Category: TV names
Just in time for Father’s Day, WhitePages, the leading provider of contact information for people and businesses in the U.S. has revealed the most popular names in the country that are shared with some of television’s favorite fathers. This new data found that a number of John Waltons (1,459 people), Jim Andersons (1,304 people), and Tim Taylors (1,096 people), are alive and well across the land.
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.
You probably remember a show from the eighties called The Golden Girls, which was about four “previously married” women living together in Miami. While they often seemed mismatched, the success of the show lay in the strong bonds of friendship these women shared, and is said to have been the inspiration behind many other shows and movies, including ‘Sex and the City‘ and ‘Girls‘.
Although the ladies had some great names (on and off screen), at the period when ‘The Golden Girls‘ was airing, from 1985 to 1992, people were rather unlikely to want to name their sweet babies after characters in a show about mature women, or the actors who played them. They would have seemed a little fusty in a world of Jennifers and Ashleys; Jessicas and Amandas.
These days their names have much more of an appealing retro/vintage feel, and are again finding favour with today’s parents.
If you don’t have a beloved Gran of your own to name your baby after, how about looking for some outside inspiration from a pop culture Nana? Here’s a list of TV grandmothers, from the maternal to the monstrous (looking at you, Livia Soprano), the chic to the crotchety, whose names were seen as elderly at the time of their shows’ creation—from the 1950’s to the present—but which have become totally baby friendly today.
Here, the Nameberry picks of the 20 best Grandma TV baby names:
Thanks in large part to the single-named British singer, Adele popped into the Top 1000 last year at Number 627 and we expect to see it ranking considerably higher on the new list to be released next month. Molly Ringwald used it for her daughter in 2009.
At last, at last, the third season of Downton Abbey has finally launched, a further opportunity for those of us who love vintage British names to spend time with the Crawley clan et al. We’re now lucky enough to have had two recent TV period imports with great examples of character names, both for the aristos upstairs and the servants below. The time frame of both Downton Abbey and the recently updated Upstairs, Downstairs is the early decades of the twentieth century: Downton now picks up in 1920; the second series of Upstairs in 1936, six years after the initial one ended.
And if there seems to be a preponderance of girls’ names, it’s because so many of the male characters, both upstairs and down, have such common names as Thomas, Robert, Matthew, William, Joseph and John.
Here are some of the most interesting names in both series; and it’s worthy of note that the British TV names that are being revived today come equally from both social strata, as in, for example, Isobel and Ivy, Edith and Elsie.