Do you have that one show - the show that you have been following for years? We look forward to it every week. We talk about the characters like we are friends with them and maybe we will even consider naming our baby after them!
A lot of thought goes into the name of a character on a television show. Just like naming a baby! The actor or actress that we love to watch is portraying the personality that the audience will associate with the name. For example, the name Bruce Wayne, also known as Batman, associates the name Bruce with good, strong, and brave. The creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes, carefully selected each character and made sure they had a fitting name to go with their style and personality. Our favorite characters have hip and cool names that you might want to consider for your little one.
Grey’s Anatomy first aired on March 27, 2005. It was a mid-season replacement show, so we wonder if it surprised everyone now that it has been on the air for twelve years and counting. Over the last twelve years there have been a lot of characters come on and off the show, which means more names to choose from.
We picked out 20 of our favorite names from the last 12 years of Grey’s Anatomy. If you’re not watching the show yet – seriously give it a try on Netflix or watch ABC Thursday night. Even without seeing the show you still might find the perfect name on this list!
Warning: If you are a fan but you're not up to date with the show this article may contain spoilers!
The popular Welsh name Owen is on the Nameberry popularity charts at number 36. Owen has the meaning “young warrior; well-born” so it is no surprise this was the name chosen for the character Owen on Grey’s Anatomy. The name isn’t restricted to handsome red head war heroes. Michelle Branch chose the name for her daughter. We wouldn’t be surprised to see more girls using the name Owen in the future.
Dr. Owen Hunt is a former soldier who saw intense combat action before he ended up on the scene of Grey’s Anatomy in season 5. He was appointed head of trauma surgery shortly after saving a life with a pen. Eventually Owen was promoted to chief of surgery and ran the hospital.
Owen Hunt and Christina Yang have an on again off again relationship. They go through ups and downs together for five seasons. Owen battles PTSD, accompanies Christina during an abortion that he doesn’t agree with, has a one night stand and creates conflict when an old female Army buddy comes to work at Seattle Grace. Christina and Owen finally said goodbye for the last time when Christina left the hospital at the end of season 10. In season 11 Owen and Amelia Shepard begin to develop a relationship. By the end of season 12 they are married, but that doesn’t mean everything is smooth sailing. We can’t wait to see what surprises the relationship has in store for us when Grey’s Anatomy returns!
Amelia is a German name that has the meaning “work.” It is ranked number 12 in the United States and even higher in different parts of the world. Amelia was the top British name in 2011 and still remains at number 1. This name is in the top 10 in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland and Poland.
Dr. Amelia Shepard is the youngest sister of Dr. Derek Shepard “McDreamy.” She is following in her brothers footsteps by being an excellent neurosurgeon. She is smart and successful. She graduated at the top of her class from Harvard and completed her surgical residency at Johns Hopkins, but she has her fair share of struggles.
Amelia has on and off struggles with a prescription drug problem. She felt like she was always living in her brother’s shadow. Although she had made appearances on the show, Amelia wasn’t officially added to the cast until season 11 when she moved in with her brother Derek. Following the tragic death of her brother, Amelia throws herself into work and strives to live up to Dr. Derek Shepard. She is now married to Dr. Owen Hunt.
Bailey is an English occupational name. The meaning of the name Bailey is “law enforcer, bailiff.” This name is ranked at number 108 for girls. It is not currently ranked for boys, but this is definitely a name that can be used for both male and female babies.
Dr. Miranda Bailey was introduced as a resident in general surgery. She was in charge of the beloved original cast of Meredith Grey, Christina Yang, Izzie Stevens, George O’Malley and Alex Karev. Bailey has a tough personality and isn’t afraid to say exactly what is on her mind.
The Chief of Surgery position is one that is bounced around between the characters. It’s a tough job, but Bailey felt she could handle it. When she first competed to become chief she lost to Callie Torres. Bailey explored her options in Pediatrics and as an attending in General Surgery. After contaminating and losing three patients during a trial, Bailey shuts down. Bailey won’t stay down for long. She is a tough character and eventually gets back into the OR and back on top. Bailey finally gets the job to be Chief and currently remains in charge.
The name Jo for a girl could be short for Josephine or Joanna. Josephine is a Nameberry favorite and ranks at number 131. Jo can also stand on its own for either gender. The short two letter names hold a lot of power.
Dr. Jo Wilson became a series regular on Grey’s Anatomy during season 10. She had a rough childhood and prefers not to open up about it. She lived in foster care until the age of 16. Then she began living out of her car. Smart is an understatement when describing Jo. Even with all the struggles she faced growing up she still graduated top of her class at Harvard Medical School. Jo enjoys being independent, drinking beer with friends and Pediatrics. Her love for Pediatrics might be why her relationship with Alex Karev made so much sense. However, after a night that included too many drinks, the relationship took a turn for the worst.
We finally found out why Jo refused to accept Alex’s marriage proposal. She’s already married! We can’t wait to see where the Alex and Jo’s story line goes.
The name Preston has been in the top 200 since 1994! It currently ranks at number 169. Preston is an English name meaning “priest’s estate.” Britney Spears chose the name Preston for her son Sean’s middle name, and the family uses his middle name more often than his first name. Presley is a similar name that might be more appealing for girls.
We haven’t seen Dr. Preston Burke on the show for quite some time. He is an original cast member from when the show began in 2005. Preston was the head of cardio-thoracic surgery at Seattle Grace Hospital. He has an intense personality and lives for structure. Preston keeps everything in his home and work life spotless and in order. When he has a relationship with the young intern, Christina Yang, she threw a curve ball into his clean organized life. Preston loved Christina but he could never accept her for the person she was and their relationship ended when Preston left her at the altar. This is also when Preston left the show. He did come back and make a short appearance (for closure) in the fair well Christina episode of season 10.
The name Alex is post gender but it still holds every bit of masculinity and strength as before. This name is a classic and we predict that it will remain as such for a long time. Alex means “defending men” which is perfectly fitting for the character Alex Karev on Grey’s Anatomy. For boys, Alex hits the charts at number 134. For girls, Alex on its own has fallen out of the top 1000 list. However, Alexandra is ranked at number 101.
Alex Karev has all of us Grey’s Anatomy fans sitting on the edge of our seats. After the last episode we were left hanging on whether or not Alex would take the plea deal and go to jail for beating up an intern. It was a misunderstanding and he thought he was protecting his girlfriend Jo. We are team Alex for sure! Don’t hold your breath to get answers during the winter premiere though. The spoiler articles predict we won’t get our answers about Alex until the February 2 episode.
Alex was one of the original cast members so we can’t imagine him not being at Seattle Grace, turned Seattle Grace Mercy West, and now called Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital. He has had his fair share of fights, girl problems and work drama. We are keeping our fingers crossed that Alex will pull through once again.
The name Lexie or Lexi comes from the Alex family. It may have started as a short nick name, but it is definitely a name that can stand on its own now. For girls, Lexie ranks at number 713. Lexie isn’t on the charts for boys yet. An even shorter Lex is another trendy and seductive option for a boy’s name.
Dr. Lexie Grey is portrayed as a nerd. She has a photogenic memory which helps a lot when she’s trying to cram information, but it also adds to the dorky vibe she gives off. Lexie showed up on the set of Grey’s Anatomy in season 4. She came to Seattle Grace after her mother’s death. After many attempts she finally connected with her half-sister (they have the same father) Meredith Grey.
Lexie was on the show for four seasons. The tragic plane crash at the end of season 8 took away some beloved characters from the cast and Lexie was one of them.
Callie is a Greek name that means “beautiful.” It is ranked at number 196 for girls and seems to be on the decline. Cali is another way to spell the name and it might be more appealing to all the trendy parents out there. For boys, the simple but strong name Cal can also stand on its own.
Calliope “Callie” Torres was introduced in season two and was meant to clash with her colleagues. She quickly became a love interest for George O’Malley. They were eventually married. George tragically left the show and Callie had a fling with Dr. Mark Slone “McSteamy.” Turns out she was meant to be with a woman and married Dr. Arizona Robbins, but not before accidentally getting pregnant with Mark Sloane’s baby. Her daughter was being raised by three parents until Mark’s tragic death after the season 8 plane crash. After ten years, Callie left the show (and Arizona) at the end of the 12th season. We are still waiting to see what happens in the custody battle.
Arizona is a place name and it holds the meaning “little springs.” The name ranks outside the top 1000, so consider giving your little one a unique name!
Dr. Arizona Robbins first appeared on Grey’s Anatomy in season 5. She was officially added to the cast in season 6. She is the Chief of Pediatric surgery and can be described as quirky and perky. She is always smiling and is well known for wearing roller skate shoes around the hospital.
Arizona dated and eventually married Dr. Callie Torres even though Callie was considered to be a “newborn lesbian.” Arizona was patient with her and helped Callie’s parents accept their relationship. The relationship went through dark times when Arizona was in the season 8 plane crash. She was badly injured and Callie had to make the difficult decision to amputate one of her legs. They eventually pulled through it but in the end it looks like the relationship is going to be over. We are now waiting to see what happens in the anticipated custody battle.
The name Ben is a Hebrew name with the meaning “son of.” Ben is the diminutive of Benjamin or Benedict. This name is hitting the charts at number 740. We are surprised it is ranked so low because we feel the name Ben is this generations Bob or Bill.
Dr. Ben Warren has been on the last five seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. He is handsome and romantic. He quit his job at UCLA to be with Dr. Miranda Bailey and her son Tuck. They are now married and Ben loves the domestic married life. Ben was an attending anesthesiologist but then switched his career path and is now a surgical resident. He doesn’t always fit in with the other residents because they are much younger than him and he is married to the chief. Ben tries his best to stay out of the drama and keep his work and home life separate. He is an overall good man and he handles the fact that his wife is his boss very well.
The name April is a Latin name. It has the meaning “to open” and it is also a month name. April was once the most popular month name but has now been taken over by June for girls and August for boys. April is hitting the charts at number 403.
April Kepner is an attending trauma surgeon rock star! She grew up on an Ohio farm and originally kept her beliefs in Christianity and the church a secret. At first she was extremely insecure about herself. It wasn’t until she left her finance Mathew at the altar and lost her virginity to Dr. Jackson Avery (the same night) that she reevaluated herself and became more vocal about her beliefs.
April was pregnant with Jackson’s baby and they lost the baby shortly after birth. It devastated them both and April felt the need to leave. She went into a war zone with Dr. Owen Hunt for a year leaving Jackson to find his own way of heeling. This is where April gained her confidence and experience as a trauma surgeon. She returned to Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital and after some time became unexpectedly pregnant with a second baby to Jackson. It was a baby girl named Harriett. Now, April and Jackson are trying to figure out the best way to co-parent together.
The name Izzie or Izzy is a variation of the name Isabel or Isobel. Izzie is not a very common name on its own - it is 4006 (not 406) 4006! However, the Spanish name Isabel is on the charts at number 149.
Isobel “Izzie” Stevens, M.D. was on the very first episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Izzie is portrayed as very moral, vulnerable and underestimated. She is extremely kind hearted and patient. Izzie falls in love with a patient named Denny. Her character is impacted a lot and she develops more as she deals with the death of Denny. Izzie lost her idealism which eventually led to her leaving medicine.
She also had a fling with George O’Malley and Alex Kurev. The chemistry between Alex and Izzie was magnetic. Fans secretly wished they would reunite, however, they did not. Izzie was dying of a brain tumor, but then the tumor was successfully removed. Alex broke all ties with Izzie and we don’t think she will be returning for the show.
The name Finn is an Irish name. It holds the meaning “white or fair.” We think the name Finn gives off a lot of energy and charm. It is on the popularity charts at number 209 for boys in the United States and continues to climb each year. Finn is a top 10 name in Germany!
All of the die-hard Grey’s Anatomy fans might be thinking – who is Finn? Finn Dandridge is a veterinarian that appeared in seasons 2 and 3. He was a love interest of Meredith Grey during the early years when she and Derek were on again off again. He shared a first kiss with Meredith after revealing to her that he was also damaged. His mother passed away from cancer at the age of 10 and his father gave up on life and spent his days drinking in front of the television. Finn is a good guy who put up a fight to be with Meredith but we know that in the end she chose Derek.
The name Zola is an African name, but also a literary name. Eddie Murphy named his fourth daughter Zola. It is typically used for females, but you could shorten the name to Zo for a boy. Once again, two letter names hold a lot of power.
Zola Grey Shepard is Meredith and Derek’s oldest daughter. She came to the hospital at the age of 6 months because of Alex Karev’s Africa project. Zola was born with spina bifida. She underwent brain surgery and then after recovery had a hernia repaired. Derek was the first one to bond with Zola. He suggested adopting Zola and Meredith agreed. The adoption wasn’t all smooth sailing. There was a moment when Derek and Meredith thought they would not receive custody of Zola and they were devastated. A social worker brought Zola to their house one day and told them the great news that they had full custody of Zola. She was officially part of the family. As Zola grows up she eventually gains a younger brother and sister and excels at being the oldest child. When Meredith went into labor with baby Ellis, Zola called 9-1-1 and saved her.
Olivia is a Latin name and hits the charts at number 2 in popularity! In the UK, Olivia is the number one name for girls alongside the number one name for boys, Oliver. Olivia means “olive tree” and holds a balance of strength and femininity. Olivia has been a popular name for at least 15 years. Grey’s Anatomy didn’t use this popular name for the leading role, but other television shows have. Olivia Benson from Law & Order SVU and Olivia Pope from Scandal just to name a few. Olive, Ollie and Liv are all nicknames that can be used with the names Oliver and Olivia.
Olivia Harper was a nurse at Seattle Grace and was fired to reduce staff before the merger with Mercy West. Olivia had a casual fling with Alex Karev when she contracted syphilis. She then went out with George O’Malley and gave him syphilis which created an outbreak in the hospital. Olivia got the name “syph nurse.” She was also one of the nurses who informed Mark Sloane that the nurses had created a club to unite against him, which implies that she was also one of the nurses who slept with him. Olivia worked along side the cast in seasons 1-4 and 6.
The name Jackson has been in the top 25 since 2010. It is now hitting the charts at number 17. Jackson is an English name with a historic namesake – Andrew Jackson and Stonewall Jackson. The modern trendy parents often like to switch up the spelling and use Jaxon or Jaxson.
Dr. Jackson Avery was introduced after the merger with Mercy West. He is now the head of Plastic Surgery and ENT at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Jackson is the grandson of one of the most famous surgeons in the country, Dr. Harper Avery. Growing up hearing stories about his grandfather is what inspired him to become a surgeon. Jackson is very forward and always speaks his mind, even if it might hurt someone’s feelings. He is smart and protective over the people he loves, mostly his mother and best friend (later wife) April Kepner. Mark Sloan took Jackson under his wing and called them the “Plastics Posse.” After Mark’s tragic death Jackson promised him that the “Plastics Posse” would live on.
The name Ellis is a Welsh name that means “benevolent” or compassionate. The popularity for girls is hitting the charts at number 962. Ellis is a nice alternative to the more popular name Ella, which is number 18. Ellis is a unisex name. For boys it is ranking at number 419.
Ellis Grey is the mother of Meredith Grey. Ellis was a world famous surgeon and was twice awarded the Harper Avery Award. She was intense, pompous, driven, egotistical, strong-minded and hard-working. She was not as good of a mother as she was a surgeon. Meredith grew up feeling alone when her mother was always working. Ellis had a long term affair with the chief, Richard Webber. We think she was so unhappy because he wouldn’t leave his wife for her. Ellis was later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She often lived in an alternate universe and became angry and aggressive until one day she passed away. Meredith named her third child Ellis after her mother.
Addison is an English name that holds the meaning “son of Adam.” It’s a popular name for girls. Addison hits the charts at number 24. A simpler version of Addi or Addie is modern and hip. Addison used to be a cool guy’s name but has since been taken over by females. It falls outside the top 1000 in the United States, but it ranks at number 618 in England.
Dr. Addison Adrianne Forbes Montgomery is a world class neuro surgeon specializing in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternal and Fetal Medicine. Addison first appeared on Grey’s Anatomy during the season one finale. She can be summed up as the girl you love to hate. She is Derek Shepard’s ex-wife and gets in the way of his relationship with Meredith. Long story short – Derek sleeps with Addison, Addison sleeps with Mark, and then Addison sleeps with Alex. By season three Addison decides to move from Seattle to Los Angeles, which set up the spin off series Private Practice.
Ruby, Rose, and Violet are all color names commonly used for girls. While the color name Grey is low on the list for girl, it makes the top 1000 for boys coming in at number 916. With celebrities like Beyoncé and Jay Z choosing the color name Blue, we predict it won’t be long before the color names take off. Grey can also be spelled Gray which might be more appealing for girls.
Dr. Meredith Grey is the face of Grey’s Anatomy. She visited Seattle Grace Hospital when she was a little girl and was destined to be a surgeon. She is currently the head of General surgery at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Dark and twisty are the words Meredith often uses to describe herself. She is also highly intelligent, hard-working, and kindhearted. She has natural instincts when it comes to medicine. Meredith also has a tendency to make rash decisions and she is outspoken. She is the total opposite of her late husband Dr. Derek Shepard.
Sloan is a less popular spelling of Sloane, however, either spelling is accepted for both males and females. Sloan is an Irish name that means “raider.” The name Sloan is sleek and sophisticated. Like many other unisex names, Sloan is slowly rolling over to the girl’s side.
Dr. Mark Sloan was the head of Plastic Surgery at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital before he died in a plane crash. Mark is a happy go lucky and very handsome man. He was a high school athlete and played football. He had the nick name “McSteamy.” He was also childhood friends with Derek Shepard aka “McDreamy.” Mark was always a ladies man, but he crossed the line when he slept with Addison, Derek’s wife. Mark has an impatient personality and often humiliated interns and nurses.
Mark Sloan has a daughter named Sloan Riley - we LOVE last names as first names - who appeared in season 6 of Grey’s Anatomy.