The name 'Yellowstone' used to be synonymous with Yellowstone National Park and its famous hot springs, the Old Faithful geyser. Though the park, which covers areas of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, will always be well-known, these days, Yellowstone has taken on a whole new meaning thanks to the popular TV series on the Paramount Network.
Like any popular film or TV show, it's only natural for major Yellowstone fans to find baby name inspiration from some of the main characters. One of the main stars of the series, Cole Hauser, told Men's Journal that when he was in Fort Worth with series creator Taylor Sheridan for the rodeo, he met a fan who named her baby after his onscreen character.
"I was sitting at the rodeo, and this woman comes up to me with her brand-new baby--and she says to me, 'This is Rip,'" Hauser said. "I'd seen a couple of crazy girls tattoo him on their arms, but this was something else. Taylor and I just looked at each other. We both felt honored. I mean, that was pretty cool."
We've rounded up some of our favorite names inspired by the hit western, which are perfect if you or a loved one is expecting a new addition to the family soon. Whether you want to honor one of your favorite characters from the show or just find a good name that would fit into the old west, this list has a bit of everything.
Naturally, we have to start with a name inspired by where the series is filmed. Unlike some of the more recent trending place names like Aspen or Zion, Montana still isn't a widely used baby name. According to social security, the name was ranked in the top 1,000 girl names each year from 2000-2007. It hasn't been ranked over the past decade, so you could be a real trendsetter!
There are many other great place names inspired by Yellowstone National Park as well outside of the TV series like Hayden, for the Hayden Valley that connects the park to the Grand Canyon.
Potentially the most popular boy's name to come from the TV show is Rip, thanks to Rip Wheeler being one of the coolest cowboy characters we've seen in years. The best part about the name is you could use it as a nickname instead of a given name if it's a bit too country for you. Rip can be short for names like Robert, Ripley, or honestly whatever 'R' name you prefer as a more formal first name.
Speaking of nicknames for Robert, what about Rocky? No, we're not talking about the Sylvester Stallone movie. This is in reference to the incredible Rocky Mountains that sprinkle the landscape throughout Montana and Wyoming.
Okay, this isn't a character's name, but Rip Wheeler is as popular as he is, thanks to the actor who brings him to life, Cole Hauser. A bit more of a popular choice than some of the other names on this list, Cole consistently ranks in the top 200 baby boy names each year.
Another favorite baby boy name is Kayce, inspired by John Dutton's youngest child. Kayce is a strong and brave character. Heck, he's a former Navy SEAL. We think this is a great choice for any new baby boys out there.
While this show is definitely limited in its name options for baby girls, we can't skip over Beth. Kelly Reilly has created a powerful female force with her character Beth Dutton and sets the example that women can be just as tough as men. Short for Elizabeth or Bethany, Beth is a more informal nickname for two of the most classically beautiful girl names out there.
Another strong option for girls is Darby, inspired by Darby, Montana, where the TV series is filmed. It's definitely a less common choice, so you won't have to worry about your little one being one of many in the classroom or the playground.
A popular boy's name that has been rising the ranks in recent years is Walker. In the series, Walker is the cowboy on Yellowstone Ranch who becomes somewhat of a rival for Rip Wheeler. He surprised fans by coming back on the show at the end of the third season, so we're excited to see what's in store for him moving forward. This would also make a great middle name!
If you follow Yellowstone on Instagram, you might have seen their highlight reel where they showcase new babies (and pets) who were named after Yellowstone characters. One of the most popular choices appears to be Dutton, the surname of Kevin Costner's character's family. We agree that it's a nice strong name that would be perfect for the new baby boy in your life.
Speaking of baby boy names, we have to include Kayce Dutton's son's name -- Tate. The name has consistently ranked in the top 500 most popular boy names over the past 20 years. Meaning "cheerful," we think that this name will bring your family as much joy as Tate does for the Duttons on the show.
Sure, he's one of the least popular characters on the series, but Jamie is an ideal gender-neutral name. Perfect as a stand-alone name or nickname for James, maybe your Jamie can go on to become a Harvard-educated lawyer as well!
John Dutton's late wife Evelyn has a strong classic name recently rising in popularity. Consistently in the top 10 most popular girl names over the past few years, we feel confident that this will be a strong choice for years to come.
This article was originally published on July 20, 2021. It was updated on May 16, 2022.
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