When it comes to selecting the perfect name for your baby, there are so many sources available to you. There’s the internet, the bible, even your very own family history but be sure not to overlook the world of television.
Once you delve into the slew of fictional TV characters that viewers love (or love to hate), you will discover a near never-ending host of names at your disposal. There are modern and newly invented names specifically designed for certain shows, there are names you’ve simply forgotten about, or maybe the name of one of your favorite characters is starting to grow on you. Whatever the case, there’s no reason a particular name can’t make the leap from your beloved show straight to the blank birth certificate for your unnamed child.
While there are too many to mention them all, read further for a condensed list of 28 exclusive baby names inspired by popular TV characters.
28 Angus (MacGyver)
Not only is MacGyver capable of diffusing a bomb with nothing more than a piece of cardboard, a bobby pin, and wad of chewing gum, he also single-handedly brought the boy’s name Angus back into the limelight for a time, thanks to his big first-name reveal during the 7th and final season of the hit action/adventure series.
Back in the mid-1980s and 90s, the show MacGyver was all the rage. Portrayed by Richard Dean Anderson, MacGyver was a scientist/bomb technician/Vietnam vet who also happened to be a resourceful walking and talking encyclopedia. Simply referred to by his last name, it wasn’t until the final season that his loyal fan base learned his first name to be Angus.
Scottish in origin, Angus is the anglicized version of Gaelic name Aonghus and Celtic name Oenghus. Meaning “one strength”, this name remains a go-to boy’s name in Scotland and is still going strong in New Zealand and Australia as well.
27 Barney (How I Met Your Mother)
The name Barney is still shaking off some residue from previous namesakes Barney Rubble and the big, purple dinosaur but thanks to the hit show How I Met Your Mother, Barney is making strides toward becoming another boy’s name possibility.
Character Barney Stinson, played flawlessly by Neil Patrick Harris, manages to imbue the name with a womanizing, playboy sort of vibe. Wingman and best friend to main character Ted Mosby, Barney is a man who enjoys his Scotch as much as his expensive business suits. The successful sitcom survived nine seasons with Barney considered to be the surprise breakout character who achieved some of the loudest laughs with his catchphrases and conniving antics.
This English name is often seen to be the diminutive of the longer name Barnaby, Barnabas (a biblical name), and sometimes Bernard. Meaning “son of comfort”, Barney is currently a hot boy’s name in London, England.
26 Boone (Lost)
Unless your last name is Doggle, the name Boone may have just the sort of unique sound and positive feel you are on the look-out for.
Before he played a vampire in popular series The Vampire Diaries, blue-eyed adonis Ian Somerhalder portrayed Boone Carlyle in the groundbreaking television event that was the series Lost. Touted as part dramatic/part sci-fi/part supernatural, the show followed survivors of a plane crash after they ended up stranded on a mysterious tropical island. Each extremely character-driven episode would unfurl with a series of flashbacks or flash-forwards that would create more questions than they’d answer. Still, the series proved to be a boon for ABC, lasting six seasons beginning in 2004.
Boone may be the perfect name for a couple of laid-back parents looking for a one-of-a-kind brand for their little cowboy. Originally of French extraction, the name means “a blessing”. It can also be a shout-out for American frontier folk hero and pioneer Daniel Boone (1734-1820).
25 Cersei (Game of Thrones)
If you’re a die-hard Game of Thrones fan on the hunt for a unique and strong female name, look no further than Cersei (pronounced Sur-see). Played by Lena Headey, the character of Cersei Lannister may be inappropriately involved with her twin brother who is the secret father of her three children on the show but that is neither here nor there. In fact, it just furthers the evidence that her strong female character lives life on her own terms despite inhabiting a cruel and misogynistic world where women are routinely at the mercy of men.
Based on the popular book series written by George R.R. Martin, the GoT genre can best be described as medieval/fantasy/epic in nature. The series follows two powerful families in a fictionalized land filled with deceit, power struggles, bloody battles, and gruesome ends for most characters. Yet Cersei Lannister prevails.
Often considered to be a Latinized form of the Greek name Kirke, Cersei is typically spelled Circe and means “bird”. In Greek mythology, Circe was the daughter of Helios, the sun.
24 Chandler (Friends)
The unisex name Chandler may have peaked during the 1990s thanks to Matthew Perry’s sarcastic, cynical, and hilarious character Chandler Bing on the hit series Friends. But the name has actually been around for a lot longer than that. From an old French term for candle-seller, the name Chandler was popular as a surname in England before eventually making the leap to first name status.
Featuring a cast of 20-somethings in the prime of their lives, Friends exerted its influence over society for the 10 years that it dominated prime time television. There was the Rachel--a haircut inspired by the short and shaggy locks of character Rachel Green portrayed by Jennifer Aniston before she hit A-list status; the Friends-speak such as character Joey Tribbiani’s “How you doin’?”; and of course the name Chandler.
Late in the series, character Phoebe (played by Lisa Kudrow) gives birth to triplets as a surrogate and names one of them, a girl, Chandler.
23 Cora (Downton Abbey)
The charmingly vintage girl’s name Cora is the perfect choice of name for chic parents looking to bestow their daughter with a lovely, classical moniker. Sometimes used as an abbreviated form for longer names such as Coraline, Cordelia or Corina, the name Cora is also a name unto itself.
And just when you thought Cora had seen better days, it’s back from the brink and front-and-centre on British dramatic series Downton Abbey. Played by American actress Elizabeth McGovern, Lady Grantham Cora Crawley is the matriarch of the manor. She also happens to be the level-headed, fair-minded, loving mother and benevolent mistress.
Derived from the Greek word “kore” which means “maiden”, Cora didn’t actually become a first name in the English-speaking world until it appeared as a character name in the 1826 novel The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper.
If finding a masculine version of Cora is your goal, consider Corey or another vintage classic, Cornelius.
22 Coyote (Grace and Frankie)
Animal names have ebbed and flowed in terms of baby naming trendiness, so why not Coyote? Currently a character on hit Netflix show Grace and Frankie, the name isn’t that far off from German moniker Wolf.
If you haven’t seen the show, let me catch you up to speed: Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) are formal rivals who find themselves in a similar predicament when both their husbands (who are partners in a law practice) announce they are gay and leaving them to spend the rest of their lives out in the open with each other.
Hippie and laid back to the nth degree, Frankie’s two sons have the names to prove it. Coyote (pronounced Ky-oat-ee) is played by actor Ethan Embry; his character is a former addict struggling to stay on the straight and narrow. Her other son is Nwabudike (Nwa-bood-a-kay) or Bud for short.
If you like the idea of a name plucked straight from the animal kingdom, grab Coyote while you have the chance. It can easily become the next it name and then your son will be one in a million.
21 Creed (The Office)
So, you want a well-kept secret of a name for your soon-to-arrive son. Then, Creed may be just the solution. This name barely registers on any baby naming sites. Further pluses include the fact that it’s simple to spell, easy to pronounce, and has a firm place within the English language as a word defining a system or formula of belief.
Yet the name clearly does exist. Not only is it the name of one of the most underrated characters on the U.S. version of mockumentary series The Office but it’s also the name of the actor who portrays him. American actor, Creed Bratton plays a fictionalized version of himself on this pseudo-documentary/comedy series that purportedly follows the everyday professional and sometimes personal lives of staff working at a paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Creed is an enigma on the series--both the name and the character. If that suits your naming needs, it’s all yours.
20 Crosby (Parenthood)
In 2011, the name Crosby broke through the barrier of top 1000 names thanks to character Crosby Braverman on the series Parenthood. Loosely based on the 1989 movie by the same name, Parenthood spent five years following the lives of the four Braverman siblings, their families as well as the lives of parents Zeke and Camille.
Crosby Braverman may have had one of the biggest character arcs on the series. Played by actor Dax Shepard, Crosby is the youngest sibling who starts off as a ne’er-do-well still struggling to find his footing in life when he suddenly learns he has a son. His wry humor, genuine heart, and honest struggle to change his life for the sake of his son made him a fan favorite and brought the name to light as a unisex and unique baby name.
Irish in origin, the name Crosby started out life as a popular surname that eventually crossed over. Speaking of crosses, the name means “village of crosses”.
19 Dexter (Dexter)
Once known as the second half of nerdy term poindexter, the name Dexter now has new life breathed into it thanks to “x” names coming into fashion. It also may have become a front-runner for cool name due to the popularity of character Dexter Morgan, a serial killing blood spatter expert who attempts to live a normal life while ridding the Miami area of undesirables.
Played by actor Michael C. Hall with intense precision, Dexter satiates his serial-killing tendencies by hand-picking his victims based on a set of criteria created by his late father.
Despite the fact that the show Dexter first aired in 2006, the name has been around much longer than that. Originally known as an old English occupational surname for “one who dyes”, the word also has the Latin meaning of “right-handed” or “skilled” as in dexterity.
Currently, the boy’s name Dexter sits at #73 in England and Wales.
18 Edith (Downton Abbey)
Another old name given a second chance thanks to hit British series Downton Abbey is Edith. Derived from the old English name Eadgyo, it is comprised of elements “ead” meaning “wealth” or “fortune” and “gyo” meaning “war”. Considered a royal favorite in medieval times after St. Eadgyeth, the name faded after the 15th-century, was revived at some point during the 1800s, and currently clocks in at #36 in Sweden for top girls’ names.
Character Lady Edith Crawley (played by British actress Laura Carmichael) started off the series on shaky ground. Portrayed as the long-suffering middle child of Lord and Lady Grantham, Edith has endured more than her fair share of hard knocks despite her wealth and nobility. Constantly suffering a variety of heartbreak, Edith is jilted at the altar followed by eventually losing the love of her life under mysterious circumstances later in the series. However, she pulled herself out of the self-pity, and turned her life around by the series conclusion.
17 Elroy (The Jetsons)
If the phrase: “. . . his boy Elroy” brings back a supersonic flood of retro memories, the name Elroy may pull at your childhood nostalgia strings as well. If not, the name is still pretty awesome on so many levels.
If you’re too young to remember The Jetsons, it was an animated sitcom focusing on a space-age family and their futuristic world which included robots, flying cars, and a number of time-saving contraptions. Often considered to be the counterpart to The Flintstones, The Jetsons aired in a primetime slot from 1962 to 63 before heading into syndication and airing on Saturday mornings. New episodes were created once again during the 80s.
Elroy Jetson was the six-year-old hyper-intelligent son of Jetson patriarch, George Jetson.
The name Elroy is a slightly altered version of faded classic, Leroy. Meaning “the king”, the name uses the Spanish article “el” in lieu of the French “le”. The name peaked during 1922. Currently, there is no Elroy under the age of 13 listed within the United States. On Canadian soil, the stats on Elroy are less clear, however there is at least one child with the unique name that I know of.
16 Frasier (Cheers / Frasier)
The character Frasier Crane (and the name Frasier) was first introduced to prime time audiences thanks to the long-running sitcom Cheers. Kelsey Grammer portrayed Frasier, the brainy and slightly neurotic psychiatrist who happened to be barmaid Diane Chambers’ love interest in 1984. Originally written as a small part, viewers fell in love with his brand of humor, and producers kept him on the show as a series regular.
After Cheers ended its run in 1993, the spin-off Frasier picked up right where Cheers left off and saw Frasier move from Boston back to his native Seattle where he hosted a radio talk show focused on therapy. The successful spin-off ran for 11 years before ending in 2004.
As a name, Frasier is a second banana variant to top dog, Fraser. Typically pronounced as either Fray-shur or Fray-zer, this Scottish name derives from the French word “fraise” meaning “strawberry”. There is historical evidence indicating that Fraser began as a Scottish surname but how that got started is anyone’s guess. While the name is not winning any current popularity contests in North America, it sits at #56 in its native Scotland.
15 Haddie (Parenthood)
While the name Hattie calls to mind days of little old ladies wearing lacy gloves and bonnets, a tweak in spelling seems to have breathed new life into it. Haddie Braverman (portrayed by actress Sarah Ramos) is the eldest child of Adam and Kristina Braverman on the hit series Parenthood. There was really nothing remarkable about her character; she was a typical teen struggling to fit in and find her place within her family and her life. However, her name definitely seemed to strike a chord with viewers. As of 2015, the name Haddie has been on the rise with 162 girls within the U.S. bearing the name.
Often considered a nickname for Harriet or Henrietta, Hattie is one of those vintage nicknames on par with Lottie, Dottie, and Nettie. Although Hattie has received a much-needed boost in popularity thanks to Tori Spelling’s daughter, Hattie McDermott, born in 2011.
Haddie can also be used as a nickname for Hadley, another surname turned first name.
14 Jax (Sons of Anarchy)
As far as naming trends go, sleek, hip, and ending with ‘x’ are proving to be favorites; think Pax, Max, and Fox. And due to the critical acclaim of Sons of Anarchy, the boy’s name Jax has shot through the roof in popularity.
Main character Jax (Jackson) Teller is played by British hunk Charlie Hunnam in this crime drama series which follows an outlaw motorcycle club operating in the fictional California town of Charming. Beginning in 2008, Sons of Anarchy ran for seven successful seasons and has definitely left its mark if in name only.
Typically seen as a modern nickname for full name Jackson, Jax is being used more often as a complete name on its own. And despite being a name newcomer, it broke into the top 1000 boys’ names in 2005 and has been edging closer to a spot in the top 200 for the past three years in a row.
13 Jethro (The Beverly Hillbillies)
The Beverly Hillbillies may have come to an end in 1971 but that doesn’t mean that what could easily be the next big boy’s name has to.
Jethro Bodine (played by actor Max Baer Jr. whose real name is the illustrious-sounding Maximilian Adalbert Baer Jr.) was the good-natured if not a tad dumb, nephew to the show’s patriarch Jed Clampett (played by Buddy Ebsen). If you’re unfamiliar with this hit tv show’s premise, here it is in a nutshell: the Clampett family strike it rich with oil and leave their home in the Ozarks to live in Beverly Hills. A classic fish-out-of-water story, this comedy was ranked among the 20 most-watched shows during its eight out of nine seasons.
Meaning “excellence”, Jethro is a biblical name from the original Hebrew name Yitro. Derived from the Hebrew word “yeter” which is translated as meaning “abundance”, Jethro is the father of Moses’ wife in the Bible. Despite this biblical connection, the name Jethro is so rare, it doesn’t even have a ranking as a current boy’s name.
12 Kalinda (The Good Wife)
The Hindi name Kalinda means “sun” and refers to the mythical Kalinda mountains and sacred river. Some parents are opting to spell it with a “c” and are shortening it to Kally or Lindi. Despite the name’s ancient roots, it is only as of late that it’s been thrust into the spotlight thanks to the dramatic series The Good Wife.
The show follows the character of Alicia Florrick (played by Julianna Margulies) as the wife of a disgraced politician. She brushes off the humiliation she has endured from her husband’s scandalous behavior and resumes her career as a defense attorney. Basically, the program revolves around her, the way she balances her professional and private life as well as the weekly cases occurring within her law office.
This brings us to the character of Kalinda Sharma. She is the no-nonsense, straight-shooter private investigator who works for Alicia’s law office and is portrayed by British actress Archie Panjabi.
11 Khaleesi (Game of Thrones)
If you’re on the prowl for a strong, female name, here is yet another example pulled directly from the ratings juggernaut Game of Thrones. Not even a name as much as a designation, Khaleesi is the fictional title for the wife to the Khal--a chieftain of the Dothraki people.
On the show, Khaleesi is a fierce female character who refuses to follow the Dothraki tradition. Upon her husband’s brutal death, rather than fading away, she takes her title of Khaleesi and redefines it as a ruler in her own right.
Due to Khaleesi being a modern, newly-invented name created by GoT writer George R.R. Martin, there is only limited data available about the name’s usage. In 2014, it entered the realm of top 1000 girls’ names although as of 2015, had dropped 60 slots.
Apparently, Martin’s creative genius extends into the domain of baby names as another girl’s name from the series, Arya, has been taking the world by storm since 2012.
10 Kramer (Seinfeld)
You may remember him as Jerry’s zany, wild-haired neighbor on the hit sitcom Seinfeld. The single-named Kramer achieved a lot of laughs just for his creative entrances into the scene. It wasn’t until the show was well into its 6th season that Kramer’s first name was revealed to be Cosmo. While Cosmo is actually a boy’s name that means “order” or “beauty”, it is often associated with the abbreviated term for cosmopolitan; either the magazine or drink.
Seinfeld is another show said to have changed the landscape of television with its nine seasons of episodes about “nothing”. Each episode would focus on comedian Jerry Seinfeld (playing a fictionalized version of himself) as well as his three friends: George Costanza, Elaine Benes ,and Cosmo Kramer.
Originally a German or Jewish surname, Kramer is one of those last names that can easily fit the bill as a first name (think Carson, Cohen, and Anderson). It comes from the occupational name for being a shopkeeper or grocer.
9 Lorelai (The Gilmore Girls)
Gilmore Girls first aired in 2000 and lasted seven seasons. The show followed single mother and her teen daughter as they lived their lives in a quirky Connecticut town called Stars Hollow. Both mother and daughter are named Lorelai, although the daughter opts to go by the cute nickname, Rory.
Typically spelled Lorelei (pronounced Lora-lie), this ancient name has been given a second chance thanks to the popularity of Gilmore Girls. The show is currently offered on Netflix which has resulted in Lorelai jumping in popularity. As of 2014, it entered the top 500 girls’ names for the first time ever. As an FYI for all you diehard fans, Netflix will be releasing a never before seen 8th season, although there is still no specific date on this.
Based on the Germanic word for “luring rock”, a German legend has it that Lorelei was a siren who sat on a rock in the Rhine River and lured sailors to their deaths.
8 Marnie (Girls)
Originally considered a Hebrew nickname arising from the names Marnina or Marina, Marnie is now better known than the full moniker. Not only is Marnie the title of a Hitchcock nail-biter from 1964, but is now also a character on the HBO series Girls.
Marnie Michaels, as portrayed by starry-eyed Allison Williams, is a self-centered and neurotic character (like all the characters on Girls) that viewers truly love to hate. The brainchild of star Lena Dunham, Girls is part comedy/part drama, following 20-something friends living in New York City. Marnie is Hannah’s (Dunham’s character) BFF. She may be high strung and extremely judgmental but she is definitely fun to watch and also easy on the eyes.
The name Marnie means rejoice, and though it saw better days during the 1970s, that doesn’t mean it can’t make a comeback. If you like the sound but want something a tad different, add the names Marin and Marlin to your maybe list.
7 Milo (Gossip Girl)
The American teen drama series Gossip Girl is based on a book series of the same name. Narrated by unseen blogger (voiced by Kristen Bell), the show focuses on the fictional lives of well-to-do adolescents living in New York City. Milo Sparks Humphrey is the character name of a baby on the show with questionable paternity. Which is ironic considering the name Milo has a questionable origin story as well.
Possibly derived from the German “mild” or from the Germanic root word “milan” which means “to beat or mill until fine and tender”, the name Milo may also have arisen from the Slavic root “milu” which means “merciful”.
Milo actually predates its name cousin, Miles. When Milo made its way into England, it somehow mutated into the more commonly found Miles. While not as popular in North America, the name Milo is still a high-ranking name choice in both Sweden and Belgium. It also comes with plenty of celebrity endorsements as both Alyssa Milano and Liv Tyler have chosen it for their respective sons.
6 Sansa (Game of Thrones)
Another popular powerful girl’s name taken straight from the kingdom of Game of Thrones is Sansa. This name took a bit more time building momentum probably due to the transformation of the character of Lady Sansa Stark. She began the series as a weak, naive, and peevish teen girl, yet as the show progressed, so has her character. After facing harsh realities within the Dothraki world which routinely include bloody betrayals and tragic cruelty, Sansa has become toughened and world-wise.
Portrayed by 20-year-old English actress Sophie Turner, Sansa’s GoT’s character may be one of the biggest surprises in terms of a character’s level of depth and growth within the series.
The name Sansa appears to have some Indian background as it is a Sanskrit name which means “praise” or “charm”. Other than that, specific details are sketchy.
In 2014, 12 baby girls within the United States were named Sansa which means the name has potential to catch on like wildfire.
5 Saul (Breaking Bad / Better Call Saul)
“S’all good, man” is how this heartbreakingly funny character got his name. First introduced during the successful run of Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman is a lovable, loyal, yet not 100% ethical lawyer for questionable clientele. Producers recognized the mass appeal of Saul’s character as well as the promise it entailed for additional story lines, and created the successful spin-off Better Call Saul. It’s only now that viewers have learned that Saul’s true identity is Jimmy McGill, and he has adopted the name Saul Goodman for a variety of other reasons; some of them yet to be revealed.
The name Saul is based on the original Hebrew name Sha’ul which means “prayed for” making it the ideal name for a highly anticipated or long-awaited child. According to the Old Testament, Saul is the name of the first King of Israel as well as the original first name of St. Paul.
While the name isn’t currently breaking any North American records, it is high-ranking in both Mexico and Spain.
4 Skyler (Breaking Bad)
Another nod to AMC’s Breaking Bad, in terms of reminding audiences of forgotten name possibilities, is character Skyler White as the fictional wife of main character Walter White. Played by actress Anna Gunn, she has received several critically acclaimed awards for her dramatic portrayal of a woman who will do what she needs to for her family.
During Breaking Bad’s five-season run, Skyler’s character was often vilified yet she remains one of the show’s toughest and most complicated characters because she refused to conform to anyone’s expectations.
Originally spelled Schuyler and considered to be unisex, the name derives from a Dutch surname that translates into “scholar”. Upon reaching the U.S., it made the leap to a first name as a way to honor the American general and politician Philip Schuyler (1733-1804). Eventually, the spelling changed to the more phonetic Skyler perhaps due to the association of “sky” or because of the Scottish Isle of Skye.
The name saw a spike in use in 2005, most likely thanks to Breaking Bad’s Skyler White.
3 Sybil (Downton Abbey)
Another golden oldie that could use some remembering is the vintage yet unique name, Sybil. Thanks to the period drama Downton Abbey and the character of Lady Sybil Crawley, viewers have recalled the beauty and simplicity of this medieval girl’s name.
Played by British actress Jessica Brown Findlay, Sybil is the youngest and most impetuous child of the noble Crawley family. Her rebellious nature and unconventional choices (she insisted on training to be a nurse, helped a family servant procure an office job, and ended up eloping with the family’s chauffeur) made her a favorite on the show.
Sometimes spelled Sibyl or Cybil, the name derives from the Greek name Sibella which means “prophetess”. The sibyls were ten female prophets found within Greek and Roman mythology and later within Christian theology as well.
Officially recognized as a first name in Christian society during the Middle Ages, the name eventually made its way into England where it faded into obscurity before resurrecting in the 19th-century, possibly due to the 1845 novel Sybil by Benjamin Disraeli.
2 Tabitha (Bewitched)
One more name not typically on the radar with new parents scouring for a pretty yet unique girl’s name is Tabitha. If you’re old enough to remember the TV show Bewitched, you may also recall that Tabitha was the name of Darrin and Samantha Stephens’ half mortal/half witch daughter.
As a baby on the show, her TV parents were uncertain whether their daughter had inherited her mother’s special talents. It was later revealed that she had. While her mother, Samantha, would famously twitch her nose in order to work her magic, Tabitha would physically use her finger to wiggle her nose to the same effect.
Sometimes spelled Tabatha, the name has biblical associations and means “gazelle” in Aramaic. The name became quite popular during the 1960s mainly due to Bewitched which ran from 1964 to 72. However, it hit its peak in the 80s and has been in decline ever since.
1 Xena (Xena: Warrior Princess)
It’s difficult to hear the girl’s name Xena and not think of the 1990s TV program Xena: Warrior Princess which ran from 1995 until 2001. The American fantasy series was filmed in New Zealand and starred Lucy Lawless as the titular character Xena (pronounced Zeena). Her character traveled around fighting evil and helping those unable to defend themselves in order to redeem her past sins. The show was a successful spin-off from the TV series Hercules from the mid-1990s.
Xena is of Greek origin and is most likely a variant of slightly longer name Xenia which means “hospitality” or “guest”. The Greek term “xenos” translates as “guest” or “stranger”. Xenia was also the name of a 5th-century saint. A similar sounding name is the sleek Xene which can be pronounced as either Zeen or Sheen.