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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,355

    Does anyone else feel this way about literary names?

    I quite like a lot of literary names- Keats, Harper, Tennyson, Auden, and Ray (Bradbury) are among my favorites- but a part of me finds them a bit pretentious. As great as names like Atticus and Salinger are, and I do truly like them, when I hear them used a part of my brain rolls its eyes and thinks, "yes, I read those books in 8th grade too. You're not especially cultured for knowing them."
    Does anyone else feel this way, or am I crazy?

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    2,228
    I don't really care. If I was crazy about Atticus, I'd use Atticus because 1.) I like it, 2.) Atticus Finch is one of the most badass characters in the history of books, and 3.) Because why the heck should I care about what other people thinks - if someone told me they thought a name I like sounds pretentious, I'd tell them that it's good for them that they have an opinion that they're choosing to share with me, but that I'm gonna use it anyway because it's special to me.
    Zelia • Twenty • Film, history and royalty connoisseur • I have a personal blog and one about royalty
    Exporting old Danish names, Greenlandic names and Greenlandic sibling names
    Henry Ásgeirr Edmund • Amaury Charles Fyodor "Theo" • Alexander Adelin Lórien "Sasha" • Asa Edouard Ivik
    Cosima Ingrid Zenobia "Mimi" • Matilda/Johanna Ivalo Galadriel "Tilda/Anna" • Gaia Margaret Undómiel • Asta Catherine Françoise

    And for the moment: Atticus Elessar Oisín • Aviaaja Agnes Lúthien "Avi"

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Cair Paravel :)
    Posts
    16,468
    lol. I have heard that idea, and I know for a fact you're not the only one who feels that way, but at the same time--I'm not one of those people. Literature is a huge part of who I am, all the books I've read have formed me as a person, and, imo, for the better, and I love the idea of honoring that (and, of course, the idea that my children will fall in love with these characters just as much as I have!). I never really had imaginary friends as a child, but I had friends from books, and as a shy kid books meant just about everything to me. So it doesn't come across as pretentious to me at all--it's like honoring friends or family that have been there for me through everything, that have taught me wonderful lessons and opened the world to me. Besides, some literary names don't sound pretentious at all--like Elizabeth for Lizzy Bennet, or Jack for Jack Worthing, or Emilia in A Comedy of Errors. Just amazing names.
    Ashley
    twenty-something namenerd and aspiring novelist

    Isabelle + Arianne + Olivia + Violet + Charlotte + Emmeline + Grace + Eleni
    Caleb + Everett + Jack + Avery + Samuel + Caspar + Grant + Rory

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Northwestern US
    Posts
    186
    Yes, I feel exactly as you do. Especially with names inspired by To Kill a Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye. It feels a bit like the parents are trying to be impressive and just chose the first literary name they could think of, from a book that everyone has read because it is required. I am a bit of a hypocrite though, because part of the reason Raymond is my top boys name is after Ray Bradbury because he was me and my dad's shared favorite author. I guess the pretentiousness comes from the intent. If a parent just loves the name and the book and feels super excited and connected to the name, that's fantastic! It does seem, though that many people are just using random literary names to project a certain image on themselves as creative, scholarly, and of course, cool.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    108
    I've never really thought about it, but I can see where you're coming from. I love literary names, but I've been a huge reader all my life and am now an English major. But unless that book or author held special significance, I wouldn't name my child after it just because it's a literary name. I'm a huge fan of The Great Gatsby, and I think Gatsby would make an adorable name. It's a bit out-there, though, and I'm actually considering using it for a dog.

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