Is it okay to name a baby after something from Popular Culture?

[name_m]Just[/name_m] a person who adores names here.

A lot of the names I find myself loving I see in film and TV or I’ll read them in books - or I’ll see a celebrity with a name I love.

But do you think it’s okay to name a child with a name inspired from a film or TV or do you think it loses some personal meaning that way?

For example, I love:

[name_u]Mirren[/name_u] (a female character from the book ‘We Were Liars’)
[name_m]Daley[/name_m] (a professional footballer)
[name_m]Damon[/name_m] (a character from the Vampire Diaries)
[name_u]Peyton[/name_u] (a character from ‘One Tree [name_m]Hill[/name_m]’
[name_m]Heath[/name_m] (after famous actor [name_m]Heath[/name_m] Ledger)
[name_u]Carlisle[/name_u] (a character from Twilight)
[name_m]Stefan[/name_m] (another character from the Vampire Diaries)
[name_u]Blake[/name_u] (after actress [name_u]Blake[/name_u] Lively)
[name_f]Mila[/name_f] (after actress [name_f]Mila[/name_f] Kunis)
Sutherland (the surname of actor [name_m]Kiefer[/name_m] Sutherland)
Esmé (a character from Twilight)
[name_m]Elvis[/name_m] (does this need explaining?)
[name_f]Payson[/name_f] (a female character from the TV Show 'Make It or Break It)
[name_u]Blair[/name_u] (a character from Gossip Girl)
[name_f]Serena[/name_f] (a character from Gossip Girl)

I could probably go on and on - I understand some of these were names before they were made popular by said character or person but I’d love to hear your opinions on this and whether you would or have named your baby after something inspired by Popular Culture.

No it’s not bad. My name came from a tv show and I can think of 3 names in my signature that can’t from a book or movie.

I don’t think its an issue. When I named my children I picked names that i thought were less common and didn’t remind me of anyone but have since seen more then one movie with a character with the same name as one of my children. It wasn’t intentional but characters need names too.
I think your list is all great choices for names. Despite similarities to pop culture none of them strike me as specifically looking like they are named after a certain character or celebrity. With 7 billion people in the world there’s bound to be some duplicate names. lol
I think i would be more concerned with choosing a fictitious name. For example one of my brothers is Kalten. It is the name of a knight in a book my dad was reading when my mom got pregnant. I have never seen it anywhere else but it wasn’t a popular book, no one has ever said “Oh hey are you named after…” I think you’d run into that more by using anything from Game of Thrones or a similarly popular pop culture reference. [name_f]Khaleesi[/name_f], [name_m]Tyrion[/name_m], ect.
I think your list is all really great choices. :slight_smile:

[name_m]Don[/name_m]'t see anything wrong with it. A lot of kids are named after pop culture characters. I wouldn’t do it myself since I never REALLY liked the names of any of the characters I like. But my top combo, which is a blatant pop culture reference, is unusable! Let’s just say it sounds like a book title and is very similar to my username.

Sure, as long as you’re aware of the associations and have considered how it might feel to be named a certain name.

As with a lot of things in parenting, considering how your child might feel about something can be pretty important. It’s impossible to predict how your kid’s temperament will be before she’s born, but if something would really, really bother you to be teased about or (at least) associated with, it’s fairly safe to say that it would bother her. Most pop culture names aren’t negative at all, but some certainly are. Example: [name_f]Roseanne[/name_f] (which I love as a name but wouldn’t dare to use, because of how [name_f]Roseanne[/name_f] [name_m]Barr[/name_m] ticked off a lot of people several decades ago. I happen to think the reruns of her show are hilarious, but still, the crotch-grabbing and the national anthem! Yikes). I wish I could convince myself that [name_f]Roseanne[/name_f] is usable and not too tied to the actress, but I just can’t. The name [name_f]Maxine[/name_f], on the other hand, is more of a gray area; she’s also a grumpy older female character in comedy pop culture, but to my knowledge there haven’t been any national incidents involving that comic strip that p*ssed off a lot of people.

Yes you can if you want. I was named after a movie and its totally acceptable!

I don’t see why not. It may be the first time the name was heard or the connection to a character may have had an influence on someone’s life. Others may not know about the connection or have another association tied to the name. If you love it, use it.

I don’t see why it would be a problem. Most of the nmaes you mentionned were used before they were chosen to name TV or literary characters.

It also depends on the celebrity, what they did etc.
Also, some names are too unique to use, like Beyoncé.

I think it depends on how much meaning is behind it. [name_f]Remember[/name_f], One Tree [name_m]Hill[/name_m] will go off the air and pro football player will retire. This name will be your child’s forever.

Personally, I would name my daughter [name_f]Luna[/name_f] after [name_f]Luna[/name_f] Lovegood in [name_m]Harry[/name_m] [name_m]Potter[/name_m] because I’ve loved those books since childhood and they have taught me so many lessons. I know [name_m]Harry[/name_m] [name_m]Potter[/name_m] and the odd but wonderful [name_f]Luna[/name_f] Lovegood (who everyone said I was like) will always be in my heart. Thus, I will never face the regret of naming my child after her.

I think as long as the pop culture figure means something to you and has for a long time it’s okay.

It depends on the name and how well-known the reference is/will be in a decade’s time.

Those were all names long before books and movies used them, so I don’t see anything wrong with using them.


I think that is where many people get their names. remember as years ago people got their names from Presidents or [name_f]England[/name_f]'s hierarchy!

That’s a very good point!

And if I chose to use one of those “celebrity names”, I would do it because I simply liked the name (or maybe it’s a family name or a variation of a family name…not because of someone famous. Like I wouldn’t name my child [name_u]Peyton[/name_u] after [name_u]Peyton[/name_u] [name_m]Manning[/name_m]…

As pp have said, if it’s meaningful to you, it’s fine. My daughter’s name is the English form of the name of a protagonist of one of my favorite books as a YA. No one will ever get the reference, but to me, it’s very meaningful because the protagonist was a very positive character & has many traits that I wanted a child of mine to have. If [name_f]Luna[/name_f] or [name_f]Hermione[/name_f] (or whatever) are inspirational to you, then use them…I think it’s a great way to give positive energy to a child. :slight_smile:

I heard that [name_m]Heath[/name_m] Ledger in his turn was named after [name_m]Heathcliff[/name_m] from Wuthering Heights, so in a roundabout way it would be like a double reference :wink:

I think book/film characters are fine as long as the character is a good one, although it might still be worth avoiding well-known ‘one-reference’ names if you can see frequent ‘Oh, like in [book/film]?’ comments being an issue. That’s a matter of taste.

Also in my opinion it’s worth considering whether something is classic or whether it is a fad. Lots of things are very popular for a short while, but after 10 years, young people are making fun of it. This could date a name quite badly or make it lose status. Being named after a relevant, popular film is one thing. Being named after that lame old TV programme from the 2010s is another. I think naming after classics that have stood the test of time is a ‘safer’ idea than naming after something that’s cool right now.

Naming after actual people you aren’t related to / didn’t even know is a bit odd in my opinion, but if it’s more of a case of you like a name and there happens to be a famous person with that name, I don’t see any issue. Unless it’s a one-reference name people probably wouldn’t realise anyway.

I think there are two kinds of “pop culture” names. There are those (like [name_f]Esme[/name_f], [name_f]Serena[/name_f], and [name_u]Peyton[/name_u]) with multiple associations, including some from pop culture. Then there are those with a singular association, like Anakin or [name_f]Katniss[/name_f]. I would not want the latter for myself, so I won’t inflict it on a child.

I think most of the names you suggested were totally okay to use because even though they are pop culture names, that’s not the reason they’re known. However, I think names like [name_m]Elvis[/name_m] and [name_f]Cher[/name_f] (I guess mostly because they’re famous for just their first names) could cause some difficulty because they’re one of the only people you think of, if that makes sense.

I don’t think its an issue at all. I love Disney names such as [name_f]Alice[/name_f], [name_f]Minnie[/name_f], [name_f]Daisy[/name_f], [name_u]Ariel[/name_u], [name_f]Elsa[/name_f], [name_f]Aurora[/name_f], [name_f]Merida[/name_f], etc. I also love a lot of the names from Twilight such as [name_f]Esme[/name_f], [name_f]Alice[/name_f] (again), [name_m]Jasper[/name_m], [name_u]Emmett[/name_u], etc. I love [name_u]Blair[/name_u] and it is very Gossip Girl, although I haven’t watched the show but am planning on it on Netflix! I also love [name_f]Aria[/name_f] from the Pretty [name_m]Little[/name_m] Liars books, I will also watch this show. Hunger Games made me love [name_f]Primrose[/name_f] and [name_u]Rue[/name_u]. Divergent is causing [name_f]Beatrice[/name_f] to grow on me. [name_f]Audrey[/name_f] is very Old Hollywood and you can’t read it without thinking of [name_f]Audrey[/name_f] Hepburn. I love [name_f]Hazel[/name_f] and that is recognized as “the girl from The Fault in Our Stars.”

It would have to depend on the name and the source(s).

As some others have said, as long as they’re all ‘real’ names (i.e. pre-existing and not invented for a character), I think it’s fine. The other thing to remember is that different people will have different associations for names depending on their age, nationality, career, preferences for TV shows and literature etc. I’m English and I think of very different people than previous commenters in response to certain names. [name_u]Blair[/name_u] makes me think [name_u]Tony[/name_u], not Underwood!

You can’t spend too much time trying to predict what other people will link a name with, or what the big film sensation will be in 10 years time that happens to feature the name you chose. If you’ve loved a name for a while and feel you’ll always love it, then that’s the most important thing.