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Names from the Arts and Pop Culture

by Pamela Redmond and Linda Rosenkrantz, creators of Nameberry
Looking for baby names inspired by the arts? Here you'll find collections of baby names from books and names with operatic roots, rock star baby names and vampire baby names -– lists of baby names for every artistic taste and style.

  • Alice in Wonderland Names

    If you love the book Alice in Wonderland, you might find it the perfect inspiration for baby names. Alice is one choice from the literary classic that is finding new popularity, but there are many more wonderful Alice in Wonderland names than that, including the names of characters from the book and writers and illustrators connected with the work. A list of names connected to Alice in Wonderland includes the following.

  • Artistic Baby Names

    Artistic and creative baby names can be found by looking at the names of artists (and architects and designers). These baby names capture the artists' creative spirit, give your child an international role model, and are cool all at the same time. The following list encompasses both first (JASPER Johns) and last (Alexander CALDER) names, which have been drawn from all over the aesthetic map.

  • Baby Names from Books

    If you love to read, your favorite characters might inspire the perfect name for your baby. Baby names from books can come from canonical literary classics or contemporary works of fiction. No matter the genre, there are names of book characters that can suit anyone’s style. There are more baby names inspired by books than one could ever dream of, but here we’ve gathered 100+ of the most recognizable that might work in a modern nursery.

  • Baby Names from Children's Books

    Baby names from books are stylish right now, and none more so than baby names from children's books, typified by such high-rising choices as Eloise, Sawyer, and Madeline. Beloved books from childhood can be a wonderful source of names with deep personal meaning and worthy literary namesakes. Using baby names from children’s books is a trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Here are 150+ of the most iconic baby names inspired by children's books.

  • Beautiful Poetic Baby Names

    By Pamela Redmond

    Poetic baby names can come direct from the names of poetic forms, like Poem and Sonnet, or you can look to the great poets for unique baby name inspiration for both girl and boy babies: think Angelou, Auden, Whitman, Dante... So many beautiful and unusual literary baby names to choose from! Here is a selection of perfect poetry inspired baby names you might like to consider.

  • Classic Rock Baby Names

    These are a selection of baby names that rock and roll from songs of the classic rock era.

  • Cool Cowboy Baby Names

    Cool baby names that say cowboy boots and stirrups are as hot in Brooklyn as they are in Bozeman. The romanticized image of a cowboy and all that it stands for – heroism, adventure, and dashing good-looks – has inspired parents to seek out names that embody those ideals. Names for cowboys are rugged, casual, and handsome, such as Wyatt and Luke.

    Along with Wyatt and Luke, cowboy names ranking in the US Top 100 include Levi, Colton, Dylan, Wilder, Sawyer, Silas, Austin, and Maverick. Unique cowboy names gaining attention – especially in the Western states – include Ryder, Gunner, and, well, West.

    The appeal: Cowboy names are decidedly masculine without being formal or traditional. Browse our entire posse of cowboy names for baby boys here.

  • Country Music Baby Names

    The new crop of Country Music Baby Names aren't quite as down-home as they used to be. They've shaken off the hayseed image and would be equally at home in New Jersey as Nashville. The names of country music stars inspiring parents as baby names today include:

  • Creative Baby Names

    Creative baby names can be drawn from the worlds of art, music, design, or literature. Creative baby names for boys and girls include the following.

  • Dance Names

    Dance-related names for girls and boys might be right for parents in the dance field or who love dancing or babies you hope will be dancers or who dance before they're born! Many of the dance names here are the names of famous dances or dancers or characters in ballet or other dance pieces. There are a handful of baby names that mean dance and names related to music and movement might also be considered dance names. Our dance names for baby girls and boys include the following.

  • Designer Baby Names

    These designer baby names are drawn from the adorable brand names of kids' clothing lines—names that would be equally stylish baby names on your own little boy or girl. Designer baby names inspired by children’s clothing companies fall into a variety of styles, from old-fashioned revivals like Gus and Bonnie, to modern favorites such as Kingsley and Hudson. Here's a selection of some of the best designer baby names from Agatha to Zella.

  • Disney Baby Names

    Baby names from Disney films can summon up positive memories. For some of us, watching The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Lady and the Tramp shaped our childhoods. If you were inspired by Disney movies growing up, you might consider the name of a Disney character for your child. These Disney character baby names come from classic films as well as more recent movies. Some names, like Mowgli or Vanellope, have strong ties to their Disney character, while others are less likely to have an immediate association.

    For more Disney-related baby names, check out our lists of Pixar baby names and Disney Channel baby names.

  • Disney Channel Baby Names

    Disney channel baby names are appearing not only on television but on birth certificates. These names have become more popular since the Disney Channel's debut in 1983. Disney Channel has been credited with increasing the usage of such names as Harper, Miley, and Phineas. Disney Channel baby names range from the familiar and well-used, like Emma and Sam, to the more unusual, such as Zuzo and Topanga. Baby names inspired by Disney Channel characters include:

    Take a look at our list of Disney baby names for more.

  • Fictional Princess Names

    Fictional princess names -- from fairy tales to modern cartoons -- are well-known to little girls, most of whom would be delighted to have one for her very own. Here, the wide range of fictional princess names.

  • Film Noir Baby Names

    Baby names drawn from film noir or "black film," the genre of Hollywood crime dramas that capture the suspenseful happenings of private eyes in distinct black and white form, tend to be dramatic and rooted in an earlier era. Here, our collection of film noir baby names.

  • Gothic Baby Names

    Gothic baby names relate to the culture that combines horror with romanticism. Gothic can refer to the medieval or the modern; Gothic style encompasses music and architecture, literature and fashion. Names inspired by goth culture are a little shadowy and a lot mysterious, such as Damien and Ophelia.

    Along with Damien and Ophelia, other Gothic names in the US Top 1000 include Andre, Jasper, Jett, Luna, Raven, Scarlet, Wolf, and Zelda. Gothic baby names with a distinctly dark image include Jezebel, Onyx, Wednesday, and Blackwell.

    Names for a goth baby can include those related to goth icons, goth styles, or goth imagery. Here are some boy and girl names that, for a range of reasons, might be considered Gothic. Baby appropriate? In a dark sort of way...

  • Heroine Baby Names

    Great heroines of history, past or present, real or fictional, from politics or the arts, may provide the perfect inspiration If you want to give your little girl a strong names. For more Strong Baby Girl Names, consult this list of names that mean strong or powerful.

  • Hollywood Glamour Girl Names

    Names from the Golden Age of Hollywood Glamour are playing starring roles as baby names once again. While Dorothy (Lamour) and Rita (Hayworth) are not yet again ready for their closeup, here's a selection of the Glamour Girl names enjoying a revival.

  • Hunger Games Baby Names

    The Hunger Games trilogy has inspired a post-Harry Potter generation of original baby names. These characters' names, which include elements from ancient history and sci fi, might be right for your literary baby.

  • Jane Austen Baby Names

    If you're a fan of Jane Austen, you might draw inspiration for baby names from her characters. These classic baby names are perfect for parents who value strength, sophistication, and substance.

  • Jane Austen Names for Boys

    Looking for strength, masculinity and sophistication? Search no further. These traditional Old English baby names have lost none of their royal luster, and are shared by some of Jane Austen's bravest male literary heroes. And no, we're not just talking about Mr. Darcy.

  • Jazz Baby Names

    The list of jazz baby names, a special subset of musician baby names for both girls and boys, is full of old-school cool.

  • Literary Baby Names

    Literary names, drawn from the characters in books for both adults and children as well as from the names of well-loved authors, are gaining in popularity. Literary names we are hearing more of these days include the following. For a more complete collection, check out our lists of Literary Names for Girls and Literary Names for Boys.

  • Literary Baby Names Inspired by Authors

    Literary baby names can be inspired the characters in books or, in the case of the baby names on this list, by the first and last names of authors ranging from Edgar Allan Poe to Zadie Smith. In this category, as always, feel free to look to your personal favorite writers for your baby names inspiration.

  • 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.

  • Literary Names for Girls

    These literary baby names for girls are derived from characters in books from all genres and periods. Girl names from children's books are particular popular today, including Alice (in Wonderland) and Eloise (at the Plaza). Literary girl names from classic books such as Scarlett and Scout are fashionable. Literary names for girls that have become television shows or movies such as Game of Thrones or Hunger Games have also found widespread use. In the literary baby names category, as always, feel free to think about your own personal favorites.

  • Mad Men Names

    The hep, TV show Mad Men, set in JFK-era New York, got all the period details right, including the names. Are parents ready to adopt the show's now-quaint monikers as baby names? Maybe not quite yet, but don't be surprised if you have grandchildren named Don and Betty.

  • Mermaid Baby Names

    Mermaid baby names of myth and popular culture are a lovely group and may prove inspiration for your little water baby. See our blog for more on mermaid baby names.

  • Modern Hero Baby Names

    Modern hero baby names might be inspired by stars of screen or sports or literature or politics. Modern hero names might also honor heroes and heroines of the past who still inspire us today. Cool modern hero names are usually surnames used as firsts, but they can be first names too, especially if they're distinctive. Here are some of the top modern hero baby names.

  • Movie Character Names

    Movie character names may be the only names cooler than the names of the stars that play them. In fact, with the exception of Jack, which has long seemed to be the name of the male character in every other movie and TV adventure show, characters' names veer from the unusual to the outlandish. A few, such as Trinity from The Matrix, jumped right onto the popularity charts. These notable names from movies are perfect for the film buffs among us. If you’re a fan of all things cinematic, one of these names inspired by movies could be just right for your baby.

    For more ideas, check out our lists of TV Character Names and Celebrity-Inspired Baby Names.

  • Musical Baby Names

    Musical baby names can be soothing, lyrical, rhythmic, rousing, and melodious. There are musical names to suit everyone’s taste and genre preference, from classical music and opera to blues and rock-and-roll. Musical names are a branch of creative baby names that include musical terms such as Lyric and Tempo, as well as musical occupational names like Harper and Strummer.

    Along with Harper and Lyric, other musical baby names in the US Top 1000 include Aria, Cadence, Celeste, Harmony, Piper, and Reed. Musical instruments, though less popular as names than musical terms, make lovely middle names, including Banjo, Cello, Marimba, and Piano.

    Here, some musical names you might want to consider.

  • Musician Baby Names

    Since musicians invented the concept of cool, where better to look for baby name inspiration than to their own names? Musician baby names are a subset of celebrity-inspired baby names—the baby names here are drawn from both the first names and last names of well-known rockstars, crooners, and pop queens. For names inspired by the music itself, take a look at our list of musical baby names, and be sure to check out Fameberry for more celebrity baby names.

  • Names from Harry Potter

    The boy and girl names from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling are among the most inventive and inspired in literature since Charles Dickens created Pip and Oliver Twist. Rowling is credited with making names such as Luna and Arabella the hits they are today.

    Along with Luna and Arabella, other Harry Potter names in the US Top 1000 include Alice, Augustus, Cedric, Helena, Marjorie, Orion, Reginald, and Seamus. Less common Harry Potter baby names that might appeal to American parents include Ginny, Phineas, Pomona, and Sybil.

    From Draco Malfoy to Severus Snape, from Hermione to Harry himself, Harry Potter names often hail from history and might inspire names for your modern baby.

  • Names Inspired by The Beatles

    The Beatles, widely considered the most iconic band in music history, recorded over 300 songs, many of which mentioned names. If you're a Beatles fan or looking for musical information for your baby's name, here is a list of baby names inspired by the Beatles' music and band members.

  • Olympic Baby Names

    Take a peek at these Olympic baby names dating from the 1896 games until now. The Olympics spotlights global choices that might not otherwise attract our attention. Names of Olympians range from trendy and well-used to never-before-seen picks, but we’ve chosen to feature some of more unique Olympian names here. These gold medal baby names show real promise:

  • Operatic Baby Names

    You don’t have to be an opera buff to appreciate the rich variety of baby names found in the classic repertoire. It’s an especially appealing category because it contains such an interesting mix of languages: there are frilly French female names, unusual Italian mens’ names, as well as some usable German and Russian character names. These range from leads such as Aida and Tristan, to featured players to those with minor roles. So, omitting common names like Amelia, Norma and Susanna, and the more uber-the-top names like Brunhilde, here are some lyrical opera baby names:

  • Pixar Baby Names

    Pixar has a knack for developing characters you can't help but love—Mike Wazowski anyone? Not only does Pixar create some unforgettable characters, but Pixar names can be lovable as baby names too! Pixar character names have inspired many parents over the years. The influence of characters like Violet, Arlo, Remy, and Dashiell has helped propel these names into the mainstream. Here's a list of some of the more interesting character names from Pixar films: For more Disney inspired names, take a peek at our lists of Disney baby names and Disney Channel baby names.

  • Reality TV Baby Names

    Baby names from reality television shows, from the Kardashians to Teen Mom, are popping up on the popularity charts. Some of these names, like Bentley and Penelope, have made a real impression on American parents. Other names inspired by reality TV, such as Christmas and Dieter, have increased in use but remain in relative obscurity. Among those hot right now as baby names are the following names of reality TV stars and their children:

  • Rock Star Baby Names

    These rock and roll baby names are sure to bring out the star in your little one. Inspired by the rockers themselves, or the subjects of their songs (Jude, Layla, and Roxanne for instance), these names are the most edgy, interesting, or relevant of the rock star choices.

  • Rocker and Rapper Kids' Names

    If you call yourself Ludacris or Slash or Flea, chances are you're not gonna name your kid Matthew or Martha or Mike. In fact, rock-and-roll and hip-hop musicians are probably the most imaginative (or outrageous, depending on your point of view) baby namers around, honoring their musical heroes (Thelonious, Lennon, Hendrix), using words as names (Million, Dream, Zeppelin), or just letting their fantasies fly. Like many celebrity baby names, the names of Rockstar children are truly imaginative, although there are some more mainstream choices sprinkled about. To wit:

  • Sci-Fi Baby Names

    Sci-fi baby names come from the most popular Science Fiction movies, books and television shows. Science fiction writers love to choose obscure, rare names for their characters, sometimes going so far as to invent names themselves. If you are searching for a distinctive and cool name for your child, you should consider taking inspiration from sci-fi character names. From Star Wars to Blade Runner, here's a list of unique science fiction baby names.

  • Shakespeare Baby Names

    Shakespeare names were drawn by the Bard from a range of ancient and modern cultures. Many have survived through the ages and are ripe for modern play. Among the Shakespearean baby names we recommend are the following, many of them perfectly in style right now.

  • Soap Opera Baby Names

    Baby names from soap operas, inspired by melodramatic characters, often appear on the popularity charts. If you're expecting a dramatic little one, a "soap" name may be right up your alley. Soap opera writers tend to choose names some may consider a bit over the top, ranging from long and romantic choices like Deveraux and Maximiliana to quirky and offbeat names such as Buzz and Cricket. For more names inspired by television, check out our list of TV character names.

  • Steampunk Baby Names

    The steampunk movement has been inspired by literature and cinema, blending futuristic themes with 19th century Victorian style. Think alternate history meets science fiction entwined with elements of steam power and clockwork. Here is a list of baby names incorporating this unique style.

  • Superhero Names

    Superhero baby names take their inspiration from the superheroes of the large and small screen and the pages of comic books. You are probably not going to name your baby Black Panther or Spiderwoman, but you may want to use some of the names of superheroes used in their "real" lives. If you are inspired by the mythic worlds of crime-fighting and city-saving, a superhero name could be right for your child. Potential names for your little superhero include the following:

  • Toddlers & Tiaras Baby Names

    The reality television show Toddlers & Tiaras chronicles the world of child beauty pageants. Along with a few yooneek spellings such as Brystol and Brittanie that don't appear in our database, the names of the girls, and a few boys, who've appeared on the show include these often glossy choices.

  • TV Character Names

    The names of television characters, from the days of the Western and early soap operas, have always been influential, with life imitating the small screen and vice versa. Names of TV characters include current favorites, historic revivals, and writer creations. Not all of these TV character names come highly recommended (sorry, Turtle), but there are plenty of wonderful gems in this collection. Among the current television inspirations for baby names:

    For more ideas, take a look at our lists of Movie Character Names and Reality TV Baby Names.

  • TV Mom Names

    TV Mom names take their inspiration from the perfect (and sometimes highly imperfect) television mothers who typically vacuumed in heels and cooked their children hot lunches. Names that honor these paragons of domesticity range from Alice to Winnie, with detours to Peg and Tami. While some of these may seem hopelessly dated (they are mom names, after all), many names of TV moms—especially ones from earlier sitcoms—would be quite charming on a modern baby girl.

    For more, consider our list of TV character names

  • Vampire Baby Names

    Vampire baby names from the world of books, television, and movies are hot right now. Whether you're a vampire fan or just looking to have some fun, here are some vampire baby names you might find inspirational.

  • Video Game Names for Boys

    Movie- and TV-character names may seem both inspired and inspirational to parents at the beginning of the twenty-first century, but what of the next generation of parents-to-be, those raised not on movies and television but on video games? Their idea of a cool name is sure to be way wilder than that of parents today. Some of these video game character names, such as Duke and Jax, are more name-worthy than others—can you imagine a baby boy named Kazooie?

    Along with Duke and Jax, other video game names for boys in the US Top 1000 include Dante, Fox, Kane, Maximo, Niko, Phoenix, Raiden, and Trevor. Other names from video games worthy of using on your child include Alistair, Ezio, Ridley, and Wolf.

    These names from popular video games will give you an idea of the kind of choices that could inspire the names of your grandchildren. Naming a daughter? Check out our list of video game names for girls.

  • Video Game Names for Girls

    Movie- and TV-character names may seem both inspired and inspirational to parents at the beginning of the twenty-first century, but what of the next generation of parents-to-be, those raised not on movies and television but on video games? Their idea of a cool name is sure to be way wilder than that of parents today. Some of these video game character names, such as Chloe and Mercy, are more name-worthy than others—can you imagine a baby girl named Bloodrayne?

    Along with Chloe and Mercy, other video game names for girls in the US Top 1000 include Alma, Athena, Daisy, Jade, Kairi, Lara, Regina, and Zelda. Many video game names are Japanese in origin, such as Kasumi, Maki, Rikku, and Sakura.

    These names from popular video games will give you an idea of the kind of choices that could inspire the names of your grandchildren. Naming a son? Check out our list of video game names for boys.

  • Werewolf Baby Names

    Interested in a werewolf name for your little, um, monster? Check out our blog on werewolf baby names or consult the list here.