Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Characters (and Literary Figures) That I’d Name My Children After

So this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is kind of a freebie – The Broke and the Bookish have cleverly decided that you can choose your own list today. I was ambling through the list of previous Top Tens for inspiration when I saw this category and clicked on it so fast I nearly dislocated my finger.

I am forever deciding that I’m going to name my child after a particular character or author. It happens so often that I’m going to need about sixty children to use up my ideas – I’m sure The Boy will be more than thrilled when I reveal the mathematics to him.

Thing is, it irritates me beyond belief when people give their children stupid names. I know it’s their choice and isn’t any of my business in the slightest, but for God’s sake – you’re not a celebrity and it’s only mildly more acceptable when they do it, so think of your god-damned child! I just know there are going to be 50 million ‘Katniss’ children born this year… Anyway, rant over. It doesn’t stop me from wanting to name my child after one of my favourite things in life – books – but I’d like to somehow combine sense with fiction.

And so, in no particular order – 

1) Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Elizabeth. Elizabeth. Elizabeth. Elizabeth. Elizabeth. Elizabeth.
With or without this list, this is genuinely what I want to name my first-born. I adore this name and I always have. When you add in the Pride and Prejudice link and the fact that it’s a variation of my middle name, there’s absolutely no chance I could be dissuaded from calling my daughter Elizabeth.
I have more than thirty copies of Pride and Prejudice -it’s a small step to inflicting the character names on my offspring. 
2) Anouk from Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Anouk was the daughter of Vianne, the lady that owns the chocolate shop. She has a whiff of magic about her, but that’s not why I’d name my daughter Anouk. 

To be honest, I pretty much just like the name. I love French female names and this is unusual but still nice-sounding.

3) Marguerite Blakeney from The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy

There’s a slightly more concrete reason for wanting to call my daughter Marguerite, although it is French (again) and I genuinely like it.

In the book, Marguerite is the (unknowing) wife of The Scarlet Pimpernel, but instead of choosing to stay home and pine for her mysterious, absent husband, she sets off across revolutionary France to track him down and finally find out what’s going on.

She’s a very strong woman, especially for the time period and I’d be proud for any of my daughters to emulate her.

4) Oscar Wilde

Another dual-purpose name. I like the name for it’s own name-ishness, but Oscar Wilde is one of my favourite all-time authors. Any child who looked into the history of Oscar Wilde would be inspired to stand up for what they believe in and know it’s important to be who you are.

I want an Oscar Wilde tattoo one day, but I can’t think what to have.

5) d’Artagnan from The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

I like this name so much I can even spell it without conscious effort.

I don’t really want to call my son this (she admits grudgingly) but I love it nevertheless. There have been many Whitehead-Parkinson arguments regarding this potential name choice and it usually ends in The Boy protecting our potential unborn child from name doomery by flatly refusing to speak to me (ergo – potential child remains just that).

6) Arthur, as in King

Surely there can’t be a stronger role model for a child growing up? Perhaps fictional, perhaps not –  but either way, it’s a nice sounding, relatively normal name with a fascinating background for them to delve into when they’re older.

What a great way to introduce him to mythology and legend! 

7) Harper Lee

So does this contradict my don’t-call-your-child-something-stupid diatribe? I can’t decide. I’m not sure if I’d name my daughter it or not, but I love the name Harper anyway.

It’s just so pretty. It’s like naming your child after a famous author, but without it sounding overly pretentious and thereby irrationally irritating me.

LATER – What!? The Beckhams have named their daughter Harper? Seriously? Scrap this one! Thanks Laura!

8) Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Hester, Harper… I’m seeing a pattern here.

I know naming your daughter after a woman that was forced to wear an adultery badge in puritan society might not be the best idea in the box, especially when you have to one day explain to said infant daughter exactly what that woman did. It was the way that Hester dealt with the stigma that is particularly inspirational though, and I can’t think of a better name to show your child that sticks and stones can’t hurt them.  

9) Elena from Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

I love this name. It sounds so feminine but with a fictional role model that’s strong and independant. A mix of a genuinely nice name with a sensible inspiration behind it.

10) D.H. Lawrence and also Laurie from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Despite my less than favourable review of Daughters of the Vicar (here) I do like D.H. Lawrence as an author and as a name.

Also, Little Women is one of my all-time favourite books but I don’t really like any of the girls’ names, so Lawrence is the perfect way to declare my love for the book and give my son a name I like.

If nothing else, it’ll inspire him to read it and show him that it’s not just a book for girls!

The Bronte Parsonage

11) (just because I can) Charlotte BrontΓ«
Haworth is only about fourteen miles from my house so I’m intimately familiar with the BrontΓ« parsonage and Haworth moor, where Wuthering Heights was set. Although I’m not a fan of that particular book, Jane Eyre marked the beginning of my reading of classics.

So not only would naming my child Charlotte be a nod to local heritage, it’d also be commemorating my first foray into classical literature.


  1. Laura says:

    I love Anouk! And the longer version, Anoushka :). And I would have agreed with Harper until last year, because now the Beckhams have done it, EVERYONE's going to be naming their babies Harper which just isn't on (unless they all love Harper Lee, which of course they don't).

    And also, LAURIE! Great name. Although, to be honest, I kind of like all the girls' names!

    1. Hanna says:

      I had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA. Naturally I no longer want to name my child that… You're right though – every other child on the street is going to be called Harper. I'm genuinely annoyed, haha!

      I quite like Amy as a name, but not Margaret or Josephine.

  2. Bex says:

    I also love Harper despite hating the stupid name your child after characters from popular literature thing. But Harper is cool, and also was an actual person's name rather than a fictional one….

    1. Hanna says:

      I just like the sound. Honestly I could sit here all day just mumbling to myself – 'Harper. HAR-per. Har-PER. Harrrrperrrrr…'

  3. nea barabea says:

    I looooove your comment about naming your kids after characters!! πŸ™‚ I get this idea all the time while reading great books! πŸ™‚ πŸ˜‰ Awesome theme pick! πŸ™‚ πŸ˜‰

  4. Kayleigh says:

    I think the only time it gets weird naming kids after literature is when you name them Dumbledore or Voldemort!

    Harper has been a favourite name of mine for years, mainly because of the connection to Harper Lee, but also because it's a beautiful name.

    Also, if the names are a little too weird or wacky, just make them their middle names!

    1. Hanna says:

      Somewhere there will be a Dumbledore Smith, I guarantee it πŸ˜›

      Yeah, I know a lot of people who did this list originally mentioned how they'd like to use fictional characters names as middle names. Or authors surnames even. One woman had called her son Matthew Hemingway Something.

    2. I love the name Harper and I was so disappointed when the Beckham's names their baby Harper!

  5. Celine says:

    I am totally naming my children the names from this list, LOL. I almost choose this one for my Top Ten Tuesday but then, I can't even choose 10 names I want to name my children with πŸ˜› Thank you so much for sharing this list with us, Hanna!β™₯ I'm a new follower! πŸ™‚

    Celine @ Forget-me-not

    1. Hanna says:

      Hi Celine, thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚

      Put all the names in a hat and then choose one at random, it's the only way… Although then you might get d'Artagnan Marguerite and I'm pretty sure that child would loathe you for life…

  6. Colleen says:

    I have always been so obsessed with names! I might have to jump in and steal this topic to post a Top 10 Tuesday, haha

  7. Ooo good list, whenever I read Bitten I think Elena is a lovely name for a little girl. I'm quite keen on Rachel too (Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan from the Hollows) I've always like that name and it helps that the character is suitanly kick ass! I don't think I could name a child after any a villain though or anyone who went a bit nuts, no matter how nice the name I wouldn't want to tempt fate!

    1. Hanna says:

      I like the name Rachel, but I knew a girl called Rachel in school who was horrible. I guess that fits in with what you said – I just couldn't name a child after anybody who's not what you'd like your child to be πŸ™‚

  8. This is an interesting one because I actually am named after Charlotte Bronte. My mum and dad were apparently going through a bit of a Bronte phase when I was born. It's no coincidence that my younger sister is called Emily, either.

    Feel free to make a joke about it being a good job I don't have a brother (I don't…) or about consumption – apparently they're amusing the first time around but I can't remember anymore!

    I love the name Arthur for a boy. You're on your own with d'Artagnan though!

    1. Hanna says:

      I think I just fell in love with you that little bit more… I've always loved the name Charlotte (and Emily actually) but then when I got into the Brontes, it cemented the deal!

      Funnily enough, that's what Lewis said – unfortunately I don't think he meant it figuratively!

  9. Small Review says:

    "Arthur, as in King"

    Haha I love how you wrote that! I agree, a wonderful role model and intro to the legends. (Just keep him away from his sister! ;P)

  10. JP says:

    What a fun Top Ten list!

    I actually really like the name Regan (as in King Lear's "Reegan," not as in Ronald "Raygen"), but yeah. I could never wish that legacy on a child.

  11. Willa says:

    What a great list!! I love the topic and your pick!!I love the name Elizabeth!

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