Naming Your Baby After Literary Giants: A Guide

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Introduction to Author-Inspired Baby Names

It’s a way to express their hopes, dreams, and values for their child. Recently, a new trend has emerged in the world of baby names – literary baby names. These are names inspired by authors, characters, and stories from literature.

    • The rise of literary baby names

Over the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the popularity of literary baby names. According to a 2019 report from the Social Security Administration, names like Harper (after Harper Lee, author of “To Kill a Mockingbird”) and Atticus (a character from the same novel) have seen a surge in popularity. This trend reflects a growing appreciation for literature and the powerful stories it tells.

    • Why choose a name from literature?

It can also provide a unique and thoughtful name for your child. Literature is filled with strong, inspiring, and complex characters who can serve as excellent role models. Plus, literary names often have rich histories and meanings, adding an extra layer of depth to your child’s name.

Famous Authors Baby Names

Names Inspired by Classic Authors

Classic literature has given us some of the most memorable characters and stories. The authors behind these works have names that are just as timeless. Here are a few baby names inspired by classic authors:

  1. Ernest – This name is inspired by Ernest Hemingway, one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. Hemingway is known for his novels like “The Old Man and the Sea” and “A Farewell to Arms”. The name Ernest is of German origin and means “serious” or “resolute”. Learn more about Ernest Hemingway.
  2. Harper – Harper Lee, the author of “To Kill a Mockingbird”, is the inspiration behind this name. This classic novel is a staple in many school curriculums and has touched the hearts of readers worldwide. The name Harper is of English origin and means “harp player”. Learn more about Harper Lee.
  3. Emily – This name is inspired by Emily Bronte, the author of “Wuthering Heights”. Bronte’s novel is a classic tale of love and revenge. The name Emily is of Latin origin and means “rival”. Learn more about Emily Bronte.

Names Inspired by Contemporary Authors

  1. Rowling (J.K. Rowling): The author of the beloved Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling has not only enchanted readers with her magical world but also inspired many parents to name their children after her. The name Rowling, which is of English origin, is unique and carries a strong literary connection. Learn more about J.K. Rowling.
  2. Morrison (Toni Morrison): Toni Morrison was a Nobel laureate and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author known for her rich and powerful narratives. The name Morrison, which has Scottish origins, is a distinguished choice for parents looking for a name with a literary and cultural resonance. Learn more about Toni Morrison.
  3. Coelho (Paulo Coelho): Paulo Coelho, the Brazilian author of the worldwide bestseller “The Alchemist”, has touched millions of readers with his spiritual and philosophical writings. The name Coelho, which means ‘rabbit’ in Portuguese, is an intriguing choice for parents seeking a name with a unique cultural and literary significance. Learn more about Paulo Coelho.

Unique Literary Baby Names from Classic Literature

These names are not only unique, but they also carry a rich history and a deep meaning. They are a beautiful way to pay homage to some of the greatest works of literature and their unforgettable characters. Here are some unique baby names inspired by classic literature:

  • Atticus (from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee): The name Atticus is of Greek origin and means “man of Attica”. In the novel, Atticus Finch is a lawyer who stands up for justice and equality, making this name a symbol of integrity and moral courage.


  • Scarlett (from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell): The name Scarlett is of English origin and means “red”. Scarlett O’Hara, the novel’s protagonist, is known for her determination and will to survive, making this name a symbol of strength and resilience.


  • Holden (from The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger): The name Holden is of English origin and means “deep valley”. Holden Caulfield, the novel’s protagonist, is a symbol of teenage rebellion and angst, making this name a symbol of individuality and non-conformity.

Names from Modern Literature

    • Katniss (The Hunger Games)

The protagonist of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. Named after a plant, Katniss Everdeen is a symbol of strength, resilience, and rebellion. Choosing this name for your baby could inspire them to be strong and courageous.

    • Hermione (Harry Potter)

Another popular name from modern literature is Hermione, from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Hermione Granger is known for her intelligence, bravery, and loyalty. This name could inspire your child to value knowledge and friendship.

    • Ender (Ender’s Game)

The name Ender comes from Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game. Ender Wiggin is a strategic genius and a compassionate leader. Choosing this name for your baby could inspire them to be thoughtful and empathetic leaders.

These names are not just unique, but they also carry the essence of the characters they represent. Choosing a name from modern literature for your baby could provide them with a strong role model and inspire them to embody the qualities of these beloved characters.

Novelist-Inspired Names: A Deeper Dive

Exploring the Meaning Behind the Names

    • The significance of Harper (Harper Lee)

A name that’s been growing in popularity, thanks to the renowned author Harper Lee, who penned the classic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird”. The name Harper, originally an English occupational name for a harp player, symbolizes creativity and artistic talent. Choosing this name for your child could reflect your hope for them to possess a creative spirit, much like Harper Lee herself.

    • The meaning of Rowling (J.K. Rowling)

Inspired by the beloved author J.K. Rowling of the Harry Potter series, is unique and memorable. Rowling is an English surname that means “son of Rolfe”. Rolfe is a name of Old Norse origin meaning “fame and wolf”. By choosing Rowling as a name, you may wish for your child to be as imaginative and successful as J.K. Rowling.

    • The story behind Coelho (Paulo Coelho)

A Portuguese surname that means “rabbit”. It is inspired by the internationally acclaimed author Paulo Coelho, best known for his novel “The Alchemist”. Rabbits are often associated with luck and prosperity in many cultures. Therefore, choosing Coelho as a name could symbolize your wish for your child to be fortunate and prosperous in life, just like Paulo Coelho.

Key Takeaways: Choosing Literary Legends Baby Names

  • Consider the character or author’s traits: When choosing a literary baby name, think about the traits of the character or author that you admire. For example, if you’re considering the name ‘Atticus’ from To Kill a Mockingbird, you might appreciate the character’s wisdom and moral courage. These are traits you would likely want to see in your child.


  • Understand the meaning of the name: Every name has a meaning, and it’s important to understand what that is before making your choice. For instance, the name ‘Hermione’ from Harry Potter series, is of Greek origin and means ‘well-born, earthy’. Knowing the meaning can add an extra layer of significance to your choice.


  • Choose a name that resonates with you: Ultimately, the name you choose should resonate with you and your partner. It should be a name that you feel a strong connection to, whether because of the character it represents, the sound of the name, or the meaning behind it. This is a name that your child will carry with them for their entire life.

Choosing a literary baby name is a wonderful way to honor your favorite authors and characters, while also giving your child a unique and meaningful name. By considering the character or author’s traits, understanding the meaning of the name, and choosing a name that resonates with you, you can ensure that you make the best choice for your child.

Ruth Parcker

Ruth Parcker

My name is Ruth Parcker and I'm a Master of Peeking Baby's Names.
For over 15 years, I've been helping parents make their special moments with their babies extra memorable with beautiful and meaningful baby name selections.
I’m passionate about inspiring parents to take the time to really get to know their baby and their name.

About Me

My name is Ruth Parcker and I’m a Master of Peeking Baby’s Names.

For over 15 years, I’ve been helping parents make their special moments with their babies extra memorable with beautiful and meaningful baby name selections.

I’m passionate about inspiring parents to take the time to really get to know their baby and their name. 

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