Motherhood

Would You Name Your Child After a Fictional Character?

baby by Claire Guarry

Recently, I was thinking that if we had a baby girl today, I might name her…

Olive, inspired by Olive Kitteridge, one of my favorite books. I love Olive’s perceptive, no-nonsense personality, and it would be a sweet tribute to name a little girl after her.

Our food columnist Jenny Rosenstrach was similarly inspired and named her daughter after Holden’s little sister in The Catcher in the Rye. Says Jenny: “My husband, Andy, and I both grew up loving the novel and bonded over it in college. We liked every character from Holden to “that Ackley kid” and “Old Sally.” But in particular we loved Holden’s sweet younger sister, Phoebe, who Holden thought the world of and who just seemed so cool. (Andy said when he first read the book he pronounced it FO-eeb in his head, which always makes me laugh.) It was a leading contender for a baby name from the beginning. It comes full circle because our Phoebe, now 18 years old, loves the book as much as we do.”

After spending weeks immersed in a book or TV show, we can feel deeply attached to these characters. “The overarching influence on baby names in our era is meaning,” Pamela Redmond Satran, a founder of the website Nameberry, told The Atlantic. “People are looking for names that have strong personal meaning to them.”

Another friend named her daughter Beatrice after the sharp-tongued character in Much Ado about Nothing, an old colleague named her daughter Claudia after Claudia Kishi in the Babysitter’s Club, and my friend’s aunt is Anne from Anne of Green Gables.

Would you name your child after a fictional character? Or a family member or famous person? I wonder how many little girls will soon be named Kamala!

P.S. Six ways to choose a middle name, and 16 surprising parenting tips.

(Photo by Claire Guarry.)

  1. Paige says...

    Yes! We have e sweetest little Margaret (A Wrinkle in Time, Little Women) Jane (Jane Eyre). My son’s middle name, Louis, is the same as his paternal great-grandfather’s, and my daughter’s is the same as her maternal great-grandmother’s.

  2. Britt says...

    Yes! And we did it twice, in fact!

    Our first daughter is Esmé, after Salinger’s “For Esmé, with Love and Squalor”). It’s such a beautiful story and we’ve met only a few other young girls named Esmé since 2010.

    Our second daughter is Juliet, after Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. While a more recognizable name, we’ve actually met even fewer Juliets than Esmés!

  3. Cate says...

    I always wanted to name a daughter, Hero, from Much Ado About Nothing. Alas, it was not approved and our daughter is named Isla. But I’m hopeful we’ll be getting a new puppy in the spring, so male or female, Hero they shall be! ;P

    • Kate Cavendish says...

      We named our daughter Hero after “Hero and Leander,” but changed it in the hospital because we were given such grief over it. I always think of this literary Hero’s fanciful shoes.

  4. Clarity says...

    My son is named Caspian. Everybody assumes it’s from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but he was really named for the Caspian Sea. But it still counts as a literary name, I suppose.

  5. Rachel says...

    My daughter is Annabel after Edgar Allan Poe’s poem Annabel Lee. A bit macabre but so lovely.

  6. Karen says...

    My daughter is Meadow…. always wanted something different for her because my name is awful!

  7. Elise says...

    Around the time I felt pregnant myself and my partner had both read the book A Little Life and when we came to discuss names it turned out we had both decided we wanted to call our child Jude if it was a boy based on the protagonist. The book is heartbreakingly bleak and the character may seem a strange choice for a name sake but it just felt right.

    Currently sat cuddling 3 month old baby Jude. He definitely suits his name so glad I came across that book at this time.

  8. Kamala says...

    Funnily enough, I’m both named Kamala AND named after a fictional character. Almost forty years ago, my dad so infatuated with the work of early 20th century Swiss-German writer Hermann Hesse–especially with a somewhat esoteric novel set in ancient India–that he named me after its main female character, a prostitute called Kamala. After being slightly embarassed about this for decades, I’m delighted to finally know that there are, in fact, other Kamalas out there!

  9. D harley says...

    The girl name we chose was Penny Joan – after my (non-blood) Aunt Joan. We didn’t end up using it because we had a boy instead, Hayden Jude. We chose that name because the first song that my husband and I listened to was “Hey Jude” splitting the headphone wires between us in the early hours of the morning on the J train after our first date. After Hayden was born I called my friend to let her know that we had a boy and therefore didn’t name him after my late Aunt Joan. She then inquired his name, and after a moment of I think shock – she said, “ you didn’t know my mothers middle name was Jude?”
    My son is five now and she is definitely shining down on him.

  10. stephanie says...

    haha, l did this. my daughter is apollonia, after apollonia vitele corleone in the godfather. when she was born, and my husband announced to the waiting room of family that we named her “apollonia, you know, after the girl who got blown up in the godfather,” my mom nearly whacked him in the head.

    • Clarity says...

      I’m so envious! I’ve always loved the name Apollonia, but my husband nixed it instantly. It’s such a beautiful name.

  11. Kiley says...

    My son’s name is Bennett, inspired by Elizabeth Bennet. from Pride and Prejudice :)

  12. Liz says...

    My oldest son is named Grady, after John Grady Cole in All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. My husband gave me the book as a gift, (he’s a huge Cormac McCarthy fan), and I happened to read it when I was pregnant.

    • All the Pretty Horses is SO beautiful. I just re-read it earlier this month and the language & poignancy stand the test of time. What a beautiful namesake. xx

  13. Roxanne says...

    My parents named me Roxanne after the song by the Police. Sooo many people break out in song when we are introduced!

  14. Katya L says...

    We did! Our son’s middle name is Murphy, named after Jessica Chastain’s character in Interstellar. He was born (somewhat unexpectedly) 6 hours after we’d watched that movie.

  15. Caitlin says...

    When choosing a name for me, my dad’s only requirement was that the middle name started with a J. My mum was reading a mystery romance novel by Victoria Holt, and she came across the name Jacinth from one of the secondary characters, aaaand Caitlin Jacinth I became.

  16. Erin says...

    Our daughter is named Lucy: from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, as well as a nod to author Lucy Maud Montgomery! We also loved that Lucy means “light”, and she really is the most de’light’ful daughter (even now as a sometimes sassy 17 year old!)

  17. Karen says...

    Absolutely not! I would really hate it if every time someone heard my name they said “Oh, so your parents must have really liked [insert book/movie/play/whatever here]” and I giggle inside every time I meet someone named after a famous character. I don’t want my children to be forever tied to whatever obsession their parents had at the time they were born.

  18. Heather says...

    We have two boys- Huck and Finn. We didn’t plan to do it when we names our first son Finn- but just loved the names separately from one another and then loved how together the names have meaning. Just like brothers- individuals but connected. And Huck Finn was a good person with a moral compass despite tough circumstances and up for big adventure.

    PS Huck’s middle name is Hobbes- after Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes. Such a love!

  19. Hanne says...

    Not a fictional characher, but my daughter’s name is Hilma, after the swedish artist Hilma af Klint.

  20. Sarah K says...

    I did! I have a son named Bredon, which is a middle name of my favorite literary detective, Lord Peter Wimsey—and also what he named his firstborn son. I have a daughter named Una, after the princess in The Faerie Queene and also after a character in my favorite LM Montgomery book, Rilla of Ingleside.

  21. Jenny says...

    We have a little girl named Penelopi (from Homer’s Odyssey). My husband and I became friends while on a summer program in Greece during college so having a Greek name has special meaning.

  22. 'Becca'lise Deveaux says...

    My daughter’s middle name is Cosette (from Les Miserables) so…yes!

  23. My husband’s name is Jeremy, and I always thought a son named Jem would be a lovely nod to him and To Kill a Mockingbird. He wasn’t sold on it for our first son, but did like the idea of a junior, so if another boy is in our future, I may acquiesce and just start calling him Jem – ha!

  24. Edan says...

    My oldest is named Dixon, after Jim Dixon, the protagonist of Lucky Jim, Kingsley Amis’s novel. When people hear that he’s named after a character in a novel, they think he must be named after some hero in fiction, and my husband and I laugh, because Lucky Jim is a comic novel and Jim Dixon is an alcoholic history professor–a real lovable loser, anti-hero type.

    • Sarah K says...

      I love this! Lucky Jim is my English professor dad’s favorite book and I start laughing just thinking of scenes from that novel. Great name choice!

  25. Beth says...

    I thought this was a very silly question then I remembered we did this. Our daughter emerged exactly like Nancy from the Ernie Bushmiller cartoons—sassy, round and swarthy. She’s the perfect Nancy 2.5 years later. (It’s also my nana’s name which was another more widely cited reason we named her Nancy.)

  26. Kate Cavendish says...

    You’d think that two literature professors would have done this, but no—perhaps too many choices? We did, however, name one English bulldog Marilla, after my province’s novel Anne of Green Gables.

  27. Elizabeth says...

    My daughter’s name is Annika, the same as Pippi Longstocking’s friend from the Astrid Lindgren stories. She’s almost 4 and acts more like Pippi than Annika — strong, independent, and quite the spunky personality.

    • Rebecca says...

      My cousin has the same name and for the same reason! She is from Sweden :)

  28. Meg says...

    I’m Margaret for my maternal great-grandmother but I go by Meg because my mother loved Little Women :)

    • Meg says...

      Hey! I am a Margaret too. Also after my maternal grandmother and I go by Meg for the same reason. I was always the only Meg I knew. Hated it as a kid. Love it now.. And also Meg from A Wrinkle in Time.

    • Margot says...

      Ha! I’m also Margareta (Romanian) named after my maternal grandma, but I go by Margot like the main character from “Queen Margot” novel by Alexandre Dumas. <3

    • Paige says...

      We named our 2 year old daughter Margaret because I think it’s a beautiful name, and I love that it’s in A Wrinkle in Time and Little Women. I lobbied for calling her Meg, but Maggie won out. Turns out, she is forever her great-grandmother’s favorite great-grandbaby because that was the name of her great-grandmother’s mother. A happy accident, but clearly meant to be! :)

  29. Claire says...

    We did name our girls after literary characters or authors. Louise (Lou for short) is in honor of Louisa May Alcott and a character in a Dickens novel. Mathilda (Millie for short) is an old family name but also for Matilda the children’s book. And Harriet Josephine after Jo March (she goes by Hattie Jo). All three names have meanings of strength, a trait we want to encourage in our girls.

  30. Jess says...

    Had my second child been a girl we would have named her Frances for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It has been one of my favourite books since Jr High, and I just love the name.

    • Me too. I just love the name Francie and this was the book that sparked my love of reading. Still a favorite. I have a son and tried hard for both John and Nolan, but alas, could not persuade my husband.

    • Paige says...

      Oh my goodness, I absolutely love this book as well. It’s just beautiful.

  31. Joanne says...

    I named my daughter Avonlea after the fictional town in Anne of Green Gables

    • Emma says...

      I love this! It’s been added to our list :)

  32. Nicole says...

    My son is named after “Leon Phelps” aka the Ladies Man from SNL and my late mom, it was a beautiful way to combine my husband’s love of a very stupid character and my desire to honor my mom in one really cute little guy. Good news is people seem to like the name!

  33. All three of my children have a literary name. They each have one family name and one literary name. Part of me wanted to cling to tradition and part of me wanted to cast it aside and give a serious highfive to the creative side of life that is so important to us! You can probably figure them all out…Somerset, Lewis, and Wilder…they are all quite clear on the fact that a life well lived is one filled with creative pursuits and expressing oneself with clarity and beauty!

    • Ash says...

      Yikes

  34. Ellen says...

    I have a Lila, and got her name from the character in Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead books. I almost didn’t use it because the character has such a sad early life but she’s such a soulful and gentle person that we went with it. (And with a different pronunciation it’s also the name of the titular “My Brilliant Friend” from Elena Ferrante)

  35. S says...

    I was pregnant with my first daughter when I watched the movie Juno. I cried so hard at the cinema because I was struggling to deal with a lot of anxiety around my pregnancy, and eventually drew a lot of strength from the character played by Ellen Page.

    I was pretty determined to name our child Juno but my husband had another name in mind. So we agreed to wait till our child was born before deciding, and somehow the other name felt more suitable for her, so we didn’t go with Juno.

    Few years later, as my husband held our second daughter in his arms for the first time after another difficult delivery, he looked at me, visibly touched and said “she feels like Juno”

    We didn’t really discuss names this time round so I was very touched that he remembered.

    Today, Juno is a spunky 8yo and she knows we named her after a movie. So now I’m just waiting for the right time to let her and her sister to watch the movie… you know, about the ‘cautionary whale’ ;)

    • JessicaD says...

      Awwww, we watched Juno the night before our second daughter was born! <3

  36. Erin says...

    Hi, I’m Erin. Like Cousin Erin. From The Waltons.

  37. DebPS says...

    I think it’s lovely, actually :) We named our son Dashiell (after Dashiell Hammett, the author); we loved his books and we loved the name (which is not so different in spirit than if we’d named him after a character in the books). His middle name is Stirling, after the race car driver Stirling Moss. We wanted names (and origins) that resonated with us, and the available family names were either too often used or punishingly old-fashioned. Our son is 17 now and his names fit him (and our own wee family) like a glove. Follow your hearts :)

  38. Le says...

    I have an Anne and a Frederick. That they are also the names of the leads in my favorite Jane Austen novel . . . well, I know that, but family members who seem to think they’re named after them (really, people?!) do not. ;)

  39. G says...

    Our daughter was born on Saturday and we chose Eleftheria after my mother but also as a little nod to the country Liberia, where I found out I was pregnant with her (the name means freedom in Greek.)

  40. Morgan says...

    I don’t have children, YET so It’s not my flesh and blood but my furry beast children are all named after protagonists of novels (we ended up repeating for our most recent because we couldn’t agree) But I would totally do the same for kidlets too! Our first was Boo Radley, a spicy female tortie cat (to kill a mockingbird) Second was Rabo Karabekain a tiny russian blueish cat (Bluebeard, Which was on of my partners favorites and I remember he read the first two chapters out loud to me in college I ended up enjoying it as well). Then came Kilgore Trout- The most high energy loving and completely gorgeous dog ever (Appears in Multiple Kurt Vonnegut novels). And lastly during this pandemic our giant smushy sweet hearted puppy- Atticus Finch (To kill a mockingbird). Each of their names make me so happy and ALWAYS provides a conversation starter at the park or the vet.

  41. Elise says...

    No kids yet but I always loved the named Lyra from His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman) <3

    • Me too!!!! That name was (and still is) actually on my list after reading “The Golden Compass” the book (that is part of Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ Trilogy).

      Love that name. I’m super into meanings and in Greek it means: Lyre (which is an instrument in the Bible – which especially excites me), so it’s musical. My husband and I are dancers so I loved it for that reason all the more!

      One day…one day…

  42. We named our son Pip. Well, we gave him the character’s full name – Philip – but we call him Pip. My dad read me Great Expectations as a child (he was not one for children’s books) and it’s the book that truly made me fall in love with reading. I credit it for inspiring me to be a writer. I always wanted to call my son Pip and I was so happy when my husband didn’t object. Philip is a normal enough name that he can use if he doesn’t like Pip when he’s older. For now, Pip suits him perfectly.

    P.S. I also have a literary name. My dad is a huge Shakespeare fan.

  43. M says...

    I have an Olivia after the Olivia series- a children’s book featuring a spirited pig and all of her shenanigans. My olivia is equally spirited, and we frequently tell her that she “is very good at wearing people out”. Her twin brother is Elliot, after the Elliot in E.T.

    Interestingly, I frequently get asked if they were named after Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler from SVU.

    Their younger sister is Isabelle, but she was almost Amelia after “Amelia Bedelia”. I’m still a bit sad Isabelle doesn’t have her own literary or fictional character tie!

  44. Natalie says...

    I’m named after a book character! Natalie, from the Winds Of War. My parents watched the movie when my mum was pregnant and loved the book. I was born prematurely, fiesty and a fighter with thick black hair, just like the character ‘Natalie’. They say it was meant to be!!

  45. Anne says...

    My daughter Elizabeth (Lily!) was named after Elizabeth Bennett, who is and always will be my favorite fictional character. May my Lizzie be as strong and smart!

  46. Jen says...

    My fur kid’s named after Pippi Longstocking, and it’s such a bright, fun name to say.

    • Elle says...

      Mine, too! When she’s eaten out of the garbage, I call her Pipplotta in my deepest, most severe tone. We just got a puppy and named him Rufus (from Eleanor Estes’ Moffat family series).
      Our daughter is Esmé (Salinger’s “For Esmé, with Love and Squalor”), our son, Oliver (from a French book we bought when pregnant with him… But we also had Oliver Jeffers in mind. He’s the first adult Oliver I’d heard of; he wears it so well and we’re big fans of his books), and our last is Abel (William Steig’s “Abel’s Island”).
      I loved “Olive, Again” and think Olive is a lovely name!

  47. J. says...

    My daughter was named after a YMCA ad my husband saw around the time of the 2016 presidential election that said “Zoe for President” with the cutest little girl. I found out I was pregnant shortly thereafter and we named our daughter Zoe.

    If I had dogs I would name them Arya (large fierce dark colored mix) or Sansa (apricot colored standard poodle) from Game of Thrones, or Birdie (golden retriever) from Mad Men.

    • Nigerian Girl says...

      A few years ago, one of my colleagues got a llasa apso pup and asked us (his teammates) to help name her. We all agreed on Arya since we are huge GOT fans. Today I’m happy to report that our Arya is just as fierce and lovable as her fictional namesake.

  48. Samantha says...

    I’m named after Samantha in Bewitched. My parents had a few names picked out that they thought they might name me, but when I was born I was blonder than they expected (my mother is half Lebanese, so they pictured me dark haired and olive skinned) and they didn’t like the names for me anymore. Then my dad remembered always liking Elizabeth Montgomery in Bewitched and thinking how cute the nickname “Sam” is for a girl. And so, I’m Samantha!

  49. Julie says...

    My 3 month old is named after my husband’s late mother Charlene…but we call her Charly for Catherine Zeta-Jones’ character in High Fidelity. She’s destined to be the coolest ex-girlfriend ever.

  50. Susan G says...

    I named my son Travis after the main character in the film “Old Yeller”, one of his father’s favorite films.

  51. My husband and I were just talking about naming a daughter Lorelai because we’ve been watching Gilmore Girls. It’s such a pretty name, but maybe the connection is too obvious?

    My parents always say they wanted to name my sister “Estelle” and call her “Stella” for short. They didn’t end up doing it, partly because my grandparents feared she’d hear “STELLAAAAAAA” all the time (à la “A Streetcar Named Desire”).

    • cath says...

      And Lorelai did a great “Stellaaaaa” a couple of times on the show too!!:)

  52. Margaret says...

    Last year, when I was pregnant with my third child, I was in a book club and someone suggested we read Madeleine Miller’s book, “Circe”, about the greek goddess. I was not expecting much from the book but as it progressed I became increasingly admiring of and enamored with the main character. Then the ending literally blew my socks off. I sat there after reading the last pages, weeping at the beautiful and brave figure of Circe. My husband, always a fan of Greek names (especially more obscure ones) nodded emphatically when I told him I had to name our baby Circe if she was a girl. And then she was born, under a full moon in a bathtub in our bathroom. May she be as powerful, brave and in love with humanity like her namesake!

    • TaraJeanne says...

      Wow, I just got chills! Circe is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read.

  53. J. Elizabeth says...

    My sons were named after fictional characters in a roundabout way. My first son, Landon, was so named because when my husband and I heard it, it just felt right. When I was pregnant with my second, we had a harder time deciding on a name, but landed on Luke – “the bright one” or “light.” We’ve suffered tremendous losses since my first son was born, so I wanted my second to remind me of how much they light up my life. So yes … my sons are named Luke and Lando.

  54. Rachel says...

    When I was pregnant with my first child, a daughter, I had very strict name criteria. The name had to 1. Have a literary connection 2. Have a personal connection 3. Have an obvious nickname. Josephine is now 15 months old and enjoys her board book of The Little Women, FaceTiming with her godfather Joe, and being called Jo for short. I’m now pregnant again and think I need to relax on the name criteria, haha!

    • Jill says...

      I have a Louisa for the same reason. :)

  55. Libby says...

    My sister is named after Anna Karennina!

  56. M says...

    Our daughter is Matilda. My favourite name since I read Roald Dahl as a child and the only girls name we considered! The book ( my old copy!) takes centre stage on her little book shelf and I am so looking forward to us reading it together!

  57. Meg says...

    I was named after Meggie Cleary in the Thornbirds. I’ve always loved that about my name!

    • Meg says...

      Ha! Me too! I was just scrolling through this list, reading all these gorgeous literary names and feeling a little teeny tiny bit embarrassed that my namesake is the heroine from a rather steamy novel from the ‘70s…but you are right! I’m embracing it! Power to the independent heroines and the women named after them!

  58. Ana Lusk says...

    I was pregnant with my second child during Christmas season, and my 3 year old kept watching Home Alone on repeat. So one day (after an endless back and forth with his dad over names) I asked my son what he thought we should name his brother, and he said “Kevin Mc-Ayster”. Kevin is now 7 months old. :)

    • Alli says...

      I love this! Our son is also named after movie; Corbin Dallas, from Bruce Willis’s movie The Fifth Element.

  59. liz says...

    i always thought if i had a daughter i’d name her lucy, from the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe.

  60. Avery says...

    My daughter’s name is Claire. I always loved the name and then I read the book series Outlander. The fictional Claire is so brave and strong that it cemented my love of the name.

    • Diane says...

      Me too! Of course, my husband thought that he picked her name from a list of baby names in a book for about 10 years.

  61. Amy says...

    If our second son was going to be a girl, I wanted to name him Ursula, after Ursula K. Le Guin (an author of characters–not fictional, herself). Unfortunately, she died the year I became pregnant, and so I read her books avidly throughout my pregnancy. It seemed like a fitting tribute to call a daughter after a Mother of scifi and speculative fiction.

    But we were pregnant with another boy as it turned out. In the end, our older son–three, at the time–named him: Casper, after the baby in a beloved children’s book. So he IS named after a fictional character, after all!

  62. Amber says...

    My mother named me Amber after the title character in Forever Amber, a book written in the 50s about a woman who uses her sexuality to rise up from her lowly status during the 1600’s. It’s very funny because my mom is VERY conservative and the character is very not….

    • Elizabeth Bumpers says...

      It was written in 1944. In Beverly Cleary’s second autobiography, she recalls that it was very popular with the WWII soldiers who frequented the army hospital library! I loved that.

    • Catherine says...

      I loved that book!!

  63. Amanda says...

    Yep! My daughter’s name is Ramona, after the feisty and spunky Ramona Quimby from good old Klickitat Street. It may have been a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, as I also seem to have a VERY feisty and spunky Ramona. :)

    • Angie says...

      Ooooh…… my kids go to Beverly Cleary school in Portland and I love pointing out landmarks from the neighborhood that take place in the book (which we are currently reading). One of the girls in my sons class is also named Ramona. I hope they also named her after the character. It’s a really special neighborhood.

  64. Sophie says...

    My son is Charlie, named after Charlie and the chocolate factory. Roald Dahl was my favourite

  65. Sarah says...

    We have a very spirited six-year-old Beatrice Fern (Much Ado and Charlotte’s Web, respectively) and she really is a spitfire who loves animals.

    Even though it’s a very different book series, we also often joke that we named a Beezus but got a Ramona.

  66. Amanda says...

    My 18 year old son Max is named after Max in the movie Rushmore. No regrets :)

    • KC says...

      Amazing.

    • Sarz says...

      I SAVED LATIN!

      :D Nor should you have any regrets!

  67. Elisabeth says...

    My daughter is Rilla from the Anne of Green Gables series! I love it because most people know Anne, but fewer know Rilla and I appreciate it when they get the reference.

    • Beth says...

      I love this!

    • Elizabeth Bumpers says...

      Bertha Marilla! I LOVE those books.

    • Sarah K says...

      Yessss!!! Rilla is my favorite. We almost named our younger daughter Rilla, but at the last moment went with Una instead.

  68. Nigerian Girl says...

    These wonderful comments have given me baby fever.

    • I’m reading through them now and thinking the same thing!

  69. Claire says...

    If we have a son, my husband wants to name him Jean-Luc after Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek The Next Generation. Meanwhile, if we have a daughter, I’d love to name her Saga after a character of my favorite video game, Dreamfall.

    • TaraJeanne says...

      Saga is on my list! Not exactly because of a book, but because of this story about a little girl named Saga who pulled a 10,000 year old Viking sword from a lake (and I guess also because of Saga the graphic novel series…)
      https://www.history.com/news/girl-sword-lake-pre-viking-era

  70. Gwen says...

    My husband and I are childfree by choice, but both of our pets are named after characters from the cartoon Adventure Time. Our cat is named Gunter after an adorably evil little penguin who likes to smash bottles. Our dog is named Marceline for the vampire on the show, mostly because we wanted to stick with the theme, but sometimes she looks a bit like a bat.

  71. AngelA says...

    My daughter is named Catherine with the nickname Wren, after the lead characters in the novel Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (twins named “Cather” and “Wren”). We essentially named her Wren but gave her a longer name in case she hated it when she was older. She was in the NICU after she was born and I can remember wanting her to have a strong name to show her how strong she is. She is a very willful four year old now.

    • Love that book. I’ve been listening to it on audio and it’s so comforting.

    • Hanna says...

      We just named our third – a girl – Maren, and I am obsessed with the name. My husband calls her Wren as a nickname.

  72. Kristie says...

    I named my second baby Hazel after a literary rabbit! I loved reading Watership Down as a child, and Hazel was a brave, thoughtful and kind friend who looked out for others.

    • Sarz says...

      Oh! That’s so wonderful! I hope at least a few folks have guessed the reference.

  73. Victoria S says...

    I named my daughter Lorelai after Lorelai Gilmore and it is perfect for her.

  74. I was named after Clea, the title character of the fourth book in the Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell. The alternatives were Balthazar, Justine, and Mountolive so I feel like did okay. For what it’s worth, I read only Clea and skipped the other three when I was in the eighth grade. All I can remember is that she loses her hand in an underwater accident with a harpoon (oops, spoiler alert)!? My (French) mum threw an accent on the E for pronunciation and here we are, 30 years later and people still think my name is Claire and I have a British accent exclusively when I say my own name.

    • melissa says...

      haha i was named melissa after the prostitute who dies like 30 pages into the book… i always asked my mother WHY NOT CLEA THE ARTIST! no, tragic sex worker who drinks perfume for the alcohol was her inspo for me.

  75. Stephanie says...

    I just did this! Piper, after the Riordan character in Heroes of Olympus. She has a deep core of self-confidence and was a soothing peacemaker.

  76. A says...

    My kid is Viggo because we needed a v name and love the Mortensen :)

    • Siobhan says...

      Ah! I have a Viggo too! Not named after anyone, we wanted a Danish name to honour my mother in law who passed away. Love hearing about other little Viggo’s out there!

  77. Amy says...

    I’m named after Amy March in Little Women. Apparently it’s quite popular, I’ve met several other Amy’s with the same story! My mom read Little Women when she was 9 and wanted to name a daughter Amy. My parents say that the conversation about my name lasted all of 3 seconds as my dad agreed right away!

    • Jill says...

      My daughter is named Louisa after the author! :)

  78. Amy S says...

    Not literary, but I have a daughter named after Bob Marley and a son after Joan Jett.

  79. Katie says...

    We named our son Holden, after Holden Caulfield. I can’t wait until the day he reads the book!

    • Emma says...

      My son is named Jed, after my favourite president.

  80. Amelia says...

    I named my daughter Isabel after Isabel Archer in The Portrait of a Lady.

  81. Natalie Fenn says...

    My daughter is Willa after Willa Cather (a real person and American author), but the other contender was Sybil from Downton Abbey. I also loved Jane (Jane Eyre).

  82. Emily says...

    My son is named Cal after 1) Calvin and Hobbes 2) Calvin O’Keefe in A Wrinkle in Time and 3) Calpurnia from To Kill a Mockingbird – an oft over-looked character.

    • Emily says...

      I’m also an Emily and my son Calvin is named after no. 2 on your list. My favorite book from childhood!

  83. Kate says...

    My daughter is named Holly after Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s :)

  84. Christy says...

    I’m named after the title character in “Christy”

    • Kristie says...

      Me too! Except then my mum changed the spelling to Kristie

  85. Katie P. says...

    Not quite literary, but I named my son Sam after the character Sam Malone on the TV show Cheers. I loved his affable, friendly personality and it made me love the name!

  86. E says...

    We chose the name Theodore because it has the same meaning as my husband’s name, Nathaniel – but I was also secretly thrilled that our son would share his name with Theodore Laurence from Little Women!

  87. Krista Q Ercin-Maurer says...

    For my whole life, I’ve kept a running list of female literary names to name my babies. Then I found out I couldn’t have children. Giving up my list of names was almost as bad as giving up the dream of motherhood. After failed fertility treatments, a devastating failed adoption, and then two more failed adoptions, my husband suggested a puppy–our sweetest consolation prize who I promptly named Annie (after Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables). It’s perfect. She is the sweetest, most mischievous redhead (whose fur looks auburn if the light is right) and the heartbeat we needed to add to our home.

    • Beth says...

      I’m sorry for your loss, Krista. Annie is lucky to have you!

    • katie says...

      Sending you (and your sweet Annie!) love.

    • Jackie says...

      I’m so so sorry. We’ve been through 3 failed adoptions ourselves. Such deep sorrow. My heart is with you.

    • Kathryn says...

      Krista, this breaks my heart. I also have a list of literary characters I wanted to name my children after and I am, after miscarriages, also slowly coming to terms that I may not be able to have children. Adoption isn’t an option for me (I am not a citizen in the country I live in), but a few months before my last miscarriage, we spontaneously adopted a 12 year old (but in tip top shape!) dog and he has been such a joy to have around–I know exactly what you mean <3

  88. Vanessa says...

    My daughter is Charlotte after the spider from Charlotte’s Web. I loved the book as a child and thought the name was beautiful. The name is apt for an 11 yr old who is small, smart, kind and sometimes seems a tiny bit dangerous.

  89. F says...

    I named my son Henry – for no real reason other than I loved it. But 2 years later I realised that two of my favourite books have characters called Henry (The Secret History and The Time Travellers Wife) so I wonder if they subconsciously influenced me!

    • Rebecca says...

      Yes I love both those books too. Secret History is amazing.

  90. Michelle says...

    My son’s middle name is Jude – Jude the Obscure by
    Thomas Hardy was the inspiration. Not Jude Law like many thought – good looking actor at the time!!
    His first name is Leo – LJ for short.

  91. Vanessa says...

    Yes totally… We are naming our boy Elio after CMBYN :) He’s due any day!

    • Lauren says...

      Aww, little Elio. I love how this name rolls off the tongue. <3

  92. Christina says...

    My son is named Cap, after Cap Garland, the hero in The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Cap Garland, along with Almanzo, save the town and are absolute heroes. I always loved the character, who is full of fun. My husband said, “Cap? Sounds like your best friend,” when I proposed the name.

    • Natalie Fenn says...

      I also had this name on my list for my first. I adore one syllable names and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Nice choice!!

  93. Jaime says...

    My mom came here not knowing much english, and she watched alot of TV to learn. She named me Jaime, after Jaime Summers from The Bionic Woman. I used to joke that I could crush tennis balls with my bare hands but now, only certain folk 40 and up know what I’m talking about! ;)

    • Clare says...

      My boyfriend’s parents wanted to give him an American name after immigrating from Korea and chose Jonathan from a 80’s tv show Hart to Hart. The character is a self-made millionaire and I wonder if it inspired my boyfriend’s entrepreneurial dreams – subconsciously :)

  94. My name is Mallory and anytime I meet another Mallory or someone who knows a Mallory, they can almost always guess my age. We were all named after Justine Bateman’s character on Family Ties! (If I was a boy, my parents would have named me Alexander, after Michael J. Fox’s character on Family Ties!)

  95. Liuba says...

    My daughter ‘s name is Nora After Doll’s house by Ibsen

  96. Beth says...

    My daughter’s middle name is Scout after To Kill a Mockingbird. It is so fitting for her too- she’s a strong, sensitive tomboy who fiercely wants a better world for everyone.

  97. Kalle says...

    I’ve wanted to name my (future) daughter Alma ever since I first read The History of Love. It means soul in Spanish which makes me love it even more <3

    • Ashley Dierickx says...

      that’s my daughters name! its such a good name, i highly recommend it :)

  98. Nicole says...

    While we didn’t name our sons after the characters, per se, our son, Owen, is named after Owen Hunt from Grey’s Anatomy, and our son, Graham, is named after Mel Gibson’s charter in Signs. :)

  99. Emily says...

    I love these! So many ideas. Right now my husband and I have been thinking along the lines of musical names (artists and/or songs) but perhaps I will expand…

  100. Ben says...

    I once meet a Merlin. It is sort of weird when the name comes with the person rather than the other way around. It’s just a universally big name to carry rather than a less know character.

    • Kate says...

      My husband’s childhood best friend was Merlin Ho, which I still think is pretty much the most perfect name. And yes, what an epically big name for a little kid!

  101. Erica says...

    Peter was a very strong (as in runner up) contender for our son’s name….after Peter Parker. As in Spiderman. Yes, I even was onboard with this much to my husband’s delight. He even had a thesis level argument about how Peter Parker had all the qualities we’d want in our son (humble underdog, a little dorky, very witty, loves his family…it went on). In the end, we went with my favorite (Gavin) but my husband wouldn’t let me use Peter as a middle name “just in case we have another boy” (he says as I’m like 18 hrs postpartum).

  102. Toni says...

    I so much wanted to name my daughter Zaneed after a book I read as a child called Moving Day. It was about one little girl moving away while the other girl stayed behind. My kindergarten best friend and I were convinced it was about us because we looked like the little girls in the illustrations and my best friend was moving away.

    In Jewish tradition, we named our daughter a “C” name in honor of her great grandmother Cecile. (Unfortunately there were zero relatives with Z and I didn’t want to break tradition.) Our little 6 month old, Claire, will most certainly read Moving Day with me and hear all about my kindergarten best friend who moved away!

  103. I love the idea of naming your kids after a fictional character as it probably is something the person has a huge connection to and it’s pretty cool in my opinion!

  104. Phoebe Greenbrook-Held says...

    My daughter is called Elizabeth for Lizzy Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. I say she’s named for my husband’s grandmother. But she’s not, she is forever and always named for Lizzy. I would have named her Anne but she was born with beautiful red hair…

  105. Taylor says...

    I named my daughter Eleanor after the Turtles song even though the spelling is different. And we call her Nori because she’s our little sushi roll :)

  106. Sam says...

    My daughter, Georgiana, was named for Mr. Darcy’s little sister in Priide and Prejudice.

    My mother named me for Samantha in bewitched! My Sister is Tabitha!

  107. A couple of years somebody decided to name their daughter based on a fictional character in a novel I have written. I found this so touching, it brought tears to my eyes.

    • katie says...

      Wow! What a compliment.

  108. MMK says...

    My son is named Ender after Ender’s Game! A complex character but a great name :)

  109. Ivy says...

    We are pregnant with our first right now and having a child with a literary name was the first thing we agreed on! My husband comes from a strong philosophy that each child should be named after a relative, but I kind of bucked back on that notion. My name is Ivy, picked by my mother solely because she loved it. I have always felt having a name unique to me has taken the pressure off because what if the relative you were named after was really amazing and then you feel like you can’t live up to that?! Now I have been able to blaze my own path with complete disregard to others. Anyway, we decided our favorite option was having a brand-new first name and then using the middle name space to pay homage to a friend/family member. I’m an English teacher and he was an English major, so it fits for us!