Category: baby names from books

posted by: ClareB View all posts by this author
baby names from books

By Clare Bristow

If you like names with a hint of mystery, a vintage British feel and a splash of the exotic, come and join me in the drawing room and I shall reveal my deductions about names from Agatha Christie’s novels.

Christie is known as “the Queen of Crime” for good reason. In a career spanning over fifty years and over seventy novels, she shaped modern crime writing. Not just books, but also detective dramas, murder mystery parties, and the board game Cluedo (called Clue in North America) wouldn’t be the same without her.

Even if you haven’t read any of her books, you probably recognise the basic elements. There’s the genteel setting (like an English country home), the suspicious death, the trail of clues and red herrings, secrets and scandals, and the brilliant detective who rounds up all the suspects and explains how they’ve cleverly worked out whodunnit.

Christie’s character names, like the characters themselves, are eccentric and memorable, but also true to their time.

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Baby Names from Books: Ursula Le Guin

literary baby names

By Clare Bristow

“…there is great power, and great peril, in a name.” The Tombs of Atuan

Ursula Le Guin is one of the best-known science fiction and fantasy authors of our time. For the last fifty years and more, she’s woven gripping stories and tackled no end of big topics: gender, class, the environment, the power of words – and the power of names.

She’s best known for her books about the world of Earthsea. If you’ve read any, you’ll probably remember it contains wizards (and a wizarding school long before Hogwarts was dreamt of), dragons, kings, dark powers and ordinary people. You might also remember names are hugely important – literally a matter of life and death.

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Harry Potter baby names

By Linda Rosenkrantz and Esmeralda Rocha

With a new Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, about to be released this summer, we thought this would be a good time to investigate just what influence, if any, J. K. Rowling’s fabulously inventive character names have had on the baby naming world, 16 years after the first book’s debut.  Here, thanks to Esita’s digging, are the scientific results:

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Futuristic Baby Names from Classic SciFi

posted by: emilygc3 View all posts by this author
Futurist baby names

By Emily Cardoza, NothingLikeaName

Although the new name data for 2015 won’t be announced till May, I’ve seen a lot of name blogs and websites making predictions for what the new top names are going to be.  We’re certainly not the first writers to imagine names from the future! Below I’ve included some of the most well-known sci-fi books about the future, and the names chosen for their characters.

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posted by: ClareB View all posts by this author
baby names from books

By Clare Bristow

We’re pleased to introduce a new Author of the Month series by the distinguished Clare Bristow, beginning here with Thomas Hardy character names.

I’m starting this series with my favourite 19th century novelist, Thomas Hardy. If you’re looking for whimsical Victorian names, biblical rarities or wholesome old-timey nicknames, you’ll find them all in his books.

Hardy is famous for his stories of drama, scandal and (usually) doomed love set in rural southwest England, which he called by its historic name of Wessex. (Incidentally, that was also the name of his dog.) Besides the dramatics, his novels are also full of warm scenes of ordinary country life, which Hardy saw vanishing in his lifetime.

His two best-known characters both have short, sweet and successful names. You might recognise them from the title of their books.

Jude (the Obscure) is no longer an obscure name at all. It’s been rising in popularity over the last couple of decades, helped by Jude Law bringing it to public attention, and the Beatles song ‘Hey, Jude‘. In the US it ranks at 162 and might just break into the top 100 in the next few years. It’s already there in England and Wales, at 65.

Tess (of the d’Urbervilles) is declining in popularity on both sides of the Atlantic, ranking 998 in the US and 763 in England and Wales). That’s not the whole story, as there are probably a fair few girls called Tessa and Teresa who answer to Tess. In the Netherlands, where short girls’ names are very on-trend, Tess was the top name in 2013, and in 2015 was no. 7.

His characters cover the whole social range from servants and farmhands to landed gentry, and their names are equally varied. Let’s take a look at some of the naming styles he used.

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