New parents are turning to their favorite TV show for baby name inspiration. While many TV shows influence baby name trends (remember when everyone was naming their kids Game of Thrones names?), one currently airing show takes the cake for baby name influence. Yellowstone, a rugged Montana-set show about family life on a ranch, has folks choosing names heard from the show. The show has been a huge success, with tons of viewers tuning in each week to catch the next twist and turn on the Dutton Ranch.
Southern Living found a study conducted by OrganicBabyFormula.com that ranked the most popular TV-themed names. The results were unequivocal. Yellowstone is dominating baby name trends and driving parents to names like Dutton, Kayce, and even Rip! The study examined character names from the most popular shows (as ranked by Rotten Tomatoes). Then it ran an analysis to see the percentage increase documented by the Social Security Administration that occurred after the shows aired.
Take a Look at the Chart Compiled by OrganicBabyFormula.com to See Which TV-Themed Names Are Hot:
We told you Yellowstone baby names were the ones to beat! The top three are all from the show, and with a total of five names on the list, it’s dominating the field. Let’s take a look at some Yellowstone baby names that are trendy today, starting with the most given and working our way to some more unique options.
As a given name, Dutton increased in popularity by 3300% after the show premiered. Dutton belongs to the family as a surname in the series. The name originated in English and means “settlement on a hill.”
Next up, Rip! A name belonging to the ranch foreman, Rip is of Dutch origin and means “strength.” Before the premiere of Yellowstone, 3 babies out of a million were named Rip. But in 2022, that name was given to 74 babies; that’s over a 2000% increase.
Kayce is a variant spelling of Case. The name improved in popularity by 1679%! We expect this name to really start to trend as more parents see it as an option, thanks to the show. Kayce is John Dutton’s son in the series.
In the show, Laramie is a friend of Mia’s and a barrel racer. Laramie is considered a unisex name, from French, meaning “canopy of leafy branches.” As a baby name, it’s increased in popularity by 431%. Expect this baby name to rank in the top 1000 in the next few years.
While technically a gender-neutral baby name, Walker goes primarily to boys and only to a handful of girls yearly. Walker was on the rise when the show premiered, ranking in the top 500 just a couple of years later, and the name is almost a top 100 baby name. We expect to land in that strata this year. Walker is a name of English origin, meaning “cloth walker.” In Yellowstone, Walker is a former prisoner who comes to work on the Dutton ranch.
Let’s Take a Look at Some Other Baby Names Inspired by Yellowstone!
Now that you know the most influential names from Yellowstone, let’s take a look at some other names of characters from the show. After all, there are so many colorful characters with fun appellations.
Son of Kayce, Tate is a resilient little kid. Tate is a name of Norse origin, meaning “cheerful.” Because it is a more established name than previous ones, we don’t see an enormous change in popularity, but the name has been climbing since 2019. Tate is the 305th most given name to boys in the US.
The first woman to make it to the bunkhouse, Avery had a short-lived time in Yellowstone, and we hope the character returns in future episodes. Avery is a unisex name that is popular for both boys and girls, but it going to girls more often. Avery is the 19th most chosen name for girls.
A key figure from the Broken Rock Indian Reservation, Mo has a great name. Mo is most often considered a short form of Maurice, of Latin origin, meaning “dark.” However, the actor who plays the character Mo, Mo Brings Plenty, is named Moses. Moses is a name of Egyptian origin, meaning “delivered from water.”
Everyone’s favorite ranch hand, Colby, has a fantastic name. It is of English origin and means “of the coal town.” Colby is one of the names that hasn’t enjoyed much of a boost from Yellowstone, but it’s still a solid choice, just outside the top 500.
Who else thinks we will see Summer again before the end of the series? Summer is a wonderful seasonal name, one of the most appealing in our estimation. Summer has been slowly climbing since Yellowstone premiered. It’s a firm top 200 name.
Our hearts broke for Carter in Yellowstone, but he seems to be doing much better with Beth and Rip. Carter is an English occupational name meaning “cart maker” or “cart driver.” Carter has been a huge success since the 1980s. Today, it’s a top 50 name for boys. In 2013, the name finally gained traction for girls as well.
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Not the happiest of associations from Yellowstone, Roarke got a brutal end. However, we really love the name, Roarke. It sounds posh yet approachable. Roarke, also spelled Roark, is of Irish origin and means “renowned might.”
Clever politico Lynelle sure has a fabulous name. It has never been a popular choice in the US, but its fortunes could change like many other appellations on this list. Lynelle is an elaboration of the Welsh name Lynn. It means “lake.”
Wade is an English habitational name for someone “from the river crossing.” Wade was on the decline prior to Yellowstone premiering, but over the last couple of years, it has enjoyed a very slight boost. Wade Morrow is the neighboring ranch next to the Duttons.
Willa went out of fashion in the 1960s but came back in 2010. It’s been climbing that top 1000 chart ever since. Willia is a feminine form of William, a name of English and German origin, meaning “steadfast protector.” CEO of Market Equities, Willa Nelson, really wanted to build that airport.
Cassidy is a unisex name of Irish origin, meaning “curly hair.” Cassidy was once more popular for boys, but in recent years parents are giving it to their girls more often. A rodeo queen who became Montana’s Attorney General, Cassidy was a fascinating character to watch.
One of our favorite names on this list is Teal. It is of English origin and names a wild bird and a color. The name has never been widely used in the US, but we think it has potential. We think it sounds equally good for girls and boys, but a male character, Teal Beck, had the name in Yellowstone.
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Our prediction for the next Yellowstone baby name to take off? Our money’s on Rowdy. Rowdy is an American invention, making this name a perfect fit for a little cowboy. It was famously Clint Eastwood’s character, Rowdy Yates, in Rawhide. In Yellowstone, Rowdy is a cowboy and once was romantically involved with Beth Dutton. Rowdy originated as a term to describe a lawless and rough person from the backwoods.
There you go! We hope you found these Yellowstone baby names to be as intriguing as we did. The show has become such a huge cultural touchstone that it’s no wonder parents are attracted to the names used in the show. For even more baby name content, take a look at the cowboy names heating up today!
Good ol’ Hank has made a huge comeback in recent years. This name of German origin is a diminutive form of Henry, meaning “estate ruler.” It’s a cowboy baby name that is now more popular than ever before in the US.
Dusty is a cowboy name that’s as rugged as they come. The name is considered a diminutive form of Dustin which is of Norse origin and means “brave warrior” or “Thor’s stone.” “Brave warrior” is the perfect meaning for a cowboy name. The name peaked in 1981 but it could ride the wave along with other informal names that new parents are loving today.
Rio is a name that has just found widespread favor. The name landed in the US top 1000 most popular names for boys for the first time in 2020 and we expect it to land in the top 500 in the next year or two. Rio is a name of Spanish origin that means “river.”
Cash is a name that will forever be associated with Johnny Cash for most Americans. Cash is an established standalone name at this point but for many years it was considered a diminutive form of Cassius, a Latin name, meaning “hollow.” The name is more popular than ever before and we think that trend will hold over the next several years.
Buck was last popular in the 1980s but we think its charms could sway new parents. It’s an excellent name if you are expecting a July baby as the Buck Moon occurs during the month when male deer reach their largest size.
Zeb is considered a short form of Zebediah or Zebulon, from Hebrew, meaning “gift of God.” Zeb has such a cool, punchy sound and it is a serious mystery to us why more parents are not choosing it. It was last popular in the US in 1909 so it would completely be a unique choice today.
Ranger is a unisex, occupational name of French origin that means “protector of the forest.” Ranger has never been a widely used name for boys in the US but we think it is the perfect choice for parents looking for cowboy names. It brings to mind The Lone Ranger of radio and TV fame.
Traditionally, Tripp has been given to a baby boy who is born third but we think it works just fine for any baby. Tripp is an English word name that is taken to mean “third.” The name first started trending in 2008 and it has been climbing ever since. It is now a top-500 name and it shows no sign of slowing.
Landry is a unisex name of French and English origin that means “ruler.” It is one of the oldest surnames in France and has been in use for centuries. Due to its unique history in France, the name is particularly beloved by the Cajun Americans. Landry first ranked as a popular choice for boys in 2010 and it has been hanging on ever since.
Judd is a masculine name that is considered a shortened form of Jordan, a name of Hebrew origin that means “flowing down.” Judd was last popular in the 1980s and it is time to resurrect this one, parents. It might seem like a contemporary invention but Judd has been in use since medieval times.
Billy the Kid? Billy is a diminutive form of William of English origin, meaning “resolute protector.” Billy is a great unisex option that was once a top-20 name in the US. It has fallen from fashion in recent years, however, but we have hope that it will return to its former glory.
Duke is an English title of nobility that has a butch quality to it that so many parents are attracted to. It is short and sweet and right to the point. Duke is a popular name in the US today, seeing its most popular years ever throughout the 2010s. Despite naming royalty, we fill the name is more suited for the cowboys out there.
Gunner is a diminutive form of the Scandinavian name, Gunther, meaning “bold warrior.” Sometimes this name is spelled Gunnar which takes off the battle-ready edge. Gunner is especially popular among parents in the Western United States. The cowboy name first gained traction in the 1990s and it jumped into the top 500 rather quickly.
Rider is an English occupational name for a “horseman.” Alternative spelling, Ryder is actually more popular as a surname. The name has never been a popular choice in the US but we think there is plenty of potential for it to serve growing families well. The meaning “horseman” makes this firmly a cowboy baby name.
Is Maverick the king of cowboy baby names? It very well could be! Maverick is an American invention a term referring to individualism and an independent streak. The name was heard first in a 1950s James Garner western TV series. Maverick is a top-50 boy name today and it is more popular than ever before.
Westley is the cowboy version of Wesley, offering that all-important West component without being too on the nose. Wesley has had its ups and downs through the years, falling from fashion for several of them before it jumped into the top 1000 among boys’ names in the US again in 2016. It’s tracking to be more popular than ever in the next year or two.
Sawyer is a unisex occupational name that means “woodcutter.” In fact, it is one of the most popular unisex names in America today and it achieved that feat in just a few years as the name only become popular in the 1990s. We think its adventurous sound gives it cowboy appeal.
Wilder is a surname that parents realized would work excellently as a given name in the 2010s. Now, the name is tracking to be the most popular W-name for boys. Wilder as a surname is found in both German and English naming traditions. This makes us think of the Wild West, making it an appropriate cowboy baby name.
We know that Silas is a wildly popular baby name today but we think the cause of it is that it has a rugged sort of appeal. Further, the meaning of the name echoes the adventurous cowboy ethos, “forest.” The name is more popular today than ever before and it shows no signs of faltering.
Dylan is an awesome unisex name of Welsh origin that means “son of the sea.” It has been a top 50 name for boys since 1991. Dylan is a popular name around the world today as parents from all walks of life have realized its inherent charms.
Levi is a wildly popular baby name today and it is more popular than ever before in the US. In fact, it’s tracking to crack the top 10 next year! We could not be more excited about the success of this Hebrew name that means “joined.”
Colton has become a trendy name over the last decade. The name is of English origin and means “from the coal town” or “from the dark town.” Colton first gained traction in the 1980s and today, it is firmly in the top 100 most popular boy names. We think the Colt element of this appellation makes it a true contender among these cowboy baby names. Wouldn’t that make a great nickname?
Austin is an English short form of the Latin name Augustine and it has an outsized meaning of “magnificent.” Austin names a hip, Texas city giving the name a cowboy feel. Austin peaked in popularity in the 1990s but it has been slipping ever so slightly in recent years. We think this amazing name should stick around!
Luke is a handsome name of Greek origin that means “man from Lucania.” The name is a real winner among American parents but it is also extremely popular abroad. The name brings to mind the cowboy movie Cool Hand Luke. Who could forget Paul Newman in that iconic role? We think this name has serious cowboy cred but it is so popular that your child will be in very good company.
Wyatt Earp, anyone? Wyatt has got that chiseled, Easy Rider cool to it that has been attracting parents to this name in recent decades. It is derived from an English surname that means “brave in battle.” The name is firmly a top 50 pick by parents today and it is more popular now than ever before. A reflection of just how popular cowboy names have become. Choose this one and you won’t regret it!
What did you think of these cowboy baby names? We hope you found some appellations worth considering for your son.
Andrew is an Assistant Editor for Mamas Uncut with over ten years of experience as a writer in the creative, marketing, and blogging spaces. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a passion for telling stories in a variety of mediums. Obsessively making lists, reporting celebrity news, and diving into emerging pop cultural topics are a few of his interests.
- 1 Take a Look at the Chart Compiled by OrganicBabyFormula.com to See Which TV-Themed Names Are Hot:
- 2 Dutton
- 3 Rip
- 4 Kayce
- 5 Laramie
- 6 Walker
- 7 Let’s Take a Look at Some Other Baby Names Inspired by Yellowstone!
- 8 Tate
- 9 Avery
- 10 Mo
- 11 Colby
- 12 Summer
- 13 Carter
- 14 Roarke
- 15 Lynelle
- 16 Wade
- 17 Willa
- 18 Cassidy
- 19 Teal
- 20 Rowdy
- 21 Hank
- 22 Dusty
- 23 Rio
- 24 Cash
- 25 Buck
- 26 Zeb
- 27 Ranger
- 28 Tripp
- 29 Landry
- 30 Judd
- 31 Billy
- 32 Duke
- 33 Gunner
- 34 Rider
- 35 Maverick
- 36 Westley
- 37 Sawyer
- 38 Wilder
- 39 Silas
- 40 Dylan
- 41 Levi
- 42 Colton
- 43 Austin
- 44 Luke
- 45 Wyatt
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