Hunger Games Names: Best bets for babies

Yes, The Hunger Games may well bring in a billion dollars at the box office, but at Nameberry the bigger question is, how will it affect baby naming? Will it, like the Twilight franchise, spur the revival of classics like Edward and Bella? Or bring to the fore some more unusual choices like Beatrix and Lavender and Luna as Harry Potter did? The Hunger Games has quite an eclectic mix of names—with lead characters called Katniss and Peeta and a guy named Gale, a Coriolanus and a Plutarch, exotic botanicals, and unlikely pairs like Glimmer and Gloss. Here are Nameberry’s pick of the Hunger Games names— of characters who made the leap from book to screen –that are most likely to succeed in Babynameland.


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Clove, the piquant spice name of a female ‘tribute’ could get a bounce from its Hunger Games association. Other spice and herb names, like Sage and Saffron and Cinnamon —as well as Juniper and Rosemary —have found fans in the past and present; and Clove is also related to the newly popular Clover.

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33 Responses to “Hunger Games Names: Best bets for babies”

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Poppy528 Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 1:55 am

I fully plan on using Katniss … for my next cat. meow! Cato would be really cute for a large dog. I don’t think these names are good people names, but I think they could really catch on with young moms. xoxo May the odds be Ever in your favor

rollo Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 4:44 am

I think Cato has the most promise as a popular boy’s name, for the girls Octavia is lovely as is Portia although the meaning of pig is offputting and I think that Rue has lots of flair due to the Golden Girls character.

BasicSand Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 5:20 am

I can’t hear Katniss without thinking “cat piss”.

The Latin Roman names is clearly a trend and style of the author’s which will find an audience with expecting parents.

aunt_ning Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 6:37 am

I love alot of the names, but can’t see them used as first names as much as middle names. I have to know though, who is the guy in the picture for Flavius? It is driving me nuts, I know that he looks unbelievably familiar…help please

shieldsc Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 6:57 am

I love Primrose and Rue — they are actually wearable, in my opinion. I also think Cato, Octavia, and Portia are wearable as I have known people with those names, but they aren’t ones I would use.

Lola Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 8:43 am

I like Cato quite a bit, but I have since I first heard it during the OJ Simpson trial. Not a great reference, but I still think ‘ancient Roman’ when I hear it. The dude in the picture looks a lot like the kid who probably just finished playing ‘Prince Joffrey’ in “A Game of Thrones” . I have to go look him up now!

I adore Primrose, it’s one of my cousins names, she’s 56 this year.
Portia’s long been my favorite Shakesperian name, Just gorgeous, despite its meaning! 😀

caroline11278 Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 9:10 am

I love all of these names! I agree with the caption on picture 0ne; ‘o’ endings are awesome!

nikkiolle Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 10:22 am

I actually think the most likely is Finnick, because of the rising popularity of Finn, I think parents will be looking for names other than Finnigan or Finley to put on the birth certificate to get to Finn.

tavn Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 10:36 am

Rue is freaking adorable. Newly added to my favorites list.

miloowen Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 10:38 am

I’m not really moved by The Hunger Games or their names, although I do like Octavia and Portia — I’ve had a number of African American students with these two names (mostly spelled correctly).

I don’t think, after reading the books, that I could name a child either Primrose or Rue because the stories about them were so tragic. And while I love the flower evening primrose (one of the first of the spring, so lovely in the dusk), it just doesn’t rock me as a name.

I prefer Flavio and Flavia to Flavius…and Cinna to Cato. Still, I am positive that in fifteen years I will be teaching kids named Katniss and Gale.

RowanaSabe Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 11:12 am

I think Katniss’s surname, Everdeen, is more attractive. The alternative spelling of Everdine sounds more like a first name, too.

amberdaydream Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 11:13 am

I didn’t like the Hunger Games as much as I like the names used. I don’t like Katniss or Peeta (as names or characters.) But I love Rue, Gale and Cato (as characters AND as names)!

People seem to like Primrose. While I wouldn’t use it personally, I’d love to see it growing in popularity!

Elisabeth Rae Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 11:34 am

aunt_ning, the actor who plays Flavius is Michael Urie, who was in Ugly Betty 🙂

ellieberry Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 12:08 pm

I agree that Finnick was overlooked in this post. Finn is SO popular & Nick is a VERY common nickname. I think it will get more usage than people think. I think the other name gems are Cinna (for a girl though) & Cato. Primrose, nn Prim, is adorable but feels stuffy when I try to imagine meeting one.

SugarPlumFairy Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Apart from those you mentioned, I think Gale and Finnick are very similar to currently sylish names like Gage, Gabe, Finn, and Dominic.

Other names from the series that aren’t as well-known and don’t carry the “Hunger Games” stigma:

~ Fox (there’s a character called “Foxface” – for a boy or a girl).
~ Johanna
~ Madge
~ Delly (in the same vibe as Delilah, Delaney, Adeline)
~ Alma
~ Lavinia
~ Cressida
~ Pollux
~ Paylor (boy or girl)

edenlyla13 Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I am OBSESSED with the Hunger Games so today(March 23)is a HUGE day for me! I love every single name on this list!!!
I just wish you added Johanna, Lavinia, Haymitch,and Madge!

trich323 Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I disagree about Finnick. It sounds like finicky to me. And Gail was a women’s name not so long ago. Without that association, I would like the idea of Gale (as in a storm).

Primrose sounds stuffy to me, and Katniss is a bit odd. Rue is cute, and Octavia is classy. And I like most of the Roman names for the boys as well.

OliviaSarah Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 5:15 pm

I love Madge! I also really like Katniss, which seems to be very controversial on Nameberry. Even before I had read the books I thought it was really pretty.

I like Peeta, but with my British accent it sounds identical to ‘Peter’, so here it would simply look like a misspelling.

Primrose ‘Prim’ has to be my favourite. It’s so lovely. I really like Cato too. In Uganda the name ‘Kato’ is always given to the youngest born of twins, so I always think of that.

Rue was another of my favourites, although I can’t help thinking it sounds a tiny bit masculine (I’ve known a few boy’s named Rue, short for either Reuben or Rupert). It also makes me think of ‘rue’ as in the French word for ‘street’.

In the second book their is also mention of Gale’s younger siblings – Rory, Vick and Posy, which I adore together.

moxielove Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 6:21 pm

I can’t understand why anyone would choose to name their daughter a word that means “regret” — if you like the sound of Rue then at least spell it Roux.

Love Clove, except I’m fairly sure the name of my next dog is Clover.

I actually really like Cato and am looking forward to the Hunger Games rehabilitating a great name that was for too long derailed by the OJ Simpson trial/saga, at least for my generation.

R_J Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I agree about Cato. No one was mentioning Kato Kaelin from the OJ trial (google it kids) and I started to feel old 🙂 I think it’s safe for a revival.

Poppy528 Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I had forgotten about Delly! That’s a legitimately cute name (as nn for Della or Adelise). There is already a Berry with a son named Finnick (used in the middle). Lavinia is such a lovely name!

Maysilee is really fun and cute. Bonnie is too.

Malaria Says:

March 23rd, 2012 at 9:51 pm

The books were good, but borderline mediocre and the movie was a big letdown, but I still really like some of the names.
My favorite ‘out there’ names are Octavia, Cinna, Cato, Clove, and —not gonna lie— Marvel.
I would use Annie in real life, though. I think it’s so sweet.

mindybird Says:

March 24th, 2012 at 8:31 am

Like Lola and R_J, Cato reminds me of the OJ trial. I don’t think younger mothers will make that connection, though. Most of these names are not really my style, but I could see young moms going for Clove and Rue as alternative one-syllable middle names instead of Rose and Grace. Seneca might be an alternative to Seraphina, Sienna, or Serena. I think Octavia and Portia have already hit the scene, though whether it’s due to celebs or the Hunger Games, I’m not certain. They feel more wearable as actual names for a person. Much as I enjoyed reading the books, I just couldn’t take someone seriously with a name like Katniss or Peeta. I think of catnip, litter boxes, and animal rights activists.

JenevieveM Says:

March 24th, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Love Primrose and Clove.
Rue is a cute nickname, for either gender.

miloowen Says:

March 25th, 2012 at 9:53 am

I’ve just seen the film, liked it more than the book. The actress who played Rue was terrific, so perhaps this is now a more workable name. Rue may be a verb for regret, but the name comes from the herb. Spelling it roux — like a gravy? — seems just odd to me.

skizzo Says:

March 26th, 2012 at 10:22 am

You left out the most interesting boys names: Peeta and Cinna.

dotmyiis Says:

March 28th, 2012 at 4:38 pm

I have been swooning over the name Rue before I even knew what the Hunger Games were, and I am genuinely hopeful that it will grow in popularity as a result. In my mind, this will help the name cross over from “regret” to namey!

I just finished reading the books largely because of the names used, and I genuinely like the character. I wouldn’t feel awkward naming a daughter Rue.

fallenfromabove Says:

April 4th, 2012 at 6:09 pm

I love all the hunger games names especially Peeta its like a British slang for peter or like the pita bread since his dads the baker. I think Peeta and Katniss’s babies will either be name after some of the tributes or a flower like Prim and Rue.

Alex27 Says:

April 16th, 2012 at 6:07 pm

I love Rue. So pretty

filmaria Says:

April 23rd, 2012 at 9:56 pm

this movie is so over rated !

Hunger Games 006 Says:

May 4th, 2012 at 5:29 pm

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thelifespark Says:

May 14th, 2012 at 2:39 pm

filmaria the movie may be overrated but the book were amazing.

mallowd Says:

May 13th, 2013 at 2:01 am

I’ve liked Octavia for a while now and am hoping it doesn’t get too popular (I’ve only met one in my life). Lavinia is also pretty. Rue I think is cute spelled as is, and I found a meaning of fame/notorious not regret. I think Roux looks too ambitious and too much like the singer LaRoux. I’ve also known one Portia but she spelled it Porchia (I wouldn’t use it personally). Cato is cute for a boy as well! Effie I’ve liked since “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” but am not sure how it would wear on a girl to a grown woman. Although I like Katniss, and Prim I don’t think I’d use them since they are only really known from the book. Primrose is also a pill I take for lady stuff even though I know it’s from the flower, I think of pms when I hear it now. HaHa! I’m reading the first book as of now. I often wonder about names only associated with certain things ie I just saw Wicked and thought Fiyero was cute, but would people only know it from Wicked?

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