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Literary Names for Boys

These literary baby names for boys are derived from characters in books from all genres. Some of these literary heroes and anti-heroes, such as Romeo and Tristan, come from works of fiction written centuries ago, while others, like Kafka and Edmund, are contemporary.

Along with Tristan and Romeo, other literary boy names in the US Top 1000 include Atticus, Axel, Holden, Magnus, Orlando, Rhett, Samson, and Santiago. Some names for boys remain inextricably tied to their literary namesakes, such as Heathcliff, Gogol, Ishmael, and Zooey.

Here, a selection of the most distinctive baby names from books. It might also be worth checking out your own bookshelves for literature-inspired baby names that are relevant to you.

  • Amory

    Love

    Amory is the kind of executive-sounding surname name that became popular in the 1990s. Amory Blaine is the protagonist of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, This Side of Paradise.Read More 

  • Aramis

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    One of Dumas' swashbuckling Three Musketeers, now better known as a men's cologne. Read More 

  • Archer

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    Archer is an Anglo-Saxon surname that feels more modern than most because of its on-target occupational and Hunger Games associations. And it's a nice way to bypass the clunky Archibald... Read More 

  • Atticus

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    Atticus, with its trendy Roman feel combined with the upstanding, noble image of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, is a real winner among Read More 

  • Auric

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    Auric is an Ian Fleming anti-hero, better known as Goldfinger. Better to go with James. Or even Bond.Read More 

  • Axel

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    Axel is the perfect heavy metal rock name, thanks to Guns N' Roses' Axl Rose (born William). Axel is a popular Scandinavian form of the Biblical Absalom, who was a son of King David, and is the... Read More 

  • Barley

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    A bit too bad-boy (think bars, beer, Harley) for us, as well as being the name of a grain. Read More 

  • Barnaby

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    Barnaby, a genial and energetic name with an Irish-sounding three-syllable lilt, is an ancient appellation that manages to be both unusual and highly attractive and deserves to be used more than... Read More 

  • Beale

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    Surname of a character in Henry James' What Maisie Knew.Read More 

  • Benvolio

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    In Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, the friend who persuades Romeo to go to the party where he meets Juliet. Alas.Read More 

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