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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,165

    Literary Baby Names

    So I know a lot of us like names with a literary influence, but I am curious, after you find/fall for a new name, do you search for any literary ties it has? I find myself doing this pretty often, even just to see what other sources influence peoples perceptions of the name, from authors, stories, poems to even song lyrics. Have you ever found something that turned you against a name? Or on the flip-side, has a literary reference (new or old) made you fall for a name even more? (For example, I'm currently reading a book written in the 1870's and involves some great names, including one that I can't seem to locate many other places, and I picked it up purely because there was a character with the name. ) I can't be the only one who does this! Do share your experiences What names do you love, because of, or in spite of literary connections?


    Rough n Tumble
    Lachlan Alexander
    Evander 'Anders' Alcott - Thatcher William - Peregrine North - Dresden Alasdair



    Pretty in Pink
    Lavender Irie
    Natalie Winter - Adelaide Pearl - Hermione Jane - Corisande Fable - Virginia Joy- Odessa Faye



  2. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    7,105
    I think Lyra and Lucy are the only names I've changed my opinion on based on a book.
    A book is also the only reason I don't dislike certain names (Ramona and Madeline come to mind). They aren't favorites, but their namesakes make me like them more.

    I don't generally look for new literary connections of names I already like. Maybe I would if I was firmly considering a specific name for a child--just so I would be aware of the connotations it might have for people.
    Olivia/Livia/Livy/Liv : Thessaly/Darah/Bethel : Noelle/Eve
    Benedict/Eli: Jude/Zane: Luke/Darius : Levi/Phineas/Calvin


  3. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    5,340
    I rarely search for literary ties to a name. I'm an avid reader, I do believe I've read most things worth reading, and for me finding a name I like and trying to find literature that includes that name, only to read the book, finding it terrible and end up disliking the name seems fruitless. However, I did find a book yesterday named Melisande! What are Dreams? by Hillel Halkin (I love the name Melisande, it almost felt like a sign!). So I picked it up and read the leaflet and it seemed interesting, it had gotten fantastic reviews by journalists and writers I respect and admire, and then I bought it. I am in the middle of a different book though, so need to wait to start this one for a day or two.

    I don't really mind if a character is good or bad, as long as it's got backbone and is interesting. I would never use a name I associated with flavourless, uninteresting and stupid characters (Romeo, Juliet and Cordelia) or cowardly, possessive characters (Elgin and Clifford).

    Names I've started loving or love even more after reading (a very very narrow selection, classics excluded):

    Louise (Written on the Body): If you've read the book you'll understand. She's the love of the protagonist, and the novel reads like a strange and incredibly beautiful poem. It's so special and precious, just love flowing through every word. And the most beautiful ones are always about Louise.
    Elina, Lexie & Innes (The Hand That First Held Mine): These two never crossed my mind until I read the book. But I instantly fell in love.
    Villanelle (The Passion): Never thought of this as a name, but the novel is extraordinary and the character is magnificent.
    Leopold (The History of Love): Ok, the name is obviously brilliant, but this story brought a new view on this name for me, and made it so much more usable. The character is wonderful, sweet and so very human.

    One name that deserves a honourable mention for me is Emma. I've always loved the name (had some amazing kiddy Emma books when I was little), but reading Jane Austen's novel I loved it more. I still loved it after watching Gwyneth Paltrow butchering the story in that awful movie and then there's Bon Iver's album For Emma, Forever Ago which took it to a whole other level. One of the best names ever. But I've always found it beautiful.
    [FONT=Palatino Linotype][CENTER]My darling Marian Illyria Aphrodite, March 2013 & Little Bunny (a girl!) due 9th of February 2014[/CENTER][/FONT]

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    1,325
    About 90 percent of names on my name list I got from books. If I fall in love with a character I usually fall in love with their name. For instance, I was totally ambivalent towards the name Eliza, didn't like it but didn't hate, until I read this book with a really great main character named Eliza. Now I love it and its become my #2 favorite name.

    I don't particularly seek out literary connections to my favorite names but when I'm in the Barnes and Nobles fiction section reading the backs of books they'll interest me more if I like the characters names. I tend to gravitate towards books that are old or have a historical setting so its rare that I'll read something set in contemporary times. Because of this I have a serious problem where I can't get into a book if the character's names are dated (ex. Stacey, Rhonda, Jennifer), its weird, I know, but I like characters so much better when there names are classic or unusual and don't share names with my high school bffs or my old babysitter.
    Violet Gray
    Sad name-obsessed teenager and aspiring writer

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Wollongong, Australia
    Posts
    137
    I wouldn't say I go searching for literary connections. I always research a name for usual reasons (you certainly wouldn't want to name your kid Adolf not knowing that his namesake was a man responsible for the slaughter of millions...you know, if you were living under a rock).

    But there are names I like because of the literary connotations. Adler, as in Irene Adler - the only woman to get under Sherlock Holmes' skin. Both the names Sherlock and Holmes. Because I LOVE (scary love) the character.
    I like Bronte and Emily because of the author. And Thomasina - despite HATING, LOATHING, ABHORRING the name Thomas, I LOVE Thomasina, thanks to the play Arcadia by Tom Stoppard. Such a beautiful character and name.

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