Category: Names from the Arts & Pop Culture

How J.K. Rowling Names Her Characters

By Meredith Testa, Namenculture

J.K. Rowling has been profiled on Nameberry several times, and with good reason- she’s as creative a namer as she is a writer. She draws character names from literature, mythology, history, astronomy, and countless international languages. No character is named haphazardly; families have consistent naming patterns (like the celestial Blacks and the floral Evanses) and individual characters’ names match their personas. Below are some of the best-named characters in the series.

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The Return of Lemony Snicket

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Lemony Snicket has just made a welcome return appearance, via Netflix, reminding us of what an inventive namer his creator (nee Daniel Handler) is—kind of a cross between C. Dickens and JK Rowling. Personally, I’m crazy about some of the incredible surnames in the series—Baudelaire, Caliban, Poe, Quagmire, and especially the use of the word Denouement as a name.

As for the first names, there are lots of classics, especially for the boys—Albert, Arthur, Charles, Frank and Phil—and some trendy girls’ names as well, such as Olivia and Violet, but there are some more uncommon examples as well. Let’s have a look at names from the whole series.

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posted by: ClareB View all posts by this author

By Clare Bristow

Edith Wharton is known for her novels of American society in the Gilded Age (the late nineteenth century) and early twentieth century.

Wharton was one of the first authors to write about this period, and she knew it well, having grown up in it. Her books are about not only high society – the parties, the travel, the social deals – but also the private life that went on behind it. Love affairs, secret debts, scandalous behavior, it’s all there.

Her characters’ names evoke that world beautifully. It’s interesting that relatively few have timelessly popular names like John and Mary. Instead, many have names that were fashionable in their era.

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Celebrity Baby Names: Ada to Zeppelin

By CaraMichelle

A super-long list this month as Cara includes some pre-December names that weren’t available earlier.

Included are a Lord and a King and Mick Jagger‘s 8th child.  Names used in December by more than one celebrity couple: Luna, Mila, Willow, Asher, Eli (3x), Jax, Liam, and Mateo.

The illustration is of Pink‘s daughter, Willow and new baby brother, Jameson.

Here’s the full list:

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Influential Baby Names: The Songbirds

posted by: NancyMan View all posts by this author

By Nancy Man, Nancy’s Baby Names

It’s easy to see the how a catchy, name-centric song like “Jolene” or “Hey There Delilah” might make a particular baby name trendy. But did you know that the names of singers can sometimes be just as influential as the names in lyrics?

Each of the female vocalists below popularized her unusual name enough to boost it onto the U.S. baby name charts for the very first time. 

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