TV Baby Names: Blasts from the Past

The names of characters from the television shows that we watched when we were young often stick with us forever, from kiddie shows to teen-oriented programs to favorite sitcoms.  Grover, Oscar, Kermit–those Muppetish images are hard to shake: Oscar seems to have recovered from his Grouchiness, but Kermit might stay green forever.  Ditto the shows we might have been glued to through our school years–especially if they happened to feature a teen idol.

A name from an old TV show might remain with us because we found it especially appealing, or if it was attached to a favorite character, or perhaps if we hadn’t heard the name before, giving it a fresh resonance.  Here’s a list of some examples from the past few decades that fit one or more of those criteria and which might inspire a baby name choice today. (Some of the shows continued running from one decade to the next, but we’ve listed them under the one they started in.)

1970s TELEVISION SHOWS

ALMANZO — Little House on the Prairie

BAILEY  (girl)– WKRP in Cincinnati

BARNABYBarnaby Jones

BLAIR — The Facts of Life

BO –The Dukes of Hazzard

DAISY —  The Dukes of Hazzard

FLORIDA — Good Times

ISAAC — The Love Boat

JOSIEJosie & the Pussycats

SABRINACharlie‘s Angels

TANNER — The Bad News Bears

1980s TELEVISION SHOWS

ADDISON — Moonlighting

ALEXIS — Dynasty

BRUNO — Fame

CHASEFalcon‘s Crest

COCO — Fame

COLT — The Fall Guy

LEONARDO — Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

LILITH — Cheers

LIBERTY — De Grassi, The Last Generation

MADDIE — Moonlighting

MALLORY — Family Ties

MURPHYMurphy Brown

SUMMER — Baywatch

THEO — The Cosby Show

WINNIE — The Wonder Years

ZAX — Benji, Zax & The Alien Prince

1990s TELEVISION SHOWS

AIDAN — Sex in the City

ANGELBuffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel

AVERYMurphy Brown

BRIGHT — 7th Heaven

CORDELIA  — Buffy the Vampire Slayer

COSMO — Seinfeld

DAWSONDawson‘s Creek

FELICITY — Felicity

FOX  —   The X-Files

GENEVA —  Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper

GRIFFIN — Party of Five

JOSIAH — The West Wing

MABEL  — Mad About You

MAYAJust Shoot Me

MEADOW — The Sopranos

MICHAELA  — Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

MIRANDA  — Sex in the City

OWEN — Party of Five

PIPER — Charmed

PO — Teletubbies

PRUE  —  Charmed

SIX — Blossom

URSULA — Mad About You

XANDERBuffy the Vampire Slayer

XENAXENA: The Warrior Princess

WILLOW —  Buffy the Vampire Slayer

ZOEY — Cybill/Zoey 101

Do you have your own nostalgic favorites? Is there one that you’ve actually used or would consider using for your child?

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12 Responses to “TV Baby Names: Blasts from the Past”

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Lola Says:

January 27th, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Funny, I call my Josephine, Josie and put Sebastian in the middle for my odlest, not even realising that they were both “Josie & the Pussycat names! Cosmo’s aces not because of Seinfeld but because it’s family (but the link doesn’t bother me any) and Winifred, nn Winnie’s on my lists these days. Not for “Wonder Years” but an Aunt. But again, that link just makes it sweeter.

rachelmarie Says:

January 27th, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Dawson is one of my favorite names, but not because of the show.
For awhile, I loved the name Elliot for a girl because of the show Scrubs, one of my absolute favorite shows. But I don’t love it as much anymore lol.
Also, I start liking names because of books. For example, one of my favorite books, “This Lullaby”, had two main characters in it: A girl named Remy, and Dexter. I fell in love with those names immediately, both on my favorites now.
Another example of using names from books is the Twilight Series. The names from the book have become extremely popular and favorites of people as a result from the book. The most popular are: (Isa)Bella, Edward, Rosalie, Emmett, Alice, Jasper, and some have even gone as far as to like the name Renesmee, the name of two of the characters child.
Just another blog idea 🙂

pop culture seems to influence our life a lot

Jill Says:

January 28th, 2009 at 12:12 am

Growing up, I was completely obsessed with Little House on the Prairie. (Granted, I loved the book series, too, but first heard the names on the television show.)

Rose- My favorite name, which I always associate with Rose Ingalls Wilder

Grace- (Grace Ingalls Wilder)

Caroline-(Caroline Ingalls)

I love the names not because I’ll want my children to act out scenes from Little House, but simply because I think the names are classic and beautiful.

Another one of my favorite names was inspired from a character, but from a movie. May I share it, anyway? Great. Eliza, which I first heard in My Fair Lady.

(A post about names inspired by books or movies would be great!)

Jill Says:

January 28th, 2009 at 12:14 am

Above, that should read “inspired by a character,” not “from” a character. 🙂

linda Says:

January 28th, 2009 at 1:19 am

Stay tuned!

peach Says:

January 28th, 2009 at 1:52 am

I can’t help but think that the reemergence of Lorelei must be because of Lorelei Gilmore (The Gilmore Girls). Rory too for that matter. Now that I think about it, Luke and Logan also.

A classic not to be forgotten: Lucille Ball (I love Lucy). I love this name and would consider it as middle name for a future daughter.

Sabrina is another of my favorites but from Audrey Hepburn’s big screen character.

Punk Princess PhD Says:

January 28th, 2009 at 10:31 am

Just a correction, for the anal-retentive/ocd crowd: the character Bright featured on a short-lived show called Everwood, not (the equally saccharine but decidedly moralistic) 7th Heaven. Regardless, it seemed like an ironic choice, since he really wasn’t…

TV names become relelvant because they are usually either just ahead of a trend, or a reflection of one – so while it is a cause and effect relationship, it’s a two-way street.

Wembly from Fraggle Rock, anyone?

susan Says:

January 28th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

I love Maurice because of the character of Samantha’s father on “Bewitched”. I know I’m dating myself.
I also love the Princess Ann in “Roman Holiday”.
I’m crazy about Mark Darcy in “Bridget Jones’ Diary.
And what about Joe Fox in “Shop Around the Corner”?
Adore the dog Queenie in “A Christmas Memory”! That’s my favorite.
Love Pompy in “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”.
Adore beyond reason Peter and Ellie in “It Happened One Night”. Those are my favorites even more than Queenie but I could name my pet Queenie.
I agree with Peach about Sabrina and also Linus is amazing.
Sorry, I know these are mostly movies as opposed to T.V. shows but my father wouldn’t let us have a T.V. when I was growing up.

ll Says:

January 28th, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Hey, Everwood (where Bright comes from – it was actually a nickname for Harold Brighton Abbott jr) was 100 times better than 7th Heaven even after that horrible Hannah came along.

I’m surprised you don’t have Ephram from Everwood as well – having Gregory Smith associated with a name can’t be a bad thing!

Kathryn Says:

September 22nd, 2010 at 5:24 am

Hmm…there was a Liberty on the 2000s teen show Degrassi: The Next Generation. Is that what you meant?

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