Were you inspired by Dave Grohl’s new baby girl Ophelia? Take a page from literature and consider these classic baby names inspired by playwrights, poets and protagonists. Is your favourite author on the list?
Canadian literary legend Robertson Davies was a prolific playwright, novelist and essayist. Roberston’s impact on our country’s culture is profound: Davies played a role in launching the Stratford Festival and was a founding Master of Massey College.
The youngest of the children to step through the wardrobe in C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, the kind and courageous Lucy is adored by all of the creatures in the enchanted kingdom. Crowned “Queen Lucy the Valient,” she is a brave warrior and faithful friend.
“But if you call me Anne, please call me Anne spelled with an ‘E’!” Lucy Maud Montgomery’s precocious orphan is one of Canada’s most beloved characters in literature and the heroine in Montgomery’s famous novel Anne of Green Gables.
This old Irish name meaning fair has grown in popularity and was one of the hottest names for baby boys in early 2014. Parents inspired by the rambunctious spirit of Mark Twain’s Huck Finn (from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) have applied the name to baby boys and recently, girls.
Read more: Baby names: Last names as first names>
Of English origin, Jane is a classic name. Whether you’re inspired by English novelist Charlotte Bronte’s spirited heroine in Jane Eyre or popular novelist Ms. Austen herself, this name is definitely not plain.
One of the most important characters in American literature, this name is drawn from J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. While young Caufield is often considered an icon of teenage rebellion, the name Holden actually means kindly and gracious.
The most famous Juliet is of course the young Miss Capulet, one of the star-crossed lovers in William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. The name is of French origin, meaning young, and enjoyed a popularity peak in 2012.
Margaret Mitchell’s dashing and determined protagonist from her landmark novel Gone With The Wind is the inspiration for this baby name. While more commonly seen as a surname, frankly, we think it makes a fine first name.
Intelligent and and strong-willed, Elizabeth Bennet is the endearing heroine in the British classic Pride and Prejudice. This timeless name has been popular for generations, often as a middle name.
Inspired by Mark Twain’s bold hero, the star of the 1876 classic Adventures of Tom Sawyer. This common surname moved to mainstream first name when Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg used it for their son in 1992. Since then, celebrities including Sara Gilbert have used it for their daughters, making Saywer a popular unisex baby name.
Read more: Baby names: 100 years of popular choices>
Headstrong tomboy Josephine March is considered one of literature’s early feminists and a principal character in Little Women. A lover of literature, Jo is also featured in author Louisa May Alcott’s unofficial sequels Little Men and Jo’s Boys.
This centuries old name means strong and is enjoying a surge in popularity – Charlotte was the 11th most popular baby girl name in Canada in 2013. E.B. White’s clever arachnid in his novel Charlotte’s Web (often compared to Jo March in terms of personality traits) and romantic poet and novelist Bronte both have this moniker.
Charles Dickens’ influential novel Oliver Twist about the life of a young orphan living in England in the 19th century is the inspiration for this boys name. Oliver (and the French Olivier) were among the most popular boys’ names in Canada in 2013.
American poet Emily Dickinson is best known for her unconventional and emotional poetry. This timeless name is from the Latin word aemulus meaning rival and is a perennially popular name.