Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Television characters with anachronistic names

Maybe this is something only name nerds notice, but have you ever been watching a TV show or movie and thought, "There is no way that character would actually be named that. No. Way."? Last year, Jeremy and I watched a few episodes (or maybe it was the whole half-season...?) of Falling Skies, and it featured a few egregiously anachronistic character names.

First there was Hal, age 16ish. And this show takes place in the present day, people. According to the Baby Name Voyager, Hal hasn't been in the top 1000 baby names since the 1970s...when it was ranked #903. Yeah.

Then there was Karen, also age 16ish - yet another name that hasn't been really popular since the 1970s.

So maybe screenwriters are giving characters names that were popular in their own generations, right? But that wouldn't really explain Emma (a grown-up woman) in Once Upon a Time. The name Emma didn't become super popular until the 2000s, so maybe a writer noticed everyone naming their kids Emma and then slapped the name on a 25-year-old woman.

I'm not saying these naming situations couldn't happen, just that it's strange that a TV show would choose them for its characters instead of other, more likely choices. In a more realistic TV world, Hal would be named Josh or Ryan, Karen would be Jessica or Megan, and Emma would be named Heather or Ashley.

I'm just saying. And yes, I know it's really weird that I notice this stuff.

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