For the 'different, not weird' baby namer

The Great and Glorious Names of ‘Gilmore Girls’

on June 10, 2015

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the TV show ‘Gilmore Girls’ for its wit, its fast-paced dialogue, its quirky characters, and its collection of names!  With rumors of a reunion circulating, I was inspired to mine all seven seasons of ‘Gilmore Girls’ and pick out some of the most interesting names used throughout the series, from the obvious Lorelai to the obscure Drella.

Lorelai- The two main characters in the series are a mother and daughter, both beautifully named Lorelai.  Lorelei was a favorite of mine years before the series began, so I was delighted to see a variation used for such vibrant and lovable characters.  I think the show made this name wearable and familiar, but it isn’t too common, with Lorelei ranking at #479 and Lorelai at #821 in 2014.  The elder Lorelai, played by Lauren Graham, is a beautiful and quick-witted inn owner and mother.  Her bookish daughter and best friend, ‘Rory,’ is portrayed by Alexis Bledel.  There is also a third Lorelai, great grandmother to Rory, who is inexplicably nicknamed ‘Trix.’

Rory- The younger Lorelai goes by the creative nickname ‘Rory,’ a traditionally male name that now seems wearable on either gender.

Lane- This cool, concise name was worn by Rory’s best friend, whose strict upbringing couldn’t suppress her rocker spirit.

Sookie- Melissa McCarthy played the lovable and spunky chef, Sookie St. James.  The name Sookie (“SUE-kee”) originated as a nickname for Susan, and has never made the top 1000 as a given name.  It could make a cute name in the same vein as Bonnie or Frankie.

Paris- Despite her abrasive exterior, Paris Geller turned out to be one of Rory’s best friends over the course of the series.  This intense, unforgettable character was perfectly executed by actress Liza Weil.

Louise- Louise Grant was one of Rory’s schoolmates at her private high school, Chilton, and was an amusing member of Paris’s entourage.  I think the name Louise is an adorable vintage choice and could easily make a comeback (especially considering the popularity of Eloise). I’ve even used this name for one of my pets 😉

Francie- Another unique, nickname-y choice, Francie was worn by one of Rory’s enemies at Chilton.  Rory’s estranged grandmother went by the more formal Francine.

Dean- Rory’s first boyfriend is the dashing Dean Forester, a sweet, loving character played by Jared Padalecki.  I find the name Dean as handsome as the character.

Tobin- Tobin is certainly on trend, with it’s surname origin and -n ending.  This moniker was worn by one of Lorelai’s employees, who appeared in a couple of episodes.

Rune- Comically obnoxious Rune makes a couple of memorable appearances throughout the series.  His unusual name is a point of interest for Lorelai, but despite her efforts, she fails to uncover its origin.  I can see Rune fitting in with other short boys’ names like Reid and Finn.

Drella- This unique appellation is worn by an ornery harpist at the Independence Inn, one of multiple roles played by Alex Borstein throughout the series.

Other lovely (or just interesting) names:

Male: Hanlin, Luke, Max, Morey, Doyle, Finn, Straub, Beau, Brennon, Kirk, Jess

Female: Lulu, Georgia (GG), Shane, Babette, Tana, Honor, Clara, Shira, Althea, Martha

Some of the actors have great names too:

Milo- Milo Ventimiglia played Rory’s rebellious boyfriend, Jess. Though he certainly had a chip on his shoulder, Jess cared deeply for Rory, and was smart and alluringly enigmatic.

Aris- Aris Alvarado appeared several times as the cook, Ceaser (jury’s out on the spelling), at Luke’s Diner.

Chauncey- Chauncey Leopardi makes a few appearances as the goody two-shoes Stars Hollow student, Kyle.  Chauncey is a little preppy for my taste.

Yanic- Yanic Truesdale plays the irritable, yet innocuous, French concierge, Michel Gerard.  Michel is known for his sarcastic quips and his unlikely soft spot for Celine Dion and chow chows.

Scout- Scout Taylor-Compton played Clara Forester, Dean’s charming younger sister.

Keiko- Keiko Agena played spunky Lane Kim.  Keiko is a Japanese girl’s name with several meanings, including “blessed child.”

Sally- Sally Struthers plays outspoken neighbor Babette.  I’d love to see this nickname come back!

Teal- Teal Redmann made frequent appearances as Chilton student Louise Grant.

Honorine- Honorine Bell plays Lulu, girlfriend of the hilarious Kirk Gleason.

Liza- Paris Geller is one of my favorite characters…ever.  I can’t imagine anyone doing as brilliant a job as Liza Weil. I find the name Liza more timeless than Lisa, and I think it could stand alone or serve as a less common nickname for Elizabeth.


What are your favorite names/characters from Gilmore Girls?


6 responses to “The Great and Glorious Names of ‘Gilmore Girls’

  1. daydreamer52 says:

    Hey! Just wanted to say that I love Gilmore girls too. And I love your collection of the characters’ names! 🙂

  2. Kendra says:

    Awesome! Gilmore Girls is my absolute favorite TV show! I have seen all 7 seasons at least ten times! 🙂

  3. tiffany says:

    You forgot pendalynn Lott Richards highschool love! 🚀

    • Thanks for mentioning another interesting character! Pennilyn Lott (this is the correct spelling…it’s a Penny+Lynn “smoosh”) was Richard’s college girlfriend and spurred quite a tumultuous storyline. I’m not a big fan of her name, personally, but it’s unique!

  4. jclaude1 says:

    Very nicely written article.

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