Twilight Baby Names: Beyond Bella & Edward
Stephenie Meyer‘s Twilight series has been one of the biggest influencers of baby name trends in recent times, propelling Bella, Edward, Cullen, Esme, and a host of other names up the charts. Here, nameberry intern DANIELLE MIKSZA, a Twilight fan, analyzes the Twilight baby names.
There’s been a vampire epidemic going on ever since Twilight hit theatres. Everywhere you look there’s Rob Pattinson’s face or Taylor Lautner’s abs, not that I’m complaining. But what’s even more interesting are the names author Stephenie Meyer chose for all the characters.
Although Bella is a klutzy, plain, and moody teenager, Stephenie Meyer chose a name for her heroine that means beautiful. Also, she gave her the elegant surname, Swan. It’s difficult to see why a powerful and handsome vampire like Edward would fall in love with a boring human when he’s surrounded by immortal beauties like Rosalie and Tanya. I guess aside from the floral scent of her blood, Edward sees something lovable in Bella that no one else sees.
The name Edward is suitable for Meyer’s other main character because it is an old-fashioned name that means “wealthy guardian.” Edward, Bella’s immortal love, is so protective of her that it becomes annoying. He sneaks into her room at night and once followed her all the way to the bookstore to make sure she was safe. He sees himself as a dark version of her guardian angel and tries to buy her lavish gifts like a new car. I guess being over a century old and never having to worry about buying groceries, he has a few bucks stocked away.
Bella’s mother, Renee, became fed up with her mundane life and left in search of a more exciting one. Renee left her husband, Charlie, and took off to Phoenix, where she married a young baseball player man named Phil. The name Renee fits the character’s personality because it has a young and spunky feel to it. Bella’s mother may have a few laugh lines here and there, but her spirit is anything but ancient.
Jacob Black is my all time favorite Twilight character. The only thing I wasn’t too fond of was his name: too good boy for a motorcycle rider whose sole purpose is to kill vampires. But after learning that the Jacob means “supplanter,” I once again applaud Stephenie Meyer for choosing an appropriate name. A supplanter is something that takes the place of something else, fitting for a human who changes into a wolf.
Stephenie Meyer mixes a great selection of classic names like Charlotte, James, and Victoria with unusual names like Zafrina, Kachiri, and Eleazar to create the lexicon of Twilight baby names. And then there’s Bella and Edward’s half human and half vampire child Renesmee.
I’ve been on the fence about this name ever since I first read Breaking Dawn. What is so unpleasant about the name is its flow. Whenever I try to say it out loud I always end up tripping over on my own tongue. But once again the meanings of the two names come into play. Renee which means “reborn” paired with Esme whose meaning is “beloved,” fits a child who is cherished by her family, both mortal and immortal, and who is part of a new and rare race.
Thanks to Twilight, I’m pretty sure we’ll be meeting a lot of little Emmetts and Alices, Bellas, Edwards, Charlies, and Jaspers. We may even get to meet an Aro or Sulpicia. Here, some other Twilight names that may inspire you.
Guest blogger DANIELLE MIKSZA lives in Jersey City where she is attending the local university to study creative writing. She has written several poems and is currently working on her own vampire novel. While writing and interning for nameberry, she is also working as the seating hostess at the Brownstone Diner.
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on January 28th, 2010 at 9:12 am
I was considering Alice long before I ever read the Twilight series, and I still am, but I definitely do not want to give the impression that I used the name because of Twilight. We will see. There are a lot of nice names. I agree though that Renesmee is awful.
on January 28th, 2010 at 10:38 am
AGG! I just started reading the first book. Maybe you could put “spoiler alert” in the title of this blog.
on January 28th, 2010 at 11:20 am
I love many takes on these names- Mirabella (instead of Isabella) , Rose (in place of Rosalie) , Everhett (instead of Emmett), Siren (instead of Irina) and I love the name Jasper, I loved it before Twilight.
Twilight is not a turn off for me, maybe it’s the fact that I am younger, or I love the meanings of my names, but saying “It’s from Twilight” doesn’t faze me.
Two names I really do love, but would never use- Renesmee and Zafrina. Yes, I love Renesmee, what do you name a one of a kind and gorgeous creature? I pardon Stephenie, if Bella had named her Sarah or even something less popular, yet still well known I wouldn’t have gotten the full affect of the character.
on January 28th, 2010 at 11:31 am
My favorite is Quil, I would love to name a boy that. Every time I read his name I thought about how much I liked it.
I agree that Stephenie Meyer did a great job with names. Aside from the meanings, all the names fit the time and place the characters were born. The only one I really hate is Renesmee, horrible. But I like how Bella is the only one that likes and the nickname Nessie is cute.
Oh, and did you know that Bella is the name she had the hardest time with and she ended up choosing it because that’s what she would have named a daughter if she’d had one.
on January 28th, 2010 at 12:01 pm
Heather, I feel the same way about Esme. I have always loved that name, but I don’t want people to think I named my kid for Twilight. I have also always been fond of the name Emmett. I guess though, if you really love the name, you shouldn’t care about where people think you got it.
on January 28th, 2010 at 12:40 pm
Ah Twilight, ruining so many wonderful names with such horribly written connotations.
on January 28th, 2010 at 1:11 pm
One error! Carlise isn’t Carlise! Its Carlisle. He’s probably my favorite chacater aside from Jasper, Emmett and Alice. I’m not really a fan of the series. I prefer Lestat 😀
on January 28th, 2010 at 1:46 pm
I cannot forgive Stephanie Meyer for ruining my favorite name. I absolutely love the name Rosalie, but I cannot use it now. The fact that a character is named Rosalie in Twilight does not bother me, it’s the fact that the character is Rosalie Hale and my last name is Hales. I just could not fathom giving a child essentially the exact name as a character. And it is not an association that I feel I could ignore because too many people would probably notice it.
on January 28th, 2010 at 2:35 pm
I have never felt so bitterly disappointed as I have when I first learned of the names that populated the Twighlight books. Jasper, Esme, and Rosalie have been at the very top of my baby names list for a long time. Now that I’m only a couple years away from being ready to have children, Meyer has rocketed them to popularity.
on January 28th, 2010 at 3:26 pm
January 28th, 2010 at 12:40 pm
Ah Twilight, ruining so many wonderful names with such horribly written connotations.”
on January 28th, 2010 at 3:28 pm
I dislike Twilight, but they do have a few GREAT names stuffed in there. I really like Aro, Caius, Zafrina, Eleazer, Alice, and a few others. I much prefer Anne Rice’s series over Twilight, but I suppose it’s amusement. Every time I try to say Renesmee, I end up not saying it correctly, and I just have to call her Nessie. It’s quite annoying, really. Rosalie is lovely as well. (:
on January 28th, 2010 at 4:37 pm
Oh k_lareese I really feel for you!
I too am disappointed by this Twilight phenomenon.
Jasper has been at the top of my list for years, along with Edward, and now if I ever had a sibset of Jasper and Edward people’s first reactions would be “Oh, like the brothers in Twilight?”
on January 28th, 2010 at 4:52 pm
As much as I do love Twilight, I must stay that Stephenie did TOO good a job of naming her characters. Edward, Alice and Rose have been at the top of my list for so long. I’ve also always shared a ‘guilty pleasure’ love for Esme and Jasper, both of which I feel are now rendered unusable. I may scrape by on Edward and Alice though because they’re classic and old. And Rose doesn’t immediately evoke the name Rosalie, which is so closely tied to Twilight now…
British American Said
on January 28th, 2010 at 5:11 pm
Lilli23 – Rose is still good! That’s my 4 year old daughter’s name and I’ve never had anyone associate it with the Twilight books / movies.
on January 28th, 2010 at 5:44 pm
Jacob is also a good name for Jacob Black as he was there for Bella when Edward had left. He took the place of Edward in a sense and helped Bella cope.
on January 28th, 2010 at 6:55 pm
Its supposed to be Carlisle, I think. I’ve seen this spelled Carlyle, is there a difference? Anyway, I think because Stephenie named Bella what she was going to name her daughter, her name is a little strange among her highschool age peers. Isabella was definitely not popular at her time. She chose rather unusual names for the Cullen family as well, with the exception of Edward and possibly Alice. Jasper, Esme, Rosalie, and Emmett were not very popular around their birth time. And Kate of the Denali clan is actually Katarina, according to a post by Steph.
on January 28th, 2010 at 8:09 pm
I have to post just to say that I don’t have any problems saying Renesmee and when I read it I thought “what a perfect name!” I am baffled at how much flak she has gotten for that name. Of course it’s a bit strange and different- but so is the child, that’s why it works.
Kelsey Rose Said
on January 28th, 2010 at 9:54 pm
Lilli23– I couldn’t agree more. I did (and do) enjoy the Twilight books, so I won’t talk bad about them. But the names were just too good! I love Edward and Alice, so traditional and timeless, but those are still “usable” in my eyes. Esme is lovely but right away you think Twilight. Jacob and Isabella are tough because I think Twilight made them bigger, but they were on their way up. Jasper is so handsome, I think I’d still use it. Rosalie and Emmett, reminds me of Twilight, but still all great names.
on January 28th, 2010 at 11:46 pm
Well, I hate the Twilight books, but the names she picked are really good! I love Alice, Jasper, and Rosalie. And I second Linelei’s comment.
on January 29th, 2010 at 12:46 am
I have to agree with some of the others–Myers has stolen some of my favorites from me! I absolutely love Ephraim and hope that it is not ruined forever!
on February 24th, 2010 at 2:15 pm
I love the twilight series! I hav always loved the name Isabella nn Bella. Isabella was becoming pretty popular before she wrote it so I dont blame her for that one. I still love the name and i might still use it. I loved Esme, Jasper, Jacob & Rosalie before I read the books but alot of people might think you named them after the people in the books but thats not the case. I say if you love the name use it! I really like Emmett too! Honestly I dont care if people think I named the child after them or not because I know I didnt! I still love the books!
on June 19th, 2010 at 1:35 am
Being from Port Angeles, it’s difficult to like Twilight. Ms. Meyer did use lovely names, but it makes my using them all the more contrived! Too bad. I’ve liked Alice and Emmett for a long time 🙂
on June 23rd, 2010 at 9:20 pm
I like lots of the names that Stephanie Meyer has used in Twilight- Edward, Alice, Jasper, Emmett and Rosalie, but I loved them before the book came out. Now I dont want to call future children these names because they will be associated with Twilight. Ugghh I hate the name Reneesme. I did a double take when I first read it!
on January 13th, 2011 at 12:11 am
I could not fathom naming my child after one of the worst written series of drivel novels to come out in years. It is an insult to literature, and any children named after its characters.
on July 16th, 2011 at 11:38 pm
I love Twilight but not really Edward and Bella. I love the minor characters like Emmett, Rosalie, Jasper, Alice, Carlisle, Seth, Esme, Alec, Jane, Caius, Aro, Demetri, Felix etc. I would love to name my son Emmett or Alec! I would also have no problem with naming my child Rosalie or Jane. I think they are lovely! I do not however plan to name any of my children Edward, Bella, or Renesmee. Bella has ruined her name for me the same with Edward and I never liked Renesmee.
on June 9th, 2013 at 2:18 am
renesmee is definitely not the worst mash up ive ever heard lol and to me meyer reflects humanity – we make up odd names all the time as everyone here well knows. its grown on me – wouldnt name anyone after a movie/book but it has become more and more an elegant name in my ears.
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