Celebrity Names Blog

Callie & Arizona

Callie & Arizona
WIC/Fame Pictures: Jessica Capshaw, who plays Dr. Arizona Robbins

Callie and Arizona: could it be?  Is Grey's Anatomy airing not only a lesbian romance -- rare on network television -- but also a primetime example of a state name-state name relationship pairing?  

State names are a hot trend these days, and we got excited at the thought of a Callie (as in California) and Arizona match-up.  But, alas, our first impressions were off the mark.  Yes, Grey's Anatomy is airing the hot lady romance (with Callie played by Sara Ramirez and Arizona by Jessica Capshaw), but no, Callie's name is not short for California. Callie is the shortened form of Calliope.

Calliope Iphegenia Torres.  Hmm, might there be a little Greek in there?  Calliope is one of the nine muses, a daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne.  Calliope is the muse for epic poetry.  Iphegenia was the oldest daughter of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon.  Agamemnon sacrificed Iphegenia to the goddess Diana, so that Diana (who was mad at him for killing a stag and had stopped the winds in retaliation) would allow the winds to blow again, and for the Greek fleet to make it to Troy.  

What do you make of this -- what were the Grey's Anatomy writers up to, combining a Greek muse of poetry with the sacrificed daughter?  For you Grey's fans out there, do you think there are any storyline and/or character clues in these name choices?

As for Arizona Robbins, her namesake is not exactly the state.  She was named for the battleship USS Arizona.  As the battleship was named for the state, indirectly, yes, Dr. Robbins namesake is that southwestern state.   As in many novels and television shows, not to mention life, her name tells us something about her background, and what might come into her character's storyline in the future.  Not much has been revealed about Arizona's past so far, but her name connects to what we do know -- she comes from a military family, specifically the navy.  Chances are her family and their life in the military will figure into future episodes.   

Currently on the show, Callie and Arizona are discussing to baby or not to baby.  (Check out PEOPLE's coverage:one doctor is more for, the other against.)  Should they decide to have a baby, what name do you think would compliment Callie and Arizona?  Could a state name work -- such as Louisiana or Virginia?  Are state names more feminine than masculine, is there one that would work for a boy?

What state name is your personal favorite, the one that best makes the jump from naming a location to naming a person?  And, does knowing the story behind the name for Calliope Iphegenia and Arizona alter your impression of the characters?

--D.J.

Comments

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May 4, 2010 9:49 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I'm partial to "Indiana" ... even if it is the dog's name. ;)

May 4, 2010 10:13 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

It is Grey's Anatomy, not Gray's.

May 4, 2010 10:42 AM
By Sara A. (not verified)

I knew that "Callie" was short for "Calliope" but not that her middle name is "Iphegenia." Iphegenia is a really interesting choice because her father doesn't approve of her being gay and/or dating a woman. He was threatening to disown her

May 4, 2010 11:25 AM
By Hillary (not verified)

Georgia is the state name that works the best for me...I think in large part because it was named for a person to begin with.

May 4, 2010 11:35 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I like the name Virginia for a girl (even though it is a little old-fashioned), and Missouri for a boy. I like the name Calliope, and I think Callie is a cute nickname, but do not like the name Iphegenia.

May 4, 2010 12:29 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I have a boy cousin named Maine. That could definitely work!

May 4, 2010 2:38 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think for the sake of consistency overall you should refer to Artemis rather than Diana. Diana is a Roman goddess; Artemis is the Greek equivalent.

May 9, 2010 12:40 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I named my son "Maine" after the state where my husband and I eloped. We/he get a lot of compliments on it.

May 30, 2010 10:02 AM
By Steph (not verified)

It would e wierd is Callie and Arizona had a Georgia, because Callie's ex-husband is George.

September 1, 2010 9:16 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I don't think it would be weird if Callie and Arizona named a baby girl Georgia, Callie did love George even after she came out and it would be a fitting memorial to him.

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