Names from Books: Have a lifelong love affair with one?

Today’s Question of the Week: Is there a name from a book you read when you were younger that made enough of an impression on you that you’ve loved it ever since?

(After all, at least some of those hundreds of new babies being named Atticus must have some connection to that inspirational lawyer in To Kill a Mockingbird  and all those recent little Holdens to that cynical adolescent Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye—whether conscious or not.)

So think back—can you trace your long-standing attraction for a particular name to an impression it made on you at an impressionable age?

Anyone out there who actually has used such a name for their child?

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124 Responses to “Names from Books: Have a lifelong love affair with one?”

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Lisaly Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 2:55 am

I stumbled upon the name “Gemma” when my sister convinced me to read “A Great and Terrible Beauty.” It wasn’t a favorite of mine until I re-read the book, and now it’s definitely in the top 10.

The book is full of great names. There’s Felicity, which I’ve loved forever, and Pippa. There’s also Virginia, Ann, Polly, Eugenia, Lillian, Hester, Brigid, Cecily, Mercy, Bessie, Mae, Eleanor “Nell,” Simon, Kartik, Philon, and Hugo.

Well, come to think of it, maybe the names had more influence in the book’s appeal than I thought….

CassieCake Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 3:12 am

I love Holden.
I read a book once were a character was named Macon, I love that name, it’s like Mason with a twist.
I like the name Lena from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

Nyx Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 3:33 am

I’ve loved Beth/Elizabeth since I was 5 and read Little Woman – It was in fact the top contender as a girl’s name for my hubby and myself… but we only had boys

NolaLovely Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 3:52 am

I read “Gone With the Wind” when I was 12, and I’ve loved the name Scarlett ever since.
I’m also a huge Harry Potter nerd, and so Lily is one of my favorite names for a girl. Which, I must admit, is pretty geeky.

Liz Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 4:29 am

Being named after an Astrid Lindgren children’s book myself, I’ve always loved lots of the name she uses.

Especially Ronja (after the fearless daughter of a bandit) and Mathis (Mah-tiss, the bandit himself), but Lotta, too.

Myra Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 8:07 am

I loved Anne of Green Gables as a child and the quote below about her name:

“But if you’re going to call me Anne,would you please be sure to spell it with an ‘e’?…Print out A-N-N, it looks absolutely dreadful, but Anne with an ‘e’ is quite distinguished. So, if you only call me Anne with an ‘e’, I’ll try to reconcile myself to not being called Cordelia.” ~Anne of Green Gables

kyemsma Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 8:13 am

I have loved the name Caroline since reading “Little House in the Big Woods” when I was nine!

sadiesadie Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 8:26 am

My favorite childhood book was bases on a girl named Rowena and it will be used if we have more than one girl.

Jasmine Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 8:31 am

I love literature and names and dreamed of a literary sibset. Sadly the names I love my husband abhors. We are planning on using Juliet Rosalie for a future daughter as Juliet has been my number one name for well over a decade. I would love to have a Tristan, Rhett or Lance(lot) to join her. My son born this past June is Drake. It was a compromise for us as I saw it as an extension of my love of books in an indirect way, dragons and he saw it as a name he could see on a child. We are now working on the same concept for another son should we have one with the name Troy

mermuse Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 9:04 am

Mercy Holbrook from “The Witch of Blackbird Pond” ~ also Blythe for the Blythe family of Anne of Green Gables

Blair Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 9:04 am

I first read Catcher in the Rye and Nine Stories by JD Salinger when I was about 12 and fell in love with Phoebe and Esme. It was also the first time I had heard the name Esme and that character being the namesake of my favorite short story in the book made it even more meaningful, but now with Twilight…..I’ll keep it on the list and see how popular it gets in a few years 😉

Lola Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 9:15 am

Well, I fell in love with Phronsie Pepper when I was 6 and found out it was short for Sophronia. How pretty! I’m in the process of collecting all the “5 Little Pepper” books again. What a hoot to re-read those! I wonder, could Phronsie be short for Euphrosine too?

Kristine Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 9:38 am

Absolutely =)
Albus and Atticus will be the middle names for my boys, and for my girls, they will definitely have a literary connection. One will be Harry Potter (probably Rowena, Luna, or Hermione).

hans Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 10:13 am

Oh, plenty of books have influenced the names i like. Of course the Harry Potter books have amazing names, and Shakespeare.. Brave New World has some pretty cool names I doubt I’d ever use in real life like Bernard and Lenina… Recent name crushes from books include Lucinda(LOVE this name) from the Fallen series, and most of the names from the Pretty Little Liars novels, especially Aria and Alison(even if she is crazy).. Too bad the Twilight series ruined most of the lovely ‘unheard of’ names though

Loraine Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 10:19 am

I have always loved the name Anne (with an ‘e’) for Anne Shirley. I read that series so many times growing up that the name Anne always seems so far from plain to me. My new daughter is named Anne. 🙂

Jenny Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 10:20 am

I remember reading the Jane Austen catalog when I was younger and thinking how nice it would be to have girls named Isabella and Emma.

Well nevermind that anymore! Maybe I can swing Elinor, Marianne and Margaret.

iris1973 Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 10:53 am

Scout, from TKAM.

Charlotte, because Charlotte Bronte wrote my favorite book.

Maia, from a chapter in one of the Mary Poppins books – she was one of the Pleiades who had come down to Earth to go Christmas shopping for her sisters.

Ally Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 11:01 am

Cosette from Les Miserables has always been a favorite of mine.

Katie Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 11:11 am

When I was in elementary school I fell in love with this children’s chapter book about a little girl named Ellie growing up on a farm in Amish country. For years afterward I just knew I would have an Ellie one day…and that she would be the only one in her class, ha! Now it’s become so popular I don’t feel like it means the same thing to me anymore, so I’ll probably go with something different if I ever have a daughter.

I also fell in love with the name Cornelia after reading the “Samantha” American Girl books, because in the stories Samantha has an aunt named Cornelia (and she’s married to Samantha’s “Uncle Gardner,” so dreamy!

EvanescenceDolly Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 11:38 am

CassieCake- Did you know there is a Macon, Georgia, a Macon county in Tennessee and a Macon county in North Carolina? I think you probably got Macon from Sarah Dessen’s “Someone like You”.

About two or three years ago I read Pride and Prejudice after loving the movie for quite some time. My favorite character is Jane Bennet. I still plan on naming my daughter Jane, but I guess we’ll just see!

Jennie Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 11:51 am

Oh, yes! I LOVE this topic!

My absolute favorite and one that has been top of the list since middle school is Lyra (from His Dark Materials). I absolutely adore this name. Plus, I’m really into astronomy as well and Lyra is a summer constellation. Yes, please.

Another name I grew up loving was Sylvie from one of my favorite childhood books (though I still read it regularly), The Great Good Thing. I can’t get my husband to go for Sylvie, but he doesn’t mind Sylvia. I’m trying really hard to detach the “nice old aunt” aura from it, and might be successful by the time we would be able to use it.

Other literary names I adore:

Jane (Bennet)
Lucy (Pevensie)
Guinevere (Arthurian legends)
Agatha- Don’t ask me why. Everyone I ask hates it, but I found it when I was reading Mansfield Park and I fell in love with it.
Rosamond-We’ve been reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales and this is the original name of Sleeping Beauty.
Lots of Greek mythology names: Ariadne, Hero, Xanthippe, etc.
Shakespearean names: Ophelia, Cordelia, Cressida, etc.

Edmund (Pevensie)
Charles (Pretty much every Jane Austen book)
Jack and Simon (Lord of the Flies)
Frederick (North and South)

There are a lot more, but now I want to go read. 🙂

gingerkid Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 11:54 am

I majored in English in college, and have pretty much always been obsessed with 19th century British (and some American) novels. I’ve loved Isabella since I was 16 (almost 20 years ago now), when I came across the name in Henry James’s “The Portrait of a Lady.” I loved how it looked in the font used in my Penguin edition. I was determined to have a daughter named Isabella…and then, so was everyone else in the western hemisphere. Argh! It was especially grating that I ended up marrying someone with a name that would have gone fabulously well with Isabella: Stevenson. Still bugs me.

I also love Elizabeth, Jane, Lucy, Margaret, Charlotte, and quite a few others from various Jane Austen and Bronte novels. Somehow, the names of female characters in Dickens’s novels never quite jumped out at me: Estella, Dora, Esther, etc. My favorite book is “Middlemarch,” partly because I adore the main female character so very much…her name is Dorothea. I don’t love the name Dorothea, really, but I have considered using it over and over again just because my association with it is so positive. Who knows, maybe I still will someday?

Jennie Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 11:58 am

EvanescenceDolly- Yes! Thank you! She’s my favorite, too!!! Most people like Elizabeth most, but I think Jane is much better. Though you can’t really go wrong with any name in that family: Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Katherine, Lydia. Those are some well-named children.

Mirah Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 12:07 pm

I’m named after a character in George Eliot’s “Daniel Deronda.”

january Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 12:20 pm

My mom named me January after the main character in “Once is Not Enough.” I always have loved having my name be different.

caitydaisy Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Estella, Esme, Tristan, Felicity, Aurora and Cosette are all names that I love from books.

Sarah Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I always loved the name Clover from the Victorian classic ‘What Katy Did’. Just a pity with my husband’s last name it sounds like the name of a greenhouse or garden centre (Same goes with the name Lettice which is also cute when shortened to Letty).

Chantal Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 12:36 pm

When I was about 12 I read a book by Lori Wick called The Princess. The main male character’s name was Nikolai, and I fell in love. It is still my favorite book to this day, and when I read it I said I would name my son Nicholas some day.

Then – the irony! – I married a man named Nicholas who would NOT let me give our son the same name. So I settled, and my son’s name is Boston Nicholas. Everyone thinks his middle name is for his father… but I know better. 😉

Nichole G. Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 12:47 pm

A friend of mine has a Holden (after Holden Caulfield) and a Jonas after the little boy in The Giver.

JossieChris Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Corrine, Catherine, Christopher, Cory and Carrie from “Flowers in the Attic” by V. C. Andrews, along with the names Julian Janus, Jory, Olivia and Malcolm. I usually don’t like it when parents name their children with the same starting letter, but I always loved this grouping.
Willoughby from “Sense and Sensibility” and, of course, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride and Prejudice), but that only works for a pet.

Melissa Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Julia, McKenna, Nancy, Lucy, Susan, and Marcus are all names I love from various books.

I also have always LOVED the name Amy because of Power Rangers 😀

Kelleita Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I was also an English major and one of the names that always stuck out to me was Imoinda — the wife of Oroonoko in Aphra Behn’s book, Oroonoko. It was such a tragic story and which ultimately involves Oroonoko killing his wife to spare her a heinous death at the hands of slaveholders. The book ends by referring to her as the Brave, the Beautiful, the Constant Imoinda. Just gorgeous.

Unfortunately, I’d never have the nerve to actually use the name. 🙂 Instead I opted for a spin on a Shakespeare name: Juliette.

Kendra Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 1:04 pm

My favourite literary names are the following:
Alex (A Clockwork Orange)
Bellatrix (Harry Potter)
Blaise (Harry Potter)
Clare (Time Traveler’s Wife)
Flora (Flora Segunda)
Fleur (Harry Potter)
Loki (Trickster series by Tamora Pierce)
Lyra (His Dark Materials)
Milo (The Phantom Tollbooth)
Narcissa (Harry Potter)
Phineas (A Separate Peace)
Rhys (The Two Princesses of Bamarre)
Scout (To Kill a Mockingbird / The Raw Shark Texts)
Suzanna / Zanna (Un Lun Dun)
Violet (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

Ruth Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I love so many names from books!

Anne-from Anne of Green Gables
Charlotte, and Ella-from All of a kind Family
Sylvia, Winnifred, Pauline, Petrova, and Posy-from Ballet Shoes
Sorrel-from Theater Shoes
Kit-from the American girl Kit books
All the Bennett girl’s names
Mona and Randy-from The Saturdays
Lucie-from Tale of Two Cities

And a lot more!!!!!!

Ruth Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Oh and I also like Amy and Perry-from The Ordinary Princess

guest Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Guenevere from Mists of Avalon
Cordelia (nn Delia) from Anne of Green Gables
Cecily from The Story Girl
Felicity from American Girl
Emily, Sarah, and Samantha from A Little Princess
Josephine, Meg, Beth, and Amy from Little Women

annabelle Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 2:05 pm

I’m an English major too, and what I’m always most excited about when starting a new book, is finding out what the main characters’ names will be! In the same way I sometimes feel like writing a story or something, mainly because it would give me the opportunity to name a whole bunch of characters..
Some of my favorite character names are:
Jo (although I like Josie even better, as a nn for Josephine)
Brett (The Sun also rises)
Cecily (The Importance of being Earnest)
Frances (I don’t remember the title, but it’s a series about four sisters growing up during the WWI era, and the eldest is named Frances)

And when I was little, one of my favorite books was a Little Princess, and part of the reason I loved it so much was that the main character’s name is Sara (my real name is Sarah) 🙂

freckles Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 2:51 pm

I’m an English Major in college so of course I have lists and lists of literary names I love! Growing up my favorite books were The Giver and Tuck Everlasting, and a number of names from those books continue to be on my long list of favorites, includng Jonas, the main character of The Giver, and Winifred/Winnie and Angus from Tuck Everlasting. I was also a huge fan of the American Girl series when I was little and Samantha was my favorite, though the names that always stuck out to me were Cornelia (her Aunt) and Nellie (her best friend). Of course then came the Harry Potter series and onto my list went Hermoine, Cedric, Sirius and Percy. Other literary favorites:

Shakespearean names: Cordelia, Portia, Helena, Lysander, Oberon, Miranda, Benedict, Beatrice.

Marlena (Water for Elephants)
Brett (The Sun Also Rises)
Dean, Mary Lou (On The Road)
Lydia, Jane, Charlotte, Georgiana, Fitzwilliam (Pride and Prejudice)
Blue (Special Topics in Calamity Physics)
Daisy (The Great Gatsby)
Hedda, Thea (Hedda Gabler)

katybug Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 3:00 pm

I’ve always had a soft spot for Fern from Charlotte’s web, Anne from Anne of Green Gables, and pretty much every name from every Jane Austen novel I’ve ever read.

katybug Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Oh, and Ramona from the Ramona books (it hasn’t been until recently that I appreciate her sister Beezus’s name Beatrice)

kaybee3 Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Bianca and Penny are favorites of mine from reading the Rescuers Down Under as a girl.

kaybee3 Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Correction…the book was the Rescuers…Rescuers Down Under is the film name that is stuck in my head from watching it a million times with my son lately 🙂

Alicia Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I love this post…

I’ve always loved Anne from Anne of Green Gables and Elinor from Sense and Sensibility, I’ve named my own daughter Marianne!! and she loves it, but recently I’ve liked Ayla from Jean M. Auel’s Earth’s Children, and Rhiann from Jules Watson’s The White Mare.

I think I will always have a place in my heart for any name from Jane Austen’s, Elizabeth Gaskell’s and George Elliot’s novels cause they are my favorite authors, specially Jane Austen. I just read North and South and now I like better Margaret, it’s a classic, strong name.

I think I’d love to name another of my kids Elinor but it’s pretty unknow here in Mexico, Marianne or Marian are ok there’s plenty of them, but Elinor its pretty weird unfortunally!

Alicia Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Also Scout and Atticus from To kill a mockingbird are classics! I love the book, one of the best books I ever read and the names are very appealling.

lolly Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 3:36 pm

My first daughters middle name is Anne spelled with an E, because I read and love Anne of Green Gables and my 2nd daughters first name is India because Ive loved the name since I read Gone with the Wind when I was in 5th grade.

PhCaulfield Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 5:30 pm

My all-time favorite childhood book name is Matilda by Roald Dahl. And I think that book is why I think of the name Matilda as sweet and smart.

Izzy Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 5:47 pm

AHHHH! I just read Catcher and fell in love with Holden. Love the sibset of Holden and Phoebe, it’s so cute. Also loved Sally from that book- I’m recently loving old-fashioned nicknames such as that.

Avery Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Harry Potter helped me fall in love with Rowena, Minerva, Ginevra, Hermione, Hugo, and Alistor.

IrisRose Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 6:34 pm

There are so many! Eloise, from the Eloise books. Julia, Elizabeth nn Betsy, and Margaret from the Betsy-Tacy books. Rush, Miranda, and Oliver from Elizabeth Enright’s Melendy books. Ramona from the Ramona books, Violet from the Boxcar Children series, and Ginevra (among others) from Harry Potter. I know I’m missing a ton!

Also, Phoebe’s full name in The Catcher in the Rye was Phoebe Josephine– I love that combo.

Belle Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 6:42 pm

i read a book called ‘Yankee Girl’ and fell in love with a character called ‘Jeb’. STill love the name now. x

Jade Diana Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Bennet for a boy. I absolutely love the book Pride and Prejudice. I find Lizzy and Jane a bit plain, and Darcy a bit feminine but I would use Bennet in a heartbeat. I also fell in love with Luna thanks to Harry Potter.

jillian Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Mercy Holbrook! Because she got to marry John! I will never not love Kit, short for Katherine, and Nat. Yes, also, to India Wilkes, in name only of course. Just for looking: Zenobia from Blythedale Romance; so perfect but too popular: Lily Bart from The House of Mirth. Marian from the Woman in White. Currently reading AS Byatt’s The Children’s Book and there are many wonderful names including Pomona, Seraphita, Imogen, Olive, and Elsie.

chakrateeze Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 7:17 pm

For as long as I can remember an antique edition of Longfellow’s “Evangeline” lay on my mom’s bedside table. I read it when it when I was 11. And, yeah, LOVE the name!

I also love Charlotte (C’s Web), Lydia (Pride and Predjudice), and Karana (aka, Wonapalei) the spunky, resourceful heroine in “The Island of the Blue Dolphins,” by Scott O’Dell, my favorite book of all time!

Blair Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Ivor from the PG Wodehouse books! I am obsessed with that name and nn Ivo right now.

Blair Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Oh and I also love the Anne of Green Gables names as well, I still have the dog eared copy of the complete set. Philippa was always one of my favorites as well as Marilla and I hope maybe a few centuries from now we can bring back Gilbert! *swoon*

irisrose: is it weird that Phoebe Josephine makes my mouth water? Because it does. Hahaha thank you for reminding me of that.

Has anyone mentioned the American Girl Books especially the original 3 or 4? A treasure trove and something I’m syill interested since I love about the sociology and etymology and history of names. The ideas keep coming but I’ll give soemone else a turn! 🙂

Blair Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Oh and I also love the Anne of Green Gables names as well, I still have the dog eared copies of the complete set I was given years ago. Philippa was always one of my favorites as well as Marilla and I hope maybe a few centuries from now we can bring back Gilbert! *swoon*

irisrose: is it weird that Phoebe Josephine makes my mouth water? Because it does. Hahaha thank you for reminding me of that.

Has anyone mentioned the American Girl Books especially the original 3 or 4? A treasure trove and something I’m syill interested since I love about the sociology and etymology and history of names. The ideas keep coming but I’ll give soemone else a turn! 🙂

Lindsey Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 9:15 pm

ALL of my favorite names are from books! The list is too massive to share, but my hypothetical daughter will be Linnea, which I got from the Linnea books, and my hypothetical son will be either Miles or Jesse, from Tuck Everlasting.

And I actually named my sister Samantha, after the American Girl. 🙂

melis Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 9:27 pm

The first time i really remember reading a book and falling in love with a name was reading, The Indian in the Cubbard! Then boys name is, Omri, I just love the at name. Such a cute name that coud also be a very manly name!

Linelei Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Jennie, Lyra has also been one of my favorites since reading that series! Such a fabulous namesake – it’s definitely a contender. Stelmaria is beautiful too (sfe was Lord Asriel’s daemon).

I also loved Sara, without the h, from A Little Princess, and there was a girl in The Giver named Fiona, which I still adore. As for boys, I’ve always love Lazarus, from the Robert Heinlein books. It’s definitely on my shortlist.

Bridie Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 9:37 pm

I have always loved the name Edith from The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott and from Holiday for Edith and the Bears by Dare Wright

Linelei Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Lindsey, that’s so great! I forgot Samantha: that was one of my favorites for a long time, also because of the American Girl. And of course Matilda: who couldn’t love that adorable child?

Mary Helen Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 11:33 pm

I too was madly in love with the entire Anne of Green Gables series growing up, but I also thought that Avonlea, the name of the town that Anne grew up in, could be such a lovely name. I also loved Lucy for the author L.M. (Lucy Maud) Montgomery. There was another book written by her with a main character named Marigold which stuck with me also. For boys, I have always had a soft spot for Ned who was Nancy Drew’s dreamy boyfriend.

Others… Eloise, Dinah (from “The Red Tent”), Nellie (from the American Girl books)

Jenny Says:

January 5th, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Ruth! I didn’t know there were other people out there who remembered ‘The Ordinary Princess’!

There was a period of my life where I spent a lot of time concerning myself about what Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne’s sisters’ middle names were. (Their first names were Diamond, Opal, Emerald, Sapphire, Crystal and Pearl, of course.) I was also dying to know what Perry/King Algernon’s six other names were! I still think about it!

Aly Says:

January 6th, 2011 at 12:50 am

I’ve loved the name Georgiana (Darcy) ever since I read Pride and Prejudice the first time about 20 years ago. Plus, I think Georgie is such a cute nickname.

I’m currently expecting a daughter due in April and I’m still trying to convince my husband.

Caro Says:

January 6th, 2011 at 1:07 am

I’ve always loved Claire, but changed my loyalty to the spelling “Clare” due to the Time Traveler’s Wife.

Love Meg and Daisy from Little Women, and Meridene from The Maiden of Inverness

Charlotte Vera Says:

January 6th, 2011 at 2:36 am

I first started reading after I discovered The Chronicles of Narnia. I remember deciding that I was going to have four children and name them Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. That plan didn’t last long, but I’ve had frequent love-affairs with names from books ever since them (I’ve adored Beverly on a boy ever since I read The Story Girl, but I wouldn’t do that to my son).

Roseanna’s first name was chosen by her dad, but I got to choose the middles, one of which — Adeline — is from The Romance of the Forest by Ann Radcliffe.

Shantih Says:

January 6th, 2011 at 10:22 am

My daughter’s due in May, and I’m naming her Scarlett. I love the character, and I’ve loved the name since I read Gone With The Wind when I was a teen. My own “internet name” is after an equine character – I was horse mad as a kid, and I loved the Jinny series by Patricia Leitch, but I always related more to the horse’s name than the humans’!
Lucky Scarlett – she could have been named Black Bess, Godolphin, Shantih or Shetan if I hadn’t (sort of) outgrown the phase 😉

Zoe Says:

January 6th, 2011 at 12:16 pm

About 5 years ago, I read this series by Caroline B. Cooney about traveling back in time. One of the characters was named Devonny. She was bright and a stronger character than the main character Annie, plus I love her named. It is pronounced De-VUH-nee and I have never heard of anyone else having it.

greatbird Says:

January 6th, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Anne of Green Gables is definitely one of my favorites and I love James nn Jem. Although I love Gilbert, I don’t think I could get myself to use it.
I also love Ella after Ella Enchanted. I’ve been planning to use it since I first read the book in 5th grade and I hate that it’s so popular now. Hopefully it’ll die down by the time I have kids in 10 years…

Emmy Jo Says:

January 7th, 2011 at 1:01 am

gingerkid — My favorite book is Middlemarch, too! I’m in love with Frederick Vincy, and I would very seriously consider naming a son Frederick.

I originally got Clara (our #1 girls’ name) from Great Expectations. She’s a minor character, but she is presented favorably, and I liked her.

Other names I originally fell in love with from books:
Isannah (Johnny Tremain)
Rosalind (As You Like It)
Margaret/Meg (Little Women)
Celia (Middlemarch)
Gilbert (Anne of Green Gables)
Teddy (Emily of New Moon)
Lysander (Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Emmy Jo Says:

January 7th, 2011 at 1:04 am

Ooh, forgot to mention Cecily and Gwendolyn from The Importance of Being Earnest.

Emma Says:

January 7th, 2011 at 10:33 am

I have been a huge book name nut since I was little, when I read a book about a princess called Jan; I thought that was just the most beautiful name at 4.

The names I love from books are:

Meg, Jo (Little Women)
Elizabeth ( Pride and Prejudice)
Harry, George, Fred, Hermione (Harry Potter)
Arlo (Pillow Talk)
Anne ( Anne of Green Gables)
Beatrice (Much Ado)
Isabella ( Portrait of a Lady)
I also love the author name, such as Enid, Evelyn, Oscar and Auden.

Cece Says:

January 7th, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Well just about every other person commenting has some name they love from Anne of Green Gables… I absolutely LOVED the name Rilla after reading the book. I’ve loved it for forever but can never use it. Teasing nicknames are too horrible. *tear*

Also after reading the Emily books also by L.M.M. I loved the name Emily for awhile! Reading books does that too me. The main character’s name will be my favorite name for atleast a month! That’s why I can never read a book where the character’s name is Hilda or something!!

Boston Girl Says:

January 8th, 2011 at 7:36 pm

I first saw the name Skye in high school when I read a book called “Skye O’Malley” by Bertrice Small. (I borrowed the book from a friend who was into the more lurid romance novels). I still like the book a lot, but the name has always stuck with me. I like a lot of names, but not very many impress me enough that I would use them for my own child. And Skye is one of those that did.

Jsmith Says:

January 8th, 2011 at 8:03 pm

My sister is named Adele after the little French girl in Jane Erye.

hans Says:

January 9th, 2011 at 5:22 am

cant froget bryony from atonement…. love this name! and cordelia, miranda and juliet would have to be the loveliest shakespeare names

spinfairy Says:

January 9th, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I loved the name of Una’s little sister in ‘The Peacock Spring” by Rumer Godden so much, that I named my first daughter Halcyon after her.

Sarah Says:

January 10th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I have an Esme, named after my husbands favourite story from Nine Stories by J D salinger (For Esme with love and squalor)

Rebekah Says:

January 12th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

I’m so glad someone mentioned 5 Little Peppers! I loved the name Jasper, though I wouldn’t personally use it. Anne, for Anne of Green Gables, and more recently, Coraline–which both my husband and I love, but goes poorly with our last name.

Jessica Says:

January 16th, 2011 at 11:11 pm

I always suspected Caroline B. Cooney of being a name nerd so Devonny doesn’t surprise me 😉 I used to love that she didn’t let probability stop her from calling her high school girls things like Sarah-Charlotte or Smedes.

Emily Says:

January 18th, 2011 at 3:25 am

I absolutely ADORE the name Cecilia, mainly from Atonement (the movie is great, the book is wonderful). I’m dating a Holden, so that’s a Catcher in the Rye reference there…I like to think that I was named after Emily Dickinson or Emily Bronte, but my mom knew an older woman named Emily and just loved the name…*sigh.

Bella Says:

January 19th, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Oh, literary names.
Everybody always mentions Atticus and Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, but I really love Jeremy nn Jem after Jem Finch.
I will forever love Melanie from Gone With the Wind
Lucy and Edmund from Chronicles of Narnia.
Bridget, Lena, and Bailey from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
Cordelia and Diana from Anne of Green Gables
All of the Bennet Girls in Pride and Prejudice
All of the March sisters, too, — especially Beth
Mary, Colin, Dickon, Martha from The Secret Garden

I could do this all day, but I should really, probably, just stop now

Janel Says:

January 23rd, 2011 at 9:21 pm

When I was nine, and I first read Sense and Seniblity, I fell in love with the name Lucy and Marianne. I thought they were terribly romantic, as was the name Juliet. I also read Romeo and Juliet when I was nine, and I fell in love with that name too, until my sister used it for her stuffed dog. Everytime I read Gone With the Wind I really wish I was named Melanie, or maybe India.
The only boys name that stuck was Theodore Lawrence from Little Women. I loved the nickname idea of Teddy. Possibly Darcy from Pride and Predjudice, or Willoughby, but I see Darcy as a bit more of a girls name, and Willoughby as maybe a bit much.
But I generally love literary names!

Rachael Says:

January 29th, 2011 at 8:18 am

When I was younger I wanted to change my name to:
Matilda from Roald Dahl’s Matilda
Norah from Mary Grant Bruce’s Little Bush Maid
Georgina (& my brother to Julian) from Enid Blyton’s Famous Five
Beatrix/Trixie – for Beatrix Potter and for the Trixie Belden detective books
Milly or Molly from the Milly Molly Mandy books
Amelia from the Amelia Bedelia books
Harriet from Harriet the Spy
Daisy (& my brother to Nathaniel) from Little Men

Lindsay Says:

March 7th, 2011 at 12:25 am

I loved the character from Wilkie Collins’s masterpiece “The Woman in White” named Marian Halcombe. She was such a strong heroine.

I might name my daughter Marian.

Ellen Says:

March 12th, 2011 at 7:26 pm

I adore Betsy ever since reading the Betsy-Tacy series when I was little, and Francie from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Jane Says:

March 21st, 2011 at 2:56 am

For some reason, my favorite male characters in books are always James or William (or Fitzwilliam, in the case of Pride and Prejudice).
Hmm, for the names of girls, I must say, I’ve always adored Mary, Elizabeth, Alanna, and Charlotte.

Kalee Says:

April 3rd, 2011 at 9:56 pm

One of my future daughters names came from a book by Sarah Dessen called ‘Last Lullabye’ which is the name Remy which I absolutely adore! can’t wait to use this on my future daughter!

Danielle Says:

April 3rd, 2011 at 10:27 pm

As a child (and let’s admit, even now as a teacher), I was obsessed with the American Girl books and dolls. Today, the names Felicity, Addie, and Molly particularly remind me of the inspirational, though fictional, heroic women of the past.

Then as a teenager, I became enamored with the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, loving the fun-loving spirit of Bridget and her adorable nickname, Bee.

I feel like at least one of these names will be given to a daughter of mine at some point.

Leslie Owen Says:

April 4th, 2011 at 12:20 am

I always loved Geordie and Hughie from The Three Lives of Thomasina by Paul Gallico, and Jennie from Robert Nathan’s A Portrait of Jennie. Iseult from Daphne du Maurier’s time travel novel although I think she spelled it Isolde. And Joss from Jamaica Inn. And Scout’s name was Jean Louise — not Scout. The funniest thing about names was when Bruce and Demi named their daughter Rumer after Rumer Godden who sniffed and said she’d always hated her name and why on earth would they have done that? Always loved Gregory from The Kitchen Madonna.

Anissa Says:

April 11th, 2011 at 11:26 am

I love the name Narnia and Eowyn for girls names. My favorite being Narnia…its sounds so lovely and sweet and means spring n winter.

AJ_Bear Says:

April 23rd, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Just noticed that Shakespere had a charactor named Imogen- I love that! It’s a great name!
I love names form Gone With the Wind- India, Melanie, Scarlett, and Bonnie. Jane Austen was brilliant with names, and I think that if she had named Elizabeth or Kitty or Lydia any other names they just wouldn’t be the same characters.
Love books, love names.

Lea Says:

May 4th, 2011 at 9:27 pm

I read the Animorphs series as a kid and have been in love with the name Tobias ever since. Not the most glamourous place to get a name from, but it really made an impression on me and if I ever have a son, I plan to use Tobias as some part of his name.

Jess Says:

June 15th, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Lea – I absolutely agree with the Animorphs reference. Tobias was an excellent name for an excellent character.


Atticus definitely
Violet and Klaus – A Series of Unfortunate Events
Hugo, Arthur, Teddy, Luna – Harry Potter
Carrie and Grace – Little House books
Maisie – What Maisie Knew
Felix – a combination of Harry Potter and Henry James

I used to love Morgan from the ‘Wicca’ series that I read when I was younger, but I settled for naming my teddy bear Morgan instead.

Elizabeth Says:

June 27th, 2011 at 1:02 am

Ruth, I never comment but I HAD TO COMMENT, because I have always always always loved the name Petrova from Ballet Shoes. (I also used to really love Gemma from the same author’s Gemma books, but it’s a little too trendy now.)

Jasper was also always on my list, because I have actually read all the Five Little Peppers books, and I’m mad that Twilight ruined it. I remember he was called “Jappy” as a nickname, which I thought was cute when I was ten, but immediately became less cute after I became aware of the racial connotations. I mentioned to my sweetie that I’ve always liked Lennox, which was Mary’s last name in The Secret Garden, and he now likes it more than I do. . . I’ve always liked Rilla, like Anne of Green Gables’ daughter, but not enough to use it, and for a while I really adored the name Persis, who was Rilla’s boyfriend Kenneth’s sister. Also: Ramona had doll named Chevrolet, which I thought was pretty until I figured out how it was said and what it meant, and the sister half of Pippi Longstocking’s brother-and-sister-friends was Annika, which I thought was lovely, but again, now I’ve seen too many times.

Petrova, though, I still love.

Sarah Says:

June 29th, 2011 at 1:24 am

Elizabeth, I also liked Rilla from Anne of Green Gables. I’m not sure if I would have used it as my married last name is also one syllable so it got ruled out through syllable issues rather than taste.
I always loved Eve (and Chantal, although i didn’t like her character) after reading The Potter of Charles Street by Jean Harmeling
Also Nell from Seven Little Australians, I think her full name was Elinor, I still like this name and Nell is an adorable nickname!

Susan Says:

July 27th, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Evangeline from Uncle Tom’s Cabin. My husband hates it so i I will never get to use it…

Olivia Says:

August 7th, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I remember falling in love with Estella when I was 11 after first reading ‘Great Expectations’ I also adore Biddy (as a nickname for Bridget, preferably.)

vicioustrollop9 Says:

August 23rd, 2011 at 11:07 am

I’ve always loved Alice since reading Alice in Wonderland. I don’t know if I would use it, but the mc in The Secret Garden is Mary Lennox, and I think Lennox is beautiful. I’ve always loved Theodore nn Teddy and it is in two books I love – Little Women and the Luxe series. And it isn’t a character name, but I want to use Austen (obv as in Jane Austen) as a middle name for a daughter. I know there are others I love, but those are the ones I can think of right now!

vicioustrollop9 Says:

August 23rd, 2011 at 11:16 am

Another I just thought of: Claudia from Interview with a Vampire. Even if she does meet with an unfortunate end….

Treasury of Picture Book Says:

October 25th, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Treasury of Picture Book…

[…]Names from Books: Have a lifelong love affair with one? – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry[…]…

OddCreature Says:

November 5th, 2011 at 5:58 am

I took a liking to Henry after reading The Other Boleyn Girl. Which is silly, because Henry VIII wasn’t painted in the best light in that book. But I fell in love with the whole of Tudor history, and he was the centre of that era.

But to be honest books aren’t my thing. I’m more inclined to pick names from songs or films.

catmcroy Says:

December 8th, 2011 at 2:14 am

There are so many ‘book names’ I love! Add me in to the chorus of “I love L.M. Montgomery”, especially her rarer names like Kilmeny, Lavender (a Miss Lavender is a spinster lady friend of Anne’s), Una, Gilbert, Walter (one of Anne’s sons), and Persis. I love India Wilkes name too! So pretty and unique. Jo from Little Women is definitely one of the reasons I’m hoping to use Josephine as a middle name if I have a second daughter.

emilymaryjane Says:

December 16th, 2011 at 7:02 pm

I love Sophie which is the heroine in the BFG by Roald Dahl which is also his granddaughters name

plainname Says:

December 29th, 2011 at 5:07 am

Finnick, from the Hunger Games’ Finnick Odair, sigh…

emilymaryjane Says:

December 29th, 2011 at 6:30 am

Also Matilda from the Roald Dahl Book Im Aussie

JessicaT11 Says:

March 1st, 2012 at 1:00 pm

I remember reading these and liking them as I was growing up:

Jonas, Asher, and Gabrielle – “The Giver”
Charles Wallace – “A Wrinkle In Time”
Avery – “Charlotte’s Web”
Selwyn – “Never Trust a Dead Man”
Remember Patience Whipple – “Journey to the New World, Dear America Series”
Diana – “Anne of Green Gables”

Alex27 Says:

April 16th, 2012 at 6:04 pm

I am in love with Hermione from the Harry Potter series but I would never name anyone it! I also love the name Auden from Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Gwynedde Says:

April 23rd, 2012 at 2:24 am

I’m in love with the Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier which I have been following since 1998. All books (5 so far) have had a different main character; Sorcha, Liadan, Fainne, Clodagh, Sibeal and I love all of them.

starophie Says:

June 4th, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Oh, yes. Josephine is my all-time favorite name, like Jo March from Little Women! Eloise, Daisy, Ruby, Lavender, Eulalia, Max, Henry, Leon, Felix – my childhood was full of lovely names that have inspired my favorites for years :3

capturedcastle Says:

June 12th, 2012 at 9:13 am

Charlotte (Charlotte’s Web)
Clara (Nutcracker)
Meg (Little Women)
Rilla (Anne of Green Gables)
Kirsten, Samantha, Molly (American Girls)
Annika (Pippi Longstocking)

ClaireDarling Says:

August 3rd, 2012 at 10:38 pm

My absolute favorite is Elanor as in Elanor Gamgee from the Lord of the Rings. I also love Sam (from the same)
All of the Bennett sisters
All of the March sisters

StrixOniro Says:

August 7th, 2012 at 11:44 am

Anne- Anne of Green Gables
Sorrel- Dragon Rider
Arya- Eragon
Beth- Little Women
Hermione and Luna- Harry Potter
Violet- A Series of Unfortunate Events, Pixie Tricks
Rosanna, Rose, and Zanna-the Last Dragon Chronicles,(Rosanna, Zanna) The Owl Keeper (Rose)
Septimus and Jenna- Septimus Heap
Archer- Fire
Alyss- The Looking Glass Wars
Felicity- Meet Felicity, an American Girl
Bri/Bree- The Dead and the Gone
Percy/Persei- Percy Jackson and Harry Potter. The Persei spelling isn’t used in either, but I like it.
Artemis- Artemis Fowl, Percy Jackson
Juliet/Juliette- Artemis Fowl, nn Julie was used in Meet Julie, Flipped, and The Dead and the Gone

StrixOniro Says:

August 7th, 2012 at 11:50 am

I don’t know how I forgot these!

Clara- the Nutcracker
Sophia- The BFG
Fern- Charlotte’s Web
Cho- Harry Potter
Soren- Guardians of Ga’Hoole
Gwendolyn/Gwen- Circle of Secrets, Hopscotch Hill, The Last Dragon Chronicles
Guinivere- The Last Dragon Chronicles

StrixOniro Says:

August 7th, 2012 at 11:51 am

*I mean Guinevere

evetallulah Says:

January 11th, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Lyra – his dark materials

Lily – Harry Potter
Ginny – Harry Potter

Katy – What Katy Did

Anne – Anne of Green Gables

Carrie – Goodnight Mr Tom

Bruno – The Boy in Striped Pyjamas

Lynette – Swish of The Curtain


jem Says:

February 13th, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Alice is my FAVOURITE lifelong love-affair name. I have always loved Alice in Wonderland – so whimsical and quirky – but I worry that Alice is too common. I’m definitely using it in the middle name spot though!
Luna, Hermione – Harry Potter (mn?)
Josephine, Beth – Little Women
Clover, Cecy – What Katy Did
Anne, Cordelia – Anne of GG
Heidi – Heidi…
Philippa – Children of the Lamp series
Henrietta – Persuasion

Peter – Peter Pan
Edmund – Narnia
Caspian – Narnia (am I brave enough?)

jem Says:

February 13th, 2013 at 11:54 pm

OH – and Scout! SCOUT SCOUT SCOUT I love this name! I actually know a girl named Scout and she carries it off brilliantly!

sloomas Says:

May 5th, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Kilmeny-Kilmeny of the Orchard by LM Montgomery
Valancy-The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery
Esme- “For Esme, with Love and Squalor”
Dimity-Gone with the Wind (minor character Dimity Monroe)

Sala (boy)-character from an old Troy Donohue movie, “Parrish”, that was based on a book

I’m sure there are many more, but those are the ones that immediately come to mind.

mallowd Says:

May 13th, 2013 at 2:33 am

Some of the names I like or love from books or movies that came from books include: Luna (Harry Potter), Effie (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants), Elspeth (can’t remember the name of the book), Isolde (Tristan and Isolde), Winnie (Tuck Everlasting) Lyra (The Golden Compass), Seraphina (The Golden Compass), Arwen and others like it (Lord of the Rings), Lars (Little House books), Esme (Twilight), Emmett (Twilight), Kellan (real name of Emmett from Twilight), recently have kind of liked Desdemona nn Desi (Othello), but afraid the connotation would be a negative, Fiyero (Wicked), not sure I could actually use that though.

jem Says:

June 15th, 2013 at 7:19 am

Have loved Alice for a loooong time (from Alice in Wonderland); I am also partial to Sara (A Little Princess), Hermione (Harry Potter), Cordelia (Anne from Anne of Green Gables wished this was her name), Blythe (again Anne of Green Gables: Gilbert Blythe’s last name. I think it’s gorgeous for a girl).

lexical Says:

August 17th, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Yep, I have one! But I keep it secret for fear that it will somehow suddenly become wildly popular before I get to name my own little one! Selfish, huh? Sorry, everyone. lol!

CandaceMarie321 Says:

December 14th, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Like so many others here I adore Anne (Shirley), but crossed it off my list when my brother married an Annie. I also adore Cordelia.

Although not a character, I have been in love with the name Beatrix (Potter) since a very young age as well.

I will never use those names though since we just found out we are expecting our fourth BOY.

In high school I read “The Russians” by Judith Pella, which features a young hero named Misha and I have loved the name ever since. Even though I would only use it as a nick name for Mikael, my husband had concerns about it being too feminine until Misha Collins joined the cast of Supernatural. Unfortunately my eight-year-old says “That’s a girl’s name.” But I’m keeping it on the list anyway.

I’m also giving serious consideration to Peter, although not because I read Peter Rabbit over and over again as a child, because I discovered Hunger Games and Peeta Mellark this summer and adore him.

m3c1s5 Says:

December 29th, 2013 at 8:27 pm

Well this is more recent, like a year ago, I read The Fault in Our Stars and fell in love with the names Hazel and Augustus!

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