Literary Names: How To Find One You Love In A Book

November 11, 2010 Linda Rosenkrantz

There are countless names that have been plucked from books and transferred to birth certificates, including current favorites like Atticus (To Kill a Mockingbird) and Holden (Catcher in the Rye) and Emma (Emma), not to mention Romeo and Juliet.

But there are lots more literary names that are not as obvious, some from more obscure books, others of less prominent characters.  Here are 50 such  examples of creative literary names that have not made it into the mainstream, but could make interesting choices—25 of them for each gender.

But bear in mind that though these names all have literary cred, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they’re attached to the most heroic characters.


  1. AbraEast of Eden, John Steinbeck
  2. AdelaidaThe Idiot, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  3. AliaDune, Frank Herbert; Midnight’s Child, Salman Rushdie
  4. Clea —  The Alexandria Quartet, Lawrence Durrell
  5. ClemencyThe Battle of Life, Charles Dickens
  6. CosetteLes Misérables, Victor Hugo
  7. DabneyDelta Wedding, Eudora Welty
  8. FantineLes Misérables, Victor Hugo
  9. Honoria —  Bleak House, Charles Dickens; Babylon Revisited, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  10. Lindo – The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
  11. Lizaveta – The Idiot, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  12. MaltaBleak House, Charles Dickens
  13. Marilla —  Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery
  14. Medora —  The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton
  15. Meridian – Meridian, Alice Walker
  16. OrianeRemembrance of Things Past, Marcel Proust
  17. PersisThe Rise of Silas LaphamWilliam Dean Howells
  18. Placida — Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel Garcia Márquez
  19. TempleSanctuary, Requiem for a Nun, William Faulkner
  20. ThomasinReturn of the Native, Thomas Hardy
  21. TrillianHitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
  22. ValenciaSlaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
  23. VelvetNational Velvet, Enid Bagnold
  24. WaverlyThe Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
  25. ZenobiaThe Blithedale Romance, Nathaniel Hawthorne; Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton


  1. ArkadyCrime and Punishment, A Raw Youth, Fyodor Dostoyevsky; Fathers and Sons, Ivan Turgenev
  2. Brinker – A Separate Peace, John Knowles
  3. CamdenMiddlemarch, George Eliot
  4. CarverLorna Doone, R. D. Blackmore
  5. CaspianThe Return to Narnia, C. S. Lewis
  6. CatoHenry and Cato, Iris Murdoch
  7. Dexios – The King Must Die, Mary Renault
  8. DunstanSilas Marner, George Eliot
  9. GoldenJazz , Toni Morrison
  10. JossJamaica Inn, Daphne Du Maurier
  11. JupiterThe Gold Bug, Edgar Allan Poe
  12. KenyonThe Marble Faun, Nathaniel Hawthorne
  13. LemuelGulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift; A Cool Million, Nathanael West
  14. MariusLes Misérables, Victor Hugo
  15. OziasArmadale, Wilkie Collins
  16. Phileas – Around the World in Eighty Days, Jules Verne
  17. ReuvenThe Chosen, Chaim Potok
  18. RodionCrime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  19. SenecaBabbitt, Sinclair Lewis
  20. SeptimusThe Mystery of Edwin Drood, Charles Dickens; Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
  21. Shreve – Absalom, Absalom, William Faulkner
  22. St. John (pron. Sinjin) —Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
  23. TertiusMiddlemarch, George Eliot
  24. VictoryJazz, Toni Morrison
  25. YanceyCimarron, Edna Ferber


26 Responses to “Literary Names: How To Find One You Love In A Book”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.