Steampunk Baby Names: Victorian tech

posted by: Nephele View all posts by this author

By Nephele

What is steampunk?

Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction that presents an alternative future or universe in which modern-day type inventions and conveniences are propelled by steam or inventive clockwork mechanisms.  Dirigible airships are also iconic to steampunk.

Although the steampunk movement emerged in the 1980s, there have also been novels, movies, and television series which are today identified as steampunk (or containing steampunk elements) that predate the actual coining of the term.

The steampunk movement has inspired an entire subculture consisting of enthusiasts who meet at steampunk conventions and who tend to dress in fabulous fashions that meld a futuristic look with nineteenth century Victoriana.  Much of steampunk fashion incorporates goggles (the apparent badge of the Victorian scientist/adventurer).  Steampunk jewelry features clockwork motifs. The names in the following list include typical steampunk names (names which were in vogue during the latter half of the nineteenth century), character names appearing in popular works containing steampunk elements, and names of noted authors who have influenced the steampunk literary movement.

  • ALEKSANDAR – the young hero of Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series.
  • ARRONAX – from Professor Pierre Aronnax, a scientist in Jules Verne‘s, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
  • ARTEMUS – after Artemus Gordon, secret agent partner to Jim West in the television series and movie, The Wild, Wild West.
  • BLAYLOCK – a name honoring early steampunk author James P. Blaylock.
  • BRISCO – the cowboy hero in the television series The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.
  • IVAN (pronounced ee-VAHN) – from Ivan Dragomiloff, the anti-hero (played by Oliver Reed) in the movie, The Assassination Bureau.
  • JETER – a name honoring science fiction author K.W. Jeter, who coined the term “steampunk.”
  • JULES – a name honoring author Jules Verne.  Also the name of one of Doc Brown‘s sons in the movie Back to the Future, Part III.
  • LANGDON – after Langdon St. Ives, a scientist and adventurer-explorer who appears in a number of popular steampunk stories by author James P. Blaylock.
  • NEMO – the anti-hero and genius captain of the fantastic submarine in Jules Verne‘s novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Unfortunately, many people today will probably associate this name with the Disney movie Finding Nemo.
  • OSWALD – from Oswald Bastable, a British army captain in author Michael Morcock’s The Warlord of the Air.
  • PHILEAS – from Phileas Fogg, the main character in Jules Verne‘s novel, Around the World in Eighty Days.
  • QUATERMAIN – from Allan Quatermain, a main character in the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, as inspired by the character from the novels of H. Rider Haggard.
  • RAY – from JamesRay” Steam, an inventor’s son living in 19th century England, in Katsuhiro Otomo’s acclaimed animated steampunk movie, Steamboy.
  • SOCRATES – after the character Socrates Poole in the television series The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.
  • VASH – after Vash the Stampede, the lead character in the Japanese “Old West” style steampunk manga and animated television series, Trigun.
  • VERNE – a name honoring author Jules Verne.  Also the name of one of Doc Brown‘s sons in the movie Back to the Future, Part III.



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About the author


Nephele is the alias of an obsessive anagrammatist who for more than a decade has provided unique name makeovers for people on numerous Internet forums. Despite the popularity of Nephele’s anagrams, she is not prepared to give up her day job in an undisclosed public library in New York.
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21 Responses to “Steampunk Baby Names: Victorian tech”

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Tweets that mention Steampunk Names: Victorian Sci-Fi – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry — Says:

February 10th, 2011 at 2:59 am

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John Lester and NightsEmbrace, Pam & Linda. Pam & Linda said: Nameberry today:: Steampunk Names: Victorian Sci-Fi […]

isabel Says:

February 10th, 2011 at 8:28 am

Sweet list! Mostly guilty pleasures for me, but some of my favorites are there:

Jules (nn for Julius)

Arabella, Cecilia, Genevieve, Emmeline…love a lot of them!

Lola Says:

February 10th, 2011 at 9:12 am

Oohh, Ambrose! Ivan, pronounced properly! Jules on a guy! I love Steampunk. 🙂
Araminta, Cecilia & Lucrezia are some of my absolute favorites for girls! I love this list, thanks Nephele!

Vanessa Says:

February 10th, 2011 at 10:11 am

I never knew I was a Steampunk fan. I’ve always loved Victorian Age science fiction. Now I know there’s a name for it. Thanks Nephele!

Salome Says:

February 10th, 2011 at 10:49 am

Another huge fan of Victorian literature here! I could almost live off of this list.

Boys: Bartholomew is one of my absolute loves. Silas and Jeremiah are close runners up.

Girls: Emmeline, Eulalia, Evangeline… the E’s have it! Agatha and Clementine are both on my short list. Maggie is just a classic.

Chantal Says:

February 10th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

My great-great-great-great grandfather’s name was Granville. Cracked me up to see it on this list!

Trustedwriter Says:

February 10th, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Wow! I knew I liked steampunk-esque names, but I didn’t think any of the names in my current list of favorites fit that description. Imagine my surprise…Bartholomew and Maxwell are here! They’re both middle names in my “ideal future sibset”. 🙂

I love a lot of other names here as well, but in many cases they’re a little more out there than my usual style, my husband has turned them down, or they’re too similar to other names (I love, love Emmeline…but I could never have an Emmeline if this baby is a girl, since we’ll be naming her Coraline!).

I am definitely going to get my Steampunk name… 🙂

Jennie Says:

February 10th, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Julius with the nn Jules has been on our list for a long time. My husband and I are both science fiction geeks (him more than me) and it’s a great nod to one of the fathers of the genre.

Also, for some reason, I never thought of His Dark Materials as steam punk; it’s one of my favorite series of all time, and now thinking about it, I guess you could classify it as that. But let’s keep Lyra on the down-low. I’ve been wanting to use it for years! Though it might be good to get the word out so people know how to pronounce it properly and I don’t get a million weird looks. Either way, it’s a beautiful name.

Livi Says:

February 10th, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I was delighted to find Steampunk names in a blogpost, and even more so to see Girl Genius and Steamboy mentioned!
I love steampunk names. I suppose one could say that any Victorian-era name can be considered steampunk. Says:

February 10th, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Jim West’s partner’s name is spelled incorrectly.


And it is a very kewl name.

linda Says:

February 10th, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Artemus is fixed–thanks WildWildWest.

Linelei Says:

February 11th, 2011 at 1:09 am

Jennie, I feel the exact same way about Lyra. It’s such a wonderful name and such a wonderful character! Let’s keep it quiet. 😉

Minnie Says:

February 11th, 2011 at 5:23 am

Hmmm… Steampunk names have a really gorgeous edge to them. They speak of an era of refinement, of gentile beauty; they seem ever-so-slightly fragranced with lavender. Among the wonderful names here, I have an especial fondness for Minerva. Thank you for this wonderful list, Nephele! And, thank you for bringing “Girl Genius” to my attention – am devouring avidly…

Unusual Baby Names: Real, rare and invented – Baby Name Blog – Nameberry Says:

February 14th, 2011 at 1:12 am

[…] Vash, from Nephele’s guest blog on Steampunk names […]

Steampunk News » robots and games and names and, er, goats. Says:

February 15th, 2011 at 2:18 pm

[…] Dennard is celebrating Steampunk Month on her weblog, and the folk at Nameberry have come up with a list of steampunk-related baby names suitable for either literary characters or live babies! (Mostly, anyway. I am not responsible for […]

Steampunk Names « Trial By Steam Says:

February 18th, 2011 at 8:43 pm

[…] over at has compiled an impressive list of Steampunk inspired names, many of which have some root in proto or modern Steampunk […]

JuliaDrucilla Says:

April 13th, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Hm. Some of these are pretty cool. Here are the ones that caught my eye:
Arronax- I love Journey to the Center of the Earth! This is genius!
Cornelius- Personifies fusty charm, but it’s pretty over the top. The nickname Corny is somewhat unavoidable.
Cyrus- I like this a lot! Never heard it before, though… Hm.
Oswald- This name makes me smile. I might just have to name a pet Oswald some day! (Deffinitely not easy for a real person to carry.)
Silas- Very handsome, sensible but friendly with a slight southern twang.
Socrates- Pretty cool. Really weird. I love unusual names, but I probably wouldn’t go that far!
Cleora- As it turns out, Cleo+Lora=a really nice name! It does sound kinda made up, though.
Eulalia- Gorgeous! One of my newest name crushes!
Genevieve- I know a girl with this name and will be forever envious of her… So elegant!
Jessamine- Too sweet for my taste, but I can see why someone could fall in love with this name.
Lavinia- A nicely balanced name. Pretty and girly without TOO too many frills.
Lucrezia- Lucretia with a bit of ZZZING! I love how it rolls off the tongue.
Parthenia- Unusual perhaps to the point of weird, but spelling and pronounceation look pretty easy, and it is quite a lovely name.

Schall, Rauch und Dampf | Alice Karén Says:

May 10th, 2013 at 12:04 am

[…] Generator, aber dafür eine Namensliste, findet sich bei — teilweise mit Zusatzinformationen, warum sich dieser oder jener Name in der Liste befindet. […]

Response 4 – Survey of Animation | Anna Fratianni Says:

December 8th, 2013 at 4:18 am

» Steampunk Baby Names: Victorian tech Baby Name Suggestion Says:

September 7th, 2014 at 10:42 am

[…] Are you a Steampunk aficionado? Here’s Nephele’s rich, long list of related choices, from Arronax to Brisco to Zylpha–and some more ordinary names in-between. Nameberry – Baby Name Blog […]

mill1020 Says:

September 8th, 2014 at 10:27 pm

Cool article! I like Silas and Clara.

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