If the letter ‘Q’ was a TV performer, it would get a very high Q-rating, if only for its quirky charm. Babies with names beginning with the least used letter of the alphabet can automatically claim a unique, attention-grabbing initial which they’ll have to share with very few others, and the same will probably be true of their name as well.
The original, core group of Q names stems from the Latin Quintus, which means fifth. Quintus has a considerable literary history: Quintus Ennius was one of the earliest Roman poets, Quintus was the name of Titus‘s son in Shakespeare‘s Titus Andronicus, and Quintus Slide was a comical character in Anthony Trollope’s Palliser novels. It could fit right in with other trendy ancient Roman names, like Atticus and Augustus. Descendants and offshoots of Quintus include Quinton, Quintin, Quentin, and Quincy, Quina, Quintina and Quintana.
Quentin is, along with Quincy and Quinn, the most widely used. The name of a 5th century martyred saint (namesake of the San Francisco prison) who–this could come in handy–is the saint said to protect against coughs. The popularity of Sir Walter Scott’s 1823 novel Quentin Durward was largely responsible for spreading the name across Scotland and England. In modern literature we have William Faulkner’s Quentin Compson and the niece who is named after him in The Sound and the Fury. In addition, there are Theodore Roosevelt’s aviator son Quentin, and the somewhat outrageous Quentins Crisp and Tarentino.