Literature is a portal to the past, the future, and imaginary realms. Humans have communicated through poetry, songs, and stories for centuries. Searching for literary baby names is logical for those of us who enjoy the beautiful and rich world of literature. After all, we would like to give names to our little ones that capture and reflect the stories and authors that we have come to admire.
Whether you are a fan of classic literature or modern ones, or maybe you delve into writing, it would bring you great joy to name your kid as your favorite character from literature. Let’s look at some of the best names from books.
Literary Names For Girls
The ultraadorable, Swiss, French, and Dutch female variation of Albert means ‘bright’. It’s also the title of Christian Krohg’s novel. This jazzy, oldfashioned name is making a comeback, along with its sisters Ella and Josephine.
This sweet and classic girl name is a darling of literature. Apart from featuring in “Alice in Wonderland”, it’s also appeared in works of modern writers.
This moniker is as exotic and sensual as the author Anais Nin who authored “Delta of Venus”. It’s a variation of Anne and means ‘gracious’.
You can never go wrong with a name that’s simple, sweet, and completely classic. And it has plenty of literary references, “The Diary of a Young Girl” being the most famous.
This sprightly and headturner of a name originated in Mary Norton’s “The Borrowers”. It is a story about a family of little people confined within the walls of their house.
This lovely Indian name means ‘goddess of sky and stars’. It shares its literary pedigree with writer Arundhati Roy.
Did you know that the television series “Game of Thrones” is an adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire”? Hopefully, even your daughter will have the same brave streak as the character Arya Stark.
Jane Austen, the author of the most famous book of all time, “Pride and Prejudice”, has a melodic last name. It would also be an excellent spelling twist on the typical Austin.
Did you know that the “Twilight” franchise catapulted the name Bella in one of the top ten most popular names in the year 2011? And it is still doing good.
We absolutely adore this gender-neutral name. It’s the name of the witty, smart, and hypnotizing character in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises”. It has a pleasing air with a measure of feminism.
This literary girl’s name will pay tribute to the writing sisters, Anne, Emily, and Charlotte Bronte. Bronte is a Greek name, meaning ‘thunder’.
Charlotte, the feminine form of Charles, has been popular since time memorial. This name has featured in hundreds of books, including E.B. White’s classic “Charlotte’s Web”.
Cordelia is an elegant and sturdy name, meaning ‘heart’. No wonder Cordelia from “The Last Lear” was such a kind and helpful woman.
Isn’t Daisy a lovely name for your wee one? Daisy Buchanan of “The Great Gatsby” is proof that this name will age with just as much charm as the character.
This French form of the German name Hedwig has a literary aura, thanks to the highly acclaimed author Edwidge Danticat. It means ‘war’.
Elizabeth from “Pride and Prejudice” is the perfect example of a determined and smart woman who is not afraid to speak her mind. Like the Bennets, even you can use Lizzie for the nickname.
This name has a swanky and old fashioned charm, thanks to the mystery writer Ellery Queen. This English name means ‘island with elder trees’.
This name from “Eloise at the Plaza” gained wider recognition after the republication of the original book.
This moniker refers to Emma Woodhouse, the titular character in Jane Austen’s novel, “Emma”. This Old Germanic name, meaning ‘universal’, originated as a short form for Erminhilt, Ermingard, and Ermintrude. As time passed, it established itself as a given name in its own right.
Esme has not one, but two literature references. One is J.D. Salinger “For Esme: With Love and Squalor”. And the other is the recent one, “Twilight”.
Ethel was a beautiful character in William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel “The Newcomes”. Meaning ‘noble’, Ethel arose as a short form for names beginning with Ethel, like Ethelred.
This moniker, meaning ‘strength of a spear’ made an appearance in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”. It has had its share of long and honorable pedigree for its association with Saint Gertrude the Great.
Late Harper Lee was one of the most celebrated authors of our time. This name was originally an English surname derived from the Old English word hearpere, meaning ‘one who plays the harp’.
Hazel is a strong and inspiring lead from “The Fault in Our Stars”. Even Julia Roberts named one of her daughters Hazel.
“Henrietta” was the name of a novel by Charlotte Lennox. It’s the Latin form of Henriette, meaning ‘ruler’. This moniker was used for the first time in France in the 16th century.
Janie Crawford is the incredibly influential character from Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God”. You can use the last name for your son.
This super energetic, Indian name was made famous by the world-famous novelist, Jhumpa Lahiri. She is renowned for her work, “The Namesake”.
Her real name was Josephine, but we don’t think that someone as headstrong and strong-willed as Jo March would be interested in using her full name. You can use Jo as a nickname too!
Historical romance author Julia Quinn, best known for her novel “The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband” has a beautiful first name. It could make a great alternative for people who like the name Julie, but want something familiar. Julia means ‘young’.
Juliet would be a solidly romantic name for your daughter. But there are high chances of her classmates making a connection with the starcrossed lover of Shakespeare’s play.
Kairi, which means ‘sea’ in Japanese, is the name of the female character in “Kingdom Hearts”, a novel series based on video games.
If you do not intend to hide your love for the “Hunger Games” trilogy, you can opt for Katniss, the name of its leading character. We’re confident that this name would soon be on top of the baby name charts.
If you are a mystery lover or want a cooler alternative to Elizabeth, Lisbeth could be your pick. This name is featured in “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”.
Hermione and Ginny are excellent characters to name your daughter after, but Luna would be best of the lot. Luna Lovegood taught the readers that one must never be afraid to love his or her full and true self.
You can never go wrong with Lyra, the girl from “His Dark Materials Trilogy” who was “destined to bring about the end of destiny”. Originally, this name is taken from the lyre of Orpheus.
Here’s a bookworm name for your little bookworm baby. Matilda was the name of the book and its lead character of Roald Dahl’s novel.
Literature lovers would immediately associate this moniker with Countess Olivia from Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”. Meaning ‘olive tree’, ‘Olivia’ has the perfect balance of femininity and strength.
Pamela has a dual literary reference. First, Pamela Andrews was the main lead in Samuel Richardson’s novel, “Pamela”. Second, the name was coined in pastoral poetry in the 16th century.
We had to feature the curious and mischievous Ramona from “Ramona the Pest” in the list. She is inquisitive, crafty, imaginative, and witty, just like how most of the children of her age are.
Another Shakespearean pick, this time, it’s from “As You Like It”. As a name, Rosalind is a mix of beauty, wit, and spark. It means ‘pretty rose’.
When you can have Katniss, why can’t you name your second daughter Rue? The name would be as badass as this character in “Hunger Games”. This botanical name would work well in the middle too!
We must say that Nicholas Sparks has an excellent taste in names. Savannah is a super pretty name with Southern heritage. It featured in “Dear John”.
This name has reference to the bounty hunter protagonist of Janet Evanovich’s series of novels. Stephanie means ‘garland or crown’.
The main lead of Toni Morrison’s novel defied the gender norms and lived happily on her terms, that too, way ahead of her time. This makes Sula one of the beautiful girl names from literature and an interesting one too.
There’s no better way to honor American literature than by naming your daughter after the iconic American poet Sylvia Path. Meaning ‘spirit of the wood’, Sylvia would appeal to adventure-loving parents.
It’s surprising that this name hasn’t been able to take off, even after the release of “BetsyTacy” series by Maud Hart Lovelace. You can also opt for Betsy from this novel.
“The Joy Luck Club” has some beautiful and unique girl names from literature for you to consider. One such name is Waverly, the independent and family-oriented daughter of Lindo.
Literary Names For Boys
The name came to the forefront via Albus Dumbledore, one of the most loved teachers in J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter”. It’s short, sweet, and has a powerful punch. Albus means ‘white’.
This ‘Al’ beginning name meaning ‘old cottage’, is a name with real potential options, especially if “Little Women” is your alltime favorite book.
We totally adore the first name of Ambrose Bierce, the satirist, journalist, and short-story writer. This Latin name, meaning ‘immortal one’ has a upperclass air of erudition.
Amory, taken from Fitzgerald’s “This Side of Paradise” is a unique baby boy name with a traditional feel. It means ‘industrious.’
Ashley Wilkes is the chivalrous, handsome, and honorable love interest of Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone with the Wind”. He and his name showcase the symbolism of the values of the Old South.
This is quite an unusual baby name from literature. So, if you want something unfamiliar and unusual for your son, pick Athos, the name of the father figure in “The Three Musketeers”. He is brave and intellectual, traits you may want your son to have.
This moniker was reintroduced to the world after ages of obscurity via Harper Lee’s novel, “To Kill A Mockingbird’. You can also pick this name to pay tribute to your Greek relative.
Auden is an elegant, literary boy name for poetry-loving mommies. W.H. Auden was one of the most loved poets of the 20th century.
Augustus is the name of the male lead in John Green’s novel “The Fault in Our Stars”. It’s also the name of a character in Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. Augustus means ‘majestic’.
The character Colonel Aureliano from “One Hundred Years of Solitude” may be brutal, but his name is definitely worth giving a look.
Barrett as in Elizabeth Barrett Browning is one of the most well known Victorian era poets. We feel Barrett would make a lovely name for a little boy.
Samuel Beckett was known for several of his writings, but to us, he always reminds of “Waiting For Godot”, an iconic book. His last name would make an offbeat baby name choice.
Buck is the powerful half sheepdog and half St. Bernard in Jack London’s novel, “Call of the Wild”. In the 18th century, this name described the fashionable and dashing young man.
A child with this name wouldn’t shy from wearing an ascot and writing romantic poetry. This name appeared on the top 1000 list for the first time in 1880.
Caulfield is another sassy name from “Catcher in the Rye”. Cully could make a potential nickname for Caulfield.
How awesome would it be if your son could also win a candy factory like Charlie from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”? The meaning of Charlie is ‘man’.
Colin is the name of one of the two protagonists in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel “The Secret Garden”.
Darcy is Jane Austen’s most favorite hero name. It’s enjoying itself in the girl’s territory of late. But we love it more for the boys.
David has two popular namesakes. David Copperfield, the protagonist of Charles Dickens’ 1849 novel, and David Beckham, the amazingly talented football player.
Don is similar to calling someone ‘lord’. It’s a name reserved for the nobility.
Dorian is the wealthy and handsome young gentleman who spoils his life in pursuit of pleasure in Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray”.
Edward has a plethora of literary references, but it is best known for Edward Cullen, the 17 year old frozen vampires in the “Twilight Saga”.
Elwyn is the name of author E.B. White, the writer of “Stuart Little”, “Charlotte’s Web”, and other children’s classics. We think it would make an uncommon name.
Here, we’re referring to Ernest Worthing, the lead character from Oscar Wilde’s “Importance of Being Earnest”. Ernest is the English form of the German name Ernst and means ‘vigor’.
This upscale and proper name, related to English writer Henry Fielding isn’t exactly an occupational name but relates to someone working or living in the field.
F. Scott Fitzgerald is the author of “The Great Gatsby” and other famous American classics. If you think Fitzgerald is too long, you can shorten it to Fitz.
This English name brings to mind the American writer and novelist Frank Miller. Frank means ‘Frenchman or free one’.
The current generation of “The Great Gatsby” fans are using the last name of the anti-hero as the first name. The attention intensified after the release of the movie in 2013.
This classic boy’s name from literature belongs to the tiny and quick-witted caretaker and companion of Lennie in the novel “Of Mice and Men”.
This name instantly brings to mind the bespectacled wizard from J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series.
This is another name belonging to the category of unique literary baby names. Heathcliff is the fierce and powerful protagonist of Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights”.
Henry is the protagonist who questions his life, courage, and significance during the Civil War in the “Red Badge of Courage”.
This old-school name, belonging to a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright and poet, Henrik Ibsen has a whole lot of power. Henrik Ibsen is also referred to as “the father of realism”. Henrik means ‘ruler of home’.
This revered name of ancient Greek poet is now linked to the donut-loving dad, Homer Simpson. Celebs like Richard Gere and Anne Heche also used this name for their sons.
It’s said that Twain named his character Huckleberry in “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” because of the humble origin of the fruit and its resistance to cultivation.
The author of “Brave New World” has a last name that we think would make a lovely first name for boys. And the ‘x’ in it makes it sound cooler.
This one’s for Thomas Hardy’s fan Jude feather in his novel, “Jude the Obscure”.
This swift and strong name belongs to one of the greatest English Romantic poets. It means ‘kite’.
Landon is the name of the male lead of arguably Nicholas Sparks’ best novel, “A Walk To Remember”. It’s one of our favorites of the bunch as well.
This name started climbing the Social Security List after the publication of Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are”.
This one’s truly one of the most memorable options. Hundreds of mothers selected Noah for their sons after this name was featured in the “Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks.
If you want to show off your intellect to your friends and relatives, name your son Ovid, after the great Roman poet. This would certainly make a great boy name from literature.
This is one of the famous boy names from literature. Sawyer is the last name of the most popular Mark Twain’s characters. With this name, even your son will grow up with a similar sense of adventure.
The only writer to win the National Book Award for Fiction thrice, Saul Bellow has a name that manages to be modern and classic at the same time. Saul means ‘asked for or inquired of God’.
This name is featured in E.B. White’s “Stuart Little”. Stuart has the perfect enthusiasm and energy that you may want to channel in your own little adventurer. Stuart means ‘steward’.
Mark Twain had no idea of the impact his novel would have on the baby world. Thousands of parents worldwide are reported to have picked this name after the release of his novel “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”.
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the legendary William Shakespeare. This delightful name has Germanic origins and means ‘resolute protector’. How would Willy sound as its nickname?
We’re sure these baby names from the literature will be sweeping the ranks soon! Did your favorite character or author make it to our list? Tell us by commenting below!
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the benefits of choosing a literary baby name?
Literary names act as meaningful connections to history, are timeless, and can inspire your child to delve deep into the literature.
2. What are some tips for choosing a literary baby name?
It is essential to consider the origin, meaning, popularity, and family traditions before picking the name. You can also get creative with the name and create something unique.
3. Do literary baby names have any cultural significance or historical context?
Literary names have a deep connection to culture and history. They are the names of their times and can reflect the ideas of those times when the book was written or when the author existed. For example, the name Elizabeth may be considered old-fashioned in today’s times, but in the late 1800s, when Pride and Prejudice was written, it was a leading name steeped in the culture and social mores of the time.
4. Can literary baby names be used as a way to pass on family traditions or values?
Literary names are a great way to pass on family traditions to future generations. If someone in the family loves reading or is a fan of a certain author, literary names could give them joy. It could also inextricably connect the baby with them. Moreover, you can make it a family tradition to name firstborns or baby girls after literary figures.
5. How has the popularity of literary baby names changed over time?
Literary names were always a favorite way to name babies. Moreover, as more new parents discover the joy of reading and encourage their children to read more, the popularity of baby names is rising. New parents wish to pass on their love of reading to their children and thus name their babies after literary figures.
6. Are there any negative aspects to giving a child a literary name?
Selecting a proper literary name for your baby is of utmost importance. Make sure the character or author you choose to name your child after has the same set of values and beliefs as you do. Another aspect of giving your baby a literary name is the spelling. Fantasy books have certain names that are difficult to pronounce and spell correctly. If you choose such names for your baby, they may be subject to ridicule in the future. However, as a parent, you know what is best for your child, and hence, it is up to you to decide which name would suit them best.
7. Can you suggest some modern literary baby names that are currently trending?
Some modern literary names that are popular are Luna, Katniss, Hermione, Esme, Lyra, and Arwen, which you can give to girls. Holden, Atticus, Augustus, Ronan, and Elio are trending literary names for boys.
8. Are there any literary baby names that have fallen out of fashion over time?
Literary names such as Hester, Heathcliff, Portia, Quixote, Bathsheba, and Tess have periodically gone out of vogue. However, naming trends change constantly, and these names could become popular again.
9. How do cultural or regional influences impact the selection of literary baby names?
Literary names are usually chosen from a selection of literature works from a particular region or culture. These names symbolize the cultural heritage of the region. Moreover, it encourages the development and love of language.
A well-created piece of literature can significantly impact one’s emotional behavior and lifestyle. Some may relate to the characters portrayed in a piece of literature so much that they may want to name their children based on them. If you find yourself in such a position, read this elaborate list of classy literary baby names for boys and girls and pick the one you can relate to the most. These names are evergreen and will give your child a unique way to introduce themself when they are older.
Infographic: Literary Baby Names
Whether from an ancient literature source or modern scripts, a literary name is classic, exhilarating, and seems to emerge from a gripping novel. Look at these names inspired by some famous characters from the literature.
Immerse yourself in literature and pass on your love for books to your baby by naming them one these inspiring literary names.