Posts Tagged ‘ pop culture baby names ’

‘Mad Men’ Baby Names: What’s in Vogue, What’s Not?

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Mad Men‘s final season started last night. But even if the show brought ’60s cocktails and fashions back into vogue, it hasn’t exactly done the same for baby names. (When’s the last time you met a new baby named Don?) Here’s the scoop on what hit (and what didn’t) from the show:

Don Don Draper rises from a dark and troubled past to become a partner in his own advertising agency, but left behind a broken marriage, three kids and lots of other trouble in his wake. (FYI—the current Don actually took his name from a Korean War buddy who died near him. His real name was Richard.) Donald is a Scottish name that means chief, and has been on a slow decline in popularity since the 1950s.

Betty This short form of Elizabeth was ubercommon in this era—and was given to Don Draper’s first wife and mother of his children. While Betty itself is rarely heard on the playground, Elizabeth is still a top 20 favorite. You may want to consider a more stylish nickname, like Eliza, Lizzy, or Beth.

Peggy Copywriter Peggy Olson also rose through the ranks from the secretarial pool—and engaged in some Don Draperesque behavior in her personal life. Her name is a vintage nickname for the classic Margaret. Peggy hasn’t yet made a comeback, but there’s a slew of nicknames for Margaret that are popular, including Maggie, Maisie, May, Greta, and Daisy.

Pete Pete Campbell probably has one of the most timeless names on the show, thanks to its association with the popular saint. Peter means “rock,” and is currently hovering near the top 200.

Joan Joan started out in the secretarial pool, before being elevated to partner at Don Draper’s new agency. Joan is a female variant on John and shares its meaning (“God is gracious”) but not its popularity—it dropped out of the top 1000 in the early 1990s.

Sally Don and Betty’s daughter scores this nickname for Sarah that shares its meaning, princess. Sally fell out of the top 1000 in the 1990s, after a long reign near the top.

Roger Roger Sterling was head of Sterling Cooper and the later agency, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. His name, currently in the top 600, means warrior.

Megan This Welsh variant of Margaret shares its meaning, pearl. It’s the name of Don’s second wife, a former junior copywriter at the firm and aspiring actress. Megan was actually up and coming during the 1950s and 1960s, and hit its peak in the 1990s. It’s currently still in the top 200.

Tell us: Which of these baby names do you think have a shot of coming back into style? And would you name your baby any of them?

If you’re looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder, or email me at for advice. (You could find your question answered here!) And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names!

Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret

Image via AMC/Facebook

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Yep, We’re Analyzing ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Baby Names

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Fifty Shade of GreyCould the phenomenon known as Fifty Shades of Grey have an impact on baby names? Despite the obvious ick factor in naming your kid after a character in an erotic novel/movie, Fifty Shades of Grey does offer some intriguing baby name choices. With the movie’s upcoming, um, release, we’ve delved into the secrets behind the best baby names from the sexy film.

Christian This religious-themed name has been in the top 50 since the early 1990s, but actually seems to be on a bit of a downturn since the book came out. (Perhaps moms-to-be don’t want their babies to grow up to be S&M advocates—or they don’t want people to think their name choice was inspired by the book. ) It’ll be more interesting to see how Christian pans out in popularity this year and next, when the influence of the movie and the book could more readily be seen.

Grey Grey wasn’t even charting until last year, when it entered the top 1000 for the first time. Color names are definitely in vogue—but could this be a subtle surname homage to the mysterious Mr. Grey?

Anastasia Christian’s new paramour sports this Russian royal name that means resurrection—and has been resurrected in popularity recently. After going on a slow and steady decline, it jumped nearly 100 spots last year.

Kate Anastasia’s BFF gets this short and sweet nickname for Katherine, which means pure. Kate’s been popular as a name on its own, and is currently in the top 200 baby names.

Jose Jose seems to be the Jacob character from the Twilight series—it’s a Spanish variant on Joseph that’s been in the top 100 baby names for the past 50 years.

Tell us: Would you choose baby names associated with an erotic novel? Or would you skip these because they’re associated with the book?

If you’re still looking for a great baby name, try our Baby Name Finder. And don’t forget to like In Name Only to keep up with the very latest in baby names.

Image: Shutterstock

Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret
Baby Names: Avoid Baby Naming Regret

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2015 Baby Name Trends: What Will Be Hot?

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Happy 2015! As always, we like to ring in the New Year on In Name Only with our predictions of what’s going to be hot in baby names for the coming year. So consider these thoughts when you’re picking names for your little one.

The “-lyns” and “-lines” Move over -ellas and -bellas. The hot new ending for girls’ names is -line or -lyn. Some of the biggest movers and shakers of last year fell into this category, and I can see them rising even further in 2015. Names like Adeline, Coraline, Evelyn, and Evangeline should be on the rise as part of this trend.

The “s” ending Boys’ names like Silas, Jonas, Matthias, Magnus, Atlas, Cassius and Otis may be on your radar—the “s” ending is very hot.

Short and sweet Forget those 13+ letter names—you’ll hear a lot more babies with charming, short names. Considering following this trend? Try Gus, Ezra, Beau, or Grey for boys, or Eve, Wren, Mae, or Pearl for girls.

The new florals Top names like Lily and Violet are old hat—you’ll see more exotic blooms amongst this year’s names—Azalea, Dahlia, Magnolia, and Iris are all on our radar.

Pop culture picks Pop culture brought us red hot names like Gus and Hazel (The Fault in Our Stars), Arya (Game of Thrones), Elsa (Frozen) and Bruno (as in singer Bruno Mars). Expect Elsa to continue its meteoric rise, and expect that many parents will find new names to consider amongst the hottest shows, performers, and books. Our pop-culture picks: Cormoran (from J.K. Rowling’s detective series), Dixon (as in Daryl Dixon of the Walking Dead), Anastasia (50 Shades of Grey), Ophelia (Hamlet), and Brienne (Game of Thrones).

Wild words Word names are becoming ever more popular, and celebrities have taken the trend in an even more extreme direction, replacing stalwarts like Deacon and Faith with picks like Reign and Saint. Look for these to make a splash this year, along with Winter, Major, Serenity, Legend, Haven, and Mercy.

Tell us: What names do you think will be popular this year? Are any of these names on your short list? If you’re still looking for the perfect name, check out our Baby Name Finder or email me at And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook for the very latest in baby names!

Baby Names: How to Know You've Picked the Right Name
Baby Names: How to Know You've Picked the Right Name
Baby Names: How to Know You've Picked the Right Name

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What’s Your Baby Name Pet Peeve?

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Are there baby names that grate on your ears like nails on a chalkboard? It seems like everyone has that certain name or name type that really makes them crazy. (And of course, one person’s trashy name is another’s treasured moniker.) But what baby name types seem to draw the most ire? After serving a few years as the resident baby name expert here at Parents, I’ve noted what usually gets people riled up. Check out the most common baby naming pet peeves.

Kreative Spellyngs.  There are enough Jurnees and Addysyns out there to attest to the fact that creative spellings are here to stay. (In fact, Aiden, the alternative spelling of Aidan, is more popular than the original.) But detractors think that parents who pick a creative spelling seem less educated than a proper spelling stickler.

Celeb-Worthy Baby Names. Would you vote for President North West or Apple? Odds are, the children of celebrities who are often get saddled with these offbeat names will never have to work a day in their life. But it’s likely that your kiddo will need to get herself a job one of these days—and people may think twice before they listen to the advice of Dr. Moxie.

Giving a Girl a Boys’ Name—and Vice Versa. The trend of giving girls boys’ names seems to have no end in sight—which is a shame for many boys, as people end to stray away from giving their sons names that have started favoring the pink side of the column. (Did you know that names like Meredith, Carol, and Ashley all started as boys’ names?) And it’s rarer, but some guys have started getting names that are generally for the fairer sex.

Pop Culture Character Baby Names. While your personal family tree is a great way to find a name with meaning, many moms-to-be are hunting their favorite shows for name inspiration. But some character name picks (i.e. Arya from Game of Thrones) may be inspired and wearable, while others—like Khaleesi, the Game of Thrones Dothraki word for queen—may be better left to fiction.

Ultraconservative Baby Name Choices. The other extreme of baby naming is to go with the simplest and safest name. If you pick Sophia or Noah right now, you know your kid won’t have any trouble fitting in namewise—there will probably be at least a few of fellow Noahs and Sophias in class with him or her. But the naysayers shake their heads at this nod to conformity and stick-to-the-basics baby names.

Tell us: What’s your big baby name pet peeve? What names really make you cringe?

If you’re still looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder, or email me at for advice. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.

British Baby Names
British Baby Names
British Baby Names

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Cool TV Character Baby Names

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Pop culture has become a bigger influence on baby names lately—as many people turn to TV shows and movies for their baby name inspiration. So what names might be worth emulating from some current TV favorites? Here are my picks:

Abigail (Sleepy Hollow) Sleepy Hollow cop Abigail has to contend with some pretty spooky occurrences (and a resurrected Ichabod Crane), but sports a classic name that’s back in vogue.

Annalise (How to Get Away With Murder) Annalise Keating, the brilliant, tough-as-nails law professor in Shonda Rimes’ latest drama, scores an old-school German name that means grace.

Arya (Game of Thrones) Arya Stark has been in hiding ever since her father, Ned Stark, was beheaded—but her name is on a hot streak, as one of the most popular names in the U.S.

Arizona (Grey’s Anatomy) The hospital’s resident pediatrician sports one of the less common—but still very cool—place names.

Blaine (Glee) Glee may no longer be red hot, but this Irish name, which means slender, is currently on an uptick.

Cameron (Modern Family) Everyone must love this vibrant member of the Dunphy clan—Cameron’s now a top 60 name in the U.S.

Clara (Doctor Who) The Doctor’s current companion wears a lovely name that means “bright,” and is currently surging in popularity.

Deacon (Nashville) This hunky character sports a church official’s title name that is currently on the up-and-coming list.

Eliza (Selfie) Yes, this new show based on the classic My Fair Lady is currently in danger of being cancelled, but Eliza, a shortened form of the classic Elizabeth, is a classic that never goes out of style.

Fiona (Shameless) The “mom” of the scrappy Gallagher clan is big sister Fiona, who sports this pretty Celtic name that means fair.

Kalinda (Good Wife) The Good Wife’s investigator sports this pretty Hindu name that means “sun.”

Michonne (Walking Dead) We’ve picked Michonne as a stellar name choice ever since her character was introduced on the Walking Dead—and there’s no reason not to consider this offbeat name for your daughter.

Sheldon (Big Bang Theory) This name, which means valley, seems like it could never be back in vogue, but perhaps the nerdy lead in Big Bang Theory could give it a little extra cool.

Temperance (Bones) This cool virtue name just made it back into the top 1000, probably through the influence of the show.

Theon (Game of Thrones) Theon’s been through some pretty rough stuff on Game of Thrones, and is currently going by the name Reek. But I think Theon could be a cool way to get that Theo nickname.

Tell us: What names are you loving from the current TV season? Are there any you’d add to this list?

If you’re looking for a perfect baby name, send your dilemma to me at, or check out our Baby Name Finder. And don’t forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.


Irish Baby Names
Irish Baby Names
Irish Baby Names

Image: Zastolskiy Victor/


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