’s-in’ name and came up with dated and uncool instead. Like, they were going for a Beulah or Agatha and missed the mark. I’ve only watched one episode, but they struck me as really concerned with their hipness but not actually all *that* hip.
on September 27th, 2011 at 5:32 am
@Katybug, that’s a sweet idea – hope it is true!
@Lisey, I know a couple who considered Amy because they wanted something familiar but not common amongst babies born in the last decade. They landed on something more creative, but I understood their thinking.
@Consmom – Yay! So great to know there are little Conrads out there. 🙂
on September 27th, 2011 at 9:25 am
Even though Amy is dated, it still is a sweet and happy name! I thought it was rather refreshing to hear on a baby. Personally, I thought it was a much more unexpected choice than what I thought they would go with – something like Lily, or Lucy, or Maddy. I’m so tired of those types of names on tv.
And Dylan for a girl has been a guilty pleasure of mine (along with Drew for a girl) since I was a wee tween. 🙂
on September 27th, 2011 at 4:27 pm
Last night I was watching “House Hunters” (a reality show about people buying their first home) and it featured a couple named Will and Wynter. OK, so Wynter alone isn’t bad (except for the cringe-worthy “y” in the middle) but then we met her sisters: Summer, Autumn and Spring! Yes, for real. A family in Vasalia, CA named their 4 daughter Wynter, Autumn, Summer and Spring (or maybe it was “Spryng”…..)
on October 4th, 2011 at 11:49 pm
Just a thought…but isn’t Tiger Lily one of the characters in Peter Pan?
leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.