Literary Names for Boys

These literary baby names for boys are derived from characters in books from all genres and periods. Here, a selection of the most distinctive baby names from books. In the literary names category, as always, feel free to think about your own personal favorites.
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  • Gogol

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    The unlikely name of the hero of Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake , named for an author his father revered. Read More 

  • Guitar

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    Toni Morrison, a master of character naming, coined this one for the best friend of hero Milkman Dead in Song of Solomon . Definitely a cool choice, with a twang. Read More 

  • Gulliver

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    Gulliver is an obscure Gaelic surname known almost solely through its literary Travels until actor Gary Oldman used it for his son, instantly transforming it into a lively option. British actors Da... Read More 

  • Heathcliff

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    Heathcliff is the now effete name of the original passionate macho hero of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights , and also of the cartoon cat. It was chosen by fashionista Lucy Sykes for her son, and i... Read More 

  • Hieronymous

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    A name used in Germany and Holland as a form of Jerome, it's the unlikely moniker of fictional detective Hieronymous "Harry" Bosch. Read More 

  • Holden

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    Holden is a classic case of a name that jumped out of a book and onto birth certificates--though it took quite a while. Parents who loved J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye are flocking to the... Read More 

  • Huckleberry

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    Everybody knows Huckleberry Finn, the Mark Twain character named, Twain said, for the 19th century slang term for "humble." A few modern parents have put it on a birth certificate, including "Man ... Read More 

  • Ishmael

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    Ishmael is most familiar through "Call me Ishmael," the opening line spoken by the youthful narrator of Moby-Dick . Few American parents have followed that advice, though the Spanish and Arabic sp... Read More 

  • Japhy

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    Japhy Ryder was a hero of Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums . Compared with Moses and Noah, Japhy sounds downright adorable and eminently baby-worthy. Read More 

  • Jarvis

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    Jarvis, one of the original two-syllable nouveau boys' choices, is a saint's name with a certain retro charm and a nice quirky feel. Though Jarvis peaked in the late 1880s, he is beginning to sound... Read More 

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