Posts Tagged ‘ Buffy the Vampire Slayer ’

Bewitching Halloween Baby Names for Girls

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

This really must be the season of the witch—there’s two great witchy new shows, The Witches of East End and American Horror Story: Coven—and now there’s even talk of a Charmed reboot. The cool thing is that many of these witchy characters come with enchanting names that might be worth considering for your daughter.

Fiona is an Scottish name currently worn by the Witch Supreme in American Horror Story: Coven (and played by the ever-amazing Jessica Lange). It means white or fair—though the current Fiona is hardly a white witch. The name’s been on a slow but steady rise since the early 1990s, and currently is nearing the 200th spot in popularity for girls.

Willow’s one of the coolest witchy characters, courtesy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She’s Buffy’s adorably nerdy best pal who dabbles in witchery, until a tragic death makes her go to the dark side. Willow’s an up-and-coming nature name, currently at #171 for girls.

• If you love Harry Potter, odds are good you love one of two witches featured in the story—Hermione, his brilliant BFF, or Luna, the offbeat pal who joins the crew to help defeat Voldemort. Hermione, which means messenger, still hasn’t broken into the top 1000, but not long after J.K. Rowling introduced Luna to the world, the name took off—it went from #890 to #223 in less than a decade.

• Truth be told, I haven’t had a chance to catch Witches of East End yet, but I’m loving the name Freya. It’s a Scandinavian name that means noble, and was also used for Merlin’s love interest on the BBC’s show.

Wicked turned Glinda the good witch into Galinda, which I like a bit better. No word on the meaning, but I’m guessing it’s something like beautiful, given the “Linda” at the end.

Phoebe was Alyssa Milano’s witchy Halliwell sister on Charmed. It means “shining one,” and it’s currently #303 in popularity here in the U.S.

Sabrina was a Celtic goddess long before she was the teenage witch of 1990s sitcom fame. The name is currently #275 here in the U.S.

• Some might call Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks one of rock’s most bewitching singers, but her song Rhiannon was about a truly bewitching character from Welsh legend. The name means “divine queen,” and it was red hot after the song came out—but it dropped out of the top 1000 names back in 2008.

Anne Rice may be known for her vampire novels, but she also wrote a witch series with a clever heroine, Rowan Mayfair. Rowan is a Scottish name that means red-head, and it’s just about to crack the top 300 in the U.S.

What cool witchy names did I miss? Share your favorites in the comments. And if you want to find out more about a baby name you like, check out our Baby Name Finder!

P.S. Don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in baby names!

Image: Witch baby by Hannamariah/

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Influence on Baby Names

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

It’s been exactly a decade since Buffy staked her last vampire on network TV. But you can see the influence of Joss Whedon’s most popular creation, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in more than just TV shows like Vampire Diaries and True Blood—you can see it in the rise in popularity of a few key characters’ names. Nameberry’s had a whole series of articles about Joss’s naming prowess—and a lot of debate about whether people would pick some of the more controversial names (i.e. Spike). I admit that Xander was tops on my list, if we’d had a boy instead of two lovely ladies. Check out what became of these names after the show ended.

Buffy If a kick-ass vamp slayer like Ms. Summers can’t resurrect Buffy from the dead, nothing will. And though she saved the world (a lot), she wasn’t able to save her name from remaining at the bottom of the heap. Buffy is among the goofiest nicknames for Elizabeth.

Angel Buffy’s true love—a vampire with a soul—gets the deep name of Angel. The name was on an upswing before the show even aired, but it’s been a consistent top 100 choice ever since.

Willow The nature name Joss chose for Buffy’s geek-chic best friend (and future most-powerful-witch-in-the-universe) was barely in the top 1000 when the show started, and now is continuing its rise, currently ranking as the 171st most popular name for girls in the U.S. (You can also thank Will and Jada Smith, who picked it for their daughter during this same timeframe.)

Xander This short form of Alexander clearly got a boost from its pop culture association—it didn’t even register on the charts when the show first aired, and it’s now nearing the top 200 names. You can bet, too, that more than a few of the babies named Alexander (it’s currently #9 on the charts) actually go by Xander instead.

Cordelia Buffy’s high-school mean-girl frenemy scored a name that wasn’t exactly apropos (it’s Latin for “heart”). Despite its sweet meaning, its illustrious past (it’s one of King Lear’s daughters in Shakespeare’s masterpiece), and this pop-culture reference, it still hasn’t cracked the top 1000 names in decades.

Anya This Russian variant on Ann was picked for a former vengeance demon and reluctant member of Buffy’s “Scooby Gang,” and perhaps one of my favorite characters on the show. The name zoomed up the charts after the character was introduced in the show, and it’s currently in the top 400 names.

Rupert Sadly, neither Buffy’s guiding force, Watcher Rupert Giles, nor Rupert Grint, the actor who played Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter series, was able to bring this name into prominence in the U.S. (It is still pretty popular in the UK, though.) I kind of like the funky “Ripper” nickname the bookish Mr. Giles had from his bad-boy rebellious stage.

Spike If you’re really daring, you might want to name your child after Buffy’s other great love—one of the most vicious vamps around, who Buffy helped tame. But you might be better off giving your child this character’s given name, top-10 classic William, and then just calling him Spike around the house.

Faith There’s a whole convoluted story about how Buffy went from being the only slayer in the world to having a second one to join her fight. And Faith represented the wild side of Slayerdom—and later became a good girl gone bad. Faith was already on the rise into the top 100 when the character appeared—and it’s had continued popularity ever since.

Wesley If your only experience with Wesley Wyndham-Pryce was Buffy, you probably wouldn’t be too keen on the name—Faith’s Watcher Guide was a major-league prig and a bit of a wuss. But his character was developed more extensively on the spinoff series Angel, where he became quite a hero. Unfortunately, he seemed to have little positive effect on the course of the name—it made a small dip during the series run, but is now back up near the top 150 names for boys in the U.S.

There were some other great choices, too—I loved the names Warren and Glory, even if they were major league baddies. Were you a big-league Buffy fan—or a fan of any of these names? What was your favorite episode?

Want to vote on a few fab baby names? Check out our Name Game for more. (Oh, and don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the latest in baby names!)

Image: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Courtesy of 20th Century Fox


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Cool Name of the Week: Willow

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

It’s been nearly a decade since one of my all-time favorite shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, had its final TV episode. But creator Joss Whedon has kept the world of vamps, witches and superhero slayers alive in graphic novel form, so people can continue to follow the adventures of Buffy and her gang of Scoobies (as her close circle of evil-fighting pals was called).

While the series had a ton of amazing characters, my favorite by far was Willow, played on the series by How I Met Your Mother’s Alyson Hannigan. Over the course of the series, she slowly morphed from Buffy’s brilliant and nerdy best pal to the world’s most formidable witch (with a totally cool new look to go with her newly discovered confidence).

It felt authentic to me, as someone who followed the same path from awkward teen years to a semi-cool young adulthood. Minus the whole witch thing, of course.

I think Willow makes a beautiful name for a little girl. It’s an English word name, after the graceful, water-loving tree, and currently hits near the top 200 names, making it popular enough to not seem weird, but not so popular that you risk having several other Willows in your child’s class. (Keep in mind that if you run in very conservative naming circles, this may still seem a little out there compared with Emily and Ava.)

I’d pair it with a middle name that had a natural element to it as well: Names like Rose, Jade, Skye and Spring would be beautiful paired with Willow. If you wanted to go with a more traditional middle name, give Juliet, Jane or Anne a whirl. And I would definitely introduce her, when she’s in her early teens, to one of the coolest characters ever to grace the small screen.

Photo: Pregnant woman via Ronald Summers/


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