Addison. Callie. Isobel. Finn. Much has been made of Grey’s Anatomy, and the hit show’s impact on baby names. But there’s one that hasn’t taken off: Dr. Grey’s first name, Meredith.
Thanks to Corinne for suggesting our Name of the Day.
Meredith sounds smart. It’s a fitting choice for a doctor, fictional or not. While many Welsh names sound romantic, even fanciful – think Rhiannon and Gwendolyn – Meredith sounds quite down-to-earth.
Once upon a time, Meredith was more commonly used for men. The source is debated. While the last bit almost certainly comes from ludd – lord – the first part could reference either the word for great or sea. Mareludd, Maredudd and Meredydd all appear in the historical record, making for an etymological question mark.
Somewhere between the name’s debut and the present time, it also became a surname. We can’t help think of actor Burgess Meredith, perhaps best known as Mickey in the Rocky movies. And like several other names, it also came into use for women.
Since the 20th century, most bearers of the name have indeed been female. In addition to Dr. Grey, the small screen boasts Meredith Viera, formerly of ABC’s The View and presently co-host of NBC’s Today. Meredith Baxter was mom to Alex, Mallory and Jennifer Keaton on Family Ties.