Celebrity Names Blog

Mad Men Names: Forget About Don, What About Draper?

Mad Men Names: Forget About Don, What About Draper?

Mad Men, one of television's most celebrated shows, returns for its fifth season after a 17-month hiatus this Sunday. Since the first episode aired in 2007, Mad Men style has been infectious, taking over modern fashion, contemporary cocktail recipes and even our Facebook profile pictures. But our current naming style is one thing Mad Men hasn't been able to turn back the clocks on. 

We've written about Mad Men's names in the past, and have found that creator Matthew Weiner named his characters with the trends of the time in mind, that the actors who play our favorite characters have some great modern, interesting names, and we even speculated on names for potential new characters. We've consistently seen that Mad Men names like Don, Betty, Peggy and Joan had their peak, many in the 1930s, but have since fallen off the charts completely. Some of these names may return with time, but with Mad Men nearing the end of it's run (rumor has it that the seventh season will be the last), these names may not have time to regain momentum. 

However, there is one area of naming in which Mad Men was ahead of the curve - their surnames. Using traditional surnames as first names is a longtime trend and the surnames of Mad Men characters are great examples. Sterling and Cooper are both in the top 1000 - Cooper as a new addition, rising in popularity since the 1980s and ranked at No. 76 in 2010 and Sterling as a more permanent fixture, consistently featured in the top 1000 and currently ranked at No. 754. 

Draper and Pryce aren't on the charts yet, but Campbell is making up for it as a newly popular name for both genders, though especially for girls. Lane, the first name of the character Lane Pryce, is also originally a surname and was already popular as a first name in the 1960s, but has been rising steadily and was ranked at No. 303 in 2010. 

With the current trends as they are, Draper seems more likely to make it into the top 1000 before Don returns. Instead of your favorite fictional advertising agency, Sterling, Cooper, Draper and Pryce could some day be the names of your child's best friends.

What do you think of Mad Men surnames as first names? What do you think of Draper as a first name? What other surnames do you like? 



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March 21, 2012 10:02 AM
By The Wozzy (not verified)

Draper is ugh. It's not suitable for a girl, and I can see a boy named Draper being called Da Raper. Ugh.

March 21, 2012 8:30 PM
By Kiki (not verified)

There is a little girl in my daughter's school named Sterling (she's in second grade so she'd be 8-ish).

March 27, 2012 11:56 AM
By Stephanie (not verified)

I love Draper for a boy! It's on my list (albeit towards the bottom) of favorite boy names, and it was indeed inspired by the Mad Men character. I like the other MM surnames as well, especially Campbell and Cooper. I don't have many surnames on my list of favorites, except for Harper for girls and Bronte and Draper for boys.

March 27, 2012 2:20 PM
By Top 10 name of the 70s (not verified)

Bronte is most definitely a girls' name here in Australia! It conjures up the Bronte sisters to me - not their brother at all!

March 27, 2012 10:24 PM
By Charly (not verified)

I like to call my coworker by his last name only ("Draper!"). I wouldn't be surprised to see it pick up around here as a place-name name, considering all the Logans.

March 27, 2012 10:27 PM
By Charly (not verified)

Also, Draper is usually vocalized as "Jraper," which is not very close phonetically to "the/da raper."

March 28, 2012 12:04 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Draper - as in "one who drapes"? No thank you. That would make a ridiculous first name. But then, I am not a fan of other occupation surnames-turned-first names either.

October 3, 2012 3:04 AM
By Farah Mcinnis (not verified)

style is one thing Mad Men hasn't been able to turn back the clocks on.

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