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Literary Names

Browse our full list of literary baby names, including boy and girl names inspired by great authors and characters in literary history, complete with an explanation of their name meanings and origins.

Elizabeth

In the century-old history of baby name lists this royal and religious name has yet to fall below out of the top 50. Two... Read more about Elizabeth

Jessica

This fun-sounding name made its debut in Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice. However, for many people, the name Jessica... Read more about Jessica

Emma

The name of many a great literary heroines, Jane Austen's among them, Emma means "universal." Its meaning is fitting these... Read more about Emma

Bella

Bella is a red-hot name right now. Thanks to the massive vampire-in-love phenomenon known as Twilight, Bella has skyrocketed... Read more about Bella

Vanessa

One can't think of the name Vanessa without thinking of the 80s. Along with Jessica and Tiffany, Vanessa was one of the names... Read more about Vanessa

Aurora

Aurora was the poetic name of the princess in the 1959 Disney film Sleeping Beauty, but is only now rising in popularity... Read more about Aurora

Mercy

Mercy is one of those virtue names that has never quite achieved the fame of Grace and Faith—in fact, it's downright obscure... Read more about Mercy

Oliver

Brought to England by the Normans, the name Oliver has origins in the French name Olivier and dates back to the time of Charlemagne... Read more about Oliver

Pamela

English: Invented by the sixteenth-century poet Sir Philip Sidney, Pamela is possibly derived from the Greek words pan meaning all...

Greek Origin

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Evangeline

Greek: Bringer of good news

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Ishmael

Hebrew: God hears; In the Bible, Ishmael was the elder son of Abraham by Hagar, the Egyptian slave of Abraham''s wife Sarah. Ishmael...

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Hamlet

French: Little village; Shakespeare''s protagonist in Hamlet speaks some of the most famous lines ever written for the stage, including...

German Origin

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Oscar

English: God''s spear

Irish: Deer friend

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Scarlett

Want to inspire your baby girl to be fiery and headstrong (or maybe she'd got a head of red hair!), consider Scarlett. This... Read more about Scarlett

Peyton

English: Warrior''s village; a unisex name. Peyton Place was the name of a popular TV show from the 1960s.

Irish: A variant of Patrick

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Arabella

If you love the name Isabella but can't bear to have your daughter in a class with five other kids with the same name, try... Read more about Arabella

Dahlia

It might be a flower name, but Dahlia is anything but flowery. Pronounced DA-lee-a or DAL-yah, this vintage name reminds... Read more about Dahlia

Alma

Celtic: Good

Irish: Good

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Juliet

The heroine of the greatest love story ever told, Juliet moves one step beyond the more prosaic Julie and Julia, and is heard... Read more about Juliet

Briana

Celtic: Strong or ascends; feminine form of Brian

English Origin

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Brett

English: A person from Britain or Brittany; Brett is derived from a French surname and was co-opted by the English as a first name...

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Scout

American: To listen; name of the young heroine in To Kill a Mockingbird

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Hana

Arabic: Bliss

Persian: Shrub henna

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Conrad

Joseph Conrad, author of several books including the classic Heart of Darkness, was said to spend hours searching for the... Read more about Conrad

Ellis

English: The Lord is my God; variant of the masculine Elijah

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Orlando

From the Shakespearean play As You Like It Read more about Orlando

Hermione

Greek: Well-born, earthly; feminine form of Hermes and, in Greek mythology, the daughter of Menelaus and Helen. Kids and adults...

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Amaryllis

Greek: Flower; poetically used to mean a simple shepherdess or country girl in I Care Not For Those Ladies by Thomas Campion (1567-1620)...

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Guinevere

Celtic Origin

Welsh: White and smooth, or fair lady; Guinevere was King Arthur''s beautiful queen in Arthurian legend. Jennifer derives from this...

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Vida

French: Victory

Portuguese: Life

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