9 Lesser-Known Baby Names from Classic Books

Finn Family Moomintroll

It may come as no surprise that “Katniss” was a hugely popular baby name in 2013. Great characters in literature often inspire enormous admiration from fans, some of which extends into baby naming. But it is our fondest hope that the infants of tomorrow won’t just take their names from popular contemporary books; with any luck, over the next few years, the following names from classic works will also start trending in a big way. Remember, you heard ’em here first!

Telemachus (The Odyssey, by Homer)
Who wouldn’t want to name their child after the beloved son of Odysseus, star of the epic journey known as The Odyssey? Exactly: No one! Suggested nicknames: Telly, Machy, T-Machine.

Yorick (Hamlet, by William Shakespeare)
Make no bones about it, Yorick’s presence in Hamlet was not a living one, but even without a speaking role, he still managed to make a heady impression.

Boromir (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien)
He’s brave, he’s fearless, he’s Boromir! The name Boromir has, surprisingly, failed to crack the list of the top one thousand baby names every year since the beginning of time—for either girls or boys. But I really feel like 2014 could be its year!

Humbert Humbert (Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov)
Nabokov loved this moniker so much, he made it his famous character’s first and last name. Now that’s a seal of approval if I ever saw one! Bonus: if you use this name, your child is almost guaranteed to be the only Humbert Humbert in his entire kindergarten class.

Malvolio (Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare)
This faithful servant of the beautiful Olivia may have been “notoriously abused” by those around him, but his name has been particularly unabused in recent centuries. It may be a mouthful, but it’s still the perfect name for a loyal child who hopes someday to have greatness thrust upon him.

Slartibartfast (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams)
Use this mellifluous name, and feel confident in the knowledge that your child’s fictional namesake not only designed planets, he even won an award for Norway! (Because of all the fjords.) Just be warned: You probably won’t find many personalized keychains with “Slartibartfast” on them. Possible nicknames include Slarti, Bart, Fasty, and S-Dogg.

The Hemulen (Finn Family Moomintroll, by Tove Jansson)
Sure, naming your child something that starts with “The” is going to make them sound a tad pedantic when they introduce themselves, but it’s all about authenticity, right? Plus, you want everyone to instantly know which Hemulen your son or daughter is named after. Hemulens are stubborn by nature, like to lecture other people about propriety, and are avid collectors. I can’t wait to meet your kid already!

Goneril (King Lear, by William Shakespeare)
Sure, Lear’s eldest daughter may have professed her love to her father, then taken half his kingdom and eventually betrayed him, but let’s not hold that against her amazing name, mmmkay? Plus, she committed suicide at the end of the play (after fatally poisoning her sister Regan), so she got hers in the end. Anyway, your Goneril will never do any of that stuff, so don’t worry about it.

Cersei (A Song of Ice and Fire series, by George R. R. Martin)
Martin’s books are arguably modern classics, so I couldn’t help but include a name from them—and what a lovely name it is, right? It just flows right off the tongue! Plus, Cersei is beautiful, ambitious, and loves her family! There is absolutely no downside that I can think of to naming your child after the widowed queen from this blockbuster series. Nope, none at all. Have at it, Game of Thrones fans! You’re welcome.

What fictional baby name would you like to see go platinum?

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