Your Favorite Literary Names for Girls

girl names from books

Great girls’ names abound in books, from classic characters like Jane Eyre and Scarlett O’Hara to more contemporary heroines like Matilda and Katniss.

So for our Question of the Week, we’d like to know: What are your favorite girls’ literary names?

Consult our master list of literary names for girls for inspiration. And please feel free to add wonderfully-named heroines we’ve overlooked.

And please tell us about the heroine, the book, and why you love it and the name so much!

Bonus questions: Can a fantastic name make you like a literary character more? And does a humdrum name undercut your love for a character?

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81 Responses to “Your Favorite Literary Names for Girls”

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MeganJoy Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 12:04 am

Dagny is at the top of our list. She is the heroine from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

MeganJoy Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 12:07 am

I also love Aibileen from The Help.

Gummibear Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 12:07 am

I love Thalia and Bianca from Percy Jackson.

LauraJ88 Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 12:27 am

From the comprehensive list, I like Briony, Calliope, Esme, Hermione, Scarlett and Scout. Not on the list, I love Harriet (after Harriet The Spy), Madeline (after the French children’s books of the same name), Matilda (from the Roald Dahl classic) and Violet (after Violet Beauregarde in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

NellieDellie Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 12:33 am

Literary names definitley make me think of my childhood favouriets so Georgina (George from Famous Five) Hermione, Ginny and Luna (Harry Potter) and Susan (Narnia).

augusta_lee Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 12:45 am

Matilda (Roald Dahl)
Eloise (of the Plaza, of course)
Sylvie (The Great Good Thing)
Thea (Cloud and Ashes)
Marigold (Magic for Marigold)
Juniper (Junie B. Jones)
Ramona (Ramona Quimby)
Lucinda (Don Quixote)
Hester (The Scarlet Letter)
Viola (Twelfth Night)
Valentine (Ender’s Game)
Polly and Hero (Fire and Hemlock)
Violet (A Series of Unfortunate Events)
Lucy (Narnia)
Jane (too many to list)
Cordelia (King Lear, The Vorkosigan Saga)
Irina and Adler (Sherlock Holmes)
Ursula (LeGuin)
Octavia (Butler)
Elektra (Greek drama)
Anastasia (Lois Lowry’s Anastasia series)
Alice (Alice James, Alice in Wonderland, the protagonist of a YA series)
Luna (Harry Potter)
Dulcinea (Don Quixote)
Djuna (Barnes)
Quintana (Joan Didion’s daughter — a tenuous connection, but I do love this name)
Harriet (Harriet the Spy)
Thisbe (Ovid’s Metamorphoses)

I’m doing my graduate studies in literature, so it’s extremely important to me that all my names have some kind of literary connection.

Noetje Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 1:00 am

Luthien (The Silmarillien)
Hermione (HP)
Alice (Alice in Wonderland)
Georgiana (Pride and Prejudice)

ottilie Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 3:09 am

My favourites who happen to have great names:
Villanelle (Jeanette Winterson’s The Passion)
Louise (Jeanette Winterson’s Written on the Body)
Lyra (Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials)
Constance (D.H. Lawrence’ Lady Chatterley’s Lover)
Ursula (D.H. Lawrence’ Sons & Lovers, and Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life)
Calliope (Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex)
Clementine (Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex)
Fiammetta (Giovanni Bocaccio’s La Elegia di Madonna Fiammetta)
Emma (Jane Austen’s Emma)
Natasha (Leo Tolstoy’s War & Peace)
Yvaine (Neil Gaiman’s Stardust)
Marianne/Marian (Andrew Davidson’s The Gargoyle, Iris Murdoch’s The Unicorn)
Venevil (Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson’s Venevil)
Ylajali (Knut Hamsun’s Hunger)
Veronika (Linda Olsson’s Astrid & Veronika)
Circe (Homer’s The Odyssey)
Ophelia (Shakespeare’s Hamlet)
Beatrice (Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy)
Eowyn (J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings)
Tinuviel (J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion)
Morgana/Morgan/Morgaine (L’Morte de Arthur, The Mists of Avalon, The Once & Future King and other pieces)
Guinevere (ditto)
Elaine (likeweise)
Bellicent (Tennyson’s Idylls of the King)
Isolde (various poems)

Erinm Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 3:53 am

Alice (Alice in wonderland)
Aurora (sleeping beauty)
Briar (as in Briar Rose, sleeping beauty)
Gretel (Hansel and Gretel)
Jemima (Jemima puddleduck, Beatrix Potter), also a character from Chitty Chitty bang bang, one of my favourite movies.

ebenezer.scrouge Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 4:04 am

Alice, Matilda and Eloise all in my top 5. I also love Sophie as in the BFG character

maggiemary Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 4:59 am

Lots of my favorites have already been mentioned so I’ll just add Tess from Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

erikolynn Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 5:28 am

Ghanima (Ghani for short) from Dune, as well as Alia. I have an aunt called Bronte from the Bronte sisters and I just love her name as well. Good writing and a good character can make a name that is boring fine, but it’s easier to go for (and root for) dynamic named chracters, who seem to embody the name after awhile.

HannieKitt Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 5:41 am

Well this isn’t then all, but probably the main ones:

Alice – Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Bryony – sort-of Atonement by Ian McEwan, but I actually liked it prior and he spells it Briony. It helped me love it more though
Cassandra – I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Cecily – The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde and Cecily Parsley’s Nursery Rhymes by Beatrix Potter
Flora – Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Georgiana – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Ophelia – Hamlet by Shakespeare
Rosamund – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and Middlemarch by George Eliot ( though they both spell it Rosamond)
Stella – Stella Gibbons, though I first started to like it after reading the television adaptation of Any Human Heart. Haven’t read it though
Sylvie – One Day by David Nicholls
Tabitha – Tabitha Twitchet from the Beatrix Potter tales

I’m certain I’ve forgotten some. 🙂

Cupcake3690 Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 7:03 am

Alice – Alice in Wonderland, Alice Through the Looking Glass
Briony – Atonement
Elizabeth – Pride & Prejudice, Little Women
Emma – Jane Austen’s Emma
Georgiana – Pride & Prejudice
Jane – Pride & Prejudice
Lily, Luna & Molly – Harry Potter
Lyra – His Dark Materials
Violet – A Series of Unfortunate Events

jmsouthern Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 7:22 am

My middle name is Marin. Other than in reference to the North Bay county, I’ve never seen it in any book. So I’m curious: how is Marin literary?

vintageluvs Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 7:55 am

Adele from Jane Eyre. She was Edward’s “ward” but there was some speculation as to corroboration of her paternity. We never find out, but I don’t believe it is all that important to the story.

Antonia from My Antonia by Willa Cather. She is a immigrant Bohemian girl, pioneering in Nebraska with various other interesting, diverse peoples.

Blanche, another Jane Eyre favorite. Blanche Ingram is a wealthy lady who has interests in Mr. Rochester. According to Jane, she is the future wife of Rochester.

Clarisse from Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. The name is also in Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer and Percy Jackson, as Clarisee la Rue. I picture Clarisee with myself because she is always asking questions and very cheery, which seems to irritate not only her peers but her teachers as well. Well, after we get to know Clarisse a little, Bradbury kills her off without much depth into why and how. Supposedly, she was hit by a speeding car, and subsequently, her family left. Pretty lame, but the name is beautiful and the character’s personality is as well.

Eulalie from Eulalie, a poem by Poe. It is suprisingly light for a Poe poem, and it is one of the lesser known ones in my opinion. There a tons of other Poe names, like Ligeia, Annabel Lee, Morella, Ulalume, Lenore, and Helen, but Eulalie is the most distinct without crossing the line of weird.

Evangeline from Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie by Longfellow. The name itself is a literary classic because it was invented by Longfellow, so it should always be associated with the poem from which it came.

Hope from Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer. Completely unrelatable book and with weird plot twists, but the name is pretty. I think she was actually born Tallulah, which I kind of enjoy that name, but then she changes it to Hope. She writes the title of the book on every diner she and her aunt work at.

Lucy from Narnia. I love all the Pevensie children and their names, but Lucy has to be my favorite. If you don’t know, she is the youngest and has the most faith.

Nelly from Wuthering Heights by Anne Bronte. She is the main narrator of the novel. There are tons of other Nellys, but I will always think of the American Girl doll Samantha’s best friend when it comes to the name.

Penelope from the Odyssey. She is the patient wife of Odysseus, waiting for his return. I always thought Penelope deserved more credit then she was given. I think she is a strong role model with some virtues difficult to obtain. As suitors come to Ithaca, Penelope holds them back, being an always faithful wife to Odysseus.

Perdita from both A Winter’s Tale by Shakespeare and 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith. Although it means “lost”, which is quite upsetting, the sound is beautiful, almost as if it were a classic itself. In A Winter’s Tale, she is a the daughter of king who discards her in a forest only to be discovered by a shepherd and a clown. The story goes downhill from there– not one of Shakespeare’s best. I think I like Perdita better in 101 Dalmatians. Basically, the Darlings bring Perdita in to help nurse Pongo and Missus Pongo’s puppies.

Sibyl from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. She is beautiful and talented but poor. Dorian falls in love with her. Because their love is “real”, Sibyl finds it heard to pretend love on stage when she has real love in her life. Essentially, Dorian ruins her acting career. Then, after her career is ruined, she realizes Dorian does not love her anymore, and so she does what any reasonable person does and commits suicide. Again, awful ending to a beautifully named character. Of course, there are plenty of other Sibyls in literature, like Sybil in Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreider, Sybill Trelawney from Harry Potter, and the Downton Abbey reference. To be honest, I prefer the Sybil spelling over Sibyl, or even Sibylla, which sounds very aristocratic in my ears.

Tibby from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Tibby is pretty much pessimistic, but she is by far the funniest. I can’t name another character from any book whose lines I enjoyed so much. Her real is Tabitha, but I think Tibby would make an adorable girl’s name.

hermione_vader Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 8:10 am

My favorites are the usual: Matilda, Ramona, Hermione, Junie B., and Coraline. But my favorite collection of literary names would be found in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “A Chronicle of a Death Foretold.” The names are all fantastically beautiful and Spanish. The characters have names like Divina Flor, Placida Linero, and Maria Alejandrina Cervantes (my very favorite).

MandaPantalones Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 8:27 am

Josephine ‘Jo’ March from Little Women. Kate from Taming of the Shrew. Lena from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

maggiefromcanada Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 8:39 am

Ach, so many to choose from and I’ll probably forget half of my favourites:

Marilla (the Anne of Green Gables series)
Jane (Eyre)
Elizabeth and Georgiana (Pride and Prejudice)
Elinor (Sense and Sensibility)
Josephine (Little Women)
Margaret (North and South – okay it’s my name, but I like it more every time I see it on a great literary heroine)
Eilish (Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn)
Hermione and Minerva (Harry Potter)
Antonia (My Antonia)
Lily (The House of Mirth)
Ayesha/Aischa (H. Rider Haggard’s book She)
Esther (Bleak House)

I don’t think a humdrum name will affect my appreciation for a good character; in fact, it might make me come to like the name!

ejs82 Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 8:48 am

Betsy from the Betsy-Tacy series!

AdrienneL Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 9:36 am

From the list, I like these. There are several classic authors whose names I adore as well: Sinclair Lewis, Tennessee Williams…
Amaryllis – love, but my S/O would never go for it
Arabella – cute, but would never use
Isolde – love, but would never use
Mamie – preferred spelling Maimie
Rain – but I would spell it Raine after my S/O’s mother, Lorraine

MrsMK Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 9:36 am

So many books, so many great names….

Wendy Darling (Peter Pan — the last name is just as great as the first)
Lucy (Narnia)
Susan (Narnia)
Jane (Jane Eyre; Pride & Prejudice; Emma; Mary Poppins….)
Josephine (Little Women)
Anne (Anne of Green Gables)
Ramona (Ramona Quimby, Age 8)
Alice (Alice in Wonderland)
Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing)
Beatrix “Trixie” (Trixie Belden)
Lavinia (Titus Andronicus)
Felicity (The Story Girl)

tct1219 Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 9:51 am

My favorite is Rosaline from Romeo & Juliet. I’m shocked it’s so uncommon.

geeknamezyo Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 10:23 am

Rosaline is a gorgeous one, but Rosaline from Love’s Labour’s Lost is a much cooler character than the one in R&J.

Zoey_Walker53 Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 10:26 am

Alice (Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass and Far From You),
Opal (Because of Winn-Dixie),
Daisy (surprised no one else has said this. The Great Gatsby),
Lavender, Luna, Hermione and Lily (Harry Potter),
Campbell and Perry (The Probability of Miracles),
Ivy (Far From You),
Lucy (Narnia),
Viola (Twelth Night).

cannebella Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 11:41 am

My overall favourite has to be Matilda.

raevynstar Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Miranda (Life as we Knew It).

ThadsMom Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Gloria from Fitzgerald’s “The Beautiful and Damned”– I love the jazz-age characters and his way of talking about them. Even his damaged heroines shine and glitter.

Josephine from “Little Women” seems an obvious one

Beatrice from “Much Ado About Nothing” is such a strong, witty character it makes me like the name though I never really have in any other context.

Cordelia as inspired by the Anne books

Thea from Willa Cather’s “Song of the Lark” largely because I adore Cather but none of her other character names appeal to me.

Pearl from “The Scarlet Letter

LydiaHumphreys Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Annabeth- Percy Jackson
Kitty- Pride and Prejudice
Effie- Hunger Games
Elizabeth- Pride and Prejudice
Grace- Marty and Grace series
Lucy- Narnia
Meggie- Inkheart
Molly- Harry Potter
Phoebe- Magic School Bus
Philippa- Children of the Lamp
Rebecca- Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
Rita- Divergent
Valentine- Ender’s Game
Violet- A Series of Unfortunate Events

alphabetdem Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 1:05 pm

omg, such a great topic. I think most of mine have been said but here they are.

Josephine (NOT with the nn Jo though) (Little Women)
Juniper (Junie B. Jones)
Harriet (The Spy)
Lyra (Silvertongue, His Dark Materials)
Louise (from Jean Louise “Scout” Finch)
Bryony and Cecilia (from Atonement, though its spelling is Briony and she’s not the best role model in the world)
Penelope (The Odyssey)
Antonia (My Antonia)
Primrose, Hazel (spelled Hazelle in the books) (Hunger Games)
Aurora (The Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, and the literature afterward)

So many from Harry Potter (from both good and bad, major and minor characters):
Hermione, Lavender, Lily, Luna, Arabella, Fleur, Molly, Bellatrix, Alecto, Wilhelmina, Narcissa, Poppy

And I’ll use the author’s name for one of my favorite female heroines of all time: Madeleine L’Engle has a much better name than the one she created for Meg Murry, in “A Wrinkle in Time.”

alphabetdem Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 1:09 pm

But to answer the bonus question,

A fantastic character can make me love a name I was on the fence about. I never had strong feelings about the name Matilda, for instance, but then I thought of the character I loved in childhood, and the strong women from history who bore the name, and now it’s at the top of my list and I love it.

Michell Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 1:28 pm

For some reason, I immediately thought of three names that I was obsessed with as a child.

Cordelia – from Anne of Green Gables, not King Lear
Penelope – from Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s, she was her pet parrot. Of course, I pronounced it “Penny Lope” as a child.
Charlotte – Charlotte’s Web

shieldsc Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Lyra from His Dark Materials and Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice are the two names I would use because I LOVE the characters. But I like many of the other names mentioned here as well, just not necessarily in connection with the specific characters.

lila_arabesque Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Not necessarily characters I would want to name a child after, but names I love:

Rosemary (Tender in the Night)
Alaska (Looking for Alaska)
Hazel (The Fault in our Stars)
Daisy (The Great Gatsby)
Esme and Violet (A series of Unfortunate Events)
Dorothy (The Wizard of Oz)
Gemma, Pippa, and Felicity (Gemma Doyle trilogy)
Lucinda (Impossible)
Margo (Paper Towns)
Miri (Princess Academy)
Primrose (the Hunger Games)
Sosie (Beauty Queens)
Genevra (Harry Potter)
Perenelle (The Alchymist)
Adeline (The Two Princesses of Bamarre)
Sabina (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)

KelsLovesJesus Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Scout (To Kill a Mockingbird) is definitely my favorite and I think the only name I’ve actually fell in love with just from hearing it in a book.

froggie_luvah Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Celia (The Night Circus)
Matilda (Matilda)
Petra & Rosalind (The Chrysalids)
Lucy (Chronicles of Narnia)

Aurra Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I love Tamora Pierce, and so here are some of my picks:

Beka (Probably as a nickname for Rebekah, but still)
Veralidaine (Daine is cute on a girl!)

lizgingermitch Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 1:59 pm

On the contrary, I think liking a character makes me feel more inclined to feel positively about a name, regardless of it’s inherent appeal. I probably would have hated Hermione as a name, but as someone raised on Harry Potter, I think it’s quite a nice name, along with Ginevra and Luna and the lot of them.

tomaura226 Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Remedios (Remedios the Beauty from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s 100 Years of Solitude) *This one is actually on our list
Lucinda (Lucinda Leplastrier from Peter Carey’s Oscar and Lucinda) Set in colonial Australia, Lucinda is a “square peg in a round world.”
Lusa (Lusa Landowski from Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer)
Adah (Adah Price from Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible) I also really like Ruth May from the same book.
Anne with an E (Anne of Green Gables)
Alba (Alba Tueba from Isabel Allende’s House of the Spirits)

maggiefromcanada Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I forgot some:
Dorothea (Middlemarch)
Tereza (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
Wilhelmina/Mina (Dracula)

Chastity13 Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 3:08 pm

My favorites are Matilda (Roald Dahl) Hazel (John Green)!

carys17 Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 3:10 pm

I’m throwing in an author’s name my husband wouldn’t even agree to consider. Dare Wright (1914-2001) wrote the Lonely Doll children’s stories, and used her own exquisite photography to bring them to life. She was an odd woman, and just so very talented. Aside from my admiration for her, I still just like the name Dare.

elliebean13 Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Celia (As You Like It)
Benedict, Reynie (The Mysterious Benedict Society)
Eustace, Lucy, Peter, Edmund (Chronicles of Narnia)
Harriet, Alec (Skating Shoes, or White Boots for you Britberries!)
Hilary, Cora (Dancing Shoes, or Wintle’s Wonders)
Petrova, Pauline, Posy, Winifred, Sylvia, etc. (Ballet Shoes)
Sorrel, Addie/Adeline (Theater Shoes, or Curtain Up)
Luna (Harry Potter)
Isla (Flyaway)

There’s a lot more, but that’s all I can think of right now.

yw2 Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Elizabeth (Pride & Prejudice)
Marianne (Sense & Sensibility)
Anne (Green Gables)
Estella (Great Expectations)
Mia (Princess Diaries)
Rue (Hunger Games)
Esme (Twilight)
Jerusha (Daddy-Long-Legs)
Annelise Sophronia (Julia Quinn’s A Night Like This)
Amalthea (The Last Unicorn)
Kira (Mars manga series…does manga count? lol)

Ones that have grown on me in the last year:

Hermione (HP) …thought it was just strange at first
Dorothea (Middlemarch)…ditto
Cassia (Matched)…ditto

Ones I’ve gotten over:
Katniss (Hunger Games)…I really, honestly, liked it, until all the “Cat Pee” jokes

yw2 Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 3:46 pm

PS: If a character is a “Mary-Sue”, it doesn’t matter how awesome her name is. Likewise, some really great characters have boring names (in my opinion) like Mary and Jane. I love Mary Lennox and Jane Eyre, but there name are just okay me.

ConsultantMeghan Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 4:13 pm

I’m surprised no one has mentioned Phoebe after Phoebe Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye!

jodipenny Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Telah is a bad guy in Tedd Dekker’s Circle Trilogy. But I’ve seen it on girls spelled Teelia and even the boy name Dekker. And yes the name make you like or dislike a character more. Name Berry should definitely add Teelia/Telah to their master list! Its originally from a comic book from the 70’s.

jodipenny Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 4:57 pm

I’m surprised no one mentioned any names from Avatar either one? OK the last air Bender might only be a show/movie but they have great new names?

raevynstar Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 6:06 pm

I forgot to mention Ky (spelling it Kai is better), from Matched! That’s a great name in its original spelling!

sarahmezz Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 6:43 pm

I’m sure these have already been said, but these are my favourites:

Alice (Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland)
Anne (Anne of Green Gables)
Catherine (Wuthering Heights)
Desdemona (Othello)
Elizabeth (Pride and Prejudice)
Gwendolyn (The Importance of Being Earnest)
Jean Louise (To Kill A Mockingbird)
Madeline (Madeline)
Portia (The Merchant of Venice)
Stella (A Streetcar Named Desire)

And, in a nod to my childhood, the names of the babysitters in The Babysitters Club series:

Kristin Amanda “Kristy”
Claudia Lynn
Mary Anne
Anastasia Elizabeth “Stacey”
Dawn Read
Jessica Davis “Jessi”

But the best name from the series would have to be Dawn’s California best friend, Sunshine Daydream! Also, the children she babysat for: Clover and Daffodil.

LFish Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 7:01 pm

I’d love to call a baby girl Eilonwy, from Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles, but there are so many different ways to pronounce it, I’m not sure it’d work!

Tristan Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 7:13 pm

My favorite literary name is Molly. I’m thinking of Molly Grue from “The Last Unicorn.” She is a wonderfully strong female character. One of my favorites.

RedRobin Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 7:41 pm

I wouldn’t necessarily name my kid them, but I do love them:

Annabeth (Percy Jackson)
Arwyn (LOTR)
Edmund (Narnia)
Eowyn (LOTR)
Felicity (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy)
Henry (I Am Number Four)
Kartik (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy) – this is a strange one, but I kind of like it
Lyra (His Dark Materials)
Mallory (Spiderwick)
Novalee (Where the Heart Is) – another strange one
Peter (Narnia)
Resa (Inkheart series)
Sabina (Alex Rider)
Sebastian (Twelfth Night)
Temperance (Kathy Reich’s Bones series)
Thalia (Percy Jackson)
Yvaine (Stardust)

I guess guys names don’t make that big of an impact.

RedRobin Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Oops, spelled Arwen wrong.

Lea Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Matilda and Alice are two of my favorite books and names, definitely would consider for a sibset. I also love Lyra from the golden compass. Strangely my first name love was Heidi from the books, not too bad for a first grader:)

EmilyVA Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 8:43 pm

I love sooo many names from books:

Anastacia nn Tacy from the Betsy-Tacy series by Maude Hart Lovelace
Julia from Betsy-Tacy series
Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz
Josephine nn Jo from Little Women
Amy from Little Women
Anne from Anne of Green Gables series and Persuasion
Diana from Anne of Green Gables series
Marilla nn Rilla from Rilla of Ingleside
Una from Rilla of Ingleside
Emily from Emily of New Moon series
Ilse from Emily of New Moon series
Marigold from Magic for Marigold
Valancy from the Blue Castle
Siddalee from Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
Hermione from Harry Potter
Ginevra from Harry Potter
Hedwig from Harry Potter
Fleur from Harry Potter
Lily from Harry Potter
Jerusha from Daddy Long-Legs
Wilhelmina nn Mina from the Iron Duke
Vesper from Casino Royale
Lisbeth from the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Dagmar from The Labors of Hercule (Agatha Christie)
Ginger from the Pale Horse
Annique from The Spymaster’s Lady
and the self-explanatory Pollyanna

I also really like Blythe for a girl from a literary surname.

Jessa Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Most of mine are mentioned. I’ll add Violet from The Shooting Party.

maerinmurray Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Alice (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)
Esme and Rosalie (Twilight Saga)
Daisy (The Great Gatsby)
Skeeter- even though it is a nickname- (The Help)
Summer ((500) Days of Summer)

cheekygals Says:

August 7th, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Alaska from Looking for Alaska
Luna and Fleur from Harry Potter
Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Daisy from The Great Gatsby
Matilda from Roald Dahl’s “Matilda”
Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird
Lux from The Virgin Suicides
Cosette and Eponine from Les Misérables
Sansa from Game of Thrones
Arwen and Eowyn from Lord of The Rings
Posy and Lavinia from The Hunger Games

clarity Says:

August 8th, 2013 at 12:12 am

My son is named Caspian and my daughter is named Lucinda.

My husband was pushing for Beowulf for awhile but I just couldn’t get on board. I lobbied for Tennessee (for Tennessee Williams) but my husband turned that one down.

I love the names Luna, Daisy, Felicity and Cornelia.

LittleMissGeek Says:

August 8th, 2013 at 4:38 am

Margo – Paper Towns
Alaska – Looking For Alaska
Marina – Power of Six and Rise of Nine in the I Am Number Four series
Valentine – Ender’s Game
Tally and Shay – Uglies
Hazel – The Fault In Our Stars
Effie, Clove and Posy (Gale’s little sister, I think) – The Hunger Games

For me, names are really important for characters, both when I’m reading and writing. I think, a name says so much about the character themselves that it would be wrong of an author to use the wrong sort of name for a heroine and it would completely put me off reading the book. For example, I saw this book once that had a heroine called Kyla, which in my opinion needs an R on the end in order for it to be the name of a strong person, so I can not read that book, no matter how good the story is, or I would seriously go through and write in the letter R each time Kyla appears. I guess I just find some names enfuriating and they make me not like a character that I’m supposed to love.

AprilRobin Says:

August 8th, 2013 at 12:12 pm

I like Ramona from the Beverly Cleary book series
Jo, Beth, Amy, and Meg from Little Woman
Luna, Ginerva (Ginny), Hermione, and Lavender from Harry Potter
There is also Laura, Grace, Caroline, and Mary from the Little House series

hermioneameliastyles Says:

August 8th, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Hermione (Harry Potter)
Luna (Harry Potter)
Lily (Harry Potter)
Isabella (Twilight)
Anne (Anne Of Green Gables)
Lucy (The Chronicals Of Narnia)

TdDzwife Says:

August 8th, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Gemma, Felicity, and Pippa- “A Great and Terrible Beauty” trilogy
Emmeline, Hermione, Lavender, Lily, and Molly- “Harry Potter”
Aria and Spencer- “Pretty Little Liars”
Corrine, and Olivia- “Flowers in the Attic”

iwillpraise Says:

August 8th, 2013 at 4:27 pm

>please tell us about the heroine, the book, and why you love it and the name so much!

-Adelaide, Chloe, Claudina, Ambrosia, Minerva, Gavriel (nn Gavi, yes female), Damaris – Adelaide will be my first daughter’s name one day 🙂 – A Life of Faith series, there are many more, but these are my favorites!
-Sapphira (not the best reference, but have always loved the name!), Tabitha, Dinah, Rachel, Keturah, Magdalene, Miriam, Sarai, Salome, Susannah (LOVE!!) – Bible
-Marilla, Anne – of Green Gables
-Elizabeth- favorite nn’s Eliza (Pride & Prejudice) and Beth (Little Women), the most opposite of characters you can find! love both the “stand-up-for-what-you-believe” Eliza but also the “meek, gentle” Beth
-Georgiana – Pride & Prejudice—not that I liked her character, but you must admit, she brings about a sense of eloquence and sophistication to this old-fashioned name, more so than just Georgia
-Clarissa – children’s book “Let’s Go Fishing”
-Clarice – Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer’s girlfriend—> hopefully one of my children’s names (at the very least, a middle) because it’s a very underused mid-century classic. A mix of Beatrice and Claudia, both names I love, but husband doesn’t. Also a kindhearted, friendly namesake too 🙂
-Beatrix Potter’s books, but love love love the Beatrice variation more! Love that it means: happy, blessed one!!

>Bonus questions: Can a fantastic name make you like a literary character more? And does a humdrum name undercut your love for a character?

Absolutely! A character’s name is the first of many steps to developing personality— and, I believe, the most essential. More times than not, my own visual continues even after I’ve read the author’s description of the intended traits. I just can’t shake my first impression unless the author really concentrates enough to change my mind. I say a humdrum name is more than likely chosen for secondary characters or to reflect the perseption of the main character about themselves. But I can honestly say, ultimately, it depends on the writer’s style; I’ve loved certain characters with extremely common names because the character made the name rather than the name making the character. A rare, but familiar, uncommon name sets the character up for success right in the beginning – but if you are a writer, don’t get too carried away or it will take everything the reader has just to remember it, and remember, the best publicity is word-of-mouth!! 😉

Erinm Says:

August 9th, 2013 at 7:41 am

oh I forgot Cora from The Last of the Mohicans and Daisy from the Great Gatsby…

the idea of having twins called Cora and Daisy is too delighfully classic and beautiful to bear!

rh1223 Says:

August 9th, 2013 at 1:26 pm

I always liked Brett from The Sun Also Rises. Lady Brett Ashley.

rachel27 Says:

August 9th, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I love this! My favorite names are:

Alice – from Alice in Wonderland. I love how whimsical and yet competent she is, and it makes the name seem magical.
Eleanor – I prefer this spelling, but it still makes me think of Elinor from “Sense and Sensibility”, a character I always related to. I love how quiet and yet confident she is.
Flora – from ‘Cold Comfort Farm”. Flora is awesome. She’s hilarious and practical.
Hazel – from “The Fault in Our Stars”, this is just one of my favorite names.
Lyra – I love “the Golden Compass” and Lyra is the best heroine. She’s smart and independent and brave and feisty.
Ginny – “Harry Potter”, again, she’s a great character — so independent and smart and brave.
Lucy – “Chronicles of Narnia”, full of faith and innocence.

I also remember when I was little really loving the names in the book “Ballet Shoes”. It has sisters named Pauline, Petrova, and Posie, and I thought the last two were such a great sibset. I also loved Betsy from the Betsy & Tacy books.

sarahdoodle Says:

August 9th, 2013 at 4:12 pm

1. Lucy (The Chronicles of Narnia): Lucy is one of my favorite names strictly because of the character Lucy Pevensie. She is innocent and always faithful to Narnia, and of course the one who discovered it in the first place. My first daughter will 100% have Lucy as a first or middle!! 🙂

2. Eowyn (The Lord of the Rings): Eowyn is just a name that I really love. I’m an LOTR nerd (like seriously, i’ve read it three times and i’m pining to see the extended edition blue rays of the movies). The first time I read it, Eowyn wasn’t my favorite in general. I was aggravated with her for holding Aragorn as a love interest when, duh, of course he’s gonna marry the elf Arwen!! But as i’ve gotten older and read it again, i’ve really come to sympathize with her and love her character. Not sure if I could ever muster the courage to use her name in real life, but man, i’d love to!

3. Beth (Little Women): I’m in love with the name Elizabeth and it’s nn Beth. And Beth March is so sweet.

4. Elaine (Arthurian legend/The Once and Future King): Honestly, Elaine’s not my fav character, but I love her name anyway. It’s such a lovely, underused “El”

5. Primrose (The Hunger Games): I love this name!!! I could see myself possibly using it and going with the less “prim” nn of Rosy (which I also loooove) for day to day. I love Prim, and [SPOILER ALERT] was sooooooo mad at Suzanne Collins for killing her that I wanted to rip the book apart. I was like, “Are you kidding me!?!?” (and that’s ditto for Cinna) haha

6. Rosalind (As You Like It): strong and courageous and so not like that flight Juliet!! haha (though I do love her name as well!) Rosalind nn Rosy is one of my favs.

7. Annabeth (Percy Jackson series): I’ve a newfound love for Anne combination names. Annemarie is my favorite, but I really like Annabeth as well, and I would totally love to be a daughter of Athena!

EmmaF Says:

August 10th, 2013 at 6:20 pm

For me, the last names matter as well, so–
Lyra Silvertongue (The Golden Compass)
Liesel Meminger (The Book Thief)
Lucy Pevensie (Narnia)

Also, I love the name Alaska, (from Looking for Alaska) as well as the name Frodo and the surname Took, as a first name, from LoTR. I mean, a little boy or girl named Took? What’s not to love?

Lyraslife Says:

August 11th, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Uh, it’s harder to choose girls names, over the boys names! Oh well, let’s give it a try.

Pressia, Aribelle, Wilda, Hestra & Iralene (The Pure Trilogy)
Laurel (Wings)
Emily, Saber & Kate (The Hollow Kingdom)
Opal & Holly (Artemis Fowl Series)

marissac Says:

August 30th, 2013 at 8:39 am

Nynaeve (NIGH-neev), from Robert Jordan’s ‘The Wheel of Time’ series.

greensmith Says:

September 20th, 2013 at 3:03 pm

I am deeply saddened that the references to the name Esme in this thread are in reference to the Twilight series, and not the beautiful short story “For Esme With Love and Squalor” by J.D. Salinger.

lovingElizabeth Says:

November 18th, 2013 at 5:50 pm

from Harry Potter: Lily Luna, Victorie, Seamus and Hugo
from Gossip Girl: Serena, Blair and Nathaniel
from The God of Small Things: Rahel
from The House of the Spirits: Alba
from To Kill a Mockingbird: Jem and Scout

notcinnamon Says:

November 19th, 2013 at 2:37 pm

What, no Chocolat??? Though I might not use them personally, I’ll take Vianne, Anouk, Josephine, Clairmont, Luc, Narcisse, Roux, Zezette, and Blanche and also say that the list in its entirety in one of the best.

I’m nearly always enamored by names invented for characters, even if I wouldn’t use them. Swift’s Vanessa, Mohican’s Cora, Peter Pan’s Wendy, and Shakespeare’s Miranda. I could go on and on.

Did you know Scarlett was originally Pansy per Margaret Mitchell who supposedly did not care what her name was…I’m convinced GWTW would not have made it off the shelf once, had her name been Pansy 😉

I would use, at least for a mn:
Sabina, The Unbearable Likeness of Being — Sabine, The Three Musketeers
Thea, The Song of the Lark and Hooked
Antonia, My Antonia
Rhett, GWTW
Scarlett, GWTW
India, GWTW
Manderley, Maxim – Rebecca
Holden, Catcher in the Rye
Prynne, The Scarlet Letter
Annabel Lee, Poe’s Annabel Lee
And from Hemingway, I’ll simply steal Hemingway!

kristennoel Says:

November 19th, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Gosh, there are so many good ones! I think the following probably were the most influential book series with names I fell in love with:
Bonnie – Dragons in our Midst series
Susan & Lucy – Chronicles of Narnia
Justine – Confessions of a Closet Catholic
Alanna – Song of the Lioness Quartet
Josephine & Meg – Little Women
Kendra – Fablehaven series
Catherine – The Eight
Ruth, Esther, Miriam, Lydia, Naomi, Zipporah- The Bible

These are characters I love, but I can’t ever see myself naming children these names:
Annabeth – Percy Jackson
Hermione & Ginny – Harry Potter
Alice – Alice in Wonderland
Veralidaine nn Daine – The Immortals
Keladry nn Kel – The Protector of the Small
Allianne nn Ali – Trickster’s Choice
Laura & Mary – Little House on the Prairie
Miri – Princess Academy
Eowyn – Lord of the Rings
Mireille – The Eight
Dorcas & Deborah – The Bible

I could go on and on, this is such a good topic!

GenevieveMadeline Says:

January 9th, 2014 at 11:42 pm

From the first time I read The Sun Also Rises, I loved the name Brett Ashley and thought it would be cute to call your daughter “Lady Brett Ashley” like she is called in the book. But I also thought that she was incredibly vapid and selfish, which ruins it for me!

SunKissedChild Says:

February 21st, 2014 at 1:17 am

I was actually named after the character Jo from Little Women, which is my Mum’s favourite book, and now my favourite book!
Matilda from “Matilda” by Roald Dahl, was my hero growing up, I ADORED her! I’d love to have a mischievous little girl named Matilda.
My hero as I got older was Elizabeth Bennett from “Pride and Prejudice”. She is everything that I have ever wanted to be, always standing up for what she believes in. I would definitely name my daughter Elizabeth 🙂

Scintiller Says:

October 7th, 2015 at 5:28 am

Hermione (Harry Potter) & Clarissa nn Clary (Mortal Instruments)


October 7th, 2015 at 10:26 am

Kira from “We the Living”
Arwen from The Lord of the Rings
Juliet from “Romeo and Juliet”
Lorna from “Lorna Doone”
Sybylla from “My Brilliant Career”

emiliafisher Says:

October 10th, 2015 at 8:18 pm

I immediately thought of Noel Streatfield books, like member elliebean13 above listed–Posy, Sorrel, Alec, Petrova, Thursday.
I’ve loved the name Eden forever from a side character Eden Browlee in Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt (overused now).
Celia Dunne from Celia’s House by D.E. Stevenson
The Borrowers series for not-quite names with a pleasing sound–Arrietty, Homily, and Pod.
Cordelia Lark in Two Are Better Than One by Carol Ryrie Brink
Janna, nickname Janneke in The Borrowed House by Hilda Van Stockum
Elsa and Sigrid from The Golden Name Day by Jennie D Lindquist
Nouf (the murder victim in ) Finding Nouf by Zoe Ferraris
Annegret Benninger in Blue Mystery by Margot Benary-Isbert
Friday and February Callendar in Friday’s Road by John Verney
Cici and Jack, Twisted Summer by Willo Davis Roberts

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