35 baby names with pop culture callouts

Marie Stambe
Marie Stambe
Marie is an emerging writer who loves all things content creation. From her Italian heritage to her deep-rooted passions (fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and fun), Marie harnesses the power of personal experiences to write stories that are #relatable and easy to digest. Because who has the time?
Created on Jun 04, 2024 · 7 mins read

Have you ever been binge-watching a show, heard a name, and thought to yourself “This is definitely going on my baby name list?” If so, don’t feel ashamed, we've all been there!

It’s completely okay to snag up a name from a movie, TV show, or even a book. After all, everyone gets inspiration from somewhere. If anything, it only adds character to your child. When they reach the age of curiosity and ask you “Mum, where’d my name come from?” on a random Tuesday morning, your answer will require zero brain power, maybe just the recollection of a little anecdote.

In recent years, popular culture has introduced us to so many compelling characters and influential personalities, providing a whole lot of baby name inspo. And, with so many unique and intriguing characters out there, it’s not hard to find a name that resonates with you.

We’ve curated a list of 35 trendy and meaningful names from the past decade, each with a brief explanation of its appeal, significance, and pop culture origin.

Baby name ideas from the big and small screen

1. Milo

  • Source: “This Is Us”
  • Meaning: Soldier
  • Why it’s great: Milo Ventimiglia’s portrayal of Jack Pearson adds depth and warmth to this name.

2. June

  • Source: “The Handmaid’s Tale”
  • Meaning: Youthful
  • Why it’s great: June Osborne’s resilience and fight for freedom make this a name symbolising strength and courage.

3. Maisie

  • Source: “Game of Thrones”
  • Meaning: Pearl
  • Why it’s great: A lively and strong name, thanks to connotations from Maisie Williams’ spirited portrayal of Arya Stark. 

4. Ragnar

  • Source: “Vikings”
  • Meaning: Warrior or judgment
  • Why it’s great: This is a bolder take on pop culture but brings ideas of strength and adventure thanks to Ragnar Lothbrok’s legendary status and fierce character. 

5. Freya

  • Source: “The Originals”
  • Meaning: Noble woman
  • Why it’s great: Freya Mikaelson’s powerful witch character adds mystique and strength to this name.

6. Ariel

  • Source: “The Little Mermaid” live-action adaptation
  • Meaning: Lion of God
  • Why it’s great: Ariel’s adventurous spirit and determination are perfect qualities for a little girl with big dreams.

7. Jasper

  • Source: “Twilight” series’ continued popularity
  • Meaning: Treasure holder
  • Why it’s great: Jasper Hale’s calm and protective nature give this name a soothing energy – and millennial Mums will be all over it. 

8. Elsie

  • Source: “Westworld”
  • Meaning: Pledged to God
  • Why it’s great: Elsie Hughes’ intelligence and resilience add depth to this charming name.

9. Rey

  • Source: “Star Wars”
  • Meaning: King
  • Why it’s great: Rey’s journey from scavenger to Jedi embodies empowerment and strength.

10. Clarke

  • Source: “The 100”
  • Meaning: Scribe or scholar
  • Why it’s great: Clarke Griffin’s leadership and bravery in a post-apocalyptic world make this a strong and modern name.

11. Bellamy

  • Source: “The 100”
  • Meaning: Fine friend
  • Why it’s great: Bellamy Blake’s protective and loyal nature are the perfect qualities to any baby name. 

12. Serena

  • Source: “Gossip Girl” 
  • Meaning: Tranquil
  • Why it’s great: Serena van der Woodsen’s elegance and charm make this a name of serenity and sophistication.

13. Elliot

  • Source: “Mr. Robot”
  • Meaning: The Lord is my God
  • Why it’s great: Elliot Alderson’s complex and brilliant character incorporates depth and intrigue into this name.

14. Sophia

  • Source: “Modern Family”
  • Meaning: Wisdom
  • Why it’s great: Sophia Vergara’s character, Gloria, brings humor and warmth to a classic name we all know and love. 

15. Lyra

  • Source: “His Dark Materials”
  • Meaning: Lyre (a musical instrument)
  • Why it’s great: Lyra Belacqua’s adventurous spirit and bravery make this a poetic and strong name.

16. Kamala

  • Source: “Ms. Marvel”
  • Meaning: Lotus
  • Why it’s great: Kamala Khan’s character as a young, empowered superhero represents diversity and resilience.

17. Riley

  • Source: “Inside Out”
  • Meaning: Courageous
  • Why it’s great: Riley Anderson’s emotional journey in the animated film makes this a name full of heart and bravery. It’s also the perfect show to watch with your kid. 

18. Tessa

  • Source: Tessa Thompson (Actress known for “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Westworld”)
  • Meaning: Harvester
  • Why it’s great: Tessa Thompson’s strong and versatile performances bring a modern and vibrant feel to this classic name.

19. Kylo

  • Source: “Star Wars”
  • Meaning: Created name
  • Why it’s great: Kylo Ren’s complex character adds depth and modernity to an already fresh and unique name. 

20. Ren

  • Source: “Star Wars”
  • Meaning: Lotus
  • Why it’s great: Short and sweet, Ren is a versatile name with a strong cultural reference to the “Star Wars” character Kylo Ren.
  1. Chandler
  • Source: Friends
  • Meaning: Candle maker
  • Why it’s great: This name holds humour and heart, while paying tribute to a character and actor that has made families laugh for decades. 

22. Nova

  • Source: “Guardians of the Galaxy”
  • Meaning: New
  • Why it’s great: Nova Corps’ association with intergalactic heroism makes this a stellar and futuristic name.

23. Artemis

  • Source: “Ready Player One”
  • Meaning: Goddess of the hunt
  • Why it’s great: Artemis is a strong and adventurous name inspired by the female protagonist’s gaming alias.

24. Cassian

  • Source: “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”
  • Meaning: Hollow
  • Why it’s great: Another star wars shoutout – Cassian Andor’s bravery and leadership in the rebellion add a heroic touch to this distinctive name.

25. Elio

  • Source: “Call Me by Your Name”
  • Meaning: Sun
  • Why it’s great: Elio’s sensitive and artistic nature in the film makes this a poetic and charming name.

26. Ada

  • Source: “Peaky Blinders”
  • Meaning: Noble
  • Why it’s great: Ada Shelby’s strong and independent character brings a vintage yet timeless appeal to this name.

27. Ciri

  • Source: “The Witcher”
  • Meaning: Created name
  • Why it’s great: Distinct, unique, and mystical, this name carries the sense of destiny from Ciri’s character as a powerful princess. 

28. Xander

  • Source: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (continued cultural relevance through comics and reboots)
  • Meaning: Defender of the people
  • Why it’s great: Xander Harris’ loyal and humorous character makes this a strong and charismatic name.

29. Yara

  • Source: “Game of Thrones”
  • Meaning: Small butterfly
  • Why it’s great: Yara Greyjoy’s fierce and determined nature adds a unique and strong vibe to this name.

30. Magnus

  • Source: “Shadowhunters” (also the Mortal Instruments book series)
  • Meaning: Great
  • Why it’s great: Magnus Bane’s powerful and charismatic character makes this a name full of magic and grandeur.

31. Nadia

  • Source: “Russian Doll”
  • Meaning: Hope
  • Why it’s great: Nadia Vulvokov’s sharp wit and resilience ensure this name is fresh, modern, and compelling. 

32. Beckett

  • Source: “Castle”
  • Meaning: Bee cottage
  • Why it’s great: Kate Beckett’s intelligent and determined nature in the crime series adds a strong and sophisticated touch to this name.

33. Sansa

  • Source: “Game of Thrones”
  • Meaning: Praise
  • Why it’s great: Sansa Stark’s evolution from a naive girl to a powerful leader makes this a name of growth and strength.

34. Kara

  • Source: “Supergirl”
  • Meaning: Dear
  • Why it’s great: Kara Danvers’ superhero persona adds a powerful and heroic feeling to this approachable and warm name.

35. Andy

  • Source: “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Toy Story”
  • Meaning: Shortened from ‘Andrew’ meaning man or warrior
  • Why it’s great: Whilst there’s nothing stereotypically manly about a fashion magazine or a kids movie about toys, the screen connotations of this name suggest a warmth and groundedness. 

Wrapping it up

These names, inspired by recent pop culture moments on the big and small screen, offer a modern and meaningful choice for your baby. They not only capture the essence of beloved characters and influential personalities from recent popular culture but also carry meanings that can inspire and shape the identity of your little one (or maybe not – which is also fun to find out).

So, whether you’re a fan of epic adventures, futuristic tales, or heartwarming dramas, there’s a unique name on this list waiting to (unashamedly) become the name of your baby.

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