200+ Dark Academia Names For Baby Boys And Girls

With the recent resurgence of Victorian aesthetics and maximalist names, dark academia names are making a comeback. What is dark academia, you ask? It is a social media aesthetic that has taken over the internet, inspired by films such as The Dead Poets Society and books such as The Secret History. Dark academia centers around a vintage scholarly setting, a love for classic literature and academia, and finding beauty in darkness. Classic and sophisticated, yet brooding and edgy, dark academia names have been around for centuries. They have roots in history, mythology, and classical and modern fiction. From Shakespearian names like Ophelia and Lysander to mythological names like Emrys and Minerva, these names have the right amount of elegance and uniqueness for your child. Read on for our extensively curated collection of dark academia names for baby boys and girls.

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200+ Baby Names Inspired by Dark Academia

Think of elite 19th-century private boarding schools with Gothic architecture, a secret society with generations of upper-class members, and a mysterious foreboding atmosphere. If you find yourself drawn to these images, these dark academia baby names may be right up your alley.

Dark Academia Girl Names

Characters such as Morticia Addams from The Addams Family or Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series are hugely popular. Do you think their names are unique yet elegant? Then check out these dark academia girl names to find one perfect for your daughter.

1. Adaline

A variation of Adelina, the name means ‘noble,’ embodying the elite grace that comes with dark academia. Avid film watchers may also connect it to the ageless protagonist of the film The Age of Adaline.

2. Agatha

Inspired by the cult favorite crime novel author Agatha Christie, Agatha fits the vibe of this aesthetic to the T. The name has Greek roots and means ‘good.’ It is also associated with the famed Christian martyr, Saint Agatha.

3. Agnes

With Greek roots meaning ‘chaste’ or ‘lamb,’ Agnes is also associated with a venerated Christian saint and martyr. It is also associated with Agnes Grey, the titular protagonist of Victorian author Anne Brontë’s Agnes Grey, A Novel.

4. Alexandria

A feminine form of Alexander, Alexandria is the more sophisticated version of conventional variants, like Alexandra or Alexis. It may appeal to history buffs, as it refers to Alexander the Great, the famed Greek king whose name meant ‘defender of men.’

5. Alma

Alma means ‘young woman’ in Hebrew, ‘nourishing’ in Latin, and ‘the soul’ in Spanish. Those interested in world history may recognize the name from the 1854 Battle of Alma and those interested in pop culture may think of Alma Wheatley from The Queen’s Gambit.

6. Anastasia

Meaning ‘resurrection’ in Greek, Anastasia captures all the characteristics of a classic dark academia name. It is related to a venerated Christian martyr from the 4th century and the daughter of Russian tsar Nicholas II.

7. Andromeda

Andromeda has a bunch of different interpretations, being rooted in the Greek aner, meaning ‘man,’ and either medomai, meaning ‘to be mindful of,’ or medo, meaning ‘to rule over.’ In Greek mythology, Andromeda was an Ethiopian princess whom the Greek hero Perseus rescued. It is also the name of a constellation in the northern sky.

8. Apollonia

Derived from the Greek god Apollo’s name, Apollonia means ‘strength,’ ‘father light,’ or ‘to destroy.’ Its mythological connotations, with Apollo being the god of medicine, music, art, wisdom, beauty, and the sun, squarely places it at the top of the preference list, if the “academia” side of dark academia inspires you.

9. Arabella

With English and Dutch roots, Arabella means ‘invokable’ or ‘yielding to prayer.’ Readers of classic English literature may recognize the name as Arabella Donn from Jude the Obscure, or Arabella, the titular protagonist of the Regency era novel, Arabella.

10. Artemis

The name Artemis comes from the ancient Greek artemes, meaning ‘safe.’ In Greek mythology, Artemis was the daughter of Zeus and Leto, the twin sister of Apollo, and the goddess of the moon, the hunt, chastity, childbirth, and children.

11. Athena

Carrying on with the theme of Greek mythology, Athena was the goddess of wisdom and warfare, and the patron goddess of the city of Athens in Greece. Although the etymological meaning of the name is unknown, its association with ‘wisdom’ lends it an honorary position among dark academia names for girls.

12. Aurora

Yet another mythological name, Aurora comes from Roman mythology and refers to the goddess of the morning, and hence, means ‘dawn.’ If you are fascinated by the phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis (also known as the Northern Lights), this name may be right for you.

13. Beatrice

The Italian form of Beatrix, Beatrice means ‘blessed’ or ‘voyager.’ The name is well-known in classic literature, as Beatrice, based on Dante’s Alighieri’s beloved Beatrice Portinari, serves as his guide through Paradise in the Divine Comedy. Beatrice is also one of the main characters in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

14. Beth

Beth has dual meanings as a short form of both Elizabeth and Bethany. In the first case, it means ‘my God is an oath,’ and in the second, it connotes ‘house of affliction.’ Fans of The Queen’s Gambit, a series known for its dark academia aesthetic, may relate the name to its protagonist, Beth Harmon.

15. Bianca

The Italian form of Blanche, Bianca means ‘white’ or ‘fair-colored.’ A name well-known in classical literature, Bianca is associated with two Shakespearean characters: Bianca from Othello, and Bianca Minola from The Taming of the Shrew.

16. Camilla

The feminine form of Camillus, Camilla means ‘a young woman employed in religious services.’ The name most famously refers to a legendary warrior maiden of the Volsci, as mentioned in Virgil’s Aeneid, and the protagonist of Fanny Burney’s 1796 novel, Camilla.

17. Carmen

Carmen may be a spelling variant of Carmel, meaning ‘garden,’ or it may derive from the Latin word carmen, meaning ‘song.’ Parents who are avid listeners of classical music may relate the name to the main character of George Bizet’s 1875 opera, Carmen.

Carmen means garden

Image: Momjunction Design Team

18. Circe

The Latin form of the Greek Kirke, Circe means ‘hawk.’ In Greek mythology, it refers to the sorceress Circe, mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey. She was known for her talent in potions and herbs, and for turning those who offended her into animals.

19. Cleopatra

The famous Greek name translates to ‘glory of the father’ and refers to Egyptian queens from the Ptolemaic royal family. Most importantly, it refers to Cleopatra VII, whose life story is also detailed in Shakespeare’s historical tragedy, Anthony and Cleopatra.

20. Cordelia

Derived from the Welsh name Creiddylad, Cordelia means ‘center of the heart’ or ‘flood of blood.’ The name belonged to Cordelia, a legendary Brittonic queen and the youngest daughter of King Leir. Her life inspired William Shakespeare’s King Lear and Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene.

21. Cressida

Carrying on with the theme of characters from classical literature, Cressida comes from the name Chryses, meaning ‘golden.’ It was adopted as Criseida by Bocaccio in his poem Il Filostrato; as Criseyde by Chaucer in the epic poem Troilus and Criseyde; and as Cressida by Shakespeare in his play Troilus and Cressida.

22. Daphne

In Greek, Daphne means ‘laurel.’ The name comes from Greek mythology, where Daphne was a nymph who was turned into a laurel tree by her father so she could escape the pursuit of Apollo. In popular culture, Daphne Bridgerton is a primary character in the Regency-era book series Bridgerton and its TV adaptation.

23. Delphia

Delphia is a name straight from Greek mythology, meaning ‘of Delphi,’ where Delphi is a Greek city and the site of the oracle of Apollo. Delphia, thus, suggests the power of prophecy and foresight. It was also the main character’s name in the 1647 play The Prophetess.

24. Demelza

Derived from a Cornish place name, Demelza means ‘fort of Maeldaf.’ The distinctive name became famous through the 1946 novel Demelza, the second part of the Poldark series of historical novels by Winston Graham.

25. Desdemona

Inspired by the love of darkness displayed by the dark academia subculture, Desdemona is a unique name meaning ‘ill-fated.’ The name gained its fame from the Shakespearean heroine Desdemona, from the tragic play Othello.

26. Dorothea

A classic European name on the rise, Dorothea means ‘gift of God.’ It was carried by the 4th-century saint Dorothea of Caesarea and the 14th-century Saint Dorothea, who was also Russia’s patron saint.

27. Enid

Enid has Welsh origins and means ‘soul,’ ‘spirit,’ or ‘life.’ It became famous through the Arthurian French poem Erec and Enide by Chrétien de Troyes, and then by Alfred Tennyson’s 1859 Arthurian poem Enid. In popular culture, Enid Sinclair is a popular character from Wednesday, a TV show with dark academia elements.

28. Enola

Enola is popularly believed to be the word ‘alone’ spelled backward, making it a modern name. It’s the name of the protagonist in the 1886 novel Enola; or, her Fatal Mistake. In popular culture, Enola Holmes is the fictional younger sister of Sherlock Holmes, featured in a series of young adult detective novels by Nancy Springer.

29. Eponine

A distinctive name, Eponine likely means ‘horse,’ through its connection to the name Epona. It became famous through the character of Eponine in Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel Les Miserables, which later became a renowned musical.

30. Felicity

Felicity means ‘happiness’ or ‘good luck.’ In the context of dark academia, the name refers to Felicity Morrow, a main character in the Gothic thriller novel A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee.

31. Galatea

The name comes from the Greek word gala, meaning ‘milk.’ Several characters in Greek mythology carry this name, including a nymph. More famously, in the legend of Pygmalion, Galatea is the name of the statue that Pygmalion carves and falls in love with, which later comes to life.

32. Guinevere

Guinevere is an Arthurian name with Welsh roots, meaning ‘white phantom.’ This enigmatic name refers to the beautiful wife of King Arthur, who has been represented extensively in classical and modern fiction.

33. Helena

A variation of Helen, Helena translates to ‘torch,’ ‘corposant,’ or ‘moon.’ Readers of classical literature may be well aware of the name through Shakespeare’s 1603 play All’s Well That Ends Well.

34. Hermione

Meaning ‘boundary marker’ or ‘cairn,’ Hermione is the feminine form of Hermes, the Greek messenger god. In Greek mythology, Hermione is the daughter of Menelaus and Helen, and she also features in Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale. Modern fiction enthusiasts may know the name through Hermione Granger, a main character from the Harry Potter series.

35. Imogen

Derived from the Gaelic word inghean, meaning ‘maiden,’ Imogen is a name that became famous through fiction. The name belonged to King Cymbeline’s daughter in William Shakespeare’s 1609 play Cymbeline.

36. Isolde

Isolde comes from the Arthurian name Iseult, meaning ‘ice battle.’ The name was first mentioned in Gottfried von Strassburg’s 13th-century poem Tristan, detailing Tristan and Isolde’s tragic romantic tale. The name became more famous through Richard Wagner’s 1865 opera Tristan und Isolde, based on the same story.

37. Junia

With Latin roots, the unique name Junia derives from Junius, a name with its roots in Juno, meaning ‘youthful’ or ‘young.’ In Roman mythology, Juno is the wife of Jupiter and the Queen of the Heavens and in the New Testament of the Bible, Junia is the name of a new Christian.

38. Lavinia

Lavinia occupies a prominent position in Roman legends as the wife of Aeneas and an ancestor of the Roman people. The name also appears in Shakespeare’s tragic play Titus Andronicus and as Lavinia Mannon in Eugene O’Neill’s Gothic trilogy, Mourning Becomes Electra.

39. Lucinda

An elaborated form of Lucia, Lucinda has its roots in the Latin name Lucius, meaning ‘light.’ It has a sophisticated and mature aura and was created for use in fiction, first by Cervantes in Don Quixote and later by Molière in The Doctor in Spite of Himself.

40. Luna

A Romantic name, Luna has Latin origins and means ‘the moon.’ It is also the name of the Roman moon goddess. The name became famous through Luna Lovegood, a character from the Harry Potter series, who was known for her quirky wisdom and blunt honesty.

41. Marceline

Marceline is a classic feminine name derived as a variant of Marcellinus, meaning ‘of Mars,’ referring to the Roman god of war. The name leans toward the lighthearted side of dark academia, as it refers to Marceline Abadeer, a 1000-year-old fun-loving vampire demon queen and one of the main characters of the animated series Adventure Time.

42. Matilda

With Germanic origins, Matilda means ‘strength in battle.’ It has historical roots, having been associated with numerous European royal families in the Middle Ages. In popular culture, however, it became synonymous with Roald Dahl’s Matilda, a children’s book about a precocious child with uncaring parents and an endless love for learning.

43. Mercy

Mercy comes from the English word for ‘leniency’ or ‘compassion,’ and is rooted in the Latin merces, meaning ‘wages’ or ‘reward.’ It was initially adopted as a virtue name by the Puritans, but because of its elegant and classic European vibe, it is facing a revival in the 21st century.

44. Millicent

Millicent is a classic English name with Gothic roots meaning ‘unceasingly strong’ or ‘vigorously strong.’ It comes from Amalaswintha, a 6th-century Ostrogoth queen, giving the name an aura of magnificence.

45. Minerva

An excellent choice for academic enthusiasts, Minerva means ‘intellect.’ It represents the Roman goddess of wisdom and warfare, the equivalent of Athena. Although the name has been used throughout Europe since the Renaissance, it became famous through Minerva McGonagall, the stern and wise professor from the Harry Potter series.

46. Morticia

Morticia is an invented name taken from the English word mortician, meaning ‘undertaker’ or ‘funeral director,’ derived from the Latin mortis, meaning ‘death.’ Morticia became famous as the enigmatic matriarch of the Addams Family television series, based on comic books by the same name by Charles Addams.

47. Nyx

Although it may seem like a modern name, Nyx has classic Greek origins and is a firm favorite among those who appreciate the beauty of darkness. It means ‘night,’ and represents the Greek goddess of the night, the daughter of Erebos and Khaos.

48. Octavia

The feminine form of Octavius, Octavia was the name of Mark Anthony’s wife and the sister of Roman emperor Augustus. She is depicted as a character in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. Also, Claudia Octavia was Roman emperor Nero’s wife, and her tragic life is depicted in the Roman play Octavia and Reinhard Keiser’s opera, Octavia.

49. Odessa

Odessa is a distinctive name that originates from a Ukrainian city on the coast of the Black Sea. It may be related to the Greek city Odessos or can be the feminine version of the Greek name Odysseus, meaning ‘to hate.’

50. Olympia

A classic Greek name with a heavenly meaning, Olympia is the feminine version of Olympos. Olympos or Olympus refers to the highest mountain in Greece and according to Greek mythology, it is the home of the Greek gods. In literature, Olympia is a character in Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine.

51. Ophelia

Ophelia has Greek roots and means ‘help’ or ‘advantage.’ It became famous as a tragic character from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, where she is Polonius’s daughter and Hamlet’s love interest. The name has been incredibly popular among English speakers since the 19th century.

52. Persephone

Another name from Greek mythology, Persephone has a dark meaning, ‘to destroy, murder.’ She is the daughter of Demeter and Zeus and is worshiped as the Queen of the Underworld and the consort of Hades, the god of the Underworld.

53. Petra

With a classic feminine and mature aura, Petra is the feminine form of Peter, meaning ‘rock.’ The name became famous through the crime drama television series Petra, based on novels by author Alicia Giménez Bartlett, featuring the character Petra Delicado.

54. Philippa

A Latin feminine form of Phillip, Philippa also means ‘friend of horses.’ A chiefly British name, Philippa has been in usage since the Middle Ages and has been associated with Christian martyr Saint Philippa, and several people in European royalty and aristocracy.

55. Primrose

A name with an old-world charm, Primrose comes from the namesake flower and means ‘first rose.’ It became famous through Oliver Goldsmith’s novel The Vicar of Wakefield, where Dr. Charles Primrose is the protagonist. Later, it became associated with Primrose Everdeen, Katniss Everdeen’s beloved younger sister from The Hunger Games series.

56. Prudence

The feminine form of the Latin Prudentius, Prudence means ‘prudent,’ ‘skilled,’ or ‘wise.’ It became popular in England during the 17th century as a virtue name. In popular culture, Prudence Blackwood is a character who appears in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, a TV series with many dark academic elements.

57. Rhiannon

Rhiannon has Celtic origins and means ‘great queen.’ In the Welsh legend presented in the Mabinogi, Rhiannon was a beautiful and ethereal Otherworld woman who broke her unwilling betrothal to Gwawl and married Pwyll. She was known for her intelligence, political prowess, strong mind, and generosity.

58. Rosamund

Rosamund means ‘protector of horses,’ and was carried by a 6th-century Lombard queen. It eventually also came to connote ‘pure rose’ or ‘rose of the world,’ through Rosamund Clifford, a noblewoman and mistress of English king Henry II, who is a famous figure in English folklore.

59. Roxana

With Latin and Greek origins, Roxana is a classic name that means ‘bright’ or ‘shining.’ The name belonged to Alexander the Great’s first wife and it came to be used in the English society in the 17th century. In literature, it is associated with the main character of Daniel Defoe’s 1724 novel Roxana.

60. Sabrina

Sabrina refers to the River Severn, and this name has appeared in several English legends and literary works since the Middle Ages. It is mainly associated with the ’60s comic book character Sabrina Spellman, from Sabrina the Teenage Witch. It became associated with dark academia through The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, its modern TV adaptation.

61. Sappho

The name Sappho comes from the Greek word for ‘sapphire’ or ‘lapis lazuli.’ Poetry enthusiasts may associate the name with Sappho of Lesbos, an archaic Greek poet considered among the greatest lyric poets and referred to as The Tenth Muse.

62. Seraphina

Seraphina has Latin and Hebrew roots and comes from the Biblical word seraphim, meaning ‘fiery ones.’ In the Bible, the Seraphim was an order of angels with six wings each, giving the name Seraphina a divine essence.

63. Sigrid

Sigrid is a name with Old Norse roots, combining the terms sigr, meaning ‘victory,’ and fridr, meaning ‘beautiful’ or ‘beloved.’ Literature lovers may associate the name with Sigrid Undset, a Norwegian novelist who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928.

64. Sybil

A Middle Age version of the Greek name Sibyl, Sybil means ‘prophetess.’ The name carries an aura of wisdom, otherworldly knowledge, and foresight. Sibyls were viewed as possessors of divine knowledge revered by Greeks, Romans, and later, Christians. The variant Sybil became famous through Benjamin Disraeli’s 1845 novel Sybil.

Sybil means prophetess

Image: Momjunction Design Team

65. Thalassa

The unique name means ‘sea’ in Greek. Thalassa was the personification and primordial goddess of the sea. Thus, by association, a moon of the planet Neptune is named Thalassa.

66. Winifred

Winifred has multiple meanings; it may be sourced from the Welsh Gwenfrewi, meaning ‘white stream’ or ‘blessed peace,’ or from the Old English Winfred, meaning ‘friend of peace.’ The name was associated with a legendary Welsh martyr, Saint Winifred, who is venerated in Wales and England.

67. Zenobia

With Greek origins, Zenobia is a rare name that means ‘life of Zeus,’ where Zeus refers to the King of the Olympian gods. Zenobia is mainly associated with the queen of the  Palmyrene Empire, a queen of Armenia from the Pharnavazid dynasty, and a Christian martyr from the 3rd century.

Dark Academia Boy Names

If common baby boy names are not your cup of tea, but you don’t want to give your son an overly modern name, these dark academia boy names may be what you are looking for. They are refined yet gritty, with strong references to classical literature and history, the right mix of elements for the future coolest boy in school.

68. Ajax

With Greek roots, Ajax translates to ‘mourner’ or ‘earth.’ It is a name associated with two Greek heroes of the Trojan War, one, a son of Telamon, and the other, the son of Oileus. In popular culture, Ajax Petropolus is a main character in the dark academia-inspired show Wednesday, and in classic literature, Ajax is a character in Toni Morrison’s Sula.

69. Alastor

Meaning ‘avenger,’ Alastor has Greek roots and is an epithet for Zeus. Alastor has many counterparts in Greek mythology, and in popular culture, it refers to Alastor, the Radio Demon, from the adult animated series Hazbin Hotel, and Alastor Moody from the Harry Potter series.

70. Amadeus

Amadeus has Latin roots and means ‘love of God.’ Lovers of classical music may recognize it as the middle name of Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Fun fact: Mozart’s original middle name was Theophilus, the Greek translation of Amadeus. He used the latter because he preferred it more.

71. Ambrose

Ambrose means ‘immortal’ and the name became famous through Saint Ambrose, a bishop of Milan, known as a Doctor of the Church. In literature, Rev. Mose Ambrose is a character in Ernest J. Gaines’s novel A Lesson Before Dying, and in media based on dark academia, Ambrose Spellman is a main character in the series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

72. Archibald

With Germanic origins and Greek influence, Archibald contains the elements erkan, meaning ‘holy,’ ‘pure,’ or ‘genuine,’ combined with bald, meaning ‘bold’ or ‘brave.’ The name became famous in Europe, particularly in Scotland, where it was associated with numerous statesmen, aristocrats, and rulers.

73. Atlas

Meaning ‘enduring,’ Atlas comes from the Greek root meaning ‘to endure.’ In Greek mythology, Atlas was a Titan punished by Zeus to hold the heavens on his shoulders. In the context of dark academia, Atlas Blakely is a central figure in The Atlas Six, a dark academia novel by Olivie Blake.

74. Augustus

Augustus means ‘great’ or ‘venerable,’ and is derived from the Latin term augere, meaning ‘to increase.’ The name is famously associated with Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus, also known as Octavian, the founder of the Roman Empire and its first emperor.

75. Balthazar

Meaning ‘Lord, protect the King,’ Balthazar is a significant name in Christianity as it relates to one of the three wise men, who visited infant Jesus with gifts. In classical literature, Balthazar has been used by Shakespeare as a character name in The Comedy of Errors and The Merchant of Venice.

76. Benedict

With Latin roots translating to ‘blessed,’ Benedict is a classic masculine name mainly associated with Saint Benedict, the founder of the Benedictines.  Although the name may not be common in the dark academia world, Benedict Bridgerton is a famous character from the Regency-era TV and book series, Bridgerton.

77. Benjamin

Benjamin has Hebrew origins and means ‘son of the South’ or ‘son of the right hand.’ In the Bible, he was the twelfth and the youngest son of Jacob and the founder of one of the Hebrew tribes. The name reached its peak of fame through American statesman and inventor Benjamin Franklin, making it a great choice for parents who value academics.

78. Bernard

With Old German roots, Bernard means ‘brave bear’ or ‘hardy bear.’ The name is associated with two Christian saints, Bernard of Menthon and Bernard of Clairvaux, among others. For literature lovers, the name may remind one of George Bernard Shaw, the famous Irish playwright and essayist.

79. Blaise

A Roman-origin French name, Blaise means ‘lisping.’ The curious name is associated most famously with Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician, physicist, Catholic writer, and philosopher. He is known for his contributions to fluid mechanics and the concepts of pressure and vacuum.

80. Caleb

Caleb has Hebrew origins and likely translates to ‘dog’ or ‘all of the heart.’ In the Old Testament, Caleb is among the twelve spies sent by Moses to Canaan. Caleb became associated with dark academia through its fictional portrayals: as Caleb the vampire in Buffy the Vampire Slayer series and as Caleb, the main character of the Blood series of video games.

81. Caspian

The name Caspian is derived from the Caspian Sea, which gets its name from the city of Qazvin, named after the Cas tribe. The name became famous through C. S. Lewis’s  Chronicles of Narnia series, where he appears in the fourth as the rightful king of Narnia.

82. Cassius

Cassius is a Roman family name that means ‘empty’ or ‘vain,’ highlighting a feeling of despondency often seen in dark academic works of fiction. The name became famous through Cassius Clay, an American abolitionist, and Muhammed Ali, a boxer whose original name was Cassius Clay.

83. Cecil

Cecil means ‘blind’ and was the name of a 3rd-century saint and associate of Saint Cyprian. The name became famous due to its connection to nobility, through the House of Cecil, a European aristocratic family that has been in power since the 16th century.

84. Claudius

A Roman family name, Claudius means ‘lame’ or ‘crippled.’ It was associated with a prominent Roman family that produced many Roman emperors in the 1st century, all named Claudius. Fans of Shakespeare may recognize Claudius as the primary antagonist of his play Hamlet.

85. Clive

A classic masculine name and surname, Clive means ‘cliff’ and often denoted people who lived near cliffs. The name has been associated with many prominent personalities over time, but in fiction, it refers to Clive Rosfield, the brooding and strong main character of the video game Final Fantasy XVI.

86. Cosimo

Cosimo is an Italian name that means ‘order’ or ‘decency.’ It is primarily associated with Cosimo de Medici, the 14th-century founder and patriarch of the Medici family that ruled Florence. He was also known as a patron of the arts who supported many artists in the Renaissance.

87. Dimitri

The Russian and Georgian form of the name Demetrius, Dimitri comes from the Greek name Demetrius. It means ‘follower of Demeter’ referring to the Greek goddess of the earth and fertility, Demeter. A rare name, it carries the mysterious aura often associated with dark academia names.

88. Dorian

A classic dark academia name, Dorian means ‘son of Doros,’ referring to the son of Helen, or ‘child of the sea,’ from the Greek Dorios. The name was famously used by Oscar Wilde for the protagonist of his 1891 Gothic novel The Picture of Dorian Grey, the story of a beautiful man who stays young while his portrait ages.

89. Edmund

Edmund means ‘rich protection’ and has significant historical roots, being the name of two Anglo-Saxon kings and two Christian saints. Moreover, it is associated with English poet Edmund Spenser and German philosopher Edmund Husserl, further highlighting its connection to academia. In fiction, it is carried by Edmund Pevensie, a primary character in C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia.

90. Elijah

A classic Hebrew name, Elijah means ‘my God is Yahweh.’ According to the Books of Kings in the Bible, Elijah was a prophet and miracle worker. He was a popular figure in medieval tales, which made it famous in the Middle Ages. It was again revived by Puritans in the 17th century and again in the 1990s and the early 2000s.

91. Emerson

Emerson is a surname-turned-first name that means ‘son of Emery.’ Emery, on the other hand, means ‘great king.’ It is likely the surname first became a name due to the influence of American writer and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote about transcendentalism.

92. Emrys

Emrys is the Welsh form of Ambrose, meaning ‘immortal,’ and it became famous because of the 5th-century Romano-British military leader Emrys Wledig. His life influenced Geoffrey of Monmouth to use Emrys as an epithet for Merlin, the legendary Arthurian sorcerer.

93. Evander

Evander means ‘good of man’ in Greek and ‘yew tree warrior’ in Scottish Gaelic. In Roman mythology, Evander was a Trojan war hero who founded the city of Pallantium near Rome. He appears in Virgil’s Aeneid in this form.

94. Ezra

Ezra means ‘help’ in Hebrew and refers to the author of the Book of Ezra in the Bible. He was a prophet in the Old Testament. Ezra has been popular among English speakers since the Protestant Reformation, however, to literature enthusiasts, the name relates to poet Ezra Pound.

95. Ferdinand

Ferdinand is a royal name meaning ‘peace and boldness’ or ‘brave journey.’ The name is associated with many Spanish and Portuguese rulers, including the Habsburg family and Ferdinand I of Spain. The name is associated with discovery because of Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer who was the first to sail around the earth.

96. Gideon

The name means ‘feller’ or ‘hewer’ in Hebrew. It is the name of fearless hero and judge in the Old Testament who led the Israelities against the Midianites and defeated them despite being vastly outnumbered. Gideon has been popular among English speakers since the Protestant Reformation.

97. Gregory

Meaning ‘watchful’ or ‘alert,’ Gregory has an air of vigilance and was borne by several Christian saints and martyrs. It was also the name of Pope Gregory I the Great, and 15 popes after him, making the name incredibly significant among Christians.

98. Griffin

Griffin likely means ‘strong prince’ or is derived from the English word griffin, referring to a mythological creature with a lion’s body and an eagle’s wings. In popular fiction, Griffin is the name of the Invisible Man, the protagonist of H. G. Wells’s 1897 science fiction novel and its film adaptation, The Invisible Man.

99. Harvey

Harvey has Bretonic origins and means ‘battle worthy.’ It was the name of a 6th-century hermit who was known as the patron saint of the blind. The name likely became associated with intellect and brilliance through Harvey Specter, a fictional lawyer from the TV series Suits, known for his charisma, assertiveness, and ability to win cases.

100. Heathcliff

A combination of the words heath and cliff, Heathcliff means ‘heath near a cliff.’ The name was first created by Emily Brontë for the brooding male protagonist of her novel Wuthering Heights, which is considered one of the books that inspired the dark academia aesthetic.

101. Horatio

Derived from Horatius, Horatio means ‘time,’ ‘hour,’ or ‘season.’ The name was made famous by Shakespeare as a character name in his tragic play Hamlet. Later, it became associated with British admiral Horatio Nelson, known for defeating Napoleon’s forces in the Battle of Trafalgar.

102. Jasper

Jasper comes from a Biblical Hebrew word meaning ‘treasurer.’ In the Bible, it belonged to one of the three Wise Men who visited infant Jesus with gifts. Jasper is also associated with a gemstone known for its reddish-brown hue. In popular fiction, Jasper Hale is a character from the Twilight series of novels by Stephenie Meyer.

Jasper means treasurer

Image: Momjunction Design Team

103. Knox

Knox is a surname-turned-first-name derived from Scottish Gaelic cnoc, meaning ‘round hill.’ Knox Overstreet is a central character in the film Dead Poets Society, one of the pieces of media that inspired the dark academia subculture.

104. Lazarus

Lazarus means ‘God helps’ or ‘my God has helped’ and is a character in the New Testament of the Bible. He was restored to life by Jesus four days after his death, associating the name with ‘resurrection.’ Lazarus may be uncommon but has inspired several pieces of modern media, including books, TV series, films, and music.

105. Leander

A name straight from Greek legends, Leander means ‘lion man’ or ‘man like a lion.’ It features prominently in the tragic love story of Hero and Leander. Their story has been referenced in countless forms of classical fiction, from poetry to opera and drama, and hence, Leander is a name familiar to most literature aficionados.

106. Leopold

Leopold has German elements and means ‘bold people’ or ‘bold tribe.’ The name was used extensively in European royalty, by the Babenbergs and Habsburgs, and then by Saint Leopold, the patron saint of Germany. Two Holy Roman emperors and three Belgian kings also carried it. In fiction, the name was made famous by Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of James Joyce’s Ulysses.

107. Lucian

Lucian is a more sophisticated form of the name Lucius, meaning ‘light.’  The name is prominently associated with Lucian of Samosata, a Syrian satirist and rhetorician, and Lucian of Antioch, a Christian saint and martyr.

108. Ludwig

Ludwig has Germanic roots and means ‘famous in battle,’ and was a royal name associated with Merovingian kings and Carolingian kings. Two most academics and music enthusiasts, the name refers to German composer Ludwig van Beethoven and Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.

109. Lysander

With Greek roots, Lysander means ‘liberator,’ derived from lysis, meaning ‘release’ and aner, meaning ‘man.’ The name may be familiar to fans of Shakespeare as one of the main characters of his comedy play A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

110. Magnus

Magnus has Late Latin origins and means ‘great.’ It is a royal name that was made famous through Holy Roman Emperors, and several Norwegian and Swedish kings. In popular culture, Magnus Bane is one of the main characters of The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.

111. Malcolm

Meaning ‘disciple of Saint Columba,’ Malcolm has Scottish origins. The name is associated with four kings of Scotland, including Malcolm III, who became king by defeating Macbeth, the usurper who killed his father, Duncan. Shakespeare’s Macbeth features the character of Malcolm based on Malcolm III.

112. Marcus

Marcus means ‘of Mars,’ referring to the Roman god of war. It is a famous Roman praenomen or first name, used most famously by Marcus Antonius, or Mark Anthony, a Roman politician, and by Marcus Aurelius, a notable Roman emperor of the 2nd century.

113. Nathaniel

Nathaniel is a variant spelling of Nathanael that has been used commonly by English speakers since the Protestant Reformation. It means ‘God has given,’ and is used for various minor characters in the Bible, although spelled as Nathanael. For readers of classic literature, the name may remind you of American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne.

114. Orion

Derived from the Greek word for ‘boundary’ or ‘limit,’ Orion may also mean ‘light of the heavens.’ For astronomy enthusiasts, the name may connote the constellation Orion, which was named after the Greek legendary hunter by the same name.

115. Percival

A French name, Percival is believed to mean ‘pierce the valley.’ French poet Chretien de Troyes created the name for the Arthurian poem Perceval, the Story of the Grail. The name is thus associated with King Arthur’s Round Table of Knights. It has appeared in numerous forms of media since.

116. Quentin

A French name, Quentin has Latin roots and means ‘five’ or ‘the fifth.’ In literature, the name famously belongs to Quentin Compson, the protagonist of William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom! In modern media, Quentin Collins is the main character in the Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows.

117. Reed

Reed is a surname and masculine given name meaning ‘red,’ typically used for those with a reddish complexion or red hair. In literature, the name belongs to Mrs. Reed, an antagonistic character from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.

118. Remus

Remus means ‘twin’ and refers to the brother of Romulus, together with whom he founded the city of Rome. In modern fiction, the name Remus has been made famous by Remus Lupin, a character from the Harry Potter series.

119. Rufus

An Ancient Roman name meaning ‘red-haired,’ Rufus first emerged as a nickname for those with red hair. In the New Testament, one of Paul’s epistles had this name. In literature, Rufus Emeterio is one of the two main characters in Adam Silvera’s They Both Die at the End and Rufus Weylin is a character in Octavia E. Spencer’s Kindred.

120. Sebastian

Sebastian means ‘from Sebaste’ and ‘venerable,’ and is famously associated with Saint Sebastian, a 3rd-century Christian martyr. Sebastian also appears in Shakespeare’s works, particularly as Viola’s twin brother in the comedy Twelfth Night.

121. Sirius

Perfect for astronomy enthusiasts, Sirius is the name of the star Canis Major and is derived from the Latin word for ‘burning,’ ‘glowing,’ or ‘scorching.’ It is considered the brightest star in the night sky. In popular fiction, the name is borne by Sirius Black, a character from the Harry Potter series.

122. Stellan

A unique German-origin Swedish name, Stellan means ‘calm’ or ‘peaceful one.’ It is rarely used in English fiction but one exception is the young adult thriller novel The Ends of the World by Maggie Hall, where Stellan is one of the main characters.

123. Thaddeus

Thaddeus has Aramaic roots, meaning ‘heart.’ He is one of the twelve apostles in the Gospel of Matthew, but in other places of the New Testament, he is replaced by Jude, so it is likely that they are the same. A character named Thaddeus also appears in Arthur Conan Doyle’s second Sherlock Holmes novel, The Sign of the Four.

124. Theodore

Theodore has Greek origins and means ‘gift of God.’ Many early Christian saints carried the name, along with American President Theodore Roosevelt. In literature, Theodore is the hero of Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto. Fun fact: Theodore and Dorothea are made of the same elements, just reversed in order.

125. Tobias

Tobias is the Greek form of the Hebrew Tobiah, meaning ‘God is good.’ Tobias is the hero of the Book of Tobit, which appears in many English translations of the Old Testament. In popular fiction, Tobias Eaton is a stern and brooding main character from the Divergent series by Veronica Roth.

126. Tristan

Translating to ‘noise,’ ‘tumult,’ or ‘sad,’ Tristan is an Arthurian name. It is mainly associated with the Knights of the Round Table and the tragic love story of Tristan and Isolde. The name has been used extensively in classic literature and modern media, making it popular in academic circles.

127. Ulysses

Ulysses means ‘full of anger,’ ‘to hate,’ and ‘wrathful,’ and is the Latin version of Odysseus. The name was used by James Joyce for his novel Ulysses, which loosely parallels The Odyssey, and by Lord Alfred Tennyson for his poem Ulysses.

128. Victor

A Latin name meaning ‘conqueror’ or ‘triumphant,’ Victor was popular among Christians and was the name of many early Christian saints and three popes. However, for literature lovers, the name refers to author Victor Hugo, who wrote Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

129. Vincent

Another name connoting victory, Vincent translates to ‘to conquer.’ It was popularly used by many Christian saints but did not become a well-known name until the 19th century. The name holds special significance for art enthusiasts, as it refers to Vincent van Gogh, a renowned Dutch post-impressionist painter.

130. Vlad

A diminutive of Vladislav, Vlad means to ‘to rule’ or ‘to control.’ It was famously carried by Vlad III Dracula, who inspired the character of the vampire Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s eponymous novel.

131. Wolfgang

Wolfgang means ‘path of the wolf’ or ‘way of the wolf’ and has Old German roots. Literature and music admirers will find special significance in the name as it refers to Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and German poet and author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

132. Xander

Xander is a modern derivative of Alexander, meaning ‘defender of the people.’ The name was popularized among dark academia and gothic fantasy fans by the tritagonist of the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xander Harris. Parents also like it because it begins with X, making it a rare name.

133. Xavier

With Basque roots, Xavier means ‘the new house.’ It was popularized by Saint Francis Xavier, a famous missionary and the patron saint of the Orient. In popular culture, the name is associated with Professor Charles Xavier from Marvel Comics and Xavier Thorpe, a lead character from the dark academia series Wednesday.

134. Zechariah

Zechariah is a Biblical name and has roots in Hebrew, meaning ‘Yahweh remembers.’ The name belongs to many characters from the Old Testament but particularly refers to the prophet who wrote the Book of Zechariah. In the New Testament, it refers to the father of John the Apostle and is venerated as a saint.

Dark Academia Unisex Names

For parents who are charmed by the dark academia subculture but don’t wish to conform to gender norms, we have got you covered. Check out our collection of classic and intriguing dark academia unisex names.

135. Amari

Amari is a name that is likely derived from the Arabic Ammar, meaning ‘one who lives a long life,’ or ‘one who builds.’ The name has taken off in young adult fiction, with appearances in Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, Sharon Draper’s Copper Sun, and B. B. Alston’s Amari and the Night Brothers.

136. Arden

Arden is a surname-turned-first name with Celtic roots meaning ‘high.’ Poetry lovers may recognize the name from Enoch Arden, a narrative poem by British poet laureate Lord Alfred Tennyson.

137. Arya

A multicultural gender-neutral name, Arya means ‘noble’ in Sanskrit, ‘song’ or ‘melody’ in Italian, ‘holy’ in Buryat, and ‘the lion of God’ in Hebrew. In popular fiction, the name belongs to Arya Stark, the feisty and brave second daughter of Ned Stark in G. R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series and its TV adaptation, Game of Thrones.

138. Auburn

Auburn is a modern name referring to the ‘reddish-brown hue.’ It is likely taking off as a given name thanks to its connection with David Auburn, a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright and theater director known for his 2000 play Proof.

139. Auden

Auden is a gender-neutral name and the transferred use of the surname Auden. It is derived from the Germanic name Ealdwine, meaning ‘old friend.’ Poetry enthusiasts may also associate the name with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet W. H. Auden.

Auden means old friend

Image: Momjunction Design Team

140. Avery

Avery means ‘elf ruler’ or ‘elf counsel’ and is a transferred use of the surname Avery. It is a well-known fictional name thanks to Shug Avery from Toni Morrison’s The Color Purple. In modern fiction, Avery Kylie Grambs is the protagonist of The Inheritance Games series of young adult novels.

141. Bailey

Bailey refers to the occupation of a ‘bailiff,’ and comes from the surname Bailey. Although it was initially used for men, it became a feminine name because of Bailey Quarters, a character in the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati. Dark academia fans like this name mostly because of its Victorian origins combined with its old-world charm.

142. Bellamy

Derived from the French bel ami, Bellamy means ‘beautiful friend.’ Bellamy likely became popular among dark academia and Gothic enthusiasts from its usage as a surname in the British Period drama Upstairs, Downstairs.

143. Blair

Another transferred use of a surname, Blair has Scottish Gaelic origins and means ‘plain,’ ‘field,’ or ‘battlefield.’ It became a popular dark academia given name through Blair Waldorf, the protagonist of the TV series Gossip Girl, its association with The Blair Witch Project series of supernatural horror films

144. Blake

A name with contrasting meanings, Blake means ‘black’ or ‘pale.’ For literature and art enthusiasts, the name connotes poet and printmaker William Blake.

145. Blythe

The gender-neutral name and surname Blythe means ‘cheerful.’ The name gained popularity through Gilbert Blythe, a central character in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series of novels.

146. Bryn

Bryn means ‘hill’ or ‘mound’ in Welsh and is a unique name with mysterious and antiquated charm. As a dark academia name, it is likely inspired by Bryn, the protagonist of Victoria Hanley’s The Light of the Oracle.

147. Cameron

Cameron is a classic unisex name with the distinctive meaning of ‘crooked nose.’ The name has an antique aura and has many fictional counterparts. However, its usage as a dark academia name may be linked to Cameron Black, the protagonist of the crime drama series Deception.

148. Charlie

Charlie is a diminutive of Charles or Charlotte, meaning ‘free man’ or ‘free woman.’ It became a famous given name thanks to numerous fictional characters, such as Charlie Bucket from Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie McGee from Stephen King’s Firestarter, and Charlie Bradbury from the TV series Supernatural.

149. Ciel

Ciel is a unique French gender-neutral name meaning ‘sky.’ As a dark academia name, it likely gained popularity from the character of Earl Ciel Phantomhive, a child who makes a deal with the devil, in the Victorian-era manga and anime series Black Butler.

150. Claude

Although it may seem to be a masculine name, Claude is the gender-neutral form of Claudius, meaning ‘lame’ or ‘crippled.’ It was the name of a 7th-century Christian saint Claude of Besançon, although it mainly became famous in academic and artistic circles through the French impressionist painter Claude Monet.

151. Cleo

Cleo means ‘glory’ or ‘glory of the father’ through its connections to Cleopatra, Cleopas, and Cleon. If you like these classic names because of their historical significance but want to choose something shorter and gender-neutral, Cleo can be an appropriate pick.

152. Darcy

Darcy means ‘dark-haired’ or ‘descendant of the dark one,’ or as a surname from D’Arcy, it means ‘from Arcy,’ a region in France. It became famous as a given name through the deuteragonist of Jane Austen’s famous Regency-era novel Pride and Prejudice, Fitzwilliam Darcy.

153. Drew

Drew can be a short form for both Andrew and Andrea, meaning ‘manly.’ Signifying curiosity and intelligence, Drew gained popularity as a baby name through Nancy Drew, a famous fictional teen detective and the protagonist of several mystery novels for children.

154. Eden

Eden is a classic Biblical name with gender-neutral undertones, for those who want a name connected to Christianity but connected to a particular character. Eden means ‘pleasure,’ ‘delight,’ or ‘plain’ and refers to the Garden of Eden in Paradise, where Adam and Eve lived in the Old Testament.

155. Eliot

Eliot derives from the Biblical name Elijah, which means ‘my God is God’ or ‘my God is Yahweh.’ It gained prominence among scholarly circles through the surname of famed poet, playwright, and literary critic T. S. Eliot.

156. Ellis

Another gender-neutral name and surname derived from Elijah, Ellis means ‘my God is Yahweh.’ It took off as a dark academia name through Ellis Haley, the protagonist of Victoria Lee’s mystery thriller book, A Lesson in Vengeance.

157. Emerald

Referring to the green precious stone, Emerald is an elegant unisex name with an old-world charm. It is the traditional birthstone of May and is likely a favored name choice because of the preference toward the color emerald green in dark academia aesthetics.

158. Fern

The name Fern is drawn from the English word for the plant fern. It became a popular given name in literary circles through its connection to Fern Arable, a character from E. B. White’s children’s book Charlotte’s Web.

159. Finley

Finley is the Americanized version of the Scottish Gaelic name Fionnlagh, meaning ‘white warrior.’ It is also another name for the 11th-century Scottish king Macbeth, on whom Shakespeare’s play by the same name is based.

160. Gale

As a feminine name, Gale derives from Gail or Abigail, meaning ‘my father’s joy,’ and as a masculine name it derives from the Middle English gaile, meaning ‘jovial’ or ‘cheerful.’ As a unisex name, though, it derives from the English word for a ‘storm’ or ‘strong, gusty winds.’ In fiction, Dorothy Gale from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Gale Hawthorne from The Hunger Games series have propelled the name to fame.

161. Glenn

Glenn comes from the Gaelic word for ‘valley.’ It is an elegant naming choice, suitable for those who want uncommon names with a classic sound. The name was carried famously by John Glenn, an American astronaut who became the first American to orbit the Earth.

162. Hadley

Hadley originated as a toponymic surname meaning ‘heather field,’ and eventually evolved into a sophisticated unisex given name. For literature enthusiasts, the name may connote the tragic character of George Hadley from Ray Bradbury’s The Veldt, and English author James Hadley Chase, one of the best thriller writers of all time.

163. Harper

Harper is derived from the English occupational surname for a harp player. As a name, it gained prominence through Harper Lee, the American author who wrote the 1960 novel To Kill A Mockingbird.

164. Haven

Haven is derived from the English word for a ‘safe place,’ signifying security and protection. The name likely became connected with the dark academia aesthetic through the supernatural TV series Haven, based on Stephen King’s novel The Colorado Kid.

165. Hero

Hero means ‘hero’ both as a masculine and a feminine name. In Greek legends, it is associated with Hero, a priestess of Aphrodite who was the lover of Leander. The tragic love story of Hero and Leander became the subject of many literary works, making the name famous among scholarly circles. Hero is also the name of a Shakespearean character from Much Ado About Nothing.

166. Jordan

Jordan refers to the river Jordan that flows between the countries of Jordan and Israel. The name has Hebrew roots meaning ‘to flow’ or ‘to descend.’ It is significant in Christian communities because, in the New Testament, John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the waters of the Jordan River.

167. Kennedy

A surname-turned-first name with a quaint and classical charm, Kennedy has Irish roots and means ‘armored head’ or ‘misshapen head.’ The name gained worldwide recognition through American President John F. Kennedy, and became a coveted name in intellectual circles because its connection to him.

168. Leslie

Leslie comes from a Scottish surname with Gaelic roots meaning ‘garden of holly.’ It has been used as a unisex given name since the 19th century and gained even more fame through Leslie Burke, the protagonist of Katherine Paterson’s novel Bridge to Terabithia.

169. Linden

Linden comes from the Dutch and German last name meaning ‘linden tree.’ It has a classical sound and was a popular name between the 1930s and 1960s. It is a rare name in fiction, but one notable instance is Linden Hills, a novel by Gloria Naylor.

170. Madison

Madison is a gender-neutral name meaning ‘son of Maud,’ which comes from Matilda, denoting ‘strength in battle.’ Madison became popular through its connection to Madison Avenue in New York City. This avenue was named after James Madison, one of the authors of the American Constitution who later became President of the US.

171. Mallory

A name that perfectly captures the vibe of dark academia, Malory means ‘unfortunate’ in Norman French. It is connected to Thomas Malory, the author of Le Morte d’ Arthur. It is also connected to Malory Towers, a post-WWII series of six novels by Enid Blyton, highlighting the Old England aesthetic prominent in the dark academia subculture.

172. Marley

Derived from an English place name, Marley means ‘boundary wood,’ ‘pleasant wood,’ or ‘marten wood.’ The name became famous through Jacob Marley, a fictional character from Charles Dickens’s 1843 novella A Christmas Carol.

173. Mavis

Mavis comes from the name of a bird, also known as a song thrush. It became famous as a given name through a character named Mavis Claire from Marie Corelli’s 1895 Faustian novel, The Sorrows of Satan.

174. Meredith

Meaning ‘great lord’ or ‘magnificent lord,’ Meredith is a name with Welsh roots. It is considered gender-neutral but has had far more usage as a feminine name. It appears as Meredith Dardenne in the dark academia novel If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio.

175. Milan

Milan means ‘gracious’ or ‘dear’ and was initially used in Czech, Slovak, and South Slavic languages before becoming popular in Europe. It is also a place name in Italy, meaning ‘middle of the plain.’ It is a classic European name with an antique charm, suitable for admirers of dark academia.

176. Morgan

Morgan comes from the Welsh name Morcant, meaning ‘sea circle.’ It became famous as a given name among intellectual circles due to its connection to Morgan le Fay, a legendary enchantress and the sister and adversary of King Arthur in the Arthurian chronicles.

177. Noah

Noah has origins in the Bible both as a masculine and feminine name. As a masculine name, it means ‘rest’ or ‘repose’ and refers to the Old Testament Noah, the builder of the Ark. As a feminine name, Noah means ‘motion,’ and in the Old Testament, refers to a daughter of Zehophehad.

178. Peyton

Peyton originated as a surname that means ‘Paega’s settlement’ or ‘fighting man’s estate.’ It was rarely used as a first name up until the 90s but took off in 1992, thanks to the psychological thriller film The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, which featured a villain with the pseudonym Peyton Flanders.

179. Phoenix

Phoenix contains all the elements that make it a classic dark academia name. It comes from the Greek word for ‘dark red,’ and refers to the bird from Egyptian and Greek mythology that would be consumed by its own flames once every 500 years, and emerge, reborn, from its own ashes.

180. Quinn

Quinn comes from the old Irish surname Mac Cuinn, meaning ‘son of Conn,’ where Conn means ‘reason’ or ‘chief.’ It may have become associated with the dark academia subculture due to its connection to leadership and intellectual facilities, as suggested by its meanings.

181. Raleigh

Derived from an Old English surname meaning ‘red clearing’ or ‘roe deer clearing,’ Raleigh has historical origins. Literature enthusiasts may connect the name to the English poet, explorer, and statesman Sir Walter Raleigh, who lived during the Elizabethan period.

182. Raven

Raven comes from the name of the bird, derived from the Old English word hraefn. The bird is associated with darkness because of its plumage, and with wisdom, prophecy, insight, and otherworldly knowledge. Ravens also feature prominently in Norse mythology and are associated with the god Odin. Thus, it is no surprise as to why it is considered a classic dark academia name.

183. Reagan

Reagan derives from an old Irish surname and is one of those traditional-sounding names that are well-liked in the modern world. It comes from the name Riagan, meaning ‘king’ or ‘ruler.’ It may also be spelled as Regan, historically referring to the treacherous daughter of King Leir, featured in Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear.

184. Ripley

A unique English surname-turned-first name, Ripley means ‘grove clearing’ or ‘thicket clearing.’ It most likely took off as a unisex given name thanks to the protagonist Ellen Ripley, referred to by her surname, from the Alien series of movies, first released in 1979.

185. River

River is a classic unisex name denoting the freely flowing water course. It comes from the Old French word for ‘riverbank,’ and has been a popular choice since the 2000s. Although it may not be directly connected to the world of academia, the name is appreciated for its connection to nature.

186. Robin

Robin emerged as a diminutive of Robert, meaning ‘bright fame,’ and also refers to the bird that goes by the same name. The name is popular among history and folklore enthusiasts thanks to its connection to Robin Hood, a legendary archer, outlaw, and hero of medieval England.

187. Rory

Rory is the Anglicized form of the Irish name Ruaidhrí, meaning ‘red king.’ Its royal connotations and association with numerous Irish kings and statesmen propelled the name to fame in academic circles.

188. Rowan

Another Irish-origin name, Rowan is the Anglicization of Ruadhán, meaning ‘red,’ ‘red-haired,’ or ‘rusty.’ It can also refer to the Rowan tree. The name likely took off as a dark academia name because of its association with characters from supernatural or horror franchises, such as Rowan Mayfair from Lives of the Mayfair Witches and Rowan Damisch from Scythe.

Rowan means rowan tree

Image: Momjunction Design Team

189. Sage

Derived from the English word sage, Sage refers to ‘a wise, learned person’ or the herb sage. Its connection to the attainment of divine knowledge and wisdom has made it a coveted name among those who admire knowledge and learning.

190. Sidney

Sidney is derived from the English surname and place name meaning ‘wide island.’ Among academicians, the name is famous due to its connection to English poet, scholar, and courtier Sir Philip Sidney, known for his contributions to Elizabethan literature.

191. Silver

Silver is a surname derived from a personal nickname, meaning ‘grey hair.’ The name is likely associated with scholars and intellectuals because of the connection between grey hair and wisdom.

192. Skyler

A unique gender-neutral name, Skyler has Dutch origins and means ‘scholar’ or ‘student.’ It is derived from the Latin word schola, meaning ‘school.’ From its meanings, it is obvious why Skyler is considered a classic dark academia name.

193. Spencer

Spencer derives from an English surname that means ‘dispenser of provisions.’ It is also associated with a major English aristocratic family, one of whose members was Diana, Princess of Wales. Spencer may also be well-liked as a name among academic circles due to its connection to Elizabethan poet Edmund Spenser.

194. Teagan

Teagan derives from the Welsh word Tegan, meaning ‘darling,’ derived from teg, meaning ‘beautiful’ or ‘pretty.’ It may also come from the Irish surname Teagan meaning ‘descendant of Tadhgán,’ referring to Tadhg, denoting ‘poet.’ It is perhaps this connection to poetry that makes Teagan a unique dark academia name choice.

195. Trinity

A name derived from Christianity but not with antiquated origins, Trinity refers to the Holy Trinity. It is the belief that God has one essence but three expressions: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As a name, it likely was inspired by Trinity, a popular fictional character from the Matrix franchise.

196. Umber

Umber is a unique name that describes a color, a yellowish-brown earth tone. The color prominently features in the dark academia aesthetic and is found in almost every dark academia-based mood board on the Internet. This is probably why it is now being considered as a given name.

197. Valentine

Valentine originates from Latin, meaning ‘strong,’ ‘vigorous,’ and ‘healthy.’ The name became famous because of St. Valentine, a 3rd-century Christian martyr whose feast day is now celebrated as Valentine’s Day, associating it with love. As a scholarly name, however, it is more likely associated with Valentine, a primary character in Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

198. Vesper

Vesper originates from the Latin Hesperos, meaning ‘evening star,’ referring to the planet Venus. Venus, in turn, refers to the Roman goddess of love. This connection to astronomy and Roman mythology makes Vesper a unique take on a dark academia name.

199. Willow

Willow originates from the name of the willow tree, which also connotes ‘freedom’ in some contexts. As a name connected to the fantasy elements of dark academia, Willow likely originates from the 1988 fantasy-adventure film and its sequel, Willow, featuring the protagonist, a sorcerer named Willow.

200. Winter

A classic gender-neutral name derived from the season of winter, Winter has fictional origins as a scholarly name. It is inspired by Henry Winter, a genius polyglot and central character in the cult-favorite dark academia novel, The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

201. Wren

Wren is derived from the English word for the small songbird. As a popular unisex name among literature enthusiasts, Wren is inspired by characters such as the protagonist Wren from Sherwood Smith’s fantasy novels; Wren Elessedil, featured in The Heritage of Shannara, and Christopher Wren, from Agatha Christie’s play, The Mousetrap.

Discover More Names

When you have to choose a name for your baby, a few hundreds of names may not be just enough. Keep digging our mine of baby names until you find that one precious gem.

Dark and mysterious yet chock-full of symbolism and fascinating imagery, dark academia baby names are just as intriguing as they sound. You get historical gems, like Alexandria and Augustus, and beloved fictional names, such as Dorian and Enola. They have a vintage look and feel, with an air of refined sophistication. Dark academia names don’t just help bring your intellectual curiosities and fantasies to life, they also highlight your love for literature, poetry, and learning, inspiring your child to imbibe these values along the way.

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Nisha Bharatan is a writer with six years of experience. After completing her engineering from Savitribai Phule Pune University, she did content marketing courses to complement her interest in writing. Nisha discovered her passion for writing in 2016 when she started documenting her journey into motherhood.
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