One of my husband’s relatives has a teenage daughter named Amanda. A few months ago, she told us that Amanda’s name had been inspired by a Melrose Place character. She kind of shrugged as she admitted it, as if to say, “Well, there’s nothing I can do about it now.”
Her story reminded me of the time I interviewed two girls named Ashley. Both had been named for the same The Young and the Restless character, but neither was proud of that fact.
Television may be fun to watch, but it’s not a fantastic place to find a baby name. Here are two reasons why you might want to turn off your TV as you search for names:
Baby names from TV shows can be embarrassing.
A TV name will permanently link your child to a particular TV show. The show might be cool now, but it won’t be cool forever. (Especially if it’s something as brainless as Melrose Place or The Young and the Restless.)
A name from a show might date your child, the way names like Gidget, Starsky, Kunta, and Fallon have dated other people’s children.
A TV name might inspire teasing. Even worse, it might lead other people to make erroneous assumptions about your child and/or your family. (That family must do nothing but watch TV all day! I wonder if any of them even have jobs…)
Baby names from TV shows can become trendy.
Many people watch what you watch. They hear the same names you hear. They form the same impressions of these names that you form. This is how trends begin.
If you don’t expose yourself to TV, you won’t be influenced by it. You won’t be as tempted to use a TV name as a baby name. This will help you avoid names that have the potential to become very trendy one day.
(But there’s also the flip side. You could always watch TV with the intention of picking out names that might become trendy. That could be just as helpful.)
Why else might TV be a bad thing for baby naming?