Literary Names for Girls

Literary Names for Girls

Literary names for girls are derived from female characters in books from all genres and periods. Girl names from children's books are particularly popular today, including Alice (in Wonderland) and Eloise (at the Plaza). Literary girl names from classic books such as Scarlett and Scout are fashionable.

Along with Eloise and Scarlett, other literary girl names in the US Top 300 include Daisy, Harper, Juliet, Maisie, Harriet, Bella, Arya, and Evangeline. Distinctive female character names with strong ties to their characters include Cosette, Snow Flower, Hermione, and Lolita.

Literary names for girls from books that have become television shows or movies such as Game of Thrones names or Hunger Games names have also found widespread use, with names such as Aria and Katniss used for non-fictional baby girls.

In the literary baby names category, as always, feel free to think about your own personal favorites. The female literary names here are ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.

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Girl Names

Literary Names

Baby Names from Books

  1. Eloise
    • Origin:

      French and English variation of Heloise
    • Meaning:

      "healthy; wide"
    • Description:

      Well balanced between sleek, sweet, strong, and vintage, newly chic Eloise re-entered the US Top 1000 in 2009, following a 50 year absence. In 2022, it broke into the Top 100 in the US and across the pond in the UK. Given to nearly 3000 babies each year, Eloise is showing no sign of stepping out of the spotlight.
  2. Aurora
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "dawn"
    • Description:

      The goddess name Aurora has consistently been on the US popularity list since the nineteenth century, but has really taken off in the past 30 years. Aurora also enjoys remarkable international popularity, ranking in the Top 100 throughout the English-speaking world as well as in Italy, Spain, Norway, Switzerland, and several other European and Latin American countries.
  3. Luna
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "moon"
    • Description:

      The name of the Roman goddess of the moon, Luna is derived straight from the Latin word for moon, luna. Luna may be the name most likely to surprise someone from an older generation by its Top 10 status in the US and its widespread international popularity.
  4. Alice
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "noble"
    • Description:

      Alice is a classic literary name that's both strong and sweet, ranking in the US Top 100 and popular throughout the western world. Alice is derived from the Old French name Aalis, a diminutive of Adelais that itself came from the Germanic name Adalhaidis, which is composed of the Proto-Germanic elements aþala, meaning "noble," and haidu, "kind, appearance, type."
  5. Hazel
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "the hazelnut tree"
    • Description:

      Hazel has a pleasantly hazy, brownish-green-eyed, old-fashioned image that more and more parents are choosing to share. Former Old Lady name Hazel reentered the popularity lists in 1998 and now is near the top of the charts.
  6. Esme
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "beloved"
    • Description:

      Esmé comes from the past participle of the Old French verb esmer, meaing "to esteem" or "to love." It can also be considered a derivative of the Spanish name Esmeralda, which means "emerald".
  7. Arabella
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "yielding to prayer"
    • Description:

      Arabella, lovely and elegant, has long been well used in Britain and finally made it onto the American list in 2005. Its meaning may also be interpreted as "beautiful," thanks to -bella.
  8. Cordelia
    • Origin:

      Latin; Celtic
    • Meaning:

      "heart; daughter of the sea"
    • Description:

      Cordelia is exactly the kind of old-fashioned, grown-up name for girls that many parents are seeking for their daughters today. The name of King Lear's one sympathetic daughter, Cordelia has both style and substance along with its Shakespearean pedigree.
  9. Maisie
    • Origin:

      Scottish diminutive of Margaret or Mary
    • Meaning:

      "pearl or bitter"
    • Description:

      Maisie, a charming name long popular as a nickname for Margaret or Mary, entered the Top 1000 as itself ten years ago and continues to rise. Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams helped propel the name back into the limelight, along with the that of her character, Arya.
  10. Evangeline
    • Origin:

      Greek
    • Meaning:

      "bearer of good news"
    • Description:

      Evangeline is a romantic old name enjoying a major comeback, thanks to its religious overtones, Eva's popularity, and the star of the TV megahit Lost, Evangeline Lilly. Evangelia and Evangelina — two variants of Evangeline — are sure to tag along for the ride.
  11. Matilda
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "battle-mighty"
    • Description:

      Matilda is a sweet vintage name that has been gently climbing the popularity list for the past 15 years, after a half-century slumber. The spunky children's book heroine Matilda is one factor in its rise, along with others of its class like Eloise and Caspian.
  12. Emma
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "universal"
    • Description:

      Emma has now been among the top girl names in the United States for several years, claiming the Number 1 crown in 2008 and again from 2015 to 2018 before dropping back to second place.
  13. Daisy
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Margaret or flower name, English
    • Meaning:

      "day's eye"
    • Description:

      Daisy, fresh, wholesome, and energetic, is one of the flower names that burst back into bloom after a century's hibernation. Originally a nickname for Margaret (the French Marguerite is the word for the flower), Daisy comes from the phrase "day's eye," because it opens its petals at daybreak.
  14. Juno
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "queen of the heavens"
    • Description:

      Juno is an ancient name that feels as fresh as if it had been minted — well, not yesterday, but in 2007. Since the release of the popular indie film Juno, this lively but strong o-ending Roman goddess name has become more and more prominent as a potential baby name — Coldplay's Will Champion chose Juno for one of his twins (whose brother is the kingly Rex).
  15. Calliope
    • Origin:

      Greek mythology name
    • Meaning:

      "beautiful voice"
    • Description:

      Calliope is the name of the muse of epic poetry -- and also the musical instrument on the merry-go-round. Bold and creative, it would not be the easiest name for a girl lacking such qualities. It debuted in the US Top 1000 in 2016. While Americans usually pronounce this name with a long I sound and the emphasis on the second syllables, Greeks pronounce it with the emphasis on the third syllable -- ka-lee-OH-pee.
  16. Isolde
    • Origin:

      Welsh, German
    • Meaning:

      "ice ruler"
    • Description:

      Now that Tristan has been rediscovered, maybe it's time for his fabled lover in the Arthurian romances and Wagnerian opera, a beautiful Irish princess, to be brought back into the light as well.
  17. Anna
    • Origin:

      Variation of Hannah, Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "grace"
    • Description:

      Anna has become the dominant form of the Ann family, offering a touch of the international to English speakers and a bit more style than the oversimplified Ann or Anne.
  18. Scarlett
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "scarlet, red"
    • Description:

      Scarlett Johansson is doing more for this sparky southern name than Scarlett O'Hara ever did. Since the turn of the 21st century, Scarlett has gone from an obscure literary name to one of the most popular girls' names starting with S, right after longtime favorites Sophia and Sofia.
  19. Lavinia
    • Origin:

      Latin, from ancient place name Lavinium
    • Description:

      Lavinia is a charmingly prim and proper Victorian-sounding name which actually dates back to classical mythology, where it was the name of the wife of the Trojan hero Aeneas, who was considered the mother of the Roman people.
  20. Juliet
    • Origin:

      English from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "youthful or sky father"
    • Description:

      One of the most romantic names, the lovely and stylish Juliet seems finally to have shaken off her limiting link to Romeo. In Shakespeare's play, it was Juliet who said "What's in a name?"