Bones Theory

BOOTH WEEK: What’s in a Name? Seeley Booth



Seeley Booth.


Say if a couple of times, if you want.

Seeley Booth. Seeley Booth.

Kind of rolls right off the tongue. The name is synonymous with the man we love, and yet, when you look at it and at him…

…sometimes it feels like it doesn’t exactly fit. But I’m here to tell you today that this exact reason is precisely why it does fit. It’s a beautiful contradiction, just like our favorite guy.

Have you ever looked it up in a baby name book? I have, I won’t deny it. Everything I’ve seen says it means, “happy” or “blessed”.

Whether or not you agree with Booth’s cosmic balance sheet idea, the reality is that he believes in it. It’s one of the first things we really learn about him in the series (Pilot). I’m not saying that Booth feels he needs to balance out his sheet in order to be happy. What I’m saying is that Booth is an inherently happy and optimistic man whose life experiences have sort of weighed down that part of him, but he doesn’t give up on the possibility of happiness. I like that about him.

I mean, who knows why HH chose the name Seeley? I’ve never asked him. But I do feel like I remember an interview or something where someone mentioned that David Boreanaz asked if the name could be changed and HH said no, so to me that means, there is at least a little bit of deliberation there. And if I were HH…well, let’s not even open up that can of possibilities.

But let’s just say that I am glad that he chose Seeley, for a few reasons, as follows:

1. It just makes me so curious. I think I read a story once where Booth mentioned that his mother was an optimist and that’s why she chose it. And I kind of just stared at that sentence over and over, and it clicked. We know almost next to nothing about Booth’s parents, but I can imagine Booth’s mom being optimistic and his dad kind of not being that way, and Booth just has this innate tension and battle between those two characteristics. Don’t you just want to know MORE?!

2. David Boreanaz doesn’t really like it. It rubs him the wrong way (I think), like a shirt with too much starch. It fits…but still itches. And that reflects well in Booth. It’s pretty subtle, and you might think I’m just reading too much into it, but that’s never stopped me before, haha.

3. It is another connection he has with Brennan (though they would never acknowledge that). I can remember one of the first times I watched an ep with my mom and dad, and my dad was like, “Yeah, don’t name your daughter Temperance.” And I was like of like, “Aw…ouch.” I loved Brennan so much that it kind of hurt. Not that I would name my daughter Temperance because of it, but still. And just the other day, my sister and I were talking about Booth and our brother overheard and was like, “His name’s Seeley Booth?” We sighed out a defensive yes! And he just laughed. Boo! Haha. But like Brennan says at the end of Mummy in the Maze (referring to them not being superheroes), “We’re just Booth and Brennan”. It works. It fits. “Booth & Bones” works even better, but you sure as heck know I would never call her Bones. Sometimes Brennan introduces him as “Seeley Booth” as her partner, and sometimes Booth will do the same, “This here’s my partner, Dr. Temperance Brennan,” but for the most part, she doesn’t even use it. I can only think of one time outside of work where she ever did, and that was during his birthday toast. There’s a very sweet awkwardness to the way she says it, kind of rushed and nervous, “I’d like to propose a toast to my partner. Seeley Booth.”, but it also sort of acknowledges the moment as different than any other moment before. Interesting also that even in the coma dream dealio, coma-Bren doesn’t really call him Seeley. Right?  Of course, Booth calling Brennan Temperance always warms us right up! (More on that next week during BRENNAN WEEK). The point is this, it’s something they share.

4. What also works is that Jared calls him Seeley. It makes sense because it’s just another thing in Booth’s life (Jared) that sort of chafes. Don’t get me wrong, Jared isn’t all bad. And Booth definitely has a major blind spot where his brother is concerned. But part of me thinks that in a moment like this…

…Booth is thinking several things. And one of them might be, “And why does HE get the normal name?”

Haha. But honestly, it’s because…because Booth can never be normal. And that’s a good thing, even if he doesn’t like that. But it’s what we all see in him, his possibility to be amazing. And special. And very, very happy. And we love him.

 What say you?


13 thoughts on “BOOTH WEEK: What’s in a Name? Seeley Booth

  1. Personally, I love the same Seeley. I think it’s almost sexy, because it is *so* different. I read a story where he was having this internal dialogue about his name, and how when he first meets a woman, the name works to his advantage. They get “that look” and say, “Seely…how interesting…”.

    He may not like it all the time, but I think he works it occasionally, too. Just like that. Cause that’s how he rolls. 🙂

  2. And please ignore how I misspelled it the second time in that last post.

    Thanks. 🙂

  3. I always love meeting people with unusual names because mine is so common and boring. There were never less than 3 Lisas’ in any of my grade school classrooms.*I digress*

    Anywayyy I really loved his name because it does give you pause and of course you want to ask about the “why” of it for him.

  4. You know, I had never heard of the name Seeley until I started watching this show. Where is it derived from? I find it so unique.

    I have to say, I didn’t like his name when I first heard it. I was like, “Seriously? Seeley? But that so…girly sounding!” I know, I’m awful. I guess I just couldn’t put the man with the name. I think Booth suits him perfectly, but Seeley…?

    Now that I’ve gotten over it, I agree with you that it fits him well. I like that he doesn’t love his name, but that like NM said, he might use it to his advantage once in a while, and there’s always that fun banter with Cam. 🙂

    You know what I find very interesting? The fact that Brennan has NEVER called him just Seeley. EVER. If she’s ever said it, it’s always been “Seeley Booth”, almost like his name is too intimate for her to say. Don’t get me wrong, I love it that she calls him Booth, but I will admit I was a teeny bit disappointed that she didn’t use his real name in Queen Bee. How fun would it have been if she had introduced him as, “I’d like you to meet my husband Seeley.” !!! Tee hee!

  5. ahh, Seeley Booth. You do love it, don’y you? haha, I gotta say it will be interesting to hear Brennan use it. I do think at some point before the series is over she will. I think we can count on one hand how many times Booth has called her Temperance in 5 seasons and I think when she calls him Seeley it will be equally as momentous.

  6. I love Booth.

    The end. 🙂

  7. For the point of Jared calling Booth Seeley, I also think it might have to do with Jared knowing Booth his whole life. Why would he call him Booth if they share the last name? Plus, I know with my younger sister who is in the process of changing her name, except when with her friends who know her by her new name I will always call her by her birth name. Its just out of habit, and I’ve known her as one thing and she will always be that to me.

  8. Ok so I had to chime in here. I was doing a search for unique names and I had to look up the origin of the Seeley name. It’s used mainly as a surname as I found doing an ancestry search for a few months trying to find out more about myself. I have(had) an aunt named Celia(who we called Cece pronounced cees) so the name Seeley doesn’t sound off to me. It sounds delicious in fact. It sounds very sensuous.

    I LOVE unique names, but I cannot stand common names with a thousand different spelling variations. I have a 3yr old niece named Blythe Jacqueline. Blythe means “cheerful” and that she is indeed. It fits her perfectly. I also have an 8yr old nephew named Cole which isn’t unique except it’s a family surname. 3 years ago we got our first dog ever and it took me over 4 months to find the right name for him. I decided that Radek fit him perfectly. It’s a name common in the Czech Republic(where I discovered that David Boreanaz’s mother originates), but here in the US it’s never used.

    I grew up in northeast O HI O(a play on how Booth pronounced it in one of the eps)where many different peoples of Europe blended and I’ve heard just about every name you can possibly think of. My favorite is a Finnish girl I went to school with named Merlin.

    So I love the name Seeley and I think it fits the character perfectly. It’s unusual and the character tries hard to be unique himself with his odd ties, the Cocky belt buckle, and brightly colored socks.

  9. I love the name Seeley. I’m honestly surprised it hasn’t come up higher on any of the ‘baby name’ lists that are generated every year. I mean, come on – there are thousands of baby girls now named Renessme!! Seeley is definitely a lot better than that! 🙂

    I also find it interesting that how you refer to him sort of depends on your place in his life. Like, he has layers and each layer uses a different name. Most interesting in that thought is that the women in his life have always called him Seeley – except for Brennan. She’s different. He’s her Booth, not her Seeley.

    I kinda like that.

  10. This is interesting dialogue. My son’s name is Seeley. He’s 19 and was given the name because it was my mom’s maiden name. Of her 2 brothers, 1 did not have kids and the other had only girls. We wanted to carry on the family name and loved the meaning of the name. He has always thought it was kind of cool. He’s a fabulous kid, super achieving, thoughtful and kind. The only time it’s an inconvenience is when he has to leave his name like at Starbucks, so he’ll just say Mark or John or something he didn’t have to explain. My mom hated it until Seeley Booth came along, and she thinks he’s fabulous, so she has kind of come to accept it. We visited Columbia U while in NYC last spring where there is a Seeley Mudd building and learned a little more about him and his son (also named Seeley) .

  11. I always felt that “Seeley” was his mother’s maiden name. He was the oldest and got “stuck” with it. My father was the oldest and his middle name was “Mathews” (not Mathew) because that was his mother’s maiden name.

  12. Here’s my simple theory on the choice of names for these characters.

    The name Seeley means happiness. The name Temperance means moderation. Happiness and moderation – two traits which balance each other. Seeley Booth and Temperance Brennan – two people who balance each other.

  13. While I am only just starting season 2, there has already been so much development of the character throughout the course of the first season that connects to the name. The name Seeley is German I believe meaning ‘Happiness’, ‘Bliss’ or ‘Silly’. There are elements of Booth’s character that matches all of these.
    ‘Silly’ pretty much defines his personality opposite Brennan and ‘Bliss’ could sum up his Catholic beliefs. ‘Happiness’ is his situation in life, he has a child he loves even though it can be difficult to get time with him due to his clashing relationship with his Ex, he grew up in a loving home with two average parents, he’s outgoing and knows how to have a good time. It’s how he represents the other side of the coin to Brennan who lost her parents as a teenager, got thrown around the system and is the married to her job type.

    The name Temperance actually means ‘Moderation’ or ‘Self-control’ which absolutely defines her, moderation is how she does everything and she herself has admitted to having control issues.
    Moderation and Happiness, two traits that balance each other and thus a perfect representation of how the two characters balance each other.

    It gets way more interesting though, let’s not forget that Brennan’s birth name is Joy and the transition between names could represent how her character changed after the disappearance of her parents from a happy child to a lonely, emotionally cut off teenager and woman.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s