Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sookie

Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse
Unfortunately, next weeks episode of 'True Blood' means the end of another great season of this show, and a long wait until season six starts in June 2013. So in honour of the ending of another season, I thought it a fitting time to look at the interesting name of the main character - Sookie Stackhouse.

Sookie is pronounced as SOO-key (sounds like cookie). 'True Blood' has created a lot of interest in this name - website www.parenting.com reports that Sookie has been one of the most searched girls names on their site in 2010 and 2011. However this so far does not seem to be translating to actual use, as Sookie is yet to crack the top 1000 in America and certainly doesn't rate a mention in Australian charts.

Sookie is an unusual names that has been used not only in 'True Blood' which is based on the Charlaine Harris novels, but also in 'Gilmore Girls' in the form of kooky chef Sookie St James, and as the name of Claire Danes' character in the movie "Igby Goes Down". For those familiar with the name through these characters, you possibly think that Sookie is a cute name, slightly left of centre but quite lovable. Sookie is thought to originate from Susanna or Susan, and all three mean "Lily".  Of course, the name Lily is a top 10 name in America and England, and a top 20 name in Australia. So there is a possibility that maybe people will start to look to Sookie as an alternative to the wildly popular Lily.

So why hasn't Sookie taken off the way the names from that other big vampire franchise - Twilight - have? Isabella and Jacob shot up the charts once those movies went into production, and let's face it, vampires are hot right now. Here's what I think are the main factors that have contributed to it's less than stellar performance on the charts:
1 - it's similarity to a certain 'Jersey Shore' "celebrealty" called Snooki. The similarity is far too close for comfort, with most parents wanting to keep any comparisons to this controversial character as far away from their daughters as possible (with good reason!)
2 - in Australia, "sookie" - or the more elaborate "sookie-la-la" - is another word for a crybaby. You're just asking for your daughter to be the butt of jokes if you give her the name Sookie in Australia.
3 - people tend to see Sookie as more of a pet name, both figuratively and literally. Yes, on sites such as www.babynames.com where you can upload photos of your precious little ones you don't see photos of happy children, just cute little puppy dogs.

Sookie may be one name that's best left to the world of movies and TV, where people don't get teased for their names unless it's an important plot line. Or if you really want to use it, stick to Susanna with the nickname Sookie instead. It's a shame. I can fully understand why you'd want to name a daughter after the brave, intriguing Sookie Stackhouse.

2 comments:

  1. I saw this name on For Real Baby Names, and thought it was really strange, because of the meaning here. I agree - Sookie is just not on in Australasia.

    The odd thing is that I looked up what it meant in the US, and it's what people call to their pigs to get them to come to be fed, which didn't seem attractive either.

    I could get behind the 18th century Sukie though, said like Suzie but with a K in it.

    In Japanese, Suki means "love".

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  2. Sooo-eeee or Sue-eeee is how you call pigs in America. Like Sookie without the 'k.' So not exactly a pig-call, but close enough to worry about your kid being teased if you live in the country.

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