Jean-Luc – Another Star Trek-Inspired Baby Name

Jean-Luc Picard, Early Grey Tea
“Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.” -Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
© CBS Studios Inc.
The name Jean-Luc debuted on the SSA’s list in 1987, and peak usage was in 1992:

  • 1993: 63 baby boys named Jean-Luc
  • 1992: 65 baby boys named Jean-Luc
  • 1991: 46 baby boys named Jean-Luc
  • 1990: 26 baby boys named Jean-Luc
  • 1989: 21 baby boys named Jean-Luc
  • 1988: 14 baby boys named Jean-Luc
  • 1987: 8 baby boys named Jean-Luc [debut]
  • 1986: unlisted

The inspiration?

Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the starship Enterprise.

Picard, played by Patrick Stewart, was the central character in the TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation, which premiered in late 1987 and ran until mid-1994.

The character, though born and raised in 24th-century France, was a native English speaker. How? According to the show, French had become an obscure language by the 2300s. And yet, interestingly, the people of English-speaking future-France were still getting very traditional French names. Picard’s parents were named Maurice and Yvette, for instance. (Do you think this is a believable scenario?)

The names Geordi and Riker also debuted during the years TNG was on the air. They were likely inspired by the characters Will Riker (first officer) and Geordi La Forge (chief engineer, played by LeVar Burton).

The only other Star Trek name I’ve blogged about so far is Uhura, but there are more coming up…

In the meanwhile, what do you think of the name Jean-Luc?

Image: Star Trek Earl Grey Tea

5 thoughts on “Jean-Luc – Another Star Trek-Inspired Baby Name

  1. We still give our children ancient Greek and Roman names even though, two millennia later, no one speaks those languages any more. I can see people still clinging to history in naming their children in another two millennia from now!n

  2. Hearing the name Jean-Luc, I think of the French film director Jean-Luc Godard. But I agree that the Jean-Luc debut in 1987 is probably due to the Star Trek character.

  3. If the Jean-Lucs were disproportionately from Florida, then Haitian immigration may also have contributed to this trend.

  4. @Sara – I could certainly see that as well! No doubt that many of the traditional/historical names we use today will continue to see use long into the future. It just seemed odd to me that, in this hypothetical 3-name sample we have from future-France, all 3 names are so traditionally French. I guess that’s the part that seems unlikely to me. I would expect there to be an incredible amount of diversity in first names at that point, but this sample doesn’t reflect anything but traditionalism.

    @Frank B. – I think Haitians in Florida may have been an influence, but a bit later on. Five babies were named Jean-Luc in Florida for three years in a row — 1995, 1996, 1997 — but that’s the only time the name is on the Florida list.

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