Literary Names: Shaw, Waugh, Wodehouse and Wilde

I remember how, when I first read the novels of Evelyn Waugh and the plays of George Bernard Shaw, a whole new universe of names opened up for me. A world of sophisticated, eccentric, kind of uppity and veddy veddy Victorian and Edwardian  British names, many of which I had never heard before, but instantly became enamored with.

The comic novels of Waugh and P.G. Wodehouse and the plays (and novel) of Oscar Wilde and Shaw are still a good place to start if you’re looking for a name with a certain elegance, gentility, swank—and sometimes a bit of quirkiness as well.



And if that’s not enough, here are a few more of similar ilk from the plays of Noel Coward:



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9 Responses to “Literary Names: Shaw, Waugh, Wodehouse and Wilde”

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Bella Says:

October 7th, 2010 at 12:43 am

my kind of names

I spot ten girls and two boys names from my own list

Charlotte Vera Says:

October 7th, 2010 at 12:58 am

Delicious! Wodehouse also used Daphne, Honoria, and Hermione among many, many others. Waugh gave the name Nina to the sort-of heroine of Vile Bodies.

I’m a sucker for ends-in-ic/k names and Roderick is no exception.

BasicSand Says:

October 7th, 2010 at 1:45 am

Loving the name Perdita despite it’s meaning. Is it me or do the female names work better than the male ones?

Noelle Says:

October 7th, 2010 at 4:14 am

Peregrine brings another writer to mind… J.R.R. Tolkien… I’d never heard of Evelyn Waugh.

braveangel2 Says:

October 7th, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Regarding, The Importance of Being Earnest….I’m so glad to see Gwendolen on there…I love the original Welsh spelling, and I’m not sure how Gwendolyn came to be. Way to go Oscar!

Kathleen Says:

October 8th, 2010 at 1:17 am

oh how hard I fought for Perdita. but couldn’t bring hubby around.

Rachel Says:

October 9th, 2010 at 3:29 am

My favourites are Lancelot (boy) and Queenie (girl).

Nameobsessed Says:

February 27th, 2011 at 12:27 am

I really like a lot of these names. I agree that the girls ones are better than the boys ones. They are classic and elegant in feel, but completely unexpected! Genius! (Although I have to say, a few were really bad. Flossie? Queenie? Really?)

Mary Says:

April 10th, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Yep, Evelyn Waugh sure had a lot of Virtue names in Vile Bodies!

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