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Grey's Anatomy Baby Names


Updated September 23, 2013

Grey's Anatomy is an ABC show that began airing in 2005. This medical drama also had a spin off, Private Practice. The names chosen for the cast members were prime candidates for baby names. I personally know someone who named their child Addison after Dr. Addison Montgomery-Shepherd. But how did it really change baby names?

First, here are the major characters from Grey's Anatomy (current and former):

  • Ellen Pompeo as Dr. Meredith Grey
  • Sandra Oh as Dr. Cristina Yang
  • Justin Chambers as Dr. Alex Karev
  • Chandra Wilson as Dr. Miranda Bailey
  • James Pickens Jr. as Dr. Richard Webber
  • Patrick Dempsey as Dr. Derek Shepherd
  • Eric Dane as Dr. Mark Sloan
  • Sara Ramirez as Dr. Callie Torres
  • Chyler Leigh as Dr. Lexie Grey
  • Jessica Capshaw as Dr. Arizona Robbins
  • Kevin McKidd as Dr. Owen Hunt
  • Kim Raver as Dr. Teddy Altman
  • Katherine Heigl as Dr. Isobel "Izzie" Stevens
  • T.R. Knight as Dr. George O'Malley
  • Isaiah Washington as Dr. Preston Burke
  • Kate Walsh as Dr. Addison Montgomery-Shepherd

When you look up the names on the Social Security website for baby names, based on birth certificate data, here's what you get:

  • Meredith: This name was already dropping in popularity as the show premiered, ranking 367 the year it debuted. There was a slight uptick in the first year after it came out to 312. However, in 2012 the rank of Meredith was 668.

  • Cristina: This name was more popular than the lead character's first name, debuting in 2005 at 134. However, there has been a downward slide to 284. This is for the more common spelling: Christina. Cristina has a similar fate.

  • Alex: This is one doctor's name that was already ranking well, starting with the show at 71 and ending at 98. Given that this name was already ranking well, you wouldn't expect a lot of movement from this perennial favorite. That said, it was one of the more "normal" names on the show.

  • Miranda: Another cast member with downward movement in her name. This name started at a respectable 145 and the rank slowly dropped to 213 in 2012.

  • Richard: I was actually surprised at the popularity of this name in general at 94, and while it dropped a bit over the run of the show, 124, I don't think it was related to the character.

  • Derek: You may also know this character as Dr. McDreamy. That title certainly was not on the list. Interestingly enough, it starts at 172 and is currently at 182, but there was a peak in 2007, at 142. This was early on in the show's run when the character got a lot of press play.

  • Mark: The complement to Dr. McDreamy is Dr. McSteamy. The name was already popular, starting at 114, though it did drop to 176.

  • Callie: This name was a respectable 320 at the beginning of Grey's Anatomy. Now it's up at 221. Not bad and it's a flower to boot.

  • Lexie: This is a popular nickname, but on its own it started at 580. While it is currently at 523, it peaked in 2010 at 467, right as this character was being well developed.

  • Arizona: I don't think it's a surprise that this name is not listed. I think that was the whole point of a roller skating doctor - not one of the crowd, one of a kind.

  • Owen: This is another climbing name, starting at a rank of 60, which is already popular, but currently sitting at 38. The character is a later character, which may explain some of the later moves.

  • Teddy: This female character wasn't really well developed for a long period of time, but it never ranked for girls.

  • Isobel: This spelling was not on the list, but the more common Isabel began at 87 and dropped to 134. If you look at a similar Isabella, it was 3 in 2012, but the character was called Izzie and has been off the show for many seasons.

  • George: Hasn't been on the show in awhile, but the name began at 139 and the rank is currently 166.

  • Preston: In 2005, this name ranked only 146 and if you look at 2012, it up slightly to 129 but, remember, Preston left the show fairly early on. The name was ranked 114 in 2006-07 at the peak of his performance in this show. This character left the show and did not have a spin off.

  • Addison: This name is the real winner for the girls. It started in 2005 at 106. By 2012 it was ranking at 14. While it did hit 11 for a few years, you have to realize that this was the peak of her on this show and the press as she moved to the new show.

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