20 Baby Names Inspired By Funny Women

Genny Glassman | Dec 6, 2019 Pregnancy
20 Baby Names Inspired By Funny Women
Image: iStock/imacoconut

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iStock/imacoconut

In 2007, an article in Vanity Fair proclaimed that women weren't funny. Not only did the story cause a huge uproar among female comedians at the time (and ever since), but it was just plain wrong. Ladies can be funny, many argued, they just hadn't had the same opportunities as the guys. Well in the past 10 plus years since the story was published, woman have flourished in comedy. From Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, to the current ladies who are dominating SNL, women are a vital and now more visible force in comedy. In fact, women don't just belong in comedy, but it's pretty dang important for girls to let their funny flags fly. Many female comedians have not only come to the forefront of pop culture, but they've also become a source of baby name inspiration for parents who want a name their own little goofy girl can look up to.


Which is why we've decided to compile a list of baby names inspired by our favorite funny women. These groundbreakers are fearless in what they talk about, but can have us rolling with laughter, too. From the women who crush at a stand-up mic or the ladies who can nail an Oprah impression, we tried to find a range of funny ladies who have a variety of talents. But mostly, we picked the ladies who make us laugh the hardest. Unlike other baby name lists -- like names inspired by blockbuster movies or names from classic films -- some of the names might not be familiar to everyone, but we swear, give it a few years and every woman on this list will be a star. So take a look at these 20 amazing names inspired by funny women and try not to chuckle.

  • TINA

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    Here's a secret: Tina Fey is not actually a Tina. Sorry! She was actually born Elizabeth Stamatina Fey, according to IMDB. But  that doesn't mean that Tina isn't a super sweet baby name in its own right. Tina is typically the shortened form of Christina which means "a Christian" or "a follower of Christ." 

  • AMY

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    Whether it was Parks and Recreation, her tenure on Saturday Night Live, or any of the many other projects she's known for, Amy Poehler is a comedy legend. And we can think of no better remodel for a little girl. As a baby name, Amy is derived from the Middle English Amye, which took that name from the Old French Aimee, which mean "beloved." How fitting.

  • MAYA

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    Although she's a veteran of SNL, Maya Rudolph is probably known for a slew of other projects -- most notably her recent stint as a hormone monster on the Netflix show Big Mouth. The name Maya comes from Indian mythology and is a goddess who is a consort of Shiva. In Greek mythology Maia was the name of a fertility goddess.

  • KATE

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    Kate McKinnon is an award-winning actress and the star of so many of our favorite sketch characters. Not to mention her hilarious portrayal of Haltzmann in the reboot of Ghostbusters. Kate was a popular baby name throughout the '90s and is actually the pet name of a variety of names including Katelyn or Katherine.

  • CECILY

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    Where would SNL be without Cecily Strong? A true force on the show, her comedy chops have no bounds. Cecily is a less common baby name, but does hold a lot of meaning. The name is the female form of the boy's name Cecil, and both have a root in the Latin name caecus which means "blind" or "dim-sighted."

  • MELISSA

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    From her days playing Sookie St. James on Gilmore Girls to her star-making turn in Bridesmaids, Melissa McCarthy can do no wrong. Melissa is derived from Greek and means "a bee." But the buzz about the name must have really spread throughout the '70s, when Melissa was the seventh most popular baby name in the US.

  • HEIDI

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    Although she's new to the SNL cast, Heidi Gardner has certainly made an impression in her short time on the show. Her name has a pretty interesting history -- Heidi is a pet form of both the name Adalheid, which means "noble one" and Hildegard, which means "battle protector" but eventually became a super sweet name in its own right.

  • EGO

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    Ego Nwodim is also a more recent addition to SNL, but she's already proven herself to be a force as a featured player. Like many other names on this list, Ego is a nickname. Her full name is Egobunma, but on Twitter the actress says both she and her mom prefer to call her by her pet name.

  • NICOLE

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    We'll just say it: we love Nicole Byer. From her hilarious dating podcast, her guest appearance on The Good Place, and of course, Nailed It! Nicole is a bright spot on our screens. In the '80s, the name Nicole was at the height of its popularity and was one of the top 10 baby names in the US. The name is the female form of Nicolas, which is from the Greek Nikolaos and means "victory of the people."

  • LESLIE

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    Although she's no longer on SNL, we predict big things for Leslie Jones in the future (like a Ghostbusters 2 -- *hint, hint*).  Who didn't love her hilarious coverage of the Olympics on Twitter? Leslie originally comes from a Scottish last name Lesslyn and means  "garden of hollies" or "the gray fort." 

  • AIDY

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    From her classic SNL characters to her groundbreaking Hulu show Shrill, Aidy Bryant is an emerging comedy legend. But it shouldn't be a complete surprise that there aren't a ton of Aidy's walking around. Her full name is actually Aiden (we really like it as a girls' name!) -- which makes Aidy a nickname. 

  • TIFFANY

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    Who didn't fall in love with Tiffany Haddish while watching Girls Trip? The hilarious stand-up comedian seems to be everywhere these days -- and with good reason. As a baby name, Tiffany was once an Old French surname, Tifaine, which meant "epiphany." But the name really hit its stride in the '80s when it was the 14 most popular name in the country.

  • ALI

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    Stand-up, sitcom writer, author, actress -- is there anything that Ali Wong can't do? We first realized that we were in the presence of greatness during her hilarious Netflix special Baby Cobra which was taped when Ali was pregnant with her first child. The name Ali was originally a pet name for Alexandra.

  • APARNA

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    Aparna Nancherla may not be widely known outside of stand-up circles just yet, but trust us -- she's going to be big. The hilarious comedian has written for many of our favorite shows and even voiced a few characters on shows like Bob's Burgers. Aparna is actually a Sanskirt name that means "leafless" and was the name of the Goddess Parvati.

  • JENNY

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    Probably known best for her role as Mona-Lisa Saperstein on Parks and Recreation or Liz B. on the Kroll Show,  we love Jenny Slate. Normally Jenny is a nickname for Jennifer, which means "fair lady" but in the case of this comedian, Jenny is her full name. Adorable variations are Jennie, Jenni, and Genny.

  • CHELSEA

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    We first became aware of Chelsea Peretti in her portrayal of Gina Linetti on the sitcom Brooklyn 99, but we really love following her on Twitter. Chelsea was the "it" name of the '90s and at one point was the 24 most popular name in the US. But the origins of the name are from a neighborhood in London. 

  • TIG

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    There aren't many Tigs walking around so maybe we weren't so surprised to learn that Tig Notaro's real name is Mathilde. Known for her dead-pan humor, Tig is probably best known for her stand-up album Live, where she discussed being diagnosed with breast cancer. As for her birth name, Mathilde is a classic French name that was at its peak in popularity in the US during the 1880s. We think the name has great old-school charm.

  • HANNAH

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    Nanette was the Netflix comedy special that everyone was talking about last year and comedian Hannah Gadsby has quickly become one of our favorite funny ladies. As a baby name, Hannah is derived from the Hebrew name chaanach, which means "gracious, full of grace, or mercy." It was one of the most popular girls' names throughout the '90s. 

  • MARIA

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    Maria Bamford is another comedian people need to know. The Lady Dynamite star and stand-up covers topics like mental health and dysfunctional families -- but we like that she's both hilarious and strange (in a good way). Maria is actually the Latin form of Mary and is believed to mean "sea of bitterness" or "sea of sorrow." 

  • JESSICA

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    Probably best known as a correspondent for The Daily Show and half of the comedy podcast duo Two Dope Queens, Jessica Williams is one of the funniest women we know. While it's not clear where the name Jessica originated from it's thought to be an elaboration of the name Jessie which is derived from the Hebrew yīshai, which means "gift."

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