Cool Name of the Week: Walter

I came late to the Breaking Bad party—it seems like all of my favorite shows are on Sunday nights, and my DVR can only manage so many. And I’m still not quite caught up to where this final season is taking us. But you have to credit actor Bryan Cranston for taking the role of Walter White, the mild-mannered chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin, and making his descent from decent guy into darkness so compelling and believable.

Even though Walter White may be the ultimate anti-hero, I’m thinking he has shaken the dust off of this formerly fuddy-duddy name. Walter’s a German name that means ruler, and it’s been a top-of-the list name through the mid-1970s, when it started a pretty steep decline. But it’s currently leveling off in the mid-300s, and even on a slight uptick.

There’s a ton of cool namesakes for your Walter, beyond a fictional meth dealer. Think Walter Raleigh, English explorer, poet Walt Whitman, actor Walter Matthau, journalism legend Walter Cronkite, or the iconic Walt Disney.

Walter needs a great middle name with it—I’d pair it with Malcolm, Gideon, or Henry.

So what do you think—is Walter too old-fashioned, or now, too dangerous, thanks to Breaking Bad? Or is it a name you’d consider for your son?

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