Category: names from television
Okay, so the Fashion Police have had their say, praising and pillorying the various gowns and guy clothes on the Golden Globes Red Carpet by designers from Armani to Zak Posen–scrutinizing everything from Charlize Theron’s sparkly headband to Evan Rachel Wood’s Christian Louboutins.
Now it’s time for us Name Police to have our turn. Not that we would ever say anything negative about anyone’s appellation, but we did want to point out some of the award-worthy names we discovered among the cast members and characters in this year’s Golden Globe winning movies and TV shows.
Adriana—Adriana is the beautiful fantasy mistress of artists Braque, Modigliani and Picasso, played by Marion Cotillard, in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. A lovely Italian name that is perfectly at home in English-speaking countries.
Amara—Amara Miller is the 11-year-old actress who plays George Clooney’s precocious daughter Scottie King in The Descendents—her first movie role. Amara is a strong, sweet, stylish name that means “lovely forever.”
Cora—The Rt. Hon. Cora, Countess of Grantham, is the American-born mistress of Downton Abbey, played by the American-born actress Elizabeth McGovern. Cora is a gentle, old-fashioned name that has recently been rejuvenated.
Djuna—Djuna Barnes is one of the real-life Parisienne icons who resurface in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. The exotic name, pronounced JOO-na, has long been associated with that early 20th century American novelist, but we can see it being adopted by cutting-edge baby namers.
Saturday Night Live is at this point a certifiable institution. The show has now been around for 36 years, and over its long run has featured many of the funniest, most creative, offbeat comic talents in America–some of whom have gone on to become so iconic that we’ve almost forgotten they were ever regulars on the show. As in Billy Crystal, Robert Downey Jr, Bill Murray, Dennis Miller, Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Martin Short and now-Senator Al “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough” Franken.
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.
I’ll admit it. I’m name-obsessed. When I’m handed a business card, I have to stifle the impulse to ask about the middle initial. (Is that D for David or Dennison – or Danger?) My loved ones have long understood that they cannot call to report that so-and-so had the baby without also sharing the child’s given name. I eavesdrop. I ask. Rarely is there a waking hour in which the topic does not cross my mind.
And yet, we name nerds mostly travel through the world in anonymity. Sure, our closest friends know that we’ll have something to say about every choice, whether the newborn in question is Harper Seven Beckham or the little boy down the street.
But there’s never a good time to reveal that you’ve been quietly judging, and so being outed is always the tiniest bit awkward. It happened to me earlier this week, with someone I’ve known for only a few months. Her first question – well, what do you think of my kid’s name?
Never have I been so grateful that she had chosen the sparky, stylish Milo long before we’d met.
Here are my nine picks for the most newsworthy hot baby names this week:
Amy – The new Christina Applegate/Will Arnett/Maya Rudolph sitcom Up All Night, billed as a “modern take on parenting,” debuts in a few weeks. Since all the stars are the parents of nicely-named youngsters themselves, I expected that the fictional daughter of Applegate and Arnett would have a great name. Piper, maybe. Or Adelaide. I watched the previews, listening and listening, not believing what I was hearing. Amy? The name that was second only to Jennifer in the 1970s? The name of Will’s real-life wife? Others have pointed out that Amy isn’t so outlandish. She’s a logical nickname for the popular vintage choice Amelia, and feels at home with favorites like Zoe and Mia. She’s been falling since 1977. Could the show reverse her fortunes?
Last year the world was falling into the icy clutches of the vampires. The Salvatore brothers of L.J. Smith’s The Vampire Diaries were fighting over the beautiful Elena Gilbert, lethally handsome Edward Cullen once again rescued his mortal love, Bella Swann from a gruesome death in the new Twilight movie, Eclipse, and a vampire child by the name of Abby has been terrifying audiences in Matt Reeve’s new film Let Me In.
Unfortunately, not all of us are lucky enough to escape the bite of immortality, but fear not fellow name lovers! There is hope for us mortals yet, a hope that comes in a very furry form.
This Halloween goes to the wolves. The vampire reign is in danger of coming to a close as the popularity of werewolves quickly rises. The vampire-werewolf rivalry is one of the oldest feuds in existence, so it’s no wonder that we humans have been caught in the middle once again. At least the wolves will get the vampires off our backs for a bit. Right?
Okay. You may be thinking that werewolves are just as bad as vampires, but let’s think about this. Unlike vampires who have absolutely no escape from their condition, unless they go a day without sunscreen, werewolves only change during a full moon. So if someone you love is carrying the curse of the Lycan, it’s best to take a little vacation from them once a month. After all, we all need a little me time. Also, werewolves aren’t constantly craving your blood. They’re actually quite normal in human form (I should know because I used to date one), whereas vampires obsess over the sound of blood pumping through your veins. Hence, werewolves are the lesser of two evils.