Name origins of your favorite sci-fi characters

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, December 8, 2021


Name origins of your favorite sci-fi characters

During the HBO series “Game of Thrones,” there was a rash of parents eager to name their daughters after the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke). During the early seasons, the “Breaker of Chains” raked up impressive accolades, liberating the oppressed, commanding armies, and marching toward King’s Landing with the promise of restoring the land to Targaryen rule. Both “Daenerys” and “Khaleesi”—the honorific given to a female Dothraki chieftain—by 2019 became one of the top female baby names in the U.S.

It is not uncommon for parents to name their children after popular fictional characters from television, movies, and books. It is a way of embodying a beloved character, embracing the fanaticism around that character, or simply appreciating a cool name. For example, Nicolas Cage’s son is named Kal-El, after Superman’s Kryptonian birth name. 

Stacker compiled a list of 30 beloved characters from popular sci-fi movies and TV shows. We also consulted Behind the Name to pull the origins and meanings of each name. This list is ranked by alphabetical order. While we’ve attempted to explain the popularity of the name, some names, like William or Zoe, were in use before the show that we referenced on this list or may be popular for other reasons. While we aimed to find out where each name came from, some names were randomly picked or had no published backstory.

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Keep reading to see which of your favorite sci-fi characters made the list.

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Amy (Doctor Who)

– Today’s rank: #205 (1,497 babies born)
– Meaning: English form of the Old French name Amée meaning “beloved” (modern French aimée), a vernacular form of the Latin Amata.

Amelia Pond was the companion of the Eleventh Doctor on the BBC One television show “Doctor Who.” Stylized as “Amy,” Pond shortened her name following her initial contact with the Doctor. Meeting the Doctor as a child following the Doctor’s ship—the TARDIS—crashing in her backyard, the Doctor promised to take her with him after he suggested that he quickly take the TARDIS out to reset. However, as the TARDIS was damaged, the Doctor’s quick trip was actually 12 years in Amelia’s time, leaving the girl to explain her “imaginary friend.” As the Doctor liked the name Amelia, she shortened it to Amy as a way of the 19-year-old breaking away from the painful memory. While there is no documentation suggesting why the name Amelia was chosen for the character, one guess is because Amelia is a regal name, while the diminutive Amy is common. It may speak to the character’s potential and authentic self. Amelia also comes from Amala, which is Sanskrit for clean or pure.

Marianne Productions

Barbarella (Barbarella)

– Today’s rank: data not available (4 or fewer babies born)
– Meaning: Version of Barbara, which is derived from Greek βαρβαρος (barbaros) meaning “foreign.”

It’s unclear where the name “Barbarella” came from. One thought is that “Barbarella” is the feminization of “Barbarian,” suggesting the character Barbarella is a future female version of Conan the Barbarian. Another suggests that the roots of the name—“Barbara” and “Ella”—etymologically translates to “foreign goddess” or “beautiful foreign maiden.” Both translations are in keeping with the character. “Barbarella,” despite being launched after the introduction of the “Tijuana bibles”—pornographic comics from the early half of the 20th Century—was considered to be the first adult-themed comic book. Centered around sexual liberation, a film starring Jane Fonda and a television show were made based on the comic.


Bill (Battlestar Galactica)

– Today’s rank: #2,658 (46 babies born)
– Meaning: Short form of William, which is derived from the Germanic name Willahelm, which was composed of the elements will “will, desire” and helm “helmet, protection.”

Commander—and later, Admiral—William “Husker” Adama is the commanding officer of the Battlestar-class Starship Galactica on the re-imagined Syfy television series “Battlestar Galactica.” Adama is a reimagining of Commander Adama from the 1978 original series. A former shuttle and fighter pilot, he was the commander of Galactica—scheduled to be decommissioned and installed as a museum ship—when the Cylons attacked the Twelve Colonies. The only ship to not have a networked computer-controlled navigation system—due to Adama’s distrust of automation—was the Galactica. So, it was the only Battlestar available to respond following the Cylons’ crippling of the Colonies’ computer systems. When he called for the remaining fleet to rally for a counterattack, he was surprised to find that all that was left was a ragtag collection of civilian ships. Eventually, survival became more important than revenge, starting Galactica and the new fleet’s journey toward Earth.

Mutant Enemy

Buffy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

– Today’s rank: #N/A (4 or fewer babies born)
– Meaning: Diminutive of Elizabeth, from a child’s pronunciation of the final syllable. Elizabeth is derived from Ελισαβετ (Elisabet), the Greek form of the Hebrew name אֱלִישֶׁבַע (‘Elisheva’) meaning “my God is an oath,” derived from the roots אֵל (‘el) referring to the Hebrew God and שָׁבַע (shava’) meaning “oath.”

Buffy Anne Summers is a “slayer,” an ordinary human blessed with enhanced strength who is chosen and trained to fight the forces of darkness in the movie and television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Created by Joss Whedon, Summers was a former high school cheerleader and “Valley Girl” forced to take on new responsibilities and duties in her part in the fight against evil—changing and maturing her in the process. While Buffy is a derivative of Betty, which is a diminutive of Elizabeth, Buffy is more akin to Bunny or Muffy, in that it is an irrelevant “pet” name. This is why Whedon chose the name, as most people would not take it seriously, causing people to underestimate Summers’ importance as a slayer.

Ten Thirteen Productions

Dana (The X-Files)

– Today’s rank: #848 (318 babies born)
– Meaning: Female form of Daniel or Dan; Daniel is derived from the Hebrew name דָּנִיֵּאל (Daniyyel) meaning “God is my judge,” from the roots דִּין (din) meaning “to judge” and אֵל (‘el) meaning “God.”

Dr. Dana Scully is one-half of the primary investigative duo on the “The X-Files.” A medical doctor and an FBI special agent, Scully was the skeptic, dismissing the extraterrestrial and supernatural nature of the X-Files until the end of season seven, when she witnessed the abduction of long-time partner Fox Mulder. Dana Scully was named after Vin Scully, creator Chris Carter’s favorite sportscaster.

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Brandywine Productions

Ellen (Alien)

– Today’s rank: #767 (353 babies born)
– Meaning: Medieval English form of Helen, which is an English form of the Greek ‘Ελενη (Helene), probably from Greek ‘ελενη (helene) “torch” or “corposant,” or possibly related to σεληνη (selene) “moon.”

Warrant Officer—later, Lieutenant First Class—Ellen Ripley is the protagonist of the first four movies in the Alien franchise: “Alien,” “Aliens,” “Alien 3,” and “Alien: Resurrection.” Ripley is one of the most recognized and prominent female protagonists in the sci-fi canon. Her name was likely chosen because the word “Ellen” is structurally similar to that of “Alien.” This helps to play up the notion that Ripley is both a stranger in this mostly male world and an intruder of the Xenomorph Queen’s attempts to safeguard her brood.

Universal Pictures

Elliott (E.T.)

– Today’s rank: #168 (2,286 babies born)
– Meaning: From an English surname that was derived from a diminutive of the medieval name Elias, a form of Elijah, which is from the Hebrew name אֱלִיָּהוּ (‘Eliyyahu) meaning “my God is YAHWEH.”

Elliott is the 10-year-old boy who came across and befriended an alien in Steven Spielberg’s “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.” Elliott would form a telepathic connection with the alien, allowing the boy to feel what the alien is feeling. To save a dying Elliot and alien, a scheme to send the alien home is launched. Elliott’s name was likely chosen because it starts and ends with E and T, drawing parallels between the boy and the alien.


Eve (Wall-e)

– Today’s rank: #442 (716 babies born)
– Meaning: From the Hebrew name חַוָּה (Chawwah), which was derived from the Hebrew word חָוָה (chawah) meaning “to breathe” or the related word חָיָה (chayah) meaning “to live.”

The Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator, or EVE, is the “love interest” to WALL-E—a Waste Allocation Load-Lifter Earth-class—in the movie “WALL-E.” In a dystopian future, environmental neglect left the Earth polluted and unlivable. Humanity evacuated the planet, leaving the load lifters behind to clear the trash. However, after several centuries, only one remains, maintained by cannibalizing parts from deactivated units. When EVE arrives to evaluate if any plant life has emerged on the planet, WALL-E, who has had no other companionship except a pet cockroach, becomes fascinated and eventually enamored. The two robots would eventually make it back to the starliner and—despite several incidents—convince the ship to return to Earth. EVE was named after the biblical Eve, as—like Adam—WALL-E was alone before EVE.

Ten Thirteen Productions

Fox (The X-Files)

– Today’s rank: #803 (279 babies born)
– Meaning: Either from the English word fox or the surname Fox, which originally given as a nickname. The surname was borne by George Fox (1624-1691), the founder of the Quakers.

Special Agent Fox Mulder is Dr. Dana Scully’s partner for most of the television series “The X-Files” run. A “true believer,” Mulder—while usually correct—is seen as being crazy for his extraterrestrial beliefs by his FBI peers, his partner Scully included. With Scully, Mulder works in the X-Files dealing with unsolved cases that have a paranormal element. Mulder opened the X-Files unit and worked it by himself until Scully was partnered with him—largely, to apply scientific reasoning to Mulder’s theories. Mulder would be abducted by aliens but rescued. Mulder’s first name is not a reference to the network Fox, but to Chris Carter’s childhood friend. Mulder is a reference to Carter’s mother’s maiden name.


Han (Star Wars)

– Today’s rank: #3,575 (30 babies born)
– Meaning: Short form of Johannes or Hanne; Johanne is a form of Iohannes, the Latin form of the Greek name Ιωαννης (Ioannes), itself derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan) meaning “YAHWEH is gracious,” from the roots יוֹ (yo) referring to the Hebrew God and חָנַן (chanan) meaning “to be gracious.”

Han Solo is, of course, the infamous smuggler and rebel fighter from the original “Star Wars” franchise. A captain and owner of the Millennium Falcon, he was the husband of Princess—later, General—Leia Organa, the father of Kylo Ren, and the brother-in-law of Luke Skywalker. Solo died by Kylo Ren’s hand in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Solo’s last name is a direct reference to the character being a loner. In canon, Solo was born Han Shyriiwook. He was born a prince to the House of Solo, a discredited Corellian royal household that lost its fortune. Solo, however, did not know this when he joined the flight academy. Seeking to hide his past, he came up with a pseudonym, Solo, to reflect that he was alone. It just happened to be that he actually chose his real name by mistake.

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Universal Pictures

Ian (Jurassic Park)

– Today’s rank: #78 (4,675 babies born)
– Meaning: Scottish form of John, which is a form of Iohannes (see the previous slide).

Dr. Ian Malcolm is a chaos theorist and mathematician invited to tour a top-secret theme park in the novel “Jurassic Park” and the movies “Jurassic Park,” “Jurassic Park 2,” and “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” After correctly theorizing the park’s efforts to make dinosaurs incapable of natural reproduction would fail, Malcolm was one of the few survivors of Isla Nublar. He was tasked with going to Isla Sorna, Isla Nublar’s development site, as part of an expedition mission. He became the voice of caution by the time of Jurassic World. An amalgam of mathematicians Ivar Ekeland and science historian James Gleick, Malcolm’s name is meant to elicit the sound and feel of a celebrity scientist.

Desilu Productions

James (Star Trek)

– Today’s rank: #4 (13,525 babies born)
– Meaning: English form of the Late Latin name Iacomus, which was derived from Ιακωβος (Iakobos), the New Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name Ya’aqov; in the Old Testament, Ya’aqov’s (Jacob’s) name is explained as meaning “holder of the heel” or “supplanter.”

Captain—later, Admiral, and then again, Captain—James T. Kirk is the commanding officer of the USS Enterprise and the USS Enterprise-A in the television series and movie franchise “Star Trek.” The definitive “space cowboy,” Kirk is one of the most respected captains in the history of the United Federation of Planets—largely, for his unwillingness to cower behind rules. This will cost him his admiralship, however, as he was stripped of rank as punishment during his court-martial at the end of “Star Trek: The Journey Home.” Kirk’s promiscuity with women, however, is seen as his biggest weakness. He is the only person known to beat the Kobayashi Maru test (mostly by cheating), and became Starfleet’s youngest starship captain. The captain’s name was inspired by Captain James Cook, who famously wrote in an entry log “ambition leads me…farther than any other man has been before me.”

Paramount Television

Jean-Luc (Star Trek)

– Today’s rank: #N/A (4 or fewer babies born)
– Meaning: Jean is the French form of Jehan, the Old French form of Iohannes; Luc is the French and Welsh form of Lucas, from the Greek name Λουκας (Loukas) meaning “from Lucania,” Lucania being a region in southern Italy.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard is the commanding officer of the Federation Flagships USS Enterprise-D and Enterprise-E on the successor television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and the movies “Star Trek Generations,” “Star Trek: First Contact,” “Star Trek: Insurrection,” “Star Trek: Nemesis,” and the modern series “Star Trek: Picard,” which follows Picard in retirement. The contrapositive to Kirk, Picard is less flashy and outgoing, but no less an impressive leader. More an intellectual, Picard is a gifted amateur archaeologist and diplomat. Named after twin Swiss scientists Auguste and Jean Piccard, Picard was originally taken as a deeply serious, dour man who uses his service to hide deeper pains. He had issues with his family as well as difficulties coming to terms with his Borg assimilation and his time as a Cardassian prisoner-of-war. However, Patrick Stewart has been allowed to show more personality and lightness in his portrayals of Picard in later years, to critical acclaim.


Kara (Battlestar Galactica)

– Today’s rank: #500 (616 babies born)
– Meaning: Variant of Cara, which is derived from an Italian word meaning “beloved.”

Lieutenant—later, Captain—Kara “Starbuck” Thrace is a star Viper (starfighter) pilot on “Battlestar Galactica.” This is a reimagining of the original 1978 series’ Lieutenant Starbuck, who was a slick, womanizing fighter pilot. Besides being a woman, compared to a man with the original character, Thrace is physically hard, more rugged, grimier, and less composed than Lt. Starbuck. A pilot trainer and later commander of the air wing, Thrace is a deeply religious woman. Her religion and conviction of faith would play a significant role in her destiny with the fleet and would shape her relationships. This would play a role when she “returns” to the fleet after her ship was seen imploding. She was the one to locate the planet that would be known as Earth, ending the fleet’s journey.


Leia (Star Wars)

– Today’s rank: #296 (1,114 babies born)
– Meaning: Form of Leah used in the Greek Old Testament; Leah is derived from the Hebrew name לֵאָה (Le’ah), which was probably derived from the Hebrew word לְאָה (le’ah) meaning “weary.”

Princess Leia Organa is the twin sister of Luke Skywalker in the “Star Wars” franchise. The princess of the destroyed planet Alderaan, an agent and later general of the Rebel Alliance, and a member of the Imperial Senate, Organa played a role in the destruction of both Death Stars. She married Han Solo and is the mother of Kylo Ren. At birth, following the Destruction of the Jedi Temple, Padme Amidala’s newly born twins were separated to protect them from their father, Darth Vader. Organa was handed over to Senator Bail Organa to be protected, while Skywalker was sent to his father’s family. Force-sensitive, Organa unknowingly used her abilities to make sure her shots do not miss. In “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Organa was able to manifest the Force to pull herself back on board after being blown out of her ship after an attack.

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Twentieth Century Fox

Logan (X-Men)

– Today’s rank: #10 (12,352 babies born)
– Meaning: From a surname that was originally derived from a Scottish place name meaning “little hollow” in Scottish Gaelic.

James Howlett, who due to his short stockiness, ferociousness, and facial hair, was called “Wolverine,” is a character featured in Marvel Comics, primarily appearing with the X-Men. A mutant that has enhanced healing, animal-like senses, athlete-level strength and speed, and bone claws that extend his hands, he has appeared in numerous animated series, video games, and movies—including those produced by 20th Century Fox. One of the most popular heroes in the Marvel Universe, Wolverine also goes by the codenames “Logan” and “Weapon X.” The name “Logan” is meant to reflect Wolverine’s Canadian background, as he was born in Alberta, Canada.


Luke (Star Wars)

– Today’s rank: #29 (8,577 babies born)
– Meaning: English form of Latin Lucas, from the Greek name Λουκας (Loukas) meaning “from Lucania,” Lucania being a region in southern Italy.

Luke Skywalker is the central figure in the original trilogy of the “Star Wars” franchise. The son of Anakin Skywalker—Darth Vader—and Padme Amidala, the twin sister of Princess Leia, the uncle of Rylo Ken, the brother-in-law to Han Solo, and the master of Rey, Skywalker was the last Jedi following the death of Yoda until Rey’s embracing of the Force. Originally meant to be named “Luke Starkiller,” Skywalker was renamed because of possible connotations with Charles Manson.

Mutant Enemy

Malcolm (Firefly)

– Today’s rank: #394 (799 babies born)
– Meaning: From Scottish Máel Coluim, which means “disciple of Saint Columba.”

Former Independent Army Sergeant Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds is the captain of the Firefly-class transporter Serenity on the Fox television series “Firefly” and the movie “Serenity.” An outcast that served on the losing side of the Unification War, Reynolds bought the Serenity to live beyond the winning Alliance’s control. Much of Reynolds’ crew are a mishmash of characters: a fellow soldier and her husband, a child progeny and her doctor brother, a Companion that lends the ship credibility, a mercenary, a mechanical genius, and a holy man. Each member of his crew represents a part of his spirit he feels he lost. Through them, he feels like a whole person.

Universal Pictures

Marty (Back to the Future)

– Today’s rank: #3,495 (31 babies born)
– Meaning: Diminutive of Martin, from the Roman name Martinus, which was derived from Martis, the genitive case of the name of the Roman god Mars.

Martin Seamus “Marty” McFly is the central protagonist of the “Back to the Future” series. A teenager living in Hill Valley, California, he befriends Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown. The friendship revolved around McFly’s fascination with Brown’s creation and Brown’s gratitude for being appreciated. After being chased by Libyan terrorists, McFly was forced to escape in one of Brown’s inventions, the time machine made from a plutonium-powered modified DeLorean. Through various adventures, McFly not only corrects his and his family’s lives but also that of Brown’s and the people of Hill Valley. Following the events of “Back to the Future 3,” the DeLorean is destroyed by a colliding train. As McFly was mistaken for an alien initially during his first jump into the past, the name “Marty”—derived from Mars—is apropos. McFly is a reference to his family’s Irish roots, explored in later movies.

Kennedy Miller Productions

Max (Mad Max)

– Today’s rank: #136 (2,857 babies born)
– Meaning: Short form of Maximilian or Maxwell; Maximilian is derived from the Latin ‘maximus,’ meaning “greatest.”

Max Rockatansky is a vigilante, scavenger, and former Australian federal police officer in the “Mad Max” franchise. A member of the Main Force Patrol, Rockatansky was charged with protecting residents of the Outback from road gangs following the energy shortage. Rockatansky—using his expert driving skills—functioned as a de facto highway patrol officer. At the start of “Mad Max,” Rockatansky was ready for retirement, but was enticed to stay with a muscle car called “Pursuit Special.” However, the death of his wife and child drove Rockatansky to both grief and insanity, leading him to kill their assassins and to abandon civilization for the depths of the Outback. Rockantsky’s main motivation is to survive, but he is reluctantly pressed into service on occasion to help the oppressed or maligned—usually, at no benefit to himself. Rockatansky is named after Carl von Rokitansky—a 19th-century pathologist and inventor of the “Rokitansky” procedure—the most common method of internal organ removal in an autopsy.

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21 Laps Entertainment

Mike (Stranger Things)

– Today’s rank: #1,120 (171 babies born)
– Meaning: Short form of Michael, which is derived from the Hebrew name מִיכָאֵל (Mikha’el) meaning “who is like God?” This is a rhetorical question, implying no person is like God.

Mike Wheeler is de facto leader of a group of kids in the Netflix series “Stranger Things.” He leads his friends to rescue their missing member Will, and he shelters the mysterious girl named Eleven after she escapes from the government lab that’s also connected to Will’s disappearance.

Warner Bros.

Neo (The Matrix)

– Today’s rank: #1,294 (140 babies born)
– Meaning: From the prefix meaning “new,” ultimately derived from Greek νεος (neos).

Neo, born Thomas Anderson, is the protagonist of “The Matrix” franchise. Neo is an “intentional error” added to the Matrix programming to trigger the purging and elimination of disenchanted individuals inside the Matrix, a computer-driven virtual reality. Neo comes to symbolize an escape from the Matrix and an end of the Machine War. An anagram of “one,” a reference to the revelation that Neo is the mythicized “The One” at the end of the first movie, Neo could have also been named for a Chicagoland nightclub. “The One” is believed to be the individual—a reincarnation of a former freedom fighter—meant to end the war that has largely made humanity an endangered species and free the several billion humans networked to the Machines. “The One” would have the ability to manipulate the Matrix’s code on the fly, giving him unlimited power in the simulation. “The One,” for the Machines, is part of a reset protocol—the latest in six—that reloads the Matrix, permits the residents of the human refugee city Zion to be killed, reseeds Zion to accept new dissenters, and offers the kill authorization for the “Agent Smith” program, which was empowered to provide balance against “The One.”

Columbia Pictures

Peter (Spider-Man/Avengers)

– Today’s rank: #211 (1,812 babies born)
– Meaning: Derived from the Greek Πετρος (Petros) meaning “stone.”

Peter Parker is the alter-ego of Spider-Man, a mutant in the Marvel universe that’s capable of great strength, leaping abilities, precognition, and the ability to cling onto surfaces. The star of several comics lines, multiple live-action and animated television series, and several different film series, Spider-Man is arguably Marvel’s most successful and prominent brand. Peter Parker contracted his superpowers after a bite from a radioactive spider during a high school field trip to Osborn Labs. A scientific genius, Parker would formulate his Spider webbing and make wrist-mounted shooters for it. A reluctant superhero, Parker became a crime fighter after the death of his Uncle Ben, whose killer he did not stop when he had a chance earlier. Peter Parker’s name likely came from Marvel editor Stan Lee’s rule that characters of Spider-Man’s era must have first and last names that start with the same letter.


Rey (Star Wars)

– Today’s rank: #2,592 (66 babies born)
– Meaning: Variant of Ray, a short form of Raymond; Raymond is derived from the Germanic name Raginmund, composed of the elements ragin “advice” and mund “protector.”

In the “Star Wars” universe, Rey is the last Jedi, the final student of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. An orphan and junk scavenger, Rey is the central character of the sequel trilogy. When Rey comes across BB-8, the astromech droid of Resistance pilot Poe Dameron, the two find deserting stormtrooper Finn. The trio goes on an adventure that leads them to discover the Millennium Falcon, reuniting it with Han Solo and Chewbacca, finding Skywalker’s lightsaber, and confronting Kylo Ren that showed Rey to be Force-sensitive. After finding the Jedi Temple, she convinced a reluctant Skywalker to train her. Originally meant to be named Kira, director J.J. Abrams switched the name to Rey unexpectedly.

The Ladd Company

Rick (Blade Runner)

– Today’s rank: #1,858 (80 babies born)
– Meaning: Short form of Richard, which means “brave power,” derived from the Germanic elements ric “power, rule” and hard “brave, hardy.”

Former police officer Rick Deckard is an android bounty hunter who joins the San Francisco Police Department as a detective charged with deactivating androids that escaped their off-world colonies in the 1982 movie “Blade Runner.” The film does not make it clear if Deckard himself is an android. In the 2017 sequel, Deckard is living in seclusion after the fallout of a radioactive Las Vegas. He abandons his child with a replicant freedom movement before disappearing. The character Rick Deckard came from the novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”

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BBC Wales

Rose (Doctor Who)

– Today’s rank: #123 (2,432 babies born)
– Meaning: Originally a Norman form of a Germanic name, which was composed of the elements hrod “fame” and heid “kind, sort, type.”

Rose Tyler is the first companion to the Ninth Doctor and Tenth Doctor in the rebooted “Doctor Who” series. She was a teenaged shop assistant when she first met the Doctor. She had a deeper impact on the Doctor than most other companions, with her absence leaving a bigger hole. The name “Rose” was chosen because then-executive producer Russell T. Davies likened the name to a good luck charm after using it on the ITV television program “Bob & Rose.” He also considers the name “definitively British.”


Sarah (Terminator)

– Today’s rank: #67 (3,734 babies born)
– Meaning: Means “lady, princess, noblewoman” in Hebrew.

Sarah Connor is the mother of John Connor—the key to the human resistance against the Machines in the future in the Terminator franchise. Running for her life in the first movie, Connor transitioned to a hardened warrior, mother, and wanted fugitive. She is single-minded toward the protection of her son and the defeat of the various terminators that Skynet has sent through time.

Paramount Pictures

Steve (Captain America/Avengers)

– Today’s rank: #1,156 (164 babies born)
– Meaning: Short form of Steven, a Medieval English variant of Stephen; Stephen is derived from the Greek name Στεφανος (Stephanos) meaning “crown,” more precisely “that which surrounds.”

U.S. Army Captain Steven Rogers is a super soldier, subjected to an experimental serum that enhanced his physical and mental capabilities in the comic books and film series “Captain America.” Frozen in ice following the end of World War II, Rogers is a man out of his time. He was a founding member of the Avengers and the team’s long-serving leader and is typically armed with a vibranium shield adorned with the American flag.

Paramount Pictures

Tony (Iron Man/Avengers)

– Today’s rank: #585 (465 babies born)
– Meaning: Short form of Anthony, the English form of the Roman family name Antonius, which is of unknown Etruscan origin.

Anthony “Tony” Stark is the billionaire engineer and inventor who created a mechanized life support suit to save his life and escape during a kidnapping in the comic books, animated television shows, and “Iron Man” and “Avengers” film series. The suit, upgraded with weapons and other systems from his company Stark Industries, would be used by Stark in his crime-fighting capabilities. Stark is a known superhero, as he announced his identity publicly, hoping that his wealth and fame would protect him.

Mutant Enemy

Zoe (Firefly)

– Today’s rank: #40 (5,062 babies born)
– Meaning: Means “life” in Greek. From early times it was adopted by Hellenized Jews as a translation of Eve.

Former Independents Corporeal Zoë Alleyne Washburne is Malcolm Reynolds’ first mate aboard the Serenity in the television series “Firefly” and the movie “Serenity.” The wife of ship pilot Hoban Washburne, she served under Reynolds in the Unification War and is fiercely loyal to him. Washburne and Reynolds are the sole survivors of their platoon. As of the end of Serenity, Washburne is a widow, as her husband was killed after being harpooned by a Reaver ship.

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