Forget scouring the internet or trawling through baby name books. Sometimes, all the baby name inspiration you need is right before your eyes — even when all you’re doing is watching TV. And let’s face it; if there’s one time you’re entitled to put your feet up for a binge-watch, it’s during pregnancy. Netflix has over 80 original shows full of weird and wonderful characters with equally weird and wonderful names.
Plenty of on-screen characters — from Twilight, Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games to name but a few — over the years have inspired parents to get inventive with their baby name choices or triggered a revival of older, more traditional names. So why shouldn’t the latest Netflix smash do the same? Check out these cool character names from shows like Collateral, Grace and Frankie and The Haunting of Hill House.
And if anyone dares to question your horizontal position on the sofa glued to the screen, just tell them you’re doing very important research.
’13 Reasons Why’
If you can look beyond the controversial subject matter, 13 Reasons Why offers up a ton of brilliant baby name choices, such as the ever-popular Hannah, meaning “grace”; the Scottish place name Skye; and Sonya, a variation of Sonia, which means “wisdom.”
And let’s not forget the boys. There’s the soap-opera faithful Clay, a diminutive of Clayton, and the quirky Bryce, which means “speckled, freckled.”
Potential baby names choices from the heartfelt comedy Atypical include Sam, which means “told by God”; Julia, meaning “youthful”; Casey, which means “brave in battle”; and Elsa, which is a German diminutive of Elizabeth and means “pledged to God.”
The British thriller Collateral stars Carey Mulligan as Detective Inspector Kip Glaspie. Traditionally, Kip is a diminutive for the boy name Christopher, but in this case, we’re left guessing. Katherine? Christina? Or simply Kip? It’s a pretty cool girl name in any case.
You might also be inspired by the character names Suki (“loved one”), Sandrine (the French variation of Alexandra, which means “defending men”) and Elfie (a variation of Alfreda, Elfirda or Elva.)
Comedy anthology series Easy was a big Netflix hit, and some of the character names might just make your baby-naming decision a little easier. Jacob, meaning “supplanter,” was top of the U.S. boy name chart from 1999 through 2012 (partly due to a certain literary/on-screen phenomenon featuring vampires and wolves and star-crossed lovers) and is still a hugely popular choice, ranking at No. 10 in 2017. For girls, Easy offers up Noelle, meaning “Christmas,” and Annabelle, which means “loving.”
As expected, GLOW is packed with awesome ’80s names. Alison Brie plays the main character Ruth, which means “compassionate friend,” but far more interesting choices are the fruit name Cherry; Carmen, which means “garden”; Rhona, meaning “noisy one”; and Mallory, meaning “unfortunate” — perhaps not the best choice if you’re the superstitious type.
‘Grace and Frankie’
Aside from the virtue name Grace and Frankie, a diminutive of Frances, which means “from France or free man,” this Netflix fave starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin has plenty of character names to consider for your tot. Grace and Frankie have four kids between them for starters: Mallory, animal name Coyote, Brianna (“strong, virtuous and honorable”) and English nickname Bud.
Will Naomi Watts’ Gypsy character be enough to revive the girl name Jean? Probably not — it dropped out of the U.S. top 1,000 in 1995 and shows no signs of making a comeback. But if you’re drawn to this English/Scottish variation of Johanna, it means “God is gracious.” Other character names in Gypsy include Sidney (“Saint Denis”), Rebecca (“servant of God”), the international surname Larin and the English nature name Holly.
‘House of Cards’
The U.S. might not have had a female president — yet — so House of Cards‘ Claire Underwood is the next best thing. The French form of Clara, Claire means “bright, clear” and has enjoyed a revival since the ’70s, hitting its highest spot of all time on the U.S. baby name chart in 2017 at No. 49.
Other characters in the final season of the show include Seth (“appointed, placed”), Jane (“God is gracious”), Annette (“the Lord has favored me”) and Duncan (“dark warrior).
‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’
What better pop-culture namesake for your kid than the always positive, warm-hearted, determined Kimmy Schmidt? The name Kimmy is usually a short form of Kimberly but is cute and contemporary in its own right.
Other interesting Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt character names are Titus, which means “title of honor”; Buckley, meaning “meadow of the deer”; Lillian, which means “lily, a flower”; and Gretchen, meaning “pearl.”
Judd Apatow’s cocreated series Love defies genres, and it doesn’t play by the rules when it comes to naming conventions either. Three of the female characters — Mickey, Shaun and Bertie — have traditional boy names.
We can’t forget the endearing main male character Gus, which may be a short form of one of several names, including Augustus, which means “great, magnificent.” There’s also Heidi, a German name meaning “of noble birth.”
The sci-fi comedy Maniac might have a dark side, but the character names are golden. From the classic Owen (“young warrior; well-born”), Annie (“grace”) and James (“supplanter”) to the more unusual Greta (“pearl”), Jed (“beloved of the Lord”), Belle (“beautiful”), Porter (“gatekeeper”) and Adelaide (“noble, nobility”), there’s something for everyone.
A serial-killer thriller with a twist, Mindhunter offers up some interesting name options, such as Holden, which means “hollow valley” and Annaliese, a traditional German combination name (the “-liese” part comes from a short form of Elizabeth) that charted in the U.S. (spelled Annalise) for the first time in 1997.
There’s also Wendy, which has a unique back story. It was invented by Sir James Barrie in 1904 for the big sister character in his play Peter Pan.
It’s impossible for any of the character names on Narcos to pack a punch in the same way as watching the show does, but they might give you something to add to your list.
For boys, there’s Pablo (the Spanish variation of Paul, which means “small”), Franklin (“free landholder”) and Daniel (“God is my judge”), and for girls, Connie (“steadfastness”), Cristina (“a Christian”) and Valeria (“strength, health”).
‘Orange Is the New Black’
So, it turns out a women’s prison ensures a long list of kick-ass girl names. Orange Is the New Black features Piper (“pipe or flute player”), Tiffany (“God’s appearance”), Stella (“star”) and Madison (“son of Maud”). You might want to rule out Crazy Eyes, though.
Suburban crime drama Ozark is back for a second season of Byrde family adventures, providing plenty of name inspiration. Just or starters, there’s Marty (a form of Martin, which means “warlike”), Darlene (“darling”), Jonah (“dove”) and Charlotte (the French diminutive of Charles, which means “free man”).
Jughead aside (no judgment here, though), some of the top names in the darker-than-average teen drama Riverdale are Archie, which means “truly brave”; Betty (diminutive of Elizabeth, meaning “pledged to God”); Veronica (“she who brings victory; true image”); and Kevin, which means “handsome.”
‘Santa Clarita Diet’
Gory comedy Santa Clarita Diet might not be to everyone’s taste, but everything is fair game when it comes to baby names. Great girl names include Cora “maiden,” the hugely popular Mia (“mine”) and Ramona (“wise protector”), while Joel (“Jehovah is his God”) leads the way for boys.
Unless you’re inspired to give your baby a number name à la Eleven, consider other characters in the Netflix smash Stranger Things, such as Murray (“settlement by the sea”), Nancy (“grace”), Lucas (“man from Lucania”), Joyce (“merry, joyous”) and Dustin (“brave warrior or Thor’s stone”).
If royal baby names are your thing, you probably have a long list already. But you could always watch The Crown to remind yourself of the names Elizabeth (“pledged to God”), Margaret (“pearl”), Philip (“lover of horses”) or George (“farmer”). Or you could give your royal connection a rebellious twist by opting for Wallis (the female version of Wallace), as in Simpson, the American socialite whose intended marriage to King Edward VIII caused a crisis and led to Edward’s abdication.
‘The Haunting of Hill House’
If you’ve always wanted to name your baby after a spooky kid, The Haunting of Hill House character list is all you need. The Crain kids are Steven (“garland, crown”), Luke (“man from Lucania”), Shirley (“bright meadow”), Theodora (“gift of God”) and Nell (“bright, shining one”). Of course, there’s also the super-spooky mom Olivia, whose name means “olive tree” and was No. 2 on the U.S. girl name chart in 2017.
Image: Shutterstock. Design: Ashley Britton/SheKnows.
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