Category: baby names from books

Naming Book Characters: 3 Easy Steps

Naming characters

By Ellen Smith

I’m a name nerd.

True story: In college, I spent hours compiling data for a study on the attractiveness of male and female names. Amanda? Very attractive. Mildred? Not so much. Ken was more attractive than Keith, while Liam was about as attractive as Levi. By the end of the study, I had an Iliad-length research paper and a major caramel-macchiato addiction.

Ah, youth.

Believe it or not, even after all of that research, I still get excited to dream up the perfect names for the characters in my books. Finding just the right character name actually helps a story start to take shape in my mind. Since I have a tendency to get stuck on finding the perfect name (Maura or Mara? Lila or Lily?), I try to break the process down into just three steps.

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How Ramona Made Me A Name Nerd


By Duana Taha

We’re delighted to present a chapter from Duana Taha’s recommended new book, The Name Therapist.

For a certain type of outspoken, literary woman, Harriet M. Welsch is a touchstone figure. She is mouthy and candid and brutal in her pursuit of the truth. I mean, she has to be. She’s a spy. For the uninitiated, I’m talking about Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, and if you’re reading this in a place that sells books, you should purchase that one to go along with this wonderful volume you’re holding.

I’m not saying an eleven-year-old Manhattan-based spy is my role model but, you know, listening to everyone talk about their names for years is a form of observation, and Harriet certainly taught me all about that—you see where I’m going here? She’s not not my role model.

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posted by: ClareB View all posts by this author
Robert Louis Stevenson names

By Claire Bristow

Over a hundred years before Pirates of the Caribbean and Braveheart, Robert Louis Stevenson was entertaining the world with his tales of adventure on the high seas and in the Scottish glens.

We owe Stevenson a lot. In his best-known book, Treasure Island, he gave us the classic elements of a pirate story: the mysterious map, the buried treasure, the pirate with a parrot and a missing leg. He also gave us the concept of a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ personality, and he was one of the first modern travel writers, recounting his journeys through France and later across America and the Pacific.

Stevenson was something of a name changer himself. Born in Scotland as Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson, as an adult he dropped Balfour, his mother’s maiden name, and changed the spelling of his middle name to Louis (still pronounced like Lewis).

Friends and family called him Louis, or Lew or Luly for short. When he settled in Samoa in later life, he adopted the Samoan name Tusitala, meaning ‘teller of tales’.

Here’s a treasure trove of names inspired by Stevenson’s tales, from old favourites to stylish unisex surnames.

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Unique Fairy Tale Names New to You

posted by: Dantea View all posts by this author
unusual fairy tale names

By Dantea

Many people search for names in their favorite stories, and fairy tales are among their favorites. We grow up hearing these stories, watch the movies that are based on them, and read them to our own children. The name options below come from lesser-known fairy tales. Perhaps you’ll find a new gem and with it a new story to tell your children.

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Jungle Book Baby Names

posted by: ClareB View all posts by this author
jungle book baby names

By Clare Bristow

Now is an exciting time for fans of The Jungle Book. The live-action remake of the classic Disney film has been a box-office hit, and there’s news that another film from Warner Brothers is due in 2018.

With so much public attention, will we see an uptick in any of the characters’ names, or other names from Rudyard Kipling’s books? There are plenty of offbeat options that could appeal to parents.

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