Originally Posted by issybird
So, Opie. What was the deal there? Opie's not a name. Was it his initials, short for Oswald Percival, say? (in which case Opie is an improvement.) Was it short for... for... I got nuthin'. What could Opie be short for; Opossum, Optometrist? Was his name ever explained? In no moment of extreme paternal frustration, did Andy never address Opie by all his names in full?
Inquiring minds want to know.
"There are two explanations of the name's origin. One is that Opie Taylor was named by Andy Griffith after bandleader and radio actor Opie Cates. The other is that he was named for Opie Shelton (1915–1999), a childhood friend of Griffith, who went on to become president of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce."