Category: 30 Rock

TV Names: Let TV be your guide

The minute I saw that the leading character in the new sitcom Life Unexpected was a young girl named Lux, a bell went off.  Does this mean that there will be a slew of baby Luxes (Luxi?)?  Will Lux be the new Lexi?  Or won’t it have any effect at all in this era of diminished network TV viewing?

We certainly know that some TV characters’ names of the past have had an impact, from Samantha on Bewitched to Alexis on Dynasty to Brandon and Dylan on the old Beverly Hill 90210 to Xander on Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Aidan on Sex and the City right up to the female Addison on Grey’s Anatomy.

So what about the current line-up?  Though some of these are not strictly speaking new names, here are the somewhat out of the mainstream character names of current (and a few about to launch) shows.  Think any of them will make an impression on baby namers?





ARIZONAGrey’s Anatomy

BREEDesperate Housewives


CERIE—30 Rock

DOROTAThe Gossip Girls

FIAMiami Medical (upcoming)


JULESCougar Town



KALINDAThe Good Wife

KENSI—NCIS: Los Angeles

LUXLife Unexpected


MARISOLMiami Medical (upcoming)


NAEVIA—Sparticus: Blood & Sand


RILEYMelrose Place

SILVER (her last name used as first) 90210


SURA—Spartacus: Blood & Sand



ZOEYNurse Jackie





ASHURSpartacus: Blood & Sand

AXLThe Middle

BAZE, nn for Nate Bazile—Life Unexpected



CREEDThe Office (the real first name of the actor who plays him)






FITCH—Nurse Jackie

FRITZThe Closer

GREYSONCougar Town




KIMBALLThe Mentalist


ORSONDesperate Housewives


ROWDY—The Deep End

RUFUSGossip Girls

THATCHERGrey’s Anatomy

THORNurse Jackie


Read More

Tutti-Frutti Names: Fruitful Baby Names

fruit baby names

When the latest unusual starbaby name hit the headlines last week–extreme adventurer Bear Grylls’ son Huckleberry–maybe we shouldn’t have been so surprised.  After all, a previous celebrity couple, Kimberly Williams and Brad Paisley had named their son William Huckleberry, and are known to call him Huck.  But with people still commenting on Apple, maybe it’s time to look at the whole category of  fruit names.

APPLE.  Unlike some other starbabies, Apple Martin has not inspired many namesakes, probably because of all the ridicule it received and despite mom Gwyneth Paltrow’s defensive statement that “apples are so sweet and they’re wholesome and it’s biblical..I just thought it sounded so lovely and clean.”  In fact, since Apple‘s godfather Simon Pegg was quoted as saying she’d be using her middle name when she starts school, we don’t see much chance of it ever catching on.

BANANAEven less likely.  Japanese novelist Mahoko Yoshimoto adopted the pseudonym of Banana because she considered it “cute and purposely andgrogynous”–which it is–but for pen name purposes only.

BERRY. Has long been used as a unisex name, reaching a high of #435 in 1909 and staying in the Top 1000 till 1971, having  two famous namesakes–Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jr. and Berry Berenson (born Berinthia), photographer/actress and widow of Tony Perkins who died tragically on 9/11.  It’s a choice that just might come back as a green name which is less elaborate than the other berry names.

CHERRY.  Another fruit name that’s had some popularity before it  disappeared in the 70s, along with Merry, Kerry, Sherri and Terry–possibly because of its embarassment potential for a teenage girl.  Don‘t see this one coming back.

CLEMENTINE.  Partly because you wouldn’t immediately tag it as a fruit name, Clementine is a real winner, which could return to popularity for the first time in over a century, helped by its usage by celebs Claudia Schiffer and Ethan Hawke.  Pronounced with either a teen or tyne ending, it has historical ties to Mrs. Winston Churchill, is feminine, stylish and substantive ,and has long since shed its clunky ‘Oh my darlin’ image.

HUCKLEBERRY.  Has two main obstacles—the close association with Huckleberry Finn and with the cartoonish Huckleberry Hound.  Mark Twain told an interviewer that he picked it to describe “a boy of lower extraction”  Huck is a pretty cool nickname though.

LEMON.  You wouldn’t guess it now, but Lemon was once a fairly well used male name–as in the legendary blues singer Blind Lemon Jefferson, and it still has some potential as a unisex name.  When Alex Baldwin’s character on 30 Rock calls Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon by her last name, it makes it sound like a very plausible first.  LIME might be a middle name possibility.

MANGO. Bizarre Chris Kattan SNL character.  Let’s leave it there.  Papaya and Kiwi too.

PEACHES.  Old-time chorus-girly nickname name revived by rocker Bob Geldof for his daughter Peaches Honeyblossom Michelle Charlotte Angel Vanessa, who has been adament in her resentment of it, saying “My weird name has haunted me all my life.”  Let that be a lesson.

PLUM.  A lot prettier and more usable than Peaches, associated with British-born writer Plum Sykes, whose birth name was actually Victoria–the nickname arising from the species  known as the Victoria Plum.

STRAWBERRY.  This cousin of Huckleberry is another rarity, given to the granddaughter of writer William Saroyan, who says grew up in a community of kids named Shelter, Wonder and Raspberry, and with a sister named Cream.  After changing her name briefly, she came to see the advantages of its uniqueness.

And how do we feel about fruit names?  Well, we did call our site Nameberry!

Read More