Sep 6, 2012

{the.book.chat} Literary Names


Thank you to Becky of Ballistic Gypsy for the idea for today's book chat topic.

I once read that people name their children based on what they want people to think about them (the parent).  And I guess that's true.  We express ourselves through our children's names.
I often read books or listen to songs and think in my head...this would be a great name for our next child.  I personally love the idea of being named after someone's favorite song or character.

**I secretly wish my name were Cecilia.  "Oh Cecilia...you're breaking my heart.  You're shaking my confidence daily..."  That song is in your head now.  You're welcome.

But we're not talking about names from music (future post maybe) we're talking about literary names today.

All over the internet, you can find a list of the most popular baby names each year.  Many of the top names are classics that can be found in numerous pieces of literature.
Emma - Jane Austen
Olivia - Twelfth Night
Emily - Dickinson
Abigail - The Crucible
Charlotte - Bronte
And yes, even Isabella (Twilight)
The list goes on.
The boys list was somewhat more vague and less likely to be connected to some literary past.  Ethan, Liam, Mason, Aidan, Noah, Jacob.
I guess you could go into some tangent on how people name their daughters to appear more mature and intelligent or something, but I'm not even going there.

It's nice to see so many classic literature names being re-used today.  However, when it's used as often as these are, people are less likely to realize you named your daughter after your favorite Austen character.  It loses some it's authenticity.

And I like authenticity.  I like when people know exactly where that name came from.

So based on that...here are some of my favorite, authentic names from literature.


My absolute favorite female character of all time.  Yes, it would be a little eccentric in today's world to have the name Ophelia, and the only hitch is that the nicknames would be what? Fee-Fee?  Lia?  But still, I can picture that name typed across the front of a newborn announcement, and I get chills.
She would hate me in high school, though.  Can you imagine 10th grade English class?  Yikes.


I was a major tomboy as a child so Scout Finch has a special place in my heart.  I totally had the same haircut as the girl in the movie too.  No joke.  I love the idea of having a little girl with scuffed up knees and dirt on her face trying to keep up with her big brothers.  Sweet little Scout.


Again. I like boy names for girls.  Although, the name Austen doesn't scream classic literature, the spelling would be a dead giveaway.  This was at the top of my list if Jude had been a girl.


Not my favorite name, but this is just one of those names that is so recognizable that no one can deny its origin.  The reaction from strangers when you told them your daughter's quirky name would really tell you about them.  I would prefer to hang out with the "Oh cool" people rather than the "ew" people.  And the ones that reply with "nevermore" get an instant high five.


Not to beat a dead Mockingbird, but that book just has some great "Jems" in it.  (see what I did there?)
I have Atticus written down in my baby name book.  It actually received approval from Jeremy.  I think we just chickened out because it was a little too eccentric.  Maybe for the next little guy.
But seriously...if you're name is Atticus...you are a unique, distinguished, character that everyone loves.


This is a possible boy or girls name I guess.  For as long as I can remember, this has been on my "future baby" name list.  Emerson has always been a favorite of mine, and really Emerson, Whitman and Thoreau are all pretty amazing names after some amazing figures in American literature.


So, there's my list.  I know I focused mainly on classic names, but there are some promising new names in books these days too.  I think Prim is adorable without sounding too unique to The Hunger Games.  Hazel and Augustus are both great names that aren't popularly known for their use in TFioS.  I absolutely adore the names that Kristin Cashore uses in her novels, Katsa, Nash, Brigan, Blue.  Unique and interesting without being radical.

What are your favorite names from literature?  Do you have a child named after a literary figure or character?

Thanks again, Becky, for the topic idea!  If you have an idea for a book chat topic, please share!  I'm also opening The Book Chat up to co-hosts, so if you are interested, please email me!

If you chose to join in and blog your favorite literary names, please link up below!

As for next week's book chat: I want to know...how do you review/rate a book?  Do you base a book's worth on how much you enjoyed it or how well it was written?  I plan to share some thoughts on a specific, popular book I recently finished that I cannot seem to come to a conclusion on.  And I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this topic.



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6 comments:

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot said...

I love love love the name Scout. I could relate so much to her as well when I was younger!

Erinn said...

Wait, Ophelia is your favorite female character of all time? Really? I love the name but I am not a fan of Ophelia mostly because of how she handles the Hamlet situation. She has the two paradigms she has to live up to (sexual object to Hamlet and the eternal virtuous virgin to her familiy) and can't make a decision of which she really is....so she goes batshit and kills herself. While I will admit that Hamlet is my favorite Shakepearean character (The fact he is a walking contradiction speaks to me :P), Ophelia is just meh to me.
That had nothing to do with what this book chat was about lol. I really do love Atticus. It will always symbolize the best a person can be in this world.

B E C K Y said...

Ha! Scout is on my list too! That little girl is such a great character. I cant wait to read To Kill a Mockingbird to Myra.

The Management said...

I was soooo determined, all through highschool, that I would name my first born son Atticus. It was a huge deal to me... now I'm not sure.

I'm still not ready for kids, but I guess my love for the name (I liked it so much because of TKAM) has worn off?

This worries me, because I'm pretty sure ALL the names I've picked out for future babies are from books, or, more commonly, songs.

I'll have to see how I feel when I actually have a kid, haha.

Melissa said...

I always loved the name Charlotte, but I think it had more to do with Charlotte's Web than anything else growing up!! Other than that I can't say I've ever read a book and wanted to steal a name. Isn't that awful? I must admit your post now has me thinking, though!

Megan C. Stroup said...

Great idea for a post! I love "Austen" - very clever. Emerson is adorable, too.

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