May 8, 2019 / 6:43 PM / 2 months ago

Archie?! American comic book character, and now the latest British royal

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Archie, the red-headed comic book character? Or Archie Bunker, American television’s bad-tempered bigot from the 1970s?

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex places her hand next to her baby son, who was born on Monday morning, during a photocall in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle, in Berkshire, Britain May 8, 2019. Dominic Lipinski/Pool via REUTERS

The choice of Archie as the name for Britain’s newest royal baby sent social media into a tailspin on Wednesday and confused Americans who associate the name with two of the nation’s biggest pop culture figures, and their pets.

The #Archie hashtag became the top trending item on Twitter soon after Prince Harry and his American wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, announced they were naming their two-day-old son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.

While Archie is one of the 20 most popular names for baby boys in Britain, it is not widely used for American children.

In the United States, where Meghan Markle was born and raised, thoughts tend to go to Archie Andrews, the popular red-headed all American teenager who made his debut in Archie Comics in 1941 as a high school football player whose best friend is called Jughead Jones. His stories have been adapted for television in the current teen drama series “Riverdale.”

“I’m baby,” Archie Comics posted on its official Twitter account, minutes after the name was announced.

“They named #BabySussex Archie. This will all make more sense if he has red hair,” Canadian horror fiction writer Susie Moloney said in a Twitter post, apparently referring to Harry’s red hair and adding a cartoon picture of the smiling comic book character.

A user called Northlondonhippy tweeted that the royal baby was “now the second most famous Archie in the world.”

Many Americans also recall the less likeable Archie Bunker from the 1970s television comedy series, “All in the Family.” Played by actor Carroll O’Connor, Bunker was a gruff, blue collar worker with a habit of making racist and misogynist remarks but who became a popular character dubbed a “lovable bigot.”

“The only Archie I ever knew. Ugh!” tweeted a user called royalbabyboomer, with a picture of Bunker.

For others, Archie is better known as a popular name for cats and dogs.

“This is our Archie when he was a baby, 7 years ago,” tweeted a user named chipeater, next to a video of his labrador puppy.

Researchers quickly came up with the meanings behind the names.

People magazine said Archie is an abbreviation for Archibald, which means genuine, bold and brave. Harrison means “son of Harry” and Mountbatten was the name of the late uncle of Harry’s grandfather, Prince Philip.

Nevertheless, many users on social media remained unimpressed.

“Archie is a comic book name, how can they be so stupid? Poor kid,” tweeted a user called Outrider32.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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