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The New Popularity of Storybook Names

November 27, 2014 Pamela Redmond
baby name Eloise

What’s the connection between Lena Dunham’s tattoos and several of today’s most fashionable baby names? Dunham famously has Eloise of the storybook Plaza tattooed on her shoulder, and Eloise also happens to be one of today’s fastest-rising baby names, leaping up nearly 600 places since it reentered the Top 1000 list in 2009.  And the link is not just coincidence and is not limited to the charming Eloise: Many parents today are turning to their favorite childhood storybook characters for inspiration of both the baby name and tattoo variety.

Our focus today is on fictional characters in children’s books, though some older characters’ names in stories beloved by teens are finding favor too: Holden in Catcher in the Rye, for example, and Juliet in Romeo & Juliet.

The charming characters inspiring the names of an increasing number of babies include:

Alice

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland was first introduced to the world way back in 1865, and has found fame in many different ways over the decades. Disney made an animated version in the 1950s, but a 1999 live action film on NBC featuring Whoopi Goldberg and Ben Kingsley introduced the story to this generation of parents. Alice has climbed nearly 300 places in the past decade and now lies just outside the Top 100. Over the coming decade, she may well regain the Top 10 status she held a century ago.

About the author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its new sequel, Older.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles

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