Books of our youth always hold a special place in our hearts, which is why they’re a good place to look for baby name inspiration.
We’re drawn to literary characters because of our empathy for them. “The experiences with fictional characters resonate with us because of the fact that we’ve had deep experiences with people throughout our lives,” Howard Sklar, an English Philology professor at the University of Helsinki, told Where To Watch.
As a result, literature is a great place for parents to look for names that are both unique and meaningful to them. Here we’ve rounded up 15 baby names inspired by your favourite childhood books to get the ideas flowing! You'll love these monikers and the sweet memories they conjure.
Who hasn’t been charmed by the enchanted tale of Peter Rabbit, written by Beatrix Potter? We love the author’s name because it’s a spunky twist on the old-school name Beatrice.
This name might seem a little out there for some, but for others it’s the perfect kind of unique. Aslan is the name of “the Great Lion” in C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia series. Additionally, this strong moniker is Turkish for “lion.”
Charlotte is a classic name that will never go out of style, but it’s also the name of the heroine in E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In the book, the sweet spider is the ultimate symbol of wisdom and friendship.
The Outsiders was a standout coming-of-age novel full of teen angst and unforgettable characters. Dallas was the tough-as-nails leader of the greasers, who loved his gang fiercely. The moniker is appealing not only because it’s a trendy place name, but because it has a laid-back vibe.
The name Max can be seen in the form of a young boy in the classic children’s book Where the Wild Things Are. We love it because it embodies youth and innocence thanks to the book's protagonist. Max can also be a nickname for a variety of longer monikers, including Maxwell and Maximilian.
Arietta is a beautiful name that’s derived from Arietty — the name of the adventurous 14-year-old protagonist in The Borrowers. We love that the name comes from such a strong, independent character and that it is trendy and feminine.
Speaking of strong characters, Jo March from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is another example. We love that she is a headstrong, tell-it-like-it-is kind of girl. The name Josephine is both elegant and classic, but can be shortened to Jo or Josie for a more playful vibe.
The name Sawyer automatically conjures images of a young boy who’s up to no good, but we kind of love that about this moniker. Sawyer — which comes from the title character in Tom Sawyer — is an earthy name that means “woodcutter” and can be used for either gender.
The Secret Garden is a heartwarming book about using your imagination and rediscovering what it means to be alive. While the protagonist’s name, Mary, might seem too old fashioned for some, her surname makes for a unique and modern option. Lennox is not only a trendy Scottish moniker, but it’s also a nature name that means “elm grove.”
Every child is enchanted by the tale of King Arthur, especially after being introduced to T. H. White’s The Sword in the Stone. Arthur is a strong name that belongs to a number of notable figures throughout history, including writer Arthur Conan Doyle and astronomer Arthur C. Clarke. Additionally, it has a number of cute nicknames such as Art or Artie.
There’s no sweeter name than Winnie. The moniker dates back to the 1800s and was used for the young protagonist in Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting. Winnie reminds us of innocence and purity, and we love that it comes from the ever-elegant moniker Winifred.
Of course we had to include a Harry Potter name on this list, as many of us fell in love with these books as kids. Cedric was the name of the Hufflepuff seeker in the series who, unfortunately, met his end at the Triwizard Tournament. Cedric embodied nobility and charm, which is why we find the name so appealing.
The title character in Harriet the Spy is a spunky girl who learns a lot about honesty and friendship during her adventures. We love that the name reminds us of the character’s cheeky nature and that the stylish name is not commonly used today.
There are so many fantastic names in Lois Lowry’s The Giver, but we settled on Jonas because he is the main character after all. Jonas is a soft and friendly name that means “dove.”
Antoine is a sophisticated French name that is also the name of the author of The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The classic book about love and the power of imagination has touched the hearts of many, which is why Antoine is such a meaningful name for your little one. Plus, the moniker means “priceless one.” How fitting!