Lit Inspired Boy Names

My husband and I have had a hard time coming up with names for our last two children. We decided Noah's name well before being parents was on the table. But for some reason we have struggled with #2 and #3. I was thrilled when we finally agreed on Ezra and we are so close with #3, but not fully committed. Knowing we would spend a lot of time mulling over this subject I solicited Courtney's advice. She recently had her second little girl and spent a lot of time in thought about both of her daughters' names. Being a fellow bibliophile I asked her to write a post of literary inspired boy names in hopes that it would spark some ideas for Brent and I. Now that I've seen it, I have to say I am partial to Westley now myself...sigh, the indecision! Thanks for the insight Courtney and make sure you stop by her blog and check out her Etsy shop as well!


If you do a basic internet search, it's easy to find lists and blog posts galore on the topic of baby names derived from literature. My beef with those lists, though, is that they focus way too much on the sound of the names and far too little on the characters themselves. Case in point: Oliver Twist. Sure, Oliver is just about the cutest name ever. But who wants to name their child after a whiny little goody-two-shoes? No thank you.

Instead, I've come up with a list of names for Laura's third little dude taken from literary characters any boy - and man - would be proud to be named after. I did try to take into account Laura's other two sons' names, as well, along with what I have come to know (and love!) about her and her sweet family.


Atticus Finch: pretty much the greatest male literary character ever. Amazing single dad, eloquent and compassionate lawyer, and a deadshot to boot? Sold.

Phillip Pirrip - aka Pip : If you're going to name your kid after a Charles Dickens' character, I'd go with the protagonist of Great Expectations over that snotty-nosed Oliver any day. He's plucky, pulls himself up by his bootstraps, and is a dyed-in-the-wool romantic. Plus, Pip is a really cute nickname for a little kid.

Holden Caulfield : Not sure if you really want to saddle your future son with the troubled personality of J. D. Salinger's suicidal protagonist, but it is a pretty great book, so I'd risk it with this one.

Frederick Wentworth : Don't get me wrong - I'm a Mr. Darcy girl always and forever. But Fitzwilliam? No thank you. However, the smoldering love interest from Persuasion has a classic moniker (and a cool last name that might work, too) - and once he's old enough, you can teach him to recite the most passionate love letter ever to help him win over that smart and quirky girl from his English class. (Like one of my daughters, for example.)

Westley The Princess Bride. Trust me - the book is even better than the movie. And you can't get much better than a humble farm boy who becomes a brilliant, handsome swordfighter, can you?

Reuven/Reuben Malter : A dark horse pick - but The Chosen by Chaim Potok is my favorite coming-of-age novel that just so happens to be about Orthodox Jews. Reuven, the main character, is maybe a little "out there" unless you're the cassock-wearing type, but Reuben is a name any modern hipster parent could love - and the book is about the power of love between childhood friends as well as between son and father as well as the importance of staying true to your beliefs and values. Read it, if you haven't.

David Balfour : resourceful, ingenious, brave - the protagonist of Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped would be a great namesake for any boy (and the slightly Biblical feel to it would fit well with Noah and Ezra, I think!)

Tom Sawyer : wicked smart, adventure-loving, and just enough naughtiness to make you crazy. Sounds exactly like a boy that Laura might have, don't you think? Plus, either his first or last name would be a great choice.

Huck Finn : I don't love him as much as I love Tom, but he's got that same adventurous spirit, plus the advantage of being willing to "go to hell" to save his best friend's life. Again, either first or last name would work.

Ender Wiggin : Now that the movie is out, this is a name that might start showing up elsewhere and therefore lose its quirky originality, but Ender would be a great and unusual name choice for parents with a soft spot for Orson Scott Card or sci-fi/fantasy in general.

Wendell Berry: I wanted to recommend the name Walden for Laura, since the philosophy in that book is so in keeping with their family's overall vibe, but worried that Lynn might be aghast at anyone else using her son's awesome name. Wendell Berry is a modern author who is very much cut from the same cloth - celebrating farm and small town life and encouraging us to get back to nature and our natural selves as much as possible.

Jack London: an author who is all about self-sufficiency and bravery in the wild - plus a strong, classic name.

Arthur Conan Doyle: Sherlock and Watson are maybe a bit too...well, weird. But naming your son any of the three names of the author of everybody's favorite detective stories? Elementary!

Peter Pan : A little boy who never grows up. Every mother's dream come true. :)

Hope this list generates some good ideas for you, Laura - or anyone else searching for just the right boys' name!


[The links above are Amazon Affiliate links. The pages can provide you with a synopsis of the book and if you wish to purchase one, I get a small commission. But mostly they're just there to provide more insight into some books you might want to check out. Like the Princess Bride? Seen the movie a million times but have yet to read the book. I seriously need to get on that.]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...