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Category: literary names for girls

Your Favorite Literary Names for Girls

girl names from books

Great girls’ names abound in books, from classic characters like Jane Eyre and Scarlett O’Hara to more contemporary heroines like Matilda and Katniss.

So for our Question of the Week, we’d like to know: What are your favorite girls’ literary names?

Consult our master list of literary names for girls for inspiration. And please feel free to add wonderfully-named heroines we’ve overlooked.

And please tell us about the heroine, the book, and why you love it and the name so much!

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Today we’re celebrating the natal day of William Shakespeare, and in his honor  we thought that instead of reiterating the usual list of familiar major characters—Romeo and Juliet, Beatrice and Benedick et al—we’d pay our tribute to the Bard of Avon with the less obvious names of some of the more obscure, less Shakespearean-sounding characters.

GIRLS

AudreyAs You Like It. Reflecting the retro radiance of Audrey Hepburn, her name is now in the Top 50—the highest it has ever been.

CharmianAntony and Cleopatra.  Charmian has been chosen occasionally by Shakespeare-loving parents and, after all, you can’t go wrong with a name that starts with charm!

FranciscaMeasure for Measure.  A vowel switch on Francesca that brings it closer to the male Francisco.  Could cause confusion, though.

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12 Wonderful Women Writers’ Names

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The name of a favorite female author can make a meaningful inspiration for your daughter’s name. And you’ll notice that a surprising number of these writers –five out of twelve–went by their more distinctive middle names—so that might inspire you to put special focus on her second name if you have literary aspirations for your baby girl.

ANAÏS

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The best known bearer of this name, French-Cuban writer Anais Nin, was born Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira and is most famous for her diaries, which spanned sixty years. In addition to being the name of a popular perfume, this lovely French Provencal version of Anne was used by rocker Noel Gallagher for his daughter.

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Literary Names: The Bronte Sisters

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We’ve talked a lot about Shakespearean literary names and characters in Dickens and Jane Austen, but we’ve overlooked three of the best namers in literary history—the sisters Brontë.  We love their own names—Charlotte, Emily and Anne, and we love their initial-appropriate male pen names—Currer, Ellis and Acton.  We even love their surname, which a number of parents have chosen for their daughters.

But it is the particularly rich cast of character names in their novels that we love the most.  One of them, in fact, had a considerable effect on baby naming of its era.  Though it’s long been said that it was Shirley Temple who promoted her given name in the 1930s, she wasn’t the first.  In Charlotte Brontë’ second novel, following Jane Eyre, the protagonist of Shirley was given that name because her father had anticipated a boy, and Shirley was a distinctively male name at the time.  The novel’s Father Keeldar made a gender switch that has proven to be permanent.

Here is a selection of Brontë bests;  the list isn’t meant to be complete—some of the more common names have not been included. (The initials AB, CB and EB represent Anne, Charlotte and Emily.)

GIRLS

Adèle, CB—Jane Eyre

Agnes, ABAgnes Grey

Alice, AB- The Tenant of Wildfell Hall; CB- Jane Eyre

Annabella, AB- The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

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Click here for the new list of most popular names.

What choices do we see leading the way for baby names 2011? Here, we look at some of the most popular categories for parents and pick out the specific names we predict we’ll be hearing much more of this year and in the decade ahead, based on nameberry statistics.

Biblical Names 2011

Biblical names have been popular for several decades now, which means parents are forging into new territory in search of biblical names that haven’t been overused.

Girls: Delilah, Jemima, Magdalene, Ruth, Susanna
Boys: Abel, Asher, Eli, Gideon, Levi

Celebrity Names 2011

The hottest celebrity names are either the names of newly-hot celebrities such as Isla Fisher; the fresh-sounding names of new celebrity babies, such as Flynn; new ways to use the names of megapopular celebrities, such as Anniston for Jennifer; or rediscovered names of celebrities such as Isadora Duncan.

Girls: Anniston, Evangeline, Isadora, Isla, Seraphina
Boys: Arlo, Dexter, Flynn, Penn, Rufus

Hero Names 2011

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