American Names · Analysis

Names from Wednesday

Have you watched Wednesday yet?

My fiance and I grew up with the 90s Addams Family movies and still quote them regularly, so we knew we had to watch this new take on the universe. We finally finished it Wednesday night (ha!) and can’t wait for another season to drop. Not only was it the kind of dark comedy we love, but the mood and environment felt like a New England Hogwarts with more werewolves and vampires in the student body. I wasn’t 100% sure what “dark academia” was before, but I think I know now.

Speaking of dark academia, I think the show’s character names more than qualify for the aesthetic. Nerdy names in a Vermont boarding school named after Edgar Allan Poe (Nevermore) with tragedies galore…yup, they count! If you’ve seen the show or don’t mind mild spoilers, here are the names of the major teenage characters! I fully admit to taking notes while watching.

  • Wednesday – As we’ve known forever, our title character is the ultimate goth girl with a cold personality and dry, dark sense of humor. Parents started naming their daughters Wednesday in the 60s when the first iteration of the Addams Family hit TV, but it’s only been in the last 10-15 years that the name has started rising out from ultra-rare status. 112 girls were named Wednesday in 2021, up from 76 the year before (this latest rise is probably due to the animated movie). If it doesn’t hit the 2022 top 1000, expect to see Wednesday there in 2023. As a side note, the show does explain how Wednesday got her name (from a nursery rhyme stanza: “Wednesday’s Child is Full of Woe”).
  • EnidEnid is Wednesday‘s roommate. A bubbly werewolf with a zoo of stuffed animals and a social media following, she is the last person you’d expect Wednesday to befriend. All in all, Enid is a great person, and I love that the creators chose an “old-lady” name for such a vibrant, modern-day character. Don’t be surprised if the name Enid gets a popularity bump from this. 34 girls were named Enid in the U.S. in 2021, which isn’t its most recent but is part of a general rise from 10 years ago. It peaked between 1919 and 1921, which means it’s ripe to return per the 100-year-naming cycle! Enid is an old Welsh-derived Arthurian name too, which puts her in good company with names like Arthur, Guinevere, and Percival (all rising in popularity).
  • BiancaBianca begins the show as a competitive rival and nemesis to Wednesday (seriously, her fencing skills are par none!), but overtime you realize she’s dealing with her own personal issues like everyone else and the mutual animosity fades into something like friendship. SPOILER: Bianca actually chose her own name. Her mother calls her Brandy Jane, but Bianca seems to hate it. Bianca, a Shakespearean character name which means “white” in Italian, currently ranks #447 in the U.S.
  • XavierXavier knew Wednesday before Nevermore and holds a candle to her. His name is already popular in the U.S. with a rank of #100, but seeing as it peaked in 2009, I’m not sure how much of a bump he’ll give it. I’m honestly a little surprised they went with a Top 100 name for a major student character.
  • EugeneEugene is one of the few names that has never left the U.S. Top 1000, though that will probably change soon if the show doesn’t give it a boost. It’s a sweet, geeky name that’s about what you’d expect the nerdy prep school student to be named in popular media…that said, this beekeeping character is awesome and I’d love to see some babies named after him. Current U.S. Rank: #848.
  • AjaxAjax is a gorgon like Medusa, which means he has to keep the top of his head covered at all times (even from himself). Most modern parents probably think of the cleaning agent when they hear this name, but Ajax is a character name from the Iliad. That means like Atlas, Persephone, and Artemis, it sees its origins in Greek Mythology. 23 boys were named Ajax in 2021, which makes it unusual but proves it’s usable…that said, I hope babies named Ajax are named after the warriors, not the brand.
  • TylerTyler is a “normie,” which means he’s not a student at the school. He has a great name, but I think it more-or-less reflects the difference between the non-magical townies versus the “outcasts” who attend the school. Tyler currently ranks #157 in the U.S.

More minor character names from their age cohort include:

  • RowanRowan was an important character for a couple of episodes. Though this is a popular name now, its association with the Rowan tree makes it a nature name and thus a great pick for a student of a magical boarding school. Current rank: #106 for boys and #241 for girls. 
  • Lucas – Like Tyler, a “normie” character with a standard name. Wildly popular internationally, Lucas ranks #8 in the U.S.
  • Yoko – Friends with Enid, Yoko‘s name probably reminds most people of Yoko Ono. Only 5 girls were named Yoko in 2021.
  • Davina – She appears to be a member of a secret society with Bianca and Ajax, but I only remember hearing her name once. Davina is a feminine form of David that currently ranks #576 in the U.S.
  • Kent – Like Davina, this was the name of a society member I only heard once. According to SSA data, 130 baby boys were named Kent in 2021.

I feel like I can’t complete a write-up on an Addams Family show without mentioning the following names:

  • MorticiaWednesday‘s mother’s name has been used very rarely since the 1960s, but expect to see a little bump up from the 10 baby girls who got the name in 2021. 
  • GomezWednesday‘s dad’s name only appeared in SSA data once in 1950.
  • Pugsley – Unless he gets his own show, I doubt Pugsley will ever inspire any baby names. Maybe a dog’s.

All in all, this show made for great baby name inspiration material! My fiance even said he wouldn’t mind naming a daughter Wednesday. As for me, I can’t wait to see what other names they might introduce in another season…hurry up Netflix!

Do you have any favorites from this list, or any you’d like to add? Let me know!

Sources: Besides my own notes, I consulted the Social Security Administration, Behind the Name, and Nancy’s Baby Names for data and information.

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