How popular is the baby name Christabel in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Christabel.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Christabel


Posts that Mention the Name Christabel

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: C (Part 1)

Here’s the next installment of rare female names collected from old films (1910s through 1940s).

I’ve split the list of C-names in two, and the second half will be posted in a few weeks.

Cabiria
Cabiria was a character played by actress Lidia Quaranta in the film Cabiria (1914).

Caecilia
Caecilia was a character played by actress Zasu Pitts in the film The Honeymoon (1930).

Calalou
Calalou was a character played by actress Hattie Peters in the film White Youth (1920).

Calanthe
Calanthe was a character played by actress Ann Little in the film Damon and Pythias (1914).

Cally
Cally was a character played by actress Margaret Lindsay in the film Slim (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Cally.

Calpurnia
Calpurnia was a character played by actress Gertrude Michael in the film Cleopatra (1934).

Capria
Capria was a character played by actress Kathlyn Williams in the short film The Survival of the Fittest (1911).

  • Usage of the baby name Capria.

Caprice
Caprice was a character played by actress Carmen Phillips in the short film The Pipes o’ Pan (1914).

Carreen
Carreen O’Hara was a character played by Ann Rutherford in Gone with the Wind (1939).

Caricia
Caricia was a character played by actress Barbara Bedford in the film The Broken Mask (1928).

Carita
Carita was a character played by actress Renée Adorée in the film Tin Gods (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Carita.

Carlina
Carlina was a character played by actress Charlotte Burton in the film At the Potter’s Wheel (1914).

Carlita
Carlita was a character played by actress Steffi Duna in the film Flirting with Fate (1938).

Carlotta
Carlotta was a character name in multiple films, including The Laugh that Died (1915) and Dinner at Eight (1933).

Carmel
Carmel Myers was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1970s. She was born in California in 1899.

  • Usage of the baby name Carmel.

Carmelita
Carmelita Geraghty was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in Indiana in 1901. Carmelita was also a character name in multiple films, including Carmelita’s Revenge (1914) and The Magnificent Fraud (1939).

Carmencita
Carmencita was the dancer who appeared in the short film Carmencita (1894). Carmencita was also a character name in multiple films, including Man from God’s Country (1924) and Adventurous Knights (1935).

Carmina
Carmina was a character name in multiple films, including The Drop of Blood (1913) and In Gay Madrid (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Carmina (which debuted in the data in 1914).

Carminella
Carminella was a character played by actress Madame Pilar-Morin in the short film Carminella (1910).

Carney
Carney was a character played by actress Evelyn Brent in the film Daughter of the Tong (1939).

  • Usage of the baby name Carney.

Carola
Carola was a character name in multiple films, including College Holiday (1936) and Dangerous Partners (1945).

  • Usage of the baby name Carola.

Carole

  • Carole Lombard was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1940s. She was born in Indiana in 1908. Her birth name was Carol Jane Peters.
  • Carole Landis was an actress who appeared in films in the 1930s and 1940s. She was born in Wisconsin in 1919. Her birth name was Frances Lillian Mary Ridste.

Carole was also a character played by actress Ruth Robinson in the film Ann Carver’s Profession (1933).

  • Usage of the baby name Carole.

Carolyne
Carolyne Wright was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s.

Carroll
Carroll Sherridan was a character played by actress Irene Ware in the film Happiness C.O.D. (1935).

Cary
Cary Whipple was a character played by actress Virginia Brissac in the film Three’s a Crowd (1945).

  • Usage of the baby name Cary.

Caryl
Caryl Lincoln was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1960s. She was born in California in 1903. Caryl was also a character name in multiple films, including Caryl of the Mountains (1914) and Fighting Destiny (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Caryl.

Cassy
Cassy Cara was a character played by actress Pauline Frederick in the film The Paliser Case (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Cassy.

Castelene
Princess Castelene was a character played by actress Fania Marinoff in the short film The Unsuspected Isles (1915).

Catana
Catana Perez was a character played by actress Jean Peters in the film Captain from Castile (1947).

  • Usage of the baby name Catana (which debuted in the data in 1948).

Catterina
Catterina was a character played by actress Sylvia Sidney in the film Thirty-Day Princess (1934).

Cecile
Cecile was a character name in multiple films, including Camille (1915) and Honeymoon Deferred (1940).

  • Usage of the baby name Cecile.

Cecy
Cecy Acuña was a character played by actress Leslie Brooks in the film You Were Never Lovelier (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Cecy.

Cédrien
Cédrien was a character played by actress Dale Fuller in the film Volcano! (1926).

Ceinwen
Ceinwen was a character played by actress Ann E. Todd in the film How Green Was My Valley (1941).

Celestine
Celestine was a character name in multiple films, including Dancing Man (1934) and I Want a Divorce (1940).

Celida
Celida was a character played by actress Doris Kenyon in the film The Feast of Life (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Celida.

Celie
Celie Sterling was a character played by actress Eileen Percy in the film Some Liar (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Celie.

Celimena
Celimena Moore was a character played by actress Emily Fitzroy in the film Bobbed Hair (1925).

Celinda
Celinda was a character played by actress Virginia Brown Faire in the film The Temptress (1926).

Cella
Cella Stuart was a character played by actress Sunday Wilshin in the film An Obvious Situation (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Cella.

Cenci
Cenci Prohaska was a character played by actress Patricia Medina in the film Waltz Time (1945).

Cerise
Cerise was a character played by actress Patsy De Forest in the short film A Day on the Force (1915).

  • Usage of the baby name Cerise.

Cesca
Cesca was a character name in multiple films, including Scarface (1932) and Tortilla Flat (1942).

Chaddie
Chaddie Green was a character played by actress Dorothy Devore in the film The Prairie Wife (1925).

Chadyeane
Chadyeane Fairfax was a character played by actress Claire Windsor in the film Born Rich (1924).

Chala
Chala was a character played by actress Amalia Rivera in the film The Tents of Allah (1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Chala.

Chameli
Chameli Brentwood was a character played by actress Aileen Pringle in the film The Tiger’s Claw (1923).

Charisse
Cyd Charisse was an actress who appeared in films from the 1940s to the 1970s. She was born in Texas in 1922. Her birth name Tula Ellice Finklea.

Charmaine
Charmaine was a character name in multiple films, including What Price Glory? (1926) and Those Three French Girls (1930).

Charmian
Charmian was a character name in multiple films, including Queenie of the Nile (1915) and Mister Dynamite (1925).

Charmion
Charmion was a character name in multiple films, including The Darling of the Rich (1922) and Cleopatra (1934).

Charmis
Charmis Graham was a character played by actress Florence Turner in the film The Ugly Duckling (1920).

Cheema
Cheema was a character played by actress Steffi Duna in the film Panama Lady (1939).

Cheeta
Cheeta was a character played by actress Steffi Duna in the film River’s End (1940).

Cherie
Cherie was a character name in multiple films, including The Destroyer (1915) and Her Man o’ War (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Cherie.

Cherokee
Cherokee Lansing was a character played by actress Susan Hayward in the film Tulsa (1949).

Cherry
Cherry was a character name in multiple films, including The Silver Horde (1930) and As Good as Married (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Cherry.

Cheryl
Cheryl Walker was an actress who appeared in films in the 1930s and 1940s. She was born in California in 1918.

  • Usage of the baby name Cheryl.

Chichita
Chichita was a character played by actress Elsie Ferguson in the film The Avalanche (1919).

Chilita
Chilita was a character played by actress Louise Fazenda in the short film Mike and Jake in Mexico (1913).

China
China Valdés was a character played by actress Jennifer Jones in the film We Were Strangers (1949).

  • Usage of the baby name China.

Chinta
Chinta was a character played by actress Cora Drew in the film The Moral Law (1918).

Chiquita
Chiquita Hart was a character played by actress Carmen Miranda in the film Something for the Boys (1944).

Chita
Chita was a character name in multiple films, including Flaming Love (1925) and Girl from Havana (1940).

Chonita
Chonita Alvarado was a character played by actress Edith Storey in the film The Tarantula (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Chonita (which debuted in the data in 1917).

Chook-Ra
Chook-Ra was a character played by actress Edith Roberts in the film The Son of the Wolf (1922).

Christabel
Christabel was a character name in multiple films, including Robin Hood (1912) and A Man of Honor (1919).

Christiane
Christiane Mandelys was an actress who appeared in films in the early 1900s. She was born in France in 1873.

Chulita
Chulita was a character played by actress Frances Drake in the film The Trumpet Blows (1934).

Chyra
Chyra was a character played by actress Nina Quartero in the film One Stolen Night (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Chyra.

Which of the above do you like best?

Popular Baby Names in Malta, 2013

Malta’s top baby names of 2013 came out a few weeks ago.

According to data from the National Statistics Office, the most popular name-groups last year were Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella and Luke/Luca/Lucas.

Here are Malta’s top 20 girl name-groups and top 20 boy name-groups of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
  1. Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella, 106 baby girls (5.5% of all girls)
  2. Eliza/Elisa/Elizabeth/Elise, 78 (4.0%)
  3. Julia/Yulia/Julianne, 69 (3.6%)
  4. Emma/Emmanuela/Ema, 51 (2.6%)
  5. Maya/Mia/Myah, 47 (2.4%)
  6. Maria/Marija/Mariah/Marie, 42 (2.2%)
  7. Lea/Leah/Leia, 37 (1.9%)
  8. Martina/Martine, 36 (1.9%)
  9. Christina/Christa/Christabel/Krystle, 35 (1.8%)
    • Kailey/Kai/Kaleigh, 34 (1.8%)
    • Catherine/Katrina/Kate/Katya, 34 (1.8%)
    • Emilia/Emily/Emelie, 34 (1.8%)
  10. Amy/Aimee, 32 (1.6%)
  11. Anna/Hannah/Ann, 31 (1.6%)
    • Mikela/Makaila/Michelle, 27 (1.4%)
    • Alison/Alice/Alicia/Alyssa/Aly, 27 (1.4%)
  12. Sophia/Sophie, 26 (1.3%)
    • Jade/Giada, 22 (1.1%)
    • Alexandra/Alessia/Alexia/Lexi, 22 (1.1%)
  13. Aaliyah/Alaya, 21 (1.1%)
    • Chloe/Khloe, 20 (1.0%)
    • Amber/Amberley, 20 (1.0%)
    • Karla/Carla/Carly, 20 (1.0%)
    • Jasmine/Yasmine/Yasmeen, 17 (0.9%)
    • Nina, 17 (0.9%)
    • Faith, 17 (0.9%)
  14. Hailey/Hailee/Hayleigh, 16 (0.8%)
    • Nicole/Nicola/Nicky, 14 (0.7%)
    • Rachel/Raquel, 14 (0.7%)
    • Keira/Kyra, 14 (0.7%)
    • Claire/Clara/Clarisse, 14 (0.7%)
  1. Luke/Luca/Lucas, 106 baby boys (5% of all boys)
  2. Matthew/Matthias/Matteo, 93 (4.4%)
  3. Jacob/Jake, 70 (3.3%)
  4. Zachary/Zak/Zack, 56 (2.6%)
    • John/Jean/Jonathan/Juan/Gan, 53 (2.5%)
    • Michael/Miguel/Mikhail, 53 (2.5%)
  5. Andrew/Andreas/Andre/Andy, 46 (2.2%)
    • Kaiden/Kayden/Kai, 45 (2.1%)
    • Alexander/Alessandro/Alec, 45 (2.1%)
  6. Aiden/Ayden, 43 (2.0%)
  7. Liam/William, 42 (2.0%)
  8. Nicholas/Nick/Nicolai, 41 (1.9%)
  9. Benjamin/Ben, 40 (1.9%)
  10. Daniel/Dan/Danil, 33 (1.5%)
    • Isaac/Izaak, 32 (1.5%)
    • Mason/Maison, 32 (1.5%)
  11. Jack/Jackson/Jacques, 30 (1.4%)
    • Jaden/Jayden/Jadon, 29 (1.4%)
    • Thomas/Tommas/Tommy, 29 (1.4%)
  12. Nathan/Nathaniel, 28 (1.3%)
  13. Julian/Julien/Guiliano, 27 (1.3%)
    • Gabriel/Gabrijel/Gabryl, 24 (1.1%)
    • Adam, 24 (1.1%)
    • Joseph/Beppe/Giuseppe/Josef, 23 (1.1%)
    • Noah, 23 (1.1%)
    • James/Jamie/Jayme, 22 (1.0%)
    • Samuel/Sam, 22 (1.0%)
    • Keiran/Kyran, 22 (1.0%)

Some of the unusual names registered in Malta last year were Aizley, Amporn, Breeze, Chinenye, Coco, Delson, Diyas, Enonima, Freedom, Gundula, Jaceyrhaer, Kobbun, Limoni, Love, Netsrik, Summer, Symphony, Zarkareia and Zveyrone.

Malta’s 2012 list was topped by Eliza/Lisa/Elsie/Elyse/Bettina and Matthew/Matthias/Matteo.

Sources: NSO – Naming Babies: 2013, Quality and Amporn top the list of unusual names

Most Popular Baby Names in Malta, 2012

The most popular baby names in Malta were released back in May.

According to the National Statistics Office, the country’s top names (or name groups, actually) were Matthew/Matthias/Matteo for boys and Eliza/Lisa/Elsie/Elyse/Bettina for girls.

Here are Malta’s top 20 girl names and top 20 boy names of 2012:

Baby Girl Names Baby Boy Names
1. Eliza/Lisa/Elsie/Elyse/Bettina, 98 baby girls
2. Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella, 91
3. Julia/Yulia/Julianne, 67
4. Emma/Emmanuela/Ema, 54
5. Maya/Mia/Myah, 47
6. Lea/Leah/Leia, 46
7. Christina/Christa/Christabel/Krystle, 45
8. Mikela/Makaila/Michelle, 44
9. Chloe/Khloe, Maria/Marija/Mariah/Marie, 39 each [2-way tie]
10. Amy/Aimee, 37
11. Kailey/Kai/Kaleigh, 34
12. Martina/Martine, 32
13. Catherine/Katrina/Kate/Katya, 30
14. Jade/Giada, 28
15. Anna/Hannah/Ann, 27
16. Amber/Amberley, Sophia/Sophie, 24 each [2-way tie]
17. Jasmine/Yasmine/Yasmeen, Chanel/Shanelle, 23 each [2-way tie]
18. Emilia/Emily/Emelie, 21
19. Hailey/Hailee/Hayleigh, Alison/Alice/Alicia/Alyssa/Aly, Faith, 19 each [3-way tie]
20. Aaliyah/Alaya, 18
1. Matthew/Matthias/Matteo, 101 baby boys
2. Jacob/Jake, 98
3. Luke/Luca/Lucas, 87
4. Zachary/Zak/Zack, 58
5. Kaiden/Kayden/Kai, 56
6. John/Jean/Jonathan/Juan/Gan, 50
7. Aiden/Ayden, 47
8. Nathan/Nathaniel, 45
9. Isaac/Izaak, Liam/William, 43 each [2-way tie]
10. Alexander/Alessandro/Alec, 42
11. Benjamin/Ben, 40
12. Michael/Miguel/Mikhail, 39
13. Nicholas/Nick/Nicolai, 36
14. Jaden/Jayden/Jadon, Joseph/Beppe/Giuseppe/Josef, 35 each [2-way tie]
15. Daniel/Dan/Danil, 30
16. Yannick/Yan, Jack/Jackson/Jacques, Thomas/Tommas/Tommy, 29 each [3-way tie]
17. Mason/Maison, Kyle/Kail, Andrew/Andreas/Andre/Andy, 28 each [3-way tie]
18. James/Jamie/Jayme, 26
19. Gabriel/Gabrijel/Gabryl, 24
20. Julian/Julien/Guiliano, Denzel/Danzel/Denzilee, 22 each [2-way tie]

The 98 baby girls of the Eliza/Lisa/Elsie/Elyse/Bettina group represent 4.8% of all baby girls born in Malta in 2012, and the 101 baby boys of the Matthew/Matthias/Matteo group represent 4.6% of all baby boys.

I have three earlier Malta lists (2006, 2007, 2009) here at NBN, but there are even more (2002 through 2012, inclusive) at the NSO website — use the link below.

Source: Naming Babies: 2012 (NSO)

Baby Name Needed – Middle Name for Leah

A reader named Nita is having a baby girl. The baby’s first name will be Leah, and Nita is looking for middle name suggestions that work with Leah. She writes:

We want it to start with a consonant and end in a consonant. Since the first name is pretty short, we’d like the middle name to be three or four syllables long. And please, not floral names. (And no names that sound like Beatrice/Beatrix, Margaret or Ursula.)

I think French names are a smart place to start, as many French names are fairly long and begin and end with consonant sounds.

Benjamine
Bernadette
Bernardine
Caroline
Celestine
Dominique
Felicienne
Gabrielle
Geraldine
Henriette
Josephine
Julienne
Juliette
Madeleine
Marcelline
Marianne
Micheline
Nicolette
Nicoline
Pascaline
Raphaelle
Sebastienne
Veronique
Victorine

Here are some other possibilities:

Christabel
Claribel
Dolores
Gillian
Guinevere
Gwendolen
Harriet
Jennifer
Maribel
Marisol
Marybeth
Marylouise
Mehetabel
Meredith
Millicent
Miriam
Rosalind
Rosamund
Vivian
Winifred

Which of the above do you like best with Leah? What other middle names can you come up with for Nita?

Unique Baby Names from Literature

The was originally the round-up post of a 31-post series on literature names for National Book Month. I’ve since condensed all of those individual posts into this one post.

I picked many of these names because they were either popularized by literature or first used as given names in literature:

Amanda

Amanda is based on the Latin gerundive amanda, which means “she who must be loved.” It was used as a name in Europe starting in the mid-17th century. In literature, Amanda perhaps first appeared in the comedy Love’s Last Shift (1696) by English playwright and actor Colley Cibber (1671-1757).

Amaryllis

Before Amaryllis was a plant, it was a name: Amaryllis was created by the Latin poet Virgil (70-19 BC) for a shepherdess in his pastoral Eclogues. Amaryllis is based on the Latin word amarysso, which means “to sparkle.”

Take ashes, Amaryllis, fetch them forth,
And o’er your head into the running brook
Fling them, nor look behind: with these will
Upon the heart of Daphnis make essay.
(Eclogue VIII)

Amory

Amory Blaine is the main character in This Side of Paradise (1920), the successful debut novel of American writer Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (1896-1940). Many believe that Fitzgerald modeled the wealthy, handsome protagonist after himself (at least in part).

Atticus

Harper Lee‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) features Atticus Finch, respected lawyer and father of the book’s protagonist, Scout. Lee named Atticus after Roman eques Titus Pomponius Atticus.

Belinda

Belinda was a character in The Provok’d Wife (1697), a comedic play written by English architect and dramatist Sir John Vanbrugh (c.1664-1726). Belinda may have been based on the Italian word bella, which means beautiful. It was later used by Alexander Pope in The Rape of the Lock (1712).

Beren

The romance between Beren and Lúthien was first told in prose in The Silmarillion, by writer and Oxford professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973).

Therefore at the last he yielded his will, and Beren took the hand of Lúthien before the throne of her father.
(The Silmarillion, Chapter 19)

A romantic sidenote: The name Beren is engraved on Tolkien’s gravestone, while Lúthien is on the gravestone belonging to Tolkien’s wife, Edith.

Binx

John Binkerson “Binx” Bolling is the film-obsessed main character of The Moviegoer (1961), a National Book Award-winning novel by American author Walker Percy (1916-1990).

Cedric

Cedric was created by Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) for his novel Ivanhoe, which was written in 1819 but set in the 12th century. The name was probably inspired by that of Cerdic, the legendary founder of the Kingdom of Wessex.

Clarinda

Clarinda was coined by English poet Edmund Spenser (c.1552-1599) in The Faerie Queene.

Goe now, Clarinda, well thy wits aduise,
And all thy forces gather vnto thee;
(The Faerie Queene, Book V, Canto V)

Two centuries later, Robert Burns (1759-1796) addressed several poems to ‘Clarinda.’

Fair Empress of the Poet’s soul,
And Queen of Poetesses;
Clarinda, take this little boon,
This humble pair of glasses:
(Verses To Clarinda)

Cosette

French author Victor Hugo (1802-1885) created the orphan Cosette for his novel Les Misérables (1862).

Les Misérables the musical, which debuted in London in October of 1985, has become one of the most successful musicals in history.

UPDATE: The latest Les Miserables movie comes out Dec. 25, 2012.

Dorian

Dorian Gray, whose portrait ages while Dorian himself does not, was invented by Anglo-Irish writer Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) for the gothic horror novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. Wilde may have borrowed the name from the ancient Hellenic tribe the Dorians.

Dulcinea

Dulcinea del Toboso is a fictional character who’s referred to (but does not appear) in Don Quixote de la Mancha, written by Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616).

Eglantine

Eglantine is another name for sweetbrier, a pink-flowered plant native to Britain and northern Europe. Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400) first employed Eglantine as a given name, using it for Madame Eglantine in his Canterbury Tales:

Ther was also a nonne, a prioresse,
That of hir smylyng was ful symple and coy;
Hire gretteste ooth was but by Seinte Loy;
And she was cleped Madame Eglentyne.
(Prologue, lines 118-121)

Geraldine

Geraldine was originally an adjective that referred to Ireland’s FitzGerald dynasty. It was first used as a name by English aristocrat Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517-1547).

Honsdon did first present her to mine yien:
Bright is her hewe, and Geraldine she hight.
(Description and praise of his loue Geraldine.)

Geraldine was later popularized by Samuel Taylor Coleridge‘s poem Christabel.

Yet he who saw this Geraldine,
Had deemed her sure a thing divine.
(Christabel, Part II, Stanza 11)

Holden

Holden Caulfield is the cynical, sensitive teenage protagonist of The Catcher in the Rye (1951), written by reclusive American author J. D. Salinger. Holden also appears in several of Salinger’s short stories. Holden was the second-best fictional character of the 20th century, according to Book magazine.

Imogen

Imogen is the name of the king’s daughter in Shakespeare’s play The Tragedy of Cymbeline, King of Britain (c.1609). The prevailing theory is that Imogen was actually meant to be Innogen — a name based on the Gaelic word inghean, meaning “girl, maiden” or “daughter” — but it was misspelled and the mistake was never corrected.

Jancis

The character of Jancis Beguildy was created by English romantic novelist Mary Webb (1881-1927) for her book Precious Bane (1924). Jancis is a modern blend of the names Jan and Francis.

Kilgore

Kilgore Trout regularly appears in books by Kurt Vonnegut. (And in other books, like phone books.) The character of Kilgore may be based on Theodore Sturgeon, or may be a parody of Vonnegut himself.

Lesley

Lesley is a variant of the name Leslie, which is derived from a Scottish place name. Lesley-with-a-y is interesting because it was first used by Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759-1796) in his poem/song Saw Ye Bonie Lesley (1792).

Thou art a queen, fair Lesley,
Thy subjects, we before thee;
Thou art divine, fair Lesley,
The hearts o’ men adore thee.
(Saw Ye Bonie Lesley, Stanza 3)

Lestat

Lestat de Lioncourt is a character in The Vampire Chronicles, a series of novels by Anne Rice. Rice “thought Lestat was an old Louisiana name.” She learned later that the name she was thinking of was actually Lestan.

Lucasta

Lucasta was first used by English poet Richard Lovelace (1618-1658). It’s a contraction of Lux Casta (Chaste Lucy), Lovalace’s nickname for a woman he’d been courting.

If to be absent were to be
Away from thee;
Or that when I am gone,
You or I were alone;
Then, my Lucasta, might I crave
Pity from blustering wind or swallowing wave.
(To Lucasta, going beyond the Seas)

Miranda

The name Miranda was invented by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) for a character in The Tempest. Miranda is based on the Latin word mirandus, which means “admirable.”

Twelve year since, Miranda, twelve year since,
Thy father was the Duke of Milan and
A prince of power.
(The Tempest, Act 1, Scene II)

Uranus’s small moon Miranda, discovered in 1948, was named after the Shakespearean character.

Mirielle

Mireille is the French title of Provençal poem Mirèio (1859). The poem was written by French writer Frédéric Mistral (1830-1914), who shared the 1904 Nobel Prize for Literature with José Echegaray y Eizaguirre. Mistral probably derived ‘Mirèio’ from the Provençal verb mirar, which means “to admire.”

Orinthia

Orinthia was used by Nobel Prize-winning Irish-British playwright George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) in his play The Apple Cart (1929). In the play, King Magnus refers to his mistress as “Orinthia.” When the mistress discovers that Magnus did not invent the name especially for her, she becomes angry. He responds:

Well, one poet may consecrate a name for another. Orinthia is a name full of magic for me. It could not be that if I had invented it myself. I heard it at a concert of ancient music when I was a child; and I have treasured it ever since.
(The Apple Cart, Interlude)

At that “concert of ancient music,” Magnus must have heard the old English ballad The Pilgrim of Love, which–according to the Catalogue of Ballads at Oxford’s Bodleian Library–begins “Orinthia my béloved, I call in vain…”

Pamela

Pamela was created by English writer Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586) for The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia. The name was probably derived from the Greek words pan (all) and meli (honey). A century and a half later, Samuel Richardson‘s first novel–named Pamela in honor of Sidney’s heroine–was published.

Quoyle

Quoyle is the main character in E. Annie Proulx‘s The Shipping News (1993), which won the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and happens to be one of my favorite books. The novel was inspired by The Ashley Book of Knots, and, aptly, “quoyle” is an Old English spelling of coil.

Selima

The name Selima was first used in literature by English writer and scholar Thomas Gray (1716-1771). He used it as the name of a cat. Neither the name nor the cat were Gray’s inventions, though. Selima the cat had belonged to fellow Englishman and writer Horace Walpole (1717-1797).

Shirley

The male name Shirley became feminized with the 1849 publication of Charlotte Bronte’s novel Shirley. Previously, Shirley had been a surname and, before that, a place name.

She had no Christian name but Shirley: her parents, who had wished to have a son…bestowed on her the same masculine family cognomen they would have bestowed on a boy, if with a boy they had been blessed.
(Shirley, Part 2, Chapter XI)

Sula

The rebellious Sula Peace, who becomes a pariah in her socially conservative Ohio town, is the main character of Toni Morrison‘s novel Sula (1973). Sula may be short for Ursula, a Latin name meaning “little bear.”

Vanessa

Vanessa was invented by Irish author Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) as a pseudonym for his friend (and perhaps lover) Esther Vanhomrigh: “van” comes from Vanhomrigh, and “essa” is based on a pet form of Esther.

While thus Cadenus entertains
Vanessa in exalted strains,
The nymph in sober words intreats
A truce with all sublime conceits.
(Cadenus and Vanessa)

Vanessa was later used as the name of a genus of butterfly.

Wendy

Though Scottish writer J. M. Barrie (1860-1937) didn’t invent the name Wendy, he did popularize it with his character Wendy Darling. For Barrie, the name was inspired by a young acquaintance (the daughter of poet William Henley, 1849-1903), who mispronounced the word friend as “fwendy.”

“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Wendy Moira Angela Darling,” she replied with some satisfaction. “What is your name?”
“Peter Pan.”
(Peter Pan, Chapter 3)

There are many other interesting literature names out there. Did I miss any particularly good ones?