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


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31 Responses to “TV Names: Let TV be your guide”

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tee Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 5:45 am

i like temperance from the show bones, although i’d never use it lol. her last name is brennan, which i’d adore for a boy! hm, now i have to think of some of my other favorites

tee Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 5:46 am

oh and also – i really adore gideon (the retired fbi agent) from criminal minds. it was his last name but they called him that instead of his first name, jason.

Jill Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 8:27 am

Great blog! 🙂 I can see Bree, Britta, Juliet, Sloan, Arlo, Baze, Crosby, Pierce, Finn, and Greyson catching on.

I’m really excited to see Parenthood! I loved the movie, and now that I think of it, I bet it’s responsible for the sudden popularity of Taylor on girls in the 90’s, much like the movie “Splash” probably ignited the Madison craze.

I remember seeing the movie Parenthood and thinking, “Uh oh. Here comes Taylor!”


PdxLibrarian Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 9:27 am

I have to admit that I’m a huge fan of Lost names. I espeically love Desmond and Hugo. I want to see how the series ends before I use a name from Lost though! You never know which of the characters will end up doing something evil.

Jill Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 9:45 am

Oh! I just saw that “Haddie” is a character on Parenthood, and I can see Haddie/Hattie becoming popular, both on its own and as a nickname for Hadley.

Andrea Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 10:05 am

I think it depends on how attractive the character is and whether the name fits with current trends. I don’t think Lux will ever be popular because it rhymes with a couple of obscenities. Every once in awhile I’ll see a name that I know came right off the TV because there’s a scattering of people in that age range and it’s in use for no other age groups. There were a couple of girls named Afton who graduated from high school here a couple of years ago. When I asked one of them, sure enough Mom got it off a soap opera. I don’t know which soap had the Afton character. Ditto with the name Fallon. There was a rash of them in the late 1980s and early 1990s because of the Dynasty character. Jax or Jaxon is a fairly common spelling variant of Jackson and I’d guess it might be because of the Jax on General Hospital. His name fits perfectly with the trend for different spellings of familiar names.

Andrea Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 10:11 am

As for current characters, I HAVE seen Temperance used a few times in the last year or two in the hospital birth announcement listings in this state. I wonder if the parents know what the name means? I also saw Hiro, as in the character from the TV show “Heroes” used for a little boy in the Fargo-Moorhead last year. Movies seem to be a source of inspiration too. I saw Arwen a few times after the Lord of the Rings movies came out, Lestat a few times as in ‘Interview with the Vampire” and several boys with the name Anakin as in Darth Vader or the Star Wars movies. Why are they naming their kids after the Dark Lord? On the other hand, Luke and Leah/Leia are normal names and it’s probably harder to tell if THEIR parents are Star Wars geeks. Anakin is used frequently and widely enough that it might be worth including somewhere in your next book.

JNE Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 10:53 am

I’d love to see Henrietta, Marisol (also seen on CSI Miami), Wilhelmina, Arlo, Hugo, Ignacio, and Orson catch on a little more than they are (although I’m betting none would go the distance to top 10 and that’s just fine with me!).

I can see Fia appealing (a la popular Mia) and I quite like it, especially as a nn for other names (Fiona, Frederica, etc.).

In addition to Lux, I could see Dexter catching on.

There is also a Sloan on Grey’s Anatomy, but it’s a man. I also know a boy Sloan (he’s in elementary school). The name just sounds like labeling the person as snooty to me, though.

Already heard in my circle: Riley, Zoe (without the y), Arlo, Asher (e instead of u), Finn, Greyson, and Ignacio (but he’s in Argentina of Italian descent).

I’ve heard talk of Creed, Miles, Rufus, and Thor, but no one has actually called a baby any of these (yet) that I know personally.

Zeek is cool (though I’m more of a Zebedee fan – Zee, Zeb, Zed).

Those that have made long lists for my kids: Marisol, Wilhelmina, Arlo, Axel, Hugo, and Miles (but really, Milo).

Other names from TV I think are either catching on, have potential, or I like personally:

Sawyer (Lost)
Kenneth (30 Rock)
Dwight (The Office)
Gareth (The Office UK)
Burton (Psych)
Carlton (Psych)
Marshall (How I Met Your Mother) – a friend’s choice if her baby had been a boy
Barney (How I Met Your Mother)
Ted (How I Met Your Mother and Better Off Ted)
Lem (Better Off Ted)

Gloria (Modern Family)
Claire (Modern Family)
Veronica (Better Off Ted

Fun post!

Alyssa Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 11:24 am

Actually there is now a female Sloan on Grey’s anatomy, as well. First name.

Seems like Peyton is one that has come back after the character on “One Tree Hill” got really popular.

I’m always so sad to see the names I love on a television show. I have no desire to see my secret gems popularized! Arlo, Gloria and Henrietta I would prefer stay quiet and top secret!

Kristine Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 11:35 am

I really love the names from the original NCIS. Ziva is beautiful, and then there is Leroy Jethro, Abby, and the head of autopsy is Donald “Ducky” Mallard ^-^

Names 4 Real Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 11:43 am

Oh, I would love to see more of these (especially Arlo, Fia, Lux, when I’m searching birth announcements for my blog, And just this month, I’ve found a Temperance (2), Creed, Thor, and a Silver.

I kept finding several Kiptyn’s so I searched and found out he was one of the bachelor’s in The Bachlorette so TV definitely has an impact on baby namers out there.

Great blog!

LyndsayJenness Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 1:59 pm

I’m glad you include Rowdy from The Deep End, I doubt that show is going to be all that popular, but I could see Rowdy catching on as a nickname.

Neal is the extremely charismatic lead on White Collar, I like that name now entirely because of him. I definitely see Lux and Baze taking off because of Life Unexpected, maybe even Cate or Cassidy.

disa_lan Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Eek! I hope Zeek/Zeke doesn’t rise to much in popularity.
@Lyndsay – White Collar has made me take a second look at Neal.
I didn’t realize a lot of these names where on t.v., I guess thats what I get
for not watching that many shows.
Names I like from this list –
Britta –
Dexter – Love
Rowdy – How fun. Rawley?
Zeek – Love

Bella Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Luxe, Tansy and Hugo are huge favs of mine!

Let’s see who else? We have Nici Nash from Clean house, Cal Lightman from Lie to Me, Hilda and Whilemina from Ugly betty, and Stella from CSI NY.

Great blog!

Linda Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 3:04 pm

And remember also in the Parenthood movie there was a little boy actually named Cool?

Kari Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Nice list- Adrianna and Finn would have to be my favorites.

Another name from television I can see escalating in popularity is Remy- for the doctor from “House”.

Kari Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 4:16 pm

In Weeds 2 seasons ago there was a boy named Rad. I also love the other Weeds boys names, Silas & Shane.

The 5th grader in me keeps chanting “Lux sucks! Lux sucks!” Sad, it’s a cute name.

I’ve loved Sloan since Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Lindsay Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 4:16 pm

I named my dog Leroy Jethro, nickname Jethro from the main character of NCIS: Leroy Jethro Gibbs

EvanescenceDolly Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Hey! My name is Bree 😀

smismar Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 7:49 pm

How about Astrid and Walter from Fringe? Maybe the right choice for parents looking for a bit of a quirky edge 😉

Jill Says:

March 1st, 2010 at 8:35 pm


That’s right! I forgot about little Cool! I’m surprised that no celebrity babies have been named Cool. Who else was there? I think there was Justin, a Kevin, a Patti, a Gary…I can’t remember the rest. But Cool was…um…cool! 🙂

I thought that Parenthood was such a great movie, and I hope the TV show is as good! It only received two stars, but I’m in denial. 🙂

Linda Says:

March 2nd, 2010 at 12:40 pm

And to think that those young teens in the movie were played by Keanu Reeves and Joaquin Phoenix!

Jill Says:

March 2nd, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Linda: That’s right!!!! I think that was the first time I ever saw Joaquin. I’m surprised that none of the other child actors became more famous.

Mae Whitman, the little girl who starred in One Fine Day and When a Man Love a Woman, will be in the TV version of Parenthood. I can’t remember who else is in it, though. I guess I’ll find out tonight! 🙂

Primrosa Says:

March 2nd, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Here are some others that I love!

Ziva- NCIS
Zoe- Caprica
Tamra- Caprica
Fiona- Burn Notice
Yvonne- Chuck
Carina- Chuck

Sargon- Caprica
Davis- Accidentally on Purpose

LaylaRose Says:

May 3rd, 2010 at 5:06 pm

I love: Arizona, Cerie, Kensi, Arlo and Thor.
And some others that were not on the list:
Temperance – Bones
Remy – House
Allison – House
Victory – Lipstick Jungle (fav
Ziva – NCIS (fav)
Alicia – The Good Wife
Camille – Hawthorne and Bones

Evan – Greek and Royal Pains
Gregory – House
Seeley – Bones
Henry ‘Hank’ – Royal Pains
Spencer – Criminal Minds
Leroy Jethro – NCIS (love Jethro)
Matthew – Miami Medical

Carolyn Says:

May 26th, 2010 at 11:00 am

Don’t forget Santana (from Glee), Steffan and Damon (from The Vampire Diaries), and Penny from Lost. Penny/Penelope became a viable option for me after seeing the character and hearing the name on Lost.

Sunshinetina Says:

July 8th, 2010 at 12:12 am

I really love the name Sloane and have ever since seeing Ferris (another name I love) Buellers Day Off.

We recently got a beagle and decided to name her Sloane.

Kisha Says:

July 18th, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Went to Pier 1 and one of the female employees’ name was RIPLEY. . . love it!!

Victoria Says:

November 16th, 2010 at 6:57 pm

the show is called “Gossip Girl” NOT “The Gossip Girls” or “Gossip Girls” (plural)
… please do better research in the future

Marci Says:

December 2nd, 2010 at 2:01 am

I’m a little late on the uptake to this thread! I am a big Life Unexpected fan and althought I can’t quite see using Lux, I am in love with the name Baze. My husband is not so much and thinks I am crazy! I was a little disappointed to see it listed on nameberry as a girls name! I think it sounds so masculine. We currently have Dax & Finn and are expecting another in a few months. I was hoping to find some help in selling my husband on Baze! =)

Roux Says:

June 20th, 2013 at 8:35 am

I’m about to let my inner math/name nerd out, but I absolutely love Amita Ramanujan’s name on Numb3rs. For one, it suits her perfectly, but also the meaning of Amita (infinite) goes so nicely with her character’s interest and job in mathematics and astrophysics. Also, Ramanujan comes from Srinivasa Ramanujan, a 19th century Indian mathematician, making (in my opinion) Amita Ramanujan one of the best named characters on TV to date.

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