Tag Archives: literary names

Literary Sisters – Add one!


There are many delightfully named literary sisters. I love looking at sibling sets in novels and crawling into the author’s name-nerd brain. Let’s look at four wonderful, well-loved sibling sets of sisters and imagine what we would name another sister to each literary family.

The March Sisters
Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women
Margaret “Meg”, Josephine “Jo”, Elizabeth “Beth”, Amy
How classy are the March sister’s names? It is widely assumed that Amy is short for Amelia, though never explicitly stated in the novel. I love a good nickname and Margaret, Josephine, and Elizabeth all lend themselves beautifully to an array of nicknames. So for fun, what would I name a fifth March sister? I would choose Samantha “Sam.” Samantha is another long and lovely classic name that can easily be shortened to Sam. Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, and Sam it is for me. What name would you add? Other names I considered that I think would fit in well with this set include Catherine, Charlotte, and the author’s own name, Louisa.

The Ingalls Sisters
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House Series
Mary, Laura, Caroline “Carrie”, and Grace
The Little House sister’s are unique to this list as the books were based off of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s real life sisters. Mary, Laura, Caroline “Carrie”, and Grace all have very wholesome, sweet sounds to them. So, what would I name a fifth Ingalls girl? Anna was the first name that popped into my mind. Anna is simple, sweet, and could potentially be shortened to Annie, which I think would suit this set well. What would you name a fifth sister? Other names I think would work well are Emily, Hannah, or Susanna.

The Bennet Sisters
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Catherine “Kitty”, and Lydia
I could (and may) do a blogpost on Austen’s sibling sets. The five Bennet sisters, Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Catherine “Kitty”, and Lydia all have very classic names. Austen loved repeating names in her novels and so I pulled name inspiration from her in choosing Anne to be the sixth Bennet sister. My mind races to imagine what she would be like. Other names repeated in Austen novels that could work in this sibling set for me would be Louisa, Margaret, and Marianne. I’d love to read your pick for this set of iconic sisters!

The O’Hara Sisters
Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind
Katie Scarlett “Scarlett”, Susan Elinor “Suellen”, Caroline Irene “Carreen”
Frankly, my dears, the O’Hara sisters have some pretty fun names! I think its neat that none of them go by their given names, but rather their middle name or a smoosh name. So we have Katie Scarlett “Scarlett”, Susan Elinor “Suellen”, and Caroline Irene “Carreen”. I looked at Scarlett, Suellen, and Carreen and immediately wanted another C name to balance out the two S’s. So my choice would be Cora Isobel “Corabelle.” I also considered the given first names; Katie, Susan, Caroline and thought Eliza, Rebecca, and Julia would work well as well. What name would you add to this fiery sibling set?

I’d love to hear you weigh in on these sister names and add your own additions to these timeless sets!


Austen’s Bad Boys


Jane Austen is known for her love stories and social commentary. There are many noble, witty, and comical characters in her novels, but today let’s look at the characters that are lacking in virtue.

John Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility
A wolf in sheep’s clothing, Willoughby appears to be a dashing knight in shining armor, but those of us who love Austen know that appearances can be deceiving. Austen often repeated names in her novels, including the classic John. John is a Hebrew name meaning God is gracious that is quite common at Number 26 in popularity. Willoughby may be a scandalous heart-breaker but his surname is fun to say. Willoughby is an English surname meaning farm by the willows. I always thought it would make for a cool pet name. If you’re looking for an alternative to more popular names Willow or William, Willoughby may make for a great choice. In 2014 six boys and seven girls were named Willoughby.

George Wickham from Pride and Prejudice
Perhaps Austen had a thing for the letter ‘W’ when she was naming her scoundrels. I wonder if she picked the name Wickham because it fittingly mirrors the beginning sound of the word wicked. The name Wickham comes from the Old English word wicham, which was a term for a town settlement. George, a Greek name meaning farmer, is currently Number 134 in popularity. Though George has recently risen a bit in the United States, it remains most popular in England and Wales where it is currently Number 7. I wonder if Prince George of Cambridge will inspire more usage of this classic choice.

Henry Crawford from Mansfield Park
Henry Crawford stands out among Austen’s antagonist because we know from the start that he’s up to no good. Jane Austen had a few sets of conniving sibling duos, Henry and Mary Crawford being one of them. Henry is a German name meaning estate ruler that has steadily been rising in charts. Currently ranked at Number 33, Henry hasn’t been this popular since the early 1940s. Crawford would be a cool way to get to the nickname Ford. Crawford comes from an Old English surname meaning the ford where crows gather. Sixty boys and surprisingly six girls were named Crawford last year. Fordham and Bradford are also cool choices if you like the sound of Ford.


Frank Churchill from Emma
Frank Churchill is arguably most forgivable of Austen’s antagonists. While Churchill is a selfish flirt, he does not ruin the honor of naïve young women, unlike most on this list, and we do come to understand his reasoning. Churchill may be a surname not fitting to cross over as a first name, though Frank makes for a classic choice. Frank comes from the name Francis meaning Frenchman. Frank is beginning to slip in popularity, currently coming in at Number 336. Other great variations of Frank include Franklin, Francisco, and Franco.

John Thorpe from Northanger Abbey
John Thorpe one half of another unvirtuous sibling set. John and his sister Isabella are irritating and unscrupulous. Thorpe is the second of Austen’s antagonists to be named John, a familiar name that has numerous variations in other languages. A few familiar forms of John include Evan, Giovanni, Ian, Juan, Sean, and Shane. If you’re looking for a less common variant, you might consider Ivo, Johan, Johannes, or Yannick.

William Elliot from Persuasion
I could argue that the situation itself is the antagonist in Persuasion, but I think William Elliot is deceptive enough in his intentions to share in that title. William Elliot is obsessed with his title and inheritance, but he does have two very handsome names. William is the most popular name on our list today at Number 5. English from a German name, William means resolute protection. Elliot is another well-loved name that is increasing in popularity for both boys and girls. Elliot comes from an English surname meaning Jehovah is God.

Weigh in on your favorite name from Austen’s Bad Boys:

Happy New Year!

Names of the Week – Aria & Holden!


The Names of the Week are Aria & Holden


Aria has a variety of meanings.  An Aria may be a song or melody.  The Aramaic meaning of Aria is lioness and in Italian Aria means Aria.  One thing for sure, the name Aria has spiked in popularity in recent years.  Aria entered the U.S. top 1,000 for the first time in the year 2000.  Since then Aria has climbed in popularity every year and is currently #31 for girls in the U.S.  The spelling variation of Arya is #216.

A few places you may have heard the name Aria…
* Aria Montgomery – character on the show Pretty Little Liars
* Arya Stark – character in the Game of  Thrones series
* Aria Torres – character on the show Grey’s Anatomy 
Saint Aria – ancient Roman martyr

Alternative Spellings – Arya, Arria

A few Nickname ideas – Ari, Airie, Ria, Ree

A few middle name ideas for the name Aria:
Aria Sage
Aria Bridget
Aria Rowan
Aria Celine
Aria Lorelei
Aria Joleen

If you like the name Aria, you may also like..
Ayla, Ariana, Aurora, Arlene, Daria, or Rhea.


Lucy Hale as Aria Montgomery & Holden Caulfield


Holden comes from an Old English surname meaning deep valley.  Many of us came to know this name as the protagonist in J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.  Holden was most popular in 2013, and is currently #292 for boys in the U.S.

A few places you may have heard the name Holden…
* Holden Caulfield – character in The Catcher in the Rye
* Brian Holden – Singer
* Holden Strauss – character on the show Pretty Little Liars
* Holden – Car brand

Alternative Spellings – Holdyn, Holdenn, Huldon

A few Nickname ideas – Den, Denn, Holt

A few middle name ideas for the name Holden:
Holden Wesley
Holden Scott
Holden Thatcher
Holden Levi
Holden Julius
Holden Blythe

If you like the name Holden, you may also like..
Hudson, Hayden, Harper, Harrison, Lincoln, or Caledon.

What do you think of the names Aria & Holden?

Happy Summer,

Names of the Bennet Sisters

bennsistersI grew up watching film adaptations of Jane Austen’s novels with my Mom long before I could read them.  I love literature, period pieces, and classic names.  One of my favorite sibling sets is that of the Bennet sisters in Pride and Prejudice.  All five of these names are classy, beautiful, and usable.

jbennJane is the eldest of the Bennet sisters. She’s kind, shy, and sensible. I’ve always thought of her as a sweet character.
An English name, Jane means “God’s gracious gift”. One of my least favorite name sayings is “plain Jane”. Jane is a simple, classic, beautiful little name. As a fan of Austen, I also like that Jane reminds me of the author. Austen used the name Jane in several of her stories.

lizzebenElizabeth, also known as “Lizzy” or “Eliza” is the protagonist in Pride & Prejudice. She’s intelligent, witty, and one of the most beloved literary characters.
Elizabeth is the epitome of a timeless name. It worked in 1813, when this novel was published, and it was the 10th most popular name for girls last year. Elizabeth is a Hebrew name, meaning “pledged to God”. I love all the potential nicknames that stem from Elizabeth.

marbennetMary is the plain sister. She’s often off by herself and probably the least memorable of the five sisters.
An important name in the Christian faith, Mary is Hebrew, meaning “bitter”. There are many lovely names that come from the name Mary, such as Molly, Mae, and Mariel. There are also tons of beautiful variations of Mary in other languages.

Catherine “Kitty”
kittybennettKitty is a silly, frivolous young woman. she’s often giggly and imitating her younger sister, Lydia.
Catherine is a classic Greek name, meaning “pure”. There are numerous literary and historic women named Catherine. There are also many popular variations and nicknames to this classic. Kitty has youthful, playful feel, fitting for this Bennet sister.

lydia bennetThe youngest, least sensible, and headstrong on the Bennet girls is Lydia. The only thing that I don’t like about this name is that I associate it with this self-absorbed character.
Lydia is one of my favorite names. Greek, meaning “woman of Lydia”, Lydia has been climbing back up the charts in popularity. It’s a lovely name with a Victorian feel that easily lends it’s to the cute nickname, Liddy.

P.S. I also love the name Bennet

Her heart did whisper that he had done it for her.” – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Curl up with a good book ❤

Names of the Week – Scarlett & Bodhi


This week our names are Scarlett & Bodhi

Scarlett – is an English name for the color, scarlet red.  Scarlett is also associated with two beautiful women 1- Vivien Leigh who played the iconic Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind (pictured below), and 2 – American actress Scarlett Johansson.  Scarlett is currently #42 in the U.S., a lovely name that has been rising in popularity.

Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind Patrick Swayze as Bodhi in Point Break

Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind
Patrick Swayze as Bodhi in Point Break

Bodhi – is a Sanskrit name, meaning “awakening, enlightenment”.  If you’re a nature name lover, Bodhi also doubles as a tree name.  Several celebrities have used the name Bodhi for their bouncing baby boys the past year. A fun little name to say, Bodhi gets extra cool points for being the name of Patrick Swayze’s character in the film Point Break (pictured above).

Learn more about these names, middle name ideas, & alternatives:

Frankly, my dear, these names rock!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Character Names



Roald Dahl wrote some of the most magical stories. One of his most famous books is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The vibrant characters in this tale come with names perfectly suited to them.

Willy Wonka
Wonka is a fun eccentric character that Dahl described as having movements “like a squirrel”. Willy is a nickname for William, meaning “resolute protection”.  Willy isn’t such an odd or whimsical name until you pair it with the alliterative and quirky Wonka. It’s such an iconic surname that I can’t imagine Wonka by another name.

Augustus Gloop
A greedy little glutton, Augustus like most of the children in this story, is not too likable. Augustus is a Latin name, meaning “magnificent and great”, quite the opposite of this character.  Augustus used to be looked at as a dusty, heavy name, but it’s now coming into fashion.  I suspect the character of Augustus Waters, from The fault in Our Stars, will give this name a boost.

wilderwonkaViolet Beauregarde
“Violet, you’re turning violet!” Violet is the obnoxious, gum chewing girl, that turns into a blueberry.  Her name is so  perfectly suited given her fate in the story.  Violet is a lovely Victorian color and flower name that has been rising in popularity.  Beauregard is one of my favorite guilty pleasure names.

Veruca Salt
Veruca still kind of scares me.  If little girls are supposed to be sugary and sweet, it’s quite fitting that her last name is Salt.  The epitome of a brat, her name in pop culture is now synonymous with a spoiled child. Veruca is a Latin name, with the unfortunate meaning, “wart”. There is a rock band called Veruca, which is the best use of this name that I can recommend.

Mike Teavee
Mike is a child obsessed with television, hence his surname which fittingly sounds like T.V.  His character is really a social commentary on an average but bright child who’s potential is wasted away on clocking hours of television.  I imagine that this is why Dahl gave him the familiar name, Mike. Mike is a diminutive of Michael, meaning “who is like God”.

Charlie Bucket
Finally, we have our protagonist, Charlie. A kind boy in this sea of nasty children.  Charlie is poor and ordinary prior to entering the Chocolate Factory.  His name is familiar, inviting, and friendly.  Charlie is a diminutive of Charles, meaning “free man”.  Interestingly, Charlie as a given name is almost as popular with girls now as it is boys in the U.S.

I’m craving a chocolate bar now..


Anne of Green Gables Name Series

One can’t get over the habit of being a little girl all at once
~ Anne Shirley


Greetings, my bosom friends!

This week I am celebrating my love of the Anne of Green Gables book series by Lucy Maud Montgomery.  Anne Shirley is one of my favorite literary heroines.  She is funny, brave, vibrant, witty, and intelligent.  Anne is dynamic and strong character for girls of all ages to look up to.  I’ve never been as bold or outspoken as Anne, but I definitely think we both have vivid imaginations and a thirst for knowledge. Perhaps I’m more of a mix of Anne and Diana.

I will be discussing names from the first six books in the Anne Shirley series over on my youtube channel.  So many warm memories came flooding over me while I was combing over these character names.  It was as if I’d unlocked a hidden treasure box from my childhood.  I wish I could magically transport myself to Avonlea and share a cup of tea with Anne and Marilla.  One day I will visit Prince Edward Island.  I’ve romanticized this beautiful place and look forward to having a sweet childhood dream come true.

My Favorite Names from the series:agg


My favorite characters from the series:
* One of my favorite characters is  Emmeline Harris. She was the film Anne of Avonlea but did not appear in the book series.

Charlotta the 4th
James (Jem)
Josephine (Aunt Jo)
Muriel (Ms. Stacey)

Irresistible & Interesting names in the series:

Minnie May

I hope you will check out my youtube channel where I talk more about these names & many more – http://www.youtube.com/user/tulipbyanyname
I’m also currently obsessed with Pinterest and have a board dedicated Anne Shirley – http://www.pinterest.com/tulipbyanyname

Kindred spirits are always welcome here!