Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Top Ten Literary Baby Names: The Boy Edition

Last week I made a list of some of my favorite literary baby girl names.  

Here's the boy edition.  Enjoy!

10. Holden

This name is known primarily by Salinger's Catcher in the Rye.  Though it is not present in many other places in literature, this novel is famous enough and beloved enough for the name to be a respectable choice.

9. Ezra
Ezra is the first name of writers Ezra Pound and Ezra Jack Keats, as well as a character name in Deronda by George Eliot.  The name was dying out for a few decades, but appears to be making a comeback in recent years.

8. Milo
Milo is the name of a character in Joseph Heller's Catch-22, as well as in Norton Juster's Phantom Tollbooth.  It also makes an appearance in TV's 24, in case you're a fan.

7. Atticus

Oh, Atticus.  How could anyone not love the quietly courageous Atticus Finch from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird?  If there was ever a literary character to emulate, he's the one.

6. Rhett
I think this name will always be associated with Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind.  Rhett is the debonair male lead opposite Scarlett O'Hara, of course.  I don't think that's a bad thing, but that's just my opinion.

5. Neville

Don't scoff yet.  Read this, then tell me if you don't suddenly want to name every single one of your children Neville.  Charles Dickens also used the name in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, in case you need more reason.

4. Sawyer
A bit more popular, but for good reason.  It's been featured everywhere from the name of bands to TV's Lost, but it's literary roots are as good as it gets: Tom Sawyer is the loveable scoundrel created by Mark Twain, one of America's favorite writers.

3. Tristan
This name has been around for a long, long time.  Tristan was supposedly one of the Knights of the Round Table.  It doesn't get much cooler than that, folks.

2. Arthur
Speaking of the Round Table... Arthur may be the name of an ancient king, but it's literary roots are much deeper.  It's also the name of authors Arthur Conan Doyle and Arthur Rimbaud, and is featured in books such as Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband, Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and, of course, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.

1. Silas
This name is used in works by George Eliot, Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Dan Brown, and even Robert Frost.  With biblical ties as strong as its literary ties, this name is one to be proud of.

What did I leave out?


  1. Ehem. I have a new nipotino and his name is Arthur. Actually his full name is Arthur True Jones, True being a family name on my sis-in-law's side. This makes me feel quite proud. Except they think they want to call him Artie. Mistake in my opinion... but don't tell.

    1. Congrats on the new nipotino! Arthur is a grand name. I prefer Arthur to Artie as well. I'll back you up.

  2. I love Neville Longbottom. I'm so glad that his name made your list. Here's a little tid bit about Neville that I love: When the sorting hat takes longer than 5 minutes to sort a student, they are called a "hatstall." In Harry's year only two student's got close to being hatstalls. The first was Hermione Granger - because the hat wasn't sure about Griffindor or Ravenclaw. The second was Neville Longbottom - because the hat KNEW he should be in Griffindor, but Neville refused to believe it. (Source: Pottermore)

    1. Ooh, that's an awesome Potter tidbit! I'm pretty well versed on Potter trivia, but I hadn't heard that. It just makes the name Neville all the cooler. Thanks for sharing!


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