20 Dashing Literary Baby Names for Boys

Dec 10th 2014

Stirring Up Baby Names

Originally appeared on The Stir.

You can browse through baby name books for ideas as to what to name that little boy you're expecting. But don't forget to also page through the books you loved to read as a kid or the ones which mean a lot to you as an adult. Our guess is you'll find plenty with, ahem, character.

Below, we've put together 20 of our favorite literary-inspired names for boys. Read through and get inspired.

Albus: Of course, we were inspired by Dumbledore in the Harry Potter books. Who wouldn't want their son to grow up that smart, kind, and courageous?

Almanzo: Remember the patient farmer boy who marries Laura Ingalls Wilder? We love the rough-hewn sound of this old-fashioned name.

Arthur: ... As in King Arthur, in TH White's The Once and Future King. Majestic and strong.

Bartholomew: We like the even keel of this name. Bartholomews are rarely flappable, if you remember Dr. Seuss's The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.

Benvolio: Romeo gets the girl in Romeo and Juliet, but his cousin, Benvolio, has the far cooler name.

Cash: Just like the character in William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, this name's got heart to spare.

Cassio: Handsome and well-mannered, like the gentleman soldier in Shakespeare's Othello.

Charlie: Cute, wide-eyed, and unmistakably sweet, just like little Charlie in Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Caulfield: Plenty of parents have named their offspring "Holden," after the beloved narrator of Catcher in the Rye. May we suggest his equally cool, in a Wes Anderson kind of way, last name?

Dallas: Remember SE Hinton's The Outsiders? "Pony Boy" might be hard for any baby to pull off, no matter how cute, but Dallas has a quiet fortitude, too.

Fritz: In honor of the eldest of the four sons in Johann David Wyss' Swiss Family Robinson, Fritz is one boys' name we wouldn't get sick of hearing if shipwrecked on a desert island.

Gatsby: Feel a little too swaggy? Try Gatz instead, which was Jay Gatsby's real name in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.

Huck: Mark Twain didn't just write one of the best books of all time, but gave us one of the most unforgettable names, too. Boyish in the best sense of the word.

Jude: You don't have to read Thomas Hardy's overwhelmingly bleak Jude the Obscure to love this name. (It did well for The Beatles!)

Kimball: We like the adventurous nature of this name, which is shared with the main character in Rudyard Kipling's coming of age novel, Kim.

Laertes: Just like Ophelia's older brother in Hamlet, this name has heart and loyalty to spare.

Lennox: Another well-built Shakespearean name, this one from Macbeth.

Rhett: Dashing and gentlemanly, just like Scarlett's hero in Gone With the Wind.

Percy: Percy Jackson has fast become one of the biggest YA heroes, thanks to Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief. It's only a matter of time before this name catches on, too.

Ulysses: A formidable name, for sure, but we love its backbone. Try the sweet Ulee for short.

Which great literary name did we forget?


19 Lovely Literary Baby Names for Girls

Dec 9th 2014

Stirring Up Baby Names

Originally appeared on The Stir.

If you're searching for a baby name, don't forget to page through your favorite books. There are plenty of great girl (and boy) names to be gleaned from literature -- and a name carries even more meaning when it's from a book you love. 

To get you inspired, check out our list of favorite literary names for baby girls.

Alice: Just like Lewis Carroll's heroine who fell down the rabbit hole and strolled into the looking glass, we find this name sweetly adventurous.

Beatrice: We love the idea of paying homage to the long-suffering older sister in Beverly Cleary's beloved books. Try Bee for short.

Brett: In Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, Lady Brett Ashley is the confident, charming woman all the men fall for.

Cordelia: "Cor" means heart -- just one reason this name so well-suited King Lear's loyal-to-the-end daughter. It's elegant and strong.

Daisy: The object of Jay Gatsby's obsession in The Great Gatsby, this name has effervescence to spare.

Eloise: Irresistibly impish, much like the little girl who lives on the "tippy-top" floor of the Plaza Hotel, causing all kinds of chaos, in Kay Thompson's beloved picture books from the 1950s.

Emma: A name that's "handsome, clever, and rich," just like the heroine of Jane Austen's 1815 novel.

Holly: A sparkly jewel of a name, in tribute to Holly Golightly in Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Jane: Like Charlotte Bronte's beloved heroine, Jane Eyre, this name has a lovely, understated moxie.

Josephine: Intelligent, independent, and surprisingly feisty, much like Jo March in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.

Juliet: A solidly romantic choice. It's impossible not to make the connection with this name and Shakespeare's star-crossed lover.

Phoebe: Although Phoebe carries a certain brightness, its namesake is the grounding younger sister of Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye.

Pippi: Fun and puckish, a la the red-pigtailed, super-strong heroine of Astrid Lindgren's children's books.

Portia: Gracious and intelligent, just like Shakespeare's heroine in The Merchant of Venice.

Rosalind: Another Shakespearean choice, this time from As You Like It. Also a great mix of spark, beauty, and wit.

Scarlett: The epitome of Southern charm, Scarlett is both pretty and powerful -- like its Gone With the Wind namesake.

Scout: We adore the nickname of the young, idealistic narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird. An even bolder choice: the character's real name, Jean Louise.

Tacy: We're mystified as to why this cheerful name has never taken off, considering the Betsy-Tacy series, written by Maud Hart Lovelace, has an enormous fan base. Another great name from the book: Tib, Betsy and Tacy's other BFF.

Tess: True, Thomas Hardy's heroine had something of a, um, difficult life (understatement!), but we appreciate the easy beauty of the name itself.

Which favorite book character would you name your daughter?


50 Colorful Baby Names for Every Style

Dec 8th 2014

 baby name roundups by theme

Are color names truly a new trend? Not really. Parents have been inspired by the beautiful world around them for a long time. Between the floral names of the Victorian era and the  beloved jewel names of the turn of the century, nature's colors charmed parents quite some time ago.

But we are in the middle of a colorful name revival, and we're exploring far beyond the tried-and-true colors of yore. Maybe you've noticed celebrity babies from Blue Ivy Carter to Violet Affleck and wondered if you can use a similarly vibrant name. The good news is that there is such a wide variety of color-inspired names, you are bound to love one or two.

Some serve a dual-purpose as gems, botanicals, spices, and even precious metals, but all of them bring to mind a particular shade. And that's what we love about these names that strike us as artistic and fresh, in both bold and softer colors to suit any personality.

Whether you're looking for something with Victorian spirit or modern flair, you don't have to be somewhere over the rainbow to love these names. They run the gamut between bygone classic and avant garde, but all are quite stylish hues that your baby just might love to wear.

Contemporary Swatches
These trendier shades don't have a long history as baby names, but over the past few years they have become mainstream. They are spirited, stylish choices just right for your modern baby.

Grey, Gray





Antique Painter's Palette
Quaint and sweet, these old-fashioned color names remind us of a Monet painting. This trend has us tickled pink, with girls' names like Violet and Ruby in the top 100.













On-the-Cusp-of-Cool Colors
Looking for something modern and unusual? You'll love these choices that are on the brink of discovery. The most popular of the group are gems Emerald and Sapphire, followed by Denim, a name chosen by singer Toni Braxton.











Unexpected Hues
These rare names are guaranteed to surprise your friends and dazzle your acquaintances. They are far out of the top 1,000, but they aren't completely unheard of. Some sound very modern (Blue and Silver), while others seem like they should be old-fashioned (Lilac, Plum) though they are all new to the naming scene.










Colorful Connectors
The first thing you think of when you hear these names may not be a color, but we commonly use them to modify shades (think royal blue, for example), and, as such, they conjure up color in their own right. They range in popularity and style, but we couldn't create this list without a nod to these names that are perfect color complements.




Forest, Forrest











Do you love color names? Tell us your favorite hues and styles.