Some names scream out their Shakespearean heritage–think Hamlet, Macbeth, Desdemona, Ophelia, Iago, Romeo–while others carry a more subtle reference to their ties to the Bard. We’re looking here towards the bottoms of the cast lists, at the secondary characters who might be a servant or a follower or friend. So to avoid Romeo always being followed by Juliet, you can pick one of these that have a less pronounced Shakespearean tie.
Angus—a good old Scottish name from “the Scottish play,” Macbeth, in which he is a general and the thane of Glamis, influenced by the prophesies of the three witches. Also the god of love and youth in Irish myth, Angus is especially popular in Australia now, thanks to AC/DC rocker AngusYoung.
Caius—attached to several Shakespearean characters, Caius is also a saint’s name and a Twilight vampire, and offers the popular modern nickname Cai.
Camillo—the name of an honest Sicilian nobleman in The Winter’s Tale. We’ve adopted his female counterpart Camilla, so why not Camillo?
Cassio—the name of Othello’s young and handsome lieutenant makes a strong o-ending member of the Cassius family. But is it too reminiscent of the keyboard brand?
Corin—The name of a philosophical shepherd in As You Like It, Corin is a soft and gentle boys’ name that also appears in Chronicles of Narnia.
Dion—In The Winter’s Tale, Dion is a lord of Sicily. A Greek name related to the godlike Dio, and a shortened form of names like Dionysius, Dion has a hip vibe, also associated with early rock n’ roll. The Shakespearean female Dionyza is found in Pericles, Prince of Tyre.
Dolabella—Looking for a completely unique ‘bella’ name? This ancient Roman surname name appears as a (male) follower of Caesar in Antony and Cleopatra.
Duncan—The King of Scotland in Macbeth, who meets a disastrous fate, was based on a real Scottish king. The jaunty Duncan appears in literature from The Last of the Mohicans to Dune to Lemony Snicket, but is sadly neglected in the baby name world.
Lucio–a friend of Claudio in Measure for Measure. Though the feminine version Lucia has long been a US resident, Lucio doesn’t even have a green card. It is the Italian and Spanish version of the Latin Lucius, and has several distinguished namesakes in the worlds of art and sports.