New TV Character Baby Names: Is Aylee the next Arya?

by Linda Rosenkrantz

The names of TV characters have had an influence on baby naming since the era of must-see daytime soaps and Dallas and Dynasty, and more recently we’ve seen the effect of the Mad Men midcentury matrix and individual names like Finn and Dexter and Addison and Aria and Arya taking hold.

Things are a little different now, with fewer people glued to their TV screens—or even their tablets or phones—to watch ‘appointment’ television.  And yet, with the new season beginning, I can’t help wondering if any of the more distinctive names of the characters on debuting shows might catch on.  The one freshman period program, Reign, offers some possibilities, as do The Originals—a spin-off of The Vampire Diaries and the sci-fi The Tomorrow People.

And with two hunky ex-models playing characters named Killian on two different new shows, I think I’d put my money on him.

So here are the promising names on new shows, bearing in mind that some of these series might be here today and gone tomorrow, and a lot also depends on the appeal of the character:


Astrid—a sympathetic and supportive (and attractive) character on the sci-fi show The Tomorrow People.

Aylee—one of several interestingly named and gorgeous ladies-in-waiting to Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots,  in Reign, set in sixteenth century France.

Clarissa—a mysterious young woman in Reign, a name not new to TV.

Davinaa 16-year-old witch with a dark side in The Originals.

Freyaone of the young generation of witches in The Witches of East End.

Greersee Aylee—an Old Hollywood name beginning to be reconsidered.

Ingridsee Freyaanother Old Hollywood name, this one with a Nordic touch.

Kennasee Aylee—an original name with some potential as a successor to Jenna.

Lisettea non-Hispanic appellation for a Latina mom in Welcome to the Family.

Lolaone of Mary Stuart’s main ladies-in-waiting in Reign.

Luluan attractive ‘former trophy wife’ in Back in the Game.

Marikaone of Rebel Wilson’s nerdyish pals in Super Fun Night.

Samiraa second-generation Pakistani immigrant character who’s a talented musician, in Lucky 7.

Sandrinea character named Sandrine played by an actress named Sandrine—exotic model Sandrine Holt—in Hostages.

Sawyera little girl on Hostages—evidencing the growing gender-bending of the name. (Sara Gilbert and Diane Farr both have daughters named Sawyer).

Violetthe young daughter/granddaughter on Mom. A name everyone already loves.


AlaricIn The Originals, he’s a dishy vampire hunter who goes by the nickname Ric.

Archera somewhat intimidating ex-military guy in Hostages.

Baxtera typical TV ex-husband type on Mom.

Crawforda not very likable dad on Dads, played by Martin Mull.

Dashon The Witches of East End, yet another ex-model plays the brother of Killian.

Dudleyan appealingly awkward pre-teen on Back in the Game.

Duncanthe rogue FBI agent played by Dylan McDermott in Hostages.

Jedikiah—an unusual twist on an Old Testament name, worn by a fierce, shape-changing robot in The Tomorrow People.

Killianthe two groovy guys bearing this name are in The Tomorrow People and The Witches of East End.

Kives—an unexplained offbeat name for a somewhat obnoxious chick-magnet type in Hello Ladies.  Guess we’ll have to watch for an explanation.

Kramer—no, it’s not Cosmo Kramer but Kramer Delaney on Hostages.  Could Kramer be the next Cohen ?  Doubt it.

Roscoea cute Nameberry-named child on Mom (shown in illustration).

Thatcherwe may think of him as an up-and-coming baby boy name, but on Betrayal he’s an elderly father figure, just as Thatcher Grey was on Grey’s Anatomy.

Wadean LA-based best friend character on Hello Ladies.

Warnera successful video game developer played by Giovanni Ribisi on Dads.

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23 Responses to “New TV Character Baby Names: Is Aylee the next Arya?”

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sarahmezz Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 1:36 am

Good girls names: Clarissa, Davina, Freya, Greer, Ingrid, Lisette, Sandrine, Violet.

Less good girls names: Astrid, Aylee, Kenna, Lola, Lulu, Marika, Samira, Sawyer.

Good boys names: Archer, Baxter, Dash, Duncan, Roscoe, Thatcher, Wade.

Less good boys names: Alaric, Crawford, Dudley, Jedikiah, Killian, Kramer, Warner.

milasmama Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 2:14 am

Thatcher, nooo! Awful Margaret Thatcher associations.

Aveline_Bellefleur Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 3:13 am

Freya has been a fav. of mine for ages now, I wonder how that one will fare in populartity in the near future.
Killian is ok, it looks good; reminds me of Cillian Murphy (tho I’m guessing Killian is pron. with a hard KILL-, and soft -ian?) Not sure on this one, it sounds a bit rough, but I think it may just take off.

Lol, go Kramer! Too funny; I thought about suggesting this one when the other half gets home ( he’s a big Seinfeld fan) just to hear him laugh, but it suddenly occurred to me that he *may* get that look on his face ( you know, when they’re actually taking a name into consideration for once 😉 ) and turn me and say he liked it or something crazy. Then it wld be my own fault!! (he vetoed Estelle because of Seinfeld, don’t even get me started *ggrrr*)

Some interesting names to keep an eye out for; great read!!

Aveline_Bellefleur Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 3:23 am

Wow, I’ve been pronouncing Cillian wrong for like 7 years now :S All it took was a quick Google, der.
kill-ian it is then ( did see Irish spelling of Kilien too, fwiw)
Noticed his brother’s name is Paidi, apparently pron. Pawdy. Anyway, back to the topic at hand…… x

livia Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 4:05 am

I quite like Killian, actually. Prefer the spelling Cillian, but I can more readily see the K version taking off. It’s like a trendier version of William.

Alaric and Roscoe are both pretty nice as well.

TaylorBlueSkye Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 4:30 am

It’s weird to see Dudley outside of Harry Potter. It doesn’t really help that the character in this show has some same features.. doesn’t really help the name.

tori101 Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 6:49 am

I really do agree that TV influences baby name choices.

From the list my favourites:


hermione_vader Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 7:15 am

Someone apparently didn’t tell the creators of Reign that all of Mary, Queen of Scots’ ladies-in-waiting were named Mary, too. Why couldn’t they just go with that?

Anyway, for girls, I like Clarissa, Davina, Freya, Greer, Ingrid, Lisette, Marika, Samira, Sandrine, and Violet. For boys, I like Archer, Dash, Duncan Killian, Roscoe, and Thatcher.

@Aveline_Bellefleur: I used to mispronounce Cillian, too, until I heard someone say Cillian Murphy’s name aloud.

tinkerbell Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 8:08 am

I think that Reign may be one of my newest television pet peeves. I may be wrong, but Aylee, Greer, Kenna, and Lola don’t exactly scream 16th century. Kenna is, I’m pretty sure, a male name at this point (think the surname McKenna), and I’m willing to bet it’s related to Kenneth or Kennedy. Greer is the same way. Lola is a nickname for Dolores and the likes, but it’s almost strictly Spanish. So unless Lola is Spanish (which I doubt she is, given the animosity between England and Spain), it probably wouldn’t have been used by an Englishwoman of high enough rank to be a lady-in-waiting. Aylee–just, no.

LuMary Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 10:00 am

Most of these are viable, in my opinion. I much prefer the authentic Scottish Eilidh to the “Kreeatif”, as you say, Aylee. I know a Scotsman living in the States who has an Eilidh and a Fiona. They were both born here.

Brooke Shields’s younger daughter spells her name Grier.

I know of a little Astrid with a sister, Heidi.

I like Lulu or Lulie as Louisa diminutives.

Alaric sounds like a harsh paint remover or the poison arsenic.

Kenna is too related to the McKenna-McKayla-McKenzie-MacKynzie-Kayla-Kaitlyn-Kaylyn-Kayleigh-Kateleigh-Kylie-Kyla-Kelsey-Kinsley paradigm, but no doubt the type of name to gain traction.

Sawyer’s nice, but you know what I really like for a girl? Sayward (SAY-erd). I recall a made-for-tv movie set in colonial New England with a female adult character called Sayward, and a son named Resolve or Resolved.

clairels Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 10:05 am

I’m just relieved that TV writers may finally be moving beyond Kate, Claire, Grace, Jack, Steve, et al.

Mischa Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 10:46 am

Someone didn’t do any research in regards to the lady-in-waiting names for the Mary, Queen of Scots series, “Reign”. Aylee, Kenna, Greer and Lola? The names are completely unsuitable for the time period and country. It sounds like a fourteen-year-old named the characters. Due to the name having two popular sounds (ay and lee), I think Aylee and her sisters Bailey, Haylie and Caley are already popular, aren’t they? The Scottish Eilidh is pronounced the same way so I like that one better than the phonetic Aylee.

Astrid, Clarissa, Davina, Ingrid, Samira, Freya, Sandrine and Violet are quite lovely. I adore Duncan and I have a soft spot for Roscoe (rascal?).

LuMary Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 10:47 am

I like the Tom Sawyer/Becky Thatcher associations of Sawyer and Thatcher. Very 19th century. I also like the Margaret Thatcher connection.

GrecianErn Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 11:07 am

Hmmm… Is Alaric really in the Originals? Since he died in the Vampire Diaries a horrible, sad, tragic death at the hands of the Originals? just wondering…

I like most of these names.

JessicaT11 Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 12:06 pm

@LuMAry your thinking of The Awakening Land (1978).

I love Sawyer, for a boy or girl, love everything about that name.

And I agree with others that Reign is going to be annoying (though I understand the change actual people/events for better story and flow) if they couldn’t/wouldn’t fact check names, the other details in the show will probably be equally inaccurate.

I also like Astrid, Thatcher, Lola, Freya, Dash, and Killian, but would not really consider them for practical use or for my child.

MFBerry Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 12:11 pm

I remember when I first saw a movie with Cillian Murphy I thought it was pronounced ‘Sill-ian/Silly-un’ lol

JH Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 12:24 pm

My friend’s new niece is named Freya!

Mischa & Tinkerbell- I totally agree. I have a feeling the show is going to be verrrrrry loosely based on reality, but maybe it will get some younger people interested in history, which is always a good thing!

GrecianErn: I was thinking the same thing about Alaric. I would love if he came back though.

MFBerry: That’s what I thought too!

EmilyVA Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 2:13 pm

I think there are two main ways television influences our name choices:

One A show with a good reputation and popular following introduces a character who is often likable.
Ex Arya on Games of Thrones. Game of Thrones is a well-loved tv and book series, and the character a favorite for many people.
Aria on Pretty Little Liars is not as well liked maybe, but still brings exposure.

Two A show takes a name that is popular or rising in popularity and tries to use it to endear an audience.
Violet from Mom
Juliette, and Scarlett from Nashville

Now both Mom and Dad look really bad as shows so neither one will have much influence. Warner to me is still Legally Blonde. Most of these shows don’t look very good. Still this list is well done. I personally like Ingrid and Clarissa.

LuMary Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 3:06 pm

JessicaT11 Says:

“@LuMAry your thinking of The Awakening Land (1978).”

Yes, I did some searching after I posted, and found the series. I mistakenly thought the story took place in New England (probably because of the son named Resolve), but it actually was situated in Ohio. There are some interesting character names in the story: Huldah (a biblical prophetess), Sulie (wonder what formal name is associated with this diminutive), Worth, Portius, Chancey, Genny, Dezia, Zephon, Moses, Isaac, Cora, Kinzie, Mathias, but I’m off topic :).

LuMary Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 3:46 pm

Hmmm. I’m humbled to learn Alaric actually has a history to it (King Alaric of the Visigoths). I truly thought it was made up, and it makes me think of (and smell) a strong chemical solution used to clean or to coat, a floor, for example. Or maybe a cough syrup. 🙂

Peanut Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Oh, I love the name Davina! I think it is overlooked and underappreciated – and yet, I kinda hope it stays that way! 🙂 The meaning is wonderful and it how cute would a little girl nicknamed Davie be?

I found Jedikiah rather fascinating: I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Biblical name mash-up before!? But I think I like it better than Jedediah or Zedekiah.

Lo Says:

September 26th, 2013 at 5:44 pm

My 5 year old has a friend named Kenna and I am constantly referring to her as McKenna by mistake.

Miranda082 Says:

December 15th, 2013 at 3:34 pm

As an avid viewer for ‘Reign’ I can honestly say that at first I didn’t know why they had chosen those names for her ladies. I felt that they didn’t really fit in with the time. I think that the only name that fits is Greer because it is Scottish. Maybe others disagree, but Greer seems like a wise choice.

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