NameCandy Reality Check: Private Practice Character Names
Last week, we discussed how characters in TV shows or movies sometimes have names consistent with current trends to appeal to modern audiences, instead of names that fit the age of the character. One of our commenters pointed out that Private Practice is one of the biggest offenders. While some now-trendy TV names may have been uncommon at the year of the character's birth, but not necessarily unheard of, this cast of 30- and 40-somethings sounds more like the kindergarten class of 2014.
Fashionably named character #1: Addison Adrianne Forbes Montgomery, Neonatal Surgeon
Age: Late 30’s
Born: Approx. 1968-1970
Name rank at birth: Not ranked
Name rank in 2007: 11
Name rank in 2010:11
Click here for NameVoyager Popularity Trend for Addison
This would have been a very unusual name choice given the age of Addison Montgomery, Kate Walsh (who plays her), or, frankly, any girl who has graduated elementary school. When people picture an "Addison" as an adult, this character is probably more likely than any other to come to mind. How much does Kate Walsh shape our perception of who an Addison grows up to be?
Fashionably named character #2: Cooper “Coop” Freedman, Pediatrics
Age: Mid- to Late-30s
Born: Approx. 1967 - 1970
Name rank at birth: Not ranked in 60s or 70s
Name rank in 2007: 95
Name rank in 2010: 76
Click here for NameVoyager Popularity Trend for Cooper
Cooper, among other -er surnames as first names, is boys' names is a 2010s name through and through. Perhaps it doesn't sound completely unnatural to call a guy "Coop," but until a few years ago, it would have only been a short version of a surname.
Fashionably named character #3: Amelia Shepherd, Neurosurgery (first appeared in 2010)
Age: Approx. Late 20s
Born: approx. 1981
Name rank at birth: 286
Name rank in 2010: 41
Click here for NameVoyager Popularity Trend for Amelia
Amelia is an old name that has always been fairly "normal," but compared to its popularity now, and right next to Addison, "Amelia" is in the midst of major trend.
Fashionably named character #4: Violet Turner, Psychiatry
Age: Early 40s
Born: Approx 1964 - 1967
Name rank in 1964: 674 (810 in 1967)
Name rank in 2007: 229
Name rank in 2010: 123
Click here for NameVoyager Popularity Trend for Violet
Violet had its peak at 79 in 1910s, and dropped out of the top 1000 in the '70s and '80s. It creeped back up during the '90s, and showed a huge spike in 2005, the year that Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck chose the name for their daughter.
Fashionably named character #5: Archer Montgomery, Neurologist and older brother to Addison
Age: Early to mid 40s
Born: Approx 1962 to 1965
Name rank at birth:
Name rank in 2008 (when he first appeared on the show):
Name rank in 2010: 550
Click here for NameVoyager Popularity Trend for Archer
Archer was nowhere to be seen on the Top 1000 list between 1880s and 2009. Now, along with Cooper, its part of the surname as a first name trend. Were Addison and Archer's parents really that prophetic? Just saying.
Individually, we wouldn't discount any of these names as completely impossible, but as a group, these doctors are just a little too lucky that all their obscure names just happened to come into style, all at the same time. What do you think of the characters' names on Private Practice? Do they make sense to you? And do they make you liek the show more or less?