8 TV Characters Who are Sparking New Baby Name Trends

Feb 25th 2016

At some point in your life, you've probably met a Samantha -- likely more than one. I'll make a prediction about all of them: they were born after September 17, 1964. That was the first broadcast date of the sitcom Bewitched, which turned the formerly obscure name into an all-American favorite.

Samantha is just one of a long line of baby name hits launched by tv characters. A look at today's top 500 names reveals names like Arya, which has soared via Game of Thrones, and Archer, the eponymous hero of the animated spy send-up Archer. The names below are vying to join them in the spotlight. All are fictional characters from current series, and all have seen a leap from baby name obscurity since they hit the air.

(Names marked with a * rank in the current top 1,000.)

Adalind (F).

Image via NBC.com

A stylish character helps inspire namesakes, but stylish doesn't have to mean good. Case in point is the wily "Hexenbiest" Adalind of the fantasy-cop show Grimm. The old Germanic name benefits from the nicknames Ada and Addie, and a pretty blond woman with supernatural powers is a proven baby-name hit formula.

Castiel* (M). Castiel of Supernatural is an angel in the naming tradition of Gabriel and Raphael. There is no angel Castiel in traditional religious texts, but thanks to the tv series the name is recognizably celestial.

Khaleesi* (F).

I first wrote about the Game of Thrones name Khaleesi back in 2013 as "The Non-Name from a Non-Language." The Dothraki word for queen has kept rising since, all the way to the top-1,000 list. (Remember what I said about pretty blond women with supernatural powers?)

Huck (M). On Scandal, Huck is a hacker with a dark and dangerous past. The character has made the unlikely name Huck part of a fast-rising Mark Twain style alongside Sawyer and Finn.

Lucious (M).

Image via FOX.com

Music producer Lucious Lyon is the antihero at the heart of Empire. He brings a new image --  and a new spelling -- to a classic name previously dominated by Harry Potter's sinister Lucius Malfoy.

Stiles (M). The character "Stiles" Stilinski of Teen Wolf alerted parents to the possibility of Stiles as a first name, an alternative to the newly popular name Miles. (This spelling outpaces Styles, a la One Direction singer Harry Styles, by more than two to one.)

Killian* (M).

Image via abc.go.com

Killian is an Irish saint's name ending in -n, a recipe that has proven irresistible in names like Aidan and Declan. The "killer" sound of this one held parents back until Killian Jones of Once Upon a Time came along

Thea* (F). In 2014, the name Thea nearly doubled in popularity, placing it the top 1,000 for the first time in 50 years. Top credit goes to Thea "Speedy" Queen of Arrow.


Read More: Fandom Faceoff: Which Franchise Wins on Baby Names?


February 28, 2016 6:08 PM

How about Temperance?

Bones debuted in September of 2005, with main character Temperance Brennan.

6 babies named Temperance in 2005

20 babies named Temperance in 2006

77 babies named Temperance in 2007

Temperance broke into the top 1,000 in 2011 and remains there. (Alternate spelling Temperence is now used more often than mainstream spelling Temperance was in the pre-Bones era.)

February 29, 2016 5:29 PM

Dallas was a very popular TV show in the late 70's - early 80's.  In 1981 a character named Kristin was the answer to  the cliff hanger "Who shot JR?".  It was the first time I had heard the name and I named my  daughter, in 1981, Kristin. She has met a lot of girls with her name, born in the Dallas time frame.

March 1, 2016 4:39 PM

The top girl's name when I was in school was Lisa, thanks to the character on the soap opera As The World Turns.

March 3, 2016 1:56 AM

The saint's name is more commonly spelled Kilian, though the well-known beer is spelled Killian, so that's probably the more popular choice now ;)