Posts Tagged ‘ breaking bad ’

Cool Name of the Week: Jesse

Monday, September 30th, 2013

It seems like everyone in my Facebook feed loved last night’s series finale of Breaking Bad (certainly much more than I enjoyed the series finale of Dexter—which was deeply unsatisfying). My husband and I are still trying to catch up with Breaking Bad, thanks to AMC’s whole-series marathon and a now overfilled DVR. But what we’ve seen so far—and what I’ve surmised—poor Jesse Pinkman seems to have some of the most horrible things happen to him through the course of the series, thanks to Walter White. We’re talking Job level of misery. But does Aaron Paul’s unlucky meth dealer deserve to be name inspiration?

Jesse is a name that means “gift,” and has been a top 200 name for more than a century. It was most famously worn by the Old West outlaw Jesse James, but there’s a slew of young Hollywood actors bearing it, along with former pro-wrestler and Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura, and Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson. One of my BFFs picked this name for her oldest son—which makes me love it even more. And you can always think of that 80s cheese-pop classic, Jesse’s Girl by Rick Springfield.

Jesse’s on a bit of a decline, thanks in part to the feminine Jessica with its shortened Jessie nickname (the goofy Disney sitcom named Jessie probably doesn’t help matters, either). But I think it’s still pretty wearable, for boys, as Jessica’s on a much sharper downward spiral (and that show has to go off the air at some point, right?).

For the ultimate in outlaw cool, pairing Jesse with James as a middle name makes a wonderfully harmonious moniker. I also love it with Francis, Rafe, Knox or Tate.

What do you think of the name Jesse? Still wearable for boys, or heading over to the girls’ side?

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Emmy-Winning Baby Names

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Anyone else watching the Emmys tonight? I love this awards show, because I actually watch quite a few of the nominated shows, so I actually know a little bit about what’s going on. (Unlike the Oscars, where I usually don’t get to see anything that’s nominated, other than in the animated category!)

But today, I’m paying attention to the names—and there’s quite a few intriguing ones, among the winners (and the characters they play).

Here are my picks:

Claire Claire Danes won the drama best actress Emmy for her role as terrorist hunter Carrie Mathison on Homeland. Claire is a French name that means “bright,” and it’s currently on a huge upswing—now at #45 in the country.

Sheldon Jim Parsons has won the Emmy for the best comedy actor for four years now in his role as Sheldon Cooper on Big Bang Theory. But he hasn’t been able to keep the baby name from bottoming out near the top 1000 baby names. It’s an English name that means “valley”—could it be worth resurrecting as part of the old-fashioned baby name trend?

Selina Anyone else adore Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the hilariously out-of-touch Vice President Selina Meyer in Veep? It’s a variant spelling of Selena, a name with a cool meaning—moon goddess.

Merritt Merritt Wever may have given the shortest speech ever for her Emmy win as Zoey Barkow on Nurse Jackie. I’m loving her name, an English surname name that means “boundary gate.” It’s more commonly a boy’s name, so feel free to consider it for your son.

Skyler Anna Gunn won for her role as Skyler White, wife of meth kingpin Walter on Breaking Bad. Skyler may seem like it means “sky,” but it’s actually a variant spelling of the Dutch word “scholar.”

Arthur One of the creepiest parts of American Horror Story: Asylum was James Cromwell’s quease-inducing Nazi war criminal in hiding Dr. Arthur Arden, who was performing disturbing experiments on the mental patients at the asylum. But Arthur is still a pretty cool name—it has Celtic roots and means bear.

Did your favorite actors—or your favorite characters—inspire your baby name choices? Let us know!

And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook for more on the latest baby names!

Image: Emmy Awards by Joe Seer /

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Cool Name of the Week: Walter

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

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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Baby Name Inspiration: The Bad Boys of TV

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

To me, fall always means back to school—and back to TV, as several of my favorite shows start fresh again as the weather turns cold. (Though I have to thank the cable and network programmers for basically running new programs year-round now to keep me hooked.)

I’m kind of a fan of the anti-hero. Many of my shows feature characters that you absolutely love to hate (or maybe, if you’re like me, you just happen to love—a lot). So if you’re brave enough, consider a few baby names sported by the wickedest men on TV.

Walter I have to admit that I just started watching Breaking Bad, after years of “try it, you’ll love it” haranguing from a friend of mine. But now I’m totally addicted (pun intended) to this show about a mild-mannered chemistry teacher turned meth kingpin. And the name Walter, which has a very old-fashioned, regular-guy vibe (despite its military-hero meaning), really fits Walter’s past.

Dexter The slightly nerdy sounding name Dexter helps this serial-killer-cum-police-blood-splatter-expert maintain his low profile—at least until this season (can’t wait!). Dexter, which means right-handed, has become red-hot in recent years (climbing 70 spots in the past year alone)—and I think we can attribute that to Miami’s most effective (and lethal) crime fighter.

Conrad What’s more evil than a rich man who can throw his money around to get his way—no matter who gets hurt in the process? After Conrad Grayson framed her father, arranged for countless innocents to be killed—and got away with it all, it’s no wonder that Amanda Clarke (AKA Emily Thorne) is seeking Revenge. Conrad means wise advice—and this slick bad boy needs to do some savvy strategizing if he’s going to avoid falling victim to Emily/Amanda’s plot.

Eric Consider Eric Northman of True Blood a bit of a reformed bad boy—after suffering from witch-induced amnesia two seasons ago, he’s been a kinder, gentler version of the wicked Viking vamp we’d come to know and love. Eric is an old Viking name that means “eternal ruler,” perfect for this undead former heir to the throne.

Shane The Walking Dead‘s Shane started out as a good guy—the best pal of his sheriff partner, Rick Grimes. But that was before the zombie apocalypse came, and Shane left his buddy for dead and ran off with Rick’s wife and son. The next two seasons showed Shane’s descent into something less-than-human—he became a zombie on the inside before he actually became a zombie on the outside.  Shane’s an Irish name that means “God is gracious,” which is probably not something that the survivors believe right about now.

I’m excited to check out some of the new shows, to see if there’s another bad boy I should be following. Who are your favorites?

Photo: Alexander Skarsgard by s_bukley /

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