TV Baby Names: Granny names rejuvenated– Sophie, Sophia and Violet

TV Baby Names: Granny names rejuvenated– Sophie, Sophia and Violet

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:

Adele True Blood

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.

Bea That ‘70s Show; Bee  The Andy Griffith Show

Bea and Bee have come a long way from Opie’s Aunt Bee (who was actually a surrogate Grandma, but let’s not get technical), because of the newfound popularity of Beatrice and Beatrix

Celia/CeCe Gossip Girl

CeCe, the name of Serena’s conservative grandmother on Gossip Girl, has already appeared as a baby on _The Office—_though in that case her full name was Cecilia.

Daisy (May) Beverly Hillbillies

Daisy—especially when followed by Mae/May— has long since lost its former L’il Abner/Hillbillies image,  and has been a particular celeb fave for a couple of decades now.

Edith All in the Family

Sitting alongside husband Archie at the piano, the ditzy Edith, reminiscing about the days Glenn Miller played, was grandmother to daughter Gloria’s son Joey.  Nowadays Edith, her dignity and elegance restored, is seen as much more Wharton than Bunker.

Estelle Family Matters

Following Stella and other names of the ella/elle persuasion, Estelle has become one of the fastest rising names on Nameberry.

Esther The Waltons

Long out of fashion, the classic Old Testament Esther is now back on the ascent, as is also the case of Ruth (Six Feet Under).

EudoraThe Addams Family

Euphonious Eudora has a Greek mythological heritage, and has in recent times made appearances in films like The Princess and the Frog.  Not to be confused with Endora, the witchy grandparent of Tabitha on Bewitched.

Evelyn Dawson’s Creek, Two and a Half Men

A common TV character name for women of a certain age, Evelyn is currently on a winning streak: in 2009, Evelyn jumped fifteen places to reach the Top 40 for the first time since 1939–and last year leaped even further to Number 24.

Hattie Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Hattie’s  back in the nickname name game, especially since being chosen by Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott for their third child.

Ida Malcolm in the Middle

We’ve gone from Eva to Ava to Ada—could Ida be the logical next step in this progression?

Livia The Sopranos

More substantial than Liv, less trendy than Olivia, Livia is a completely independent name that dates back to ancient Rome.

Lucille Arrested Development

Lucille is one of the latest of the Lucy-related names to be making a comeback;  it was the choice of hip couple Maya Rudolph and Paul Thomas Anderson for their second daughter.

Maxine Judging Amy

The whole extended Max family is everywhere these days, from Max itself to Maxfield to Maxwell to Maximillian—so can Maxine be far behind?  Musician Nick Hexum named his daughter Maxine Vita in 2011.

OliviaThe Jeffersons.

Could cranky old Mother Jefferson have ever imagined that there would be 17,000 babies given her name in 2011?

PearlThe Flintstones

Pearl Pebbles Slaghoople was the animated prehistoric grandma of Pebbles (her other grandmother being Edna Flintstone)—who was played in the 1994 live action film version by Elizabeth TaylorPearl is another revival story jump-started by Maya Rudolph, in 2005.

Penelope Charmed

This classic Greek name is suddenly hot, thanks to its use by Tina Fey and then Kourtney Kardashian and the Taylor Hansons for their baby daughters.

Sophia The Golden Girls

The current Number 1 name in the US was still seen as a plausible character name for a befuddled senior immigrant from Sicily when The Golden Girls launched in 1985.

Sophie The OC

The third most popular name in England and Wales is moving on up in this country as well, though still nowhere near our top-rated Sophia.

Violet, Downton Abbey

The name of the acerbic Granny of the Crawley girls, dressed in pale mauve silks and satin, is one of the great vintage name revival success stories, especially since used by Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck for their daughter in 2005.

About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.