New to Bounty?
Looking for bookish inspiration for your baby’s name? You’ve come to the right place.
As well as going back a few hundred years for some classic inspo, you can find unusual names in more modern tomes that mean your child won’t have to be known by their first name plus surname initial throughout their school years.
Note that Atticus and Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird aren’t included as they are, arguably, two the greatest names from literature.
Enjoy the inspiration in the galleries below!
The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorn (1850)
Considered one of the first great female protagonists in American literature, this pretty name has a lovely meaning and can be shortened to Hetty.
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (2013)
Meaning: Mother of nations
Doctor Sleep carries on the story of The Shining and follows grown-up Danny Torrance (the kid from first book) and his encounter with Abra, who also possesses ‘The Shining’.
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (1913)
Meaning: Oath of God
A sweet name that evokes beautiful Audrey Hepburn from My Fair Lady, which is based on the book by Bernard Shaw.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare (1594-1596)
Shakespeare’s character is a strong and graceful woman who makes a stand against her father with maturity and poise.
Villette by Charlotte Brontë (1853)
Meaning: White, smooth
A carefree 18-year-old, this protagonist enjoys others attending to her lavish tastes.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë (1848)
Brought back into popularity by the fantastic Despicable Me movies, Agnes appears in what was considered one of the most feminist novels of its time. Bronte wrote it under the male pseudonym of Acton Bell.
Sula by Toni Morrison (1973)
Morrison’s lead is called Sula Peace, and the tale is one of women facing down adversity.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Popping up in this classic novel, prettily named Zillah is Heathcliff’s housekeeper.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker (1982)
Meaning: the blind one
Celie’s story is a powerful one about overcoming oppression and finding loyalty and joy.
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (2005)
Meaning: Pledged to God
A gorgeous name that’s German and Hebrew in origin, Liesl (with one e) also features in The Sound of Music by Russel Crouse and Howard Lindsay.
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman (1995)
Meaning: Lyre, harp
Set in Pullman’s Northern Lights universe, this sweet name also has a lovely meaning.
Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen (1890)
Ibsen’s character is powerful, strong-willed and determined to do things for herself, and her way.
Ibsen would be a lovely name too!
We’re mad about the boy and these names are a mix of unusual and classic, plus several of them work well as gender-neutral names.
Check out the gallery below.
The Great Gatsby by Truman Capote (1925)
A lovely name that works well with all sorts of surnames. Works well as a gender-neutral name – or you might fancy Truman, or Capote instead!
Dragonfly In Amber by Diana Gabaldon (1992)
Scottish in origin, this strong name evolved in the Outlander book series when the lead, Jamie, renamed Claudel Fraser as Fergus Fraser.
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery (1908)
Meaning: Noble youth
This name can take your bub from newborn to old man! From Gilly through to Bert.
Pet Sematary by Stephen King (1983)
Meaning: Pledge or promise
Ok, so not everyone wants to name their son after a character in a horror story – but you don’t find many boys called Gage out there.
God Help The Child by Toni Morrison (2015)
This name might feel American in origin as a surname as a first name, but it’s British in origin. A great name for a bookish family.
Beren and Lúthien by JRR Tolkien (2017)
Meaning: Strong, clever
While Beren is male in the Tolkien book, it also works beautifully for a gender-neutral name.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens (1870)
Meaning: Bringer of treasure
The character in Edwin Drood is John Jasper, but we love Jasper.
Fact: the unfinished novel was published after Dickens’ death in 1870.
King Lear by William Shakespeare (1606)
Pronounced ‘kai-us’, this gorgeous name, the character in King Lear is strong, loyal and devoted.
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1866)
Meaning: song of the hero
A name of greek-Russian origin, the book’s lead has a hard and immoral life but it leads to atonement and salvation.
Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (1951)
Meaning: Hollow valley
Sure, you could name your son after a car brand, but it’s arguably cooler to opt for Salinger as the influence.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare (1600)
Meaning: noble bear
Shortens to the cute ‘Obi’, this ancient name is also considered gender neutral.
Silas Marner by George Eliot (1861)
Meaning: Wood, forest
As was common at the time, Mary Anne Evans wrote under the pen name George Eliot. Her character Silas is a kind and honest weaver.