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

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name Holden

Number of Babies Named Holden

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Holden

Letter by Letter: Popular Baby Boy Names, 2013

popular baby boy names, letter by letter, in 2013

Wondering what the most popular J-names for baby boys are? How about Q-names?

Below are the 10 most popular boy names for each letter, A through Z. (The parenthetical notations show how the current rankings differ from the 2012 rankings.)

The two new #1 names that emerged in 2013 were Hunter, which replaced Henry, and Thomas, which replaced Tyler.

A-Names

1. Alexander, 14771 baby boys
2. Aiden, 13527
3. Anthony, 12164
4. Andrew, 11568
5. Aaron, 7246
6. Adrian, 6802 (was 8th)
7. Austin, 6441
8. Angel, 6320 (was 6th)
9. Ayden, 6035
10. Adam, 5193

B-Names

1. Benjamin, 13373 baby boys
2. Brayden, 7384
3. Brandon, 6180
4. Blake, 5601
5. Bentley, 5344
6. Brody, 4302
7. Bryson, 3783
8. Bryce, 3335
9. Brantley, 3171 (was 13th)
10. Braxton, 3078

Out of the top 10: Bryan, now ranked 11th.

C-Names

1. Christopher, 10765 baby boys
2. Carter, 9512 (was 4th)
3. Caleb, 9500 (was 2nd)
4. Christian, 9261 (was 3rd)
5. Connor, 7058 (was 6th)
6. Charles, 6955 (was 7th)
7. Cameron, 6809 (was 5th)
8. Colton, 6442
9. Chase, 5504
10. Cooper, 4843

D-Names

1. Daniel, 14140 baby boys
2. David, 12226
3. Dylan, 10058
4. Dominic, 6277
5. Damian, 3945
6. Declan, 3097 (was 7th)
7. Diego, 2905 (was 6th)
8. Derek, 1865 (was 9th)
9. Devin, 1828 (was 8th)
10. Damien, 1603

E-Names

1. Ethan, 16127 baby boys
2. Elijah, 13626
3. Eli, 7867
4. Evan, 7070
5. Easton, 4615
6. Elias, 3472 (was 7th)
7. Eric, 3233 (was 6th)
8. Ezra, 2708 (was 10th)
9. Edward, 2679 (was 8th)
10. Emmanuel, 2377 (was 9th)

F-Names

1. Francisco, 1688 baby boys
2. Finn, 1440 (was 3rd)
3. Fernando, 1424 (was 2nd)
4. Felix, 1171 (was 5th)
5. Fabian, 1091 (was 4th)
6. Frank, 996
7. Finnegan, 605
8. Finley, 562 (was 10th)
9. Frederick, 549
10. Franklin, 545 (was 8th)

G-Names

1. Gabriel, 11112 baby boys
2. Gavin, 7379
3. Grayson, 5500
4. Giovanni, 2964
5. Greyson, 2630 (was 9th)
6. George, 2522 (was 7th)
7. Grant, 2401 (was 6th)
8. Gael, 2296 (was 5th)
9. Gage, 2131 (was 8th)
10. Graham, 1876 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Garrett, now ranked 12th.

H-Names

1. Hunter, 8887 baby boys (was 2nd)
2. Henry, 8802 (was 1st)
3. Hudson, 4628
4. Hayden, 2933
5. Harrison, 2491
6. Hector, 1248
7. Holden, 1198
8. Hugo, 653
9. Hayes, 411 (was 13th)
10. Harvey, 399 (was 15th)

Hunter became the new #1 H-name in 2013.

Out of the top 10: Harley, now ranked 11th, and Harper, now 14th.

I-Names

1. Isaac, 10005 baby boys
2. Isaiah, 7754
3. Ian, 5374
4. Ivan, 2846
5. Iker, 1612
6. Israel, 1457
7. Ismael, 741
8. Izaiah, 634
9. Ibrahim, 631 (was 10th)
10. Issac, 585 (was 9th)

J-Names

1. Jacob, 17976 baby boys
2. Jayden, 14656
3. James, 13416
4. Jackson, 12488 (was 6th)
5. Joseph, 12095
6. Joshua, 11680 (was 4th)
7. John, 10588
8. Jack, 8506 (was 9th)
9. Jonathan, 8478 (was 8th)
10. Jaxon, 7479 (was 13th)

Out of the top 10: Jordan, now ranked 12th.

K-Names

1. Kevin, 5892 baby boys
2. Kayden, 4386
3. Kaiden, 3076 (was 6th)
4. Kaleb, 2833 (was 3rd)
5. Kaden, 2606
6. Kyle, 2563 (was 4th)
7. Kenneth, 2159
8. Kingston, 2114 (was 9th)
9. King, 2085 (was 11th)
10. Kai, 1956 (was 8th)

Out of the top 10: Keegan, now ranked 11th.

L-Names

1. Liam, 18002 baby boys
2. Logan, 12270
3. Lucas, 11451
4. Luke, 9497 (was 5th)
5. Landon, 8679 (was 4th)
6. Levi, 7339
7. Lincoln, 4010 (was 8th)
8. Luis, 3976 (was 7th)
9. Leo, 3473
10. Leonardo, 2891

M-Names

1. Mason, 17591 baby boys
2. Michael, 15366
3. Matthew, 13226
4. Micah, 3631
5. Maxwell, 3607 (was 7th)
6. Mateo, 3547 (was 9th)
7. Max, 3492 (was 5th)
8. Miles, 3385 (was 6th)
9. Miguel, 2874 (was 8th)
10. Marcus, 2497

N-Names

1. Noah, 18090 baby boys
2. Nathan, 9620
3. Nicholas, 7078
4. Nolan, 4715 (was 5th)
5. Nathaniel, 4461 (was 4th)
6. Nicolas, 2109
7. Nehemiah, 919
8. Noel, 774
9. Nash, 596 (was 10th)
10. Nico, 561 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Nikolas, now ranked 11th.

O-Names

1. Owen, 8702 baby boys
2. Oliver, 7209
3. Oscar, 2225
4. Omar, 1873
5. Orion, 743
6. Orlando, 465
7. Odin, 447
8. Otto, 338 (was 10th)
9. Omari, 318 (was 8th)
10. Oakley, 288 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Osvaldo, now ranked 11th.

P-Names

1. Parker, 5622 baby boys
2. Preston, 2636
3. Patrick, 2566
4. Paul, 2017 (was 5th)
5. Peter, 1833 (was 6th)
6. Peyton, 1833 (was 4th)
7. Paxton, 1346
8. Pedro, 922
9. Phillip, 858
10. Phoenix, 775 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Pablo, now ranked 13th.

Q-Names

1. Quinn, 875 baby boys
2. Quentin, 722
3. Quinton, 479
4. Quincy, 416
5. Quintin, 248
6. Quinten, 161
7. Quinlan, 59
8. Quade, 34 (was 15th)
9. Quadir, 32 (was 10th)
10. Quran, 31 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Quincey, now ranked 11th, and Quin, now 13th.

R-Names

1. Ryan, 9808 baby boys
2. Robert, 6641
3. Ryder, 3750
4. Roman, 2858 (was 6th)
5. Richard, 2770 (was 4th)
6. Riley, 2531 (was 5th)
7. Ryker, 2462 (was 8th)
8. Rylan, 1882 (was 7th)
9. Ricardo, 1421
10. Reid, 1364 (was 12th)

Out of the top 10: Raymond, now ranked 11th.

S-Names

1. Samuel, 10957 baby boys
2. Sebastian, 7495
3. Silas, 3367 (was 7th)
4. Sawyer, 3142 (was 6th)
5. Santiago, 3015 (was 4th)
6. Steven, 2850 (was 3rd)
7. Sean, 2180 (was 5th)
8. Simon, 1592 (was 12th)
9. Seth, 1578 (was 8th)
10. Spencer, 1440

Out of the top 10: Stephen, now ranked 11th.

T-Names

1. Thomas, 6708 baby boys (was 2nd)
2. Tyler, 6590 (was 1st)
3. Tristan, 3970
4. Timothy, 3016
5. Theodore, 2397 (was 7th)
6. Tucker, 2220
7. Tanner, 2029 (was 5th)
8. Travis, 1571 (was 9th)
9. Trevor, 1520 (was 8th)
10. Trenton, 1319

Thomas became the new #1 T-name in 2013.

U-Names

1. Uriel, 567 baby boys
2. Uriah, 488
3. Urijah, 298
4. Ulises, 270
5. Ulysses, 164
6. Umar, 94 (was 7th)
7. Unknown, 85 (was 6th) [not a name; used when a name is unknown]
8. Uziel, 77
9. Uzziah, 51 (was 10th)
10. Usman, 39 (was 15th)

Out of the top 10: Usher, now ranked 11th.

V-Names

1. Vincent, 3829 baby boys
2. Victor, 2715
3. Vihaan, 426
4. Valentino, 329 (was 6th)
5. Vicente, 317 (was 4th)
6. Vincenzo, 285 (was 5th)
7. Van, 252 (was 8th)
8. Vaughn, 247 (was 9th)
9. Vance, 244 (was 7th)
10. Valentin, 237

W-Names

1. William, 16495 baby boys
2. Wyatt, 8490
3. Wesley, 2819
4. Weston, 2473
5. Waylon, 1190
6. Walter, 930
7. Walker, 833
8. Warren, 577
9. Wade, 483
10. Winston, 390 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Wilson, now ranked 11th.

X-Names

1. Xavier, 4933 baby boys
2. Xander, 1687
3. Xzavier, 420
4. Xavi, 217
5. Xavion, 81
6. Xaiden, 76
7. Xavian, 63
8. Xavior, 55
9. Xayden, 53
10. Xzander, 43 (was 12th)

Out of the top 10: Xavien, now ranked 11th.

Y-Names

1. Yahir, 570 baby boys
2. Yusuf, 414
3. Yosef, 328
4. Yousef, 249 (was 5th)
5. Yael, 243 (was 4th)
6. Yair, 206 (was 10th)
7. Yadiel, 202 (was 8th)
8. Yisroel, 179 (was 9th)
9. Yehuda, 174 (was 6th)
10. Youssef, 173 (was 12th)

Out of the top 10: Yandel, now ranked 14th.

Z-Names

1. Zachary, 5685 baby boys
2. Zayden, 2097 (was 3rd)
3. Zane, 1719 (was 2nd)
4. Zander, 1586 (was 5th)
5. Zion, 1514 (was 4th)
6. Zaiden, 956
7. Zachariah, 744
8. Zayne, 576 (was 9th)
9. Zackary, 463 (was 8th)
10. Zain, 360 (was 11th)

Out of the top 10: Zechariah, now ranked 11th.

Here are the 2012 rankings, if you want to check them out.

U.S. Baby Names 2013: Most Popular Names, Top Girl Name Debuts, Top Boy Name Debuts, Biggest Girl Name Changes, Biggest Boy Name Changes, Top First Letters, Top Lengths, Top Girl Names by Letter, Top Boy Names by Letter, Top 1-Syllable Names


Soap Opera Names as Baby Names

Below are over 25 baby names that have been given a boost by various soap operas — All My Children, The Young and the Restless, General Hospital, One Life to Live, and more.

soap opera baby names (luke laura general hospital)

Alanmichael
The character Alan-Michael Spaulding debuted on Guiding Light in 1981 as a baby, then was re-introduced in 1987 as a teenager (impossibly). The baby name Alanmichael debuted on the baby name charts the following year, as did variants Allanmichael and Allenmichael.

  • 1990: 29 baby boys named Alanmichael
  • 1989: 16 baby boys named Alanmichael
  • 1988: 13 baby boys named Alanmichael [debut]
  • 1987: unlisted
  • 1986: unlisted

Ashley
The character Ashley Abbott debuted on The Young and the Restless in 1982. The baby name Ashley saw a significant usage increase that year. (I’ve even interviewed one of the Ashleys named for the character.)

  • 1984: 38,757 baby girls named Ashley (rank: 3rd)
  • 1983: 33,280 baby girls named Ashley (rank: 4th)
  • 1982: 14,844 baby girls named Ashley (rank: 17th)
  • 1981: 8,874 baby girls named Ashley (rank: 34th)
  • 1980: 7,291 baby girls named Ashley (rank: 40th)

Bianca
The character Bianca Montgomery — daughter of Erica Kane — debuted on All My Children in 1988. The baby name Bianca saw a significant usage increase that year.

  • 1990: 3,826 baby girls named Bianca (rank: 84th)
  • 1989: 3,593 baby girls named Bianca (rank: 91st)
  • 1988: 2,636 baby girls named Bianca (rank: 108th)
  • 1987: 919 baby girls named Bianca (rank: 268th)
  • 1986: 830 baby girls named Bianca (rank: 294th)

Ciji
The character Ciji Dunne debuted on Knot’s Landing in 1982. The baby name Ciji saw a significant usage increase the following year.

  • 1985: 60 baby girls named Ciji
  • 1984: 150 baby girls named Ciji (rank: 963rd)
  • 1983: 244 baby girls named Ciji (rank: 698th)
  • 1982: 8 baby girls named Ciji
  • 1981: unlisted

Cordero
The character Cordero “Cord” Roberts debuted on One Life to Live in 1986. The baby name Cordero debuted on the baby name charts the same year. Cordero was the most impressive newbie name of 1986, in fact. Related names like Corderro, Cordaro, Cordarro, Cordaryl, Cordario and Codero also debuted.

  • 1988: 236 baby boys named Cordero (rank: 615th)
  • 1987: 340 baby boys named Cordero (rank: 481st)
  • 1986: 173 baby boys named Cordero (rank: 689th) [debut]
  • 1985: unlisted
  • 1984: unlisted

Corvina
The character Corvina Lang appeared occasionally on All My Children in the mid-1990s. The baby name Corvina was a one-hit wonder in 1995.

  • 1996: unlisted
  • 1995: 5 baby girls named Corvina [debut]
  • 1994: unlisted

Decker
The character Decker Moss debuted on General Hospital in 1989. The baby name Decker debuted on the baby name charts the following year.

  • 1992: 13 baby boys named Decker
  • 1991: 14 baby boys named Decker
  • 1990: 14 baby boys named Decker [debut]
  • 1989: unlisted
  • 1988: unlisted

Echo
The character Echo DiSavoy debuted on One Life to Live in 1983. The baby name Echo saw a significant usage increase that year.

  • 1985: 115 baby girls named Echo
  • 1984: 182 baby girls named Echo (rank: 846th)
  • 1983: 181 baby girls named Echo (rank: 844th)
  • 1982: 60 baby girls named Echo
  • 1981: 61 baby girls named Echo

Felicia
The character Felicia Cummings debuted on General Hospital in 1984. The baby name Felicia saw a significant usage increase that year.

  • 1986: 3,079 baby girls named Felicia (rank: 90th)
  • 1985: 2,739 baby girls named Felicia (rank: 101st)
  • 1984: 1,482 baby girls named Felicia (rank: 185th)
  • 1983: 1,501 baby girls named Felicia (rank: 181st)
  • 1982: 1,425 baby girls named Felicia (rank: 194th)

Frisco
The character Andrew “Frisco” Jones debuted on General Hospital in 1984. The baby name Frisco debuted on the baby name charts the same year.

  • 1986: 25 baby boys named Frisco
  • 1985: 16 baby boys named Frisco
  • 1984: 7 baby boys named Frisco [debut]
  • 1983: unlisted
  • 1982: unlisted

Holden
The character Holden Snyder debuted on As the World Turns in 1986. The baby name Holden saw a significant usage increase the following year.

  • 1988: 143 baby boys named Holden (rank: 794th)
  • 1987: 107 baby boys named Holden (rank: 910th)
  • 1986: 58 baby boys named Holden
  • 1985: 15 baby boys named Holden
  • 1984: 17 baby boys named Holden

Jimmylee
The character Jimmy Lee Holt debuted on General Hospital in 1983. The baby name Jimmylee debuted on the baby name charts the following year.

  • 1985: 11 baby boys named Jimmylee
  • 1984: 19 baby boys named Jimmylee
  • 1983: 12 baby boys named Jimmylee [debut]
  • 1982: unlisted
  • 1981: unlisted

Joyelle
The character Joyelle was “born” on How To Survive A Marriage in 1975. The baby names Joyelle, Joyel and Joyell all debuted on the baby name charts the same year.

  • 1977: 15/9/10 baby girls named Joyelle/Joyel/Joyell
  • 1976: 31/23/20 baby girls named Joyelle/Joyel/Joyell
  • 1975: 88/79/51 baby girls named Joyelle/Joyel/Joyell [debuts]
  • 1974: unlisted
  • 1973: unlisted

Katina
The character Katina was “born” on Where the Heart Is in 1972. The baby name Katina saw a significant usage increase that year, and related names like Cotina, Katena, Kateena, Cantina and Catena debuted. Cotina was the most impressive newbie name of 1972, in fact. Here’s more on the name Katina.

  • 1974: 765 baby girls named Katina (rank: 307th)
  • 1973: 2,469 baby girls named Katina (rank: 120th)
  • 1972: 2,747 baby girls named Katina (rank: 117th)
  • 1971: 96 baby girls named Katina
  • 1970: 60 baby girls named Katina

Kayla
The character Kayla Brady debuted on Days of Our Lives in 1982. The baby name Kayla saw a significant usage increase that year.

  • 1984: 2,681 baby girls named Kayla (rank: 100th)
  • 1983: 3,527 baby girls named Kayla (rank: 81st)
  • 1982: 2,275 baby girls named Kayla (rank: 133rd)
  • 1981: 318 baby girls named Kayla (rank: 581st)
  • 1980: 313 baby girls named Kayla (rank: 594th)

Keemo
The character Keemo Volien Abbott debuted on The Young and the Restless in 1994. The baby name Keemo was a one-hit wonder in 1994.

  • 1995: unlisted
  • 1994: 7 baby boys named Keemo [debut]
  • 1993: unlisted

Lahoma
The character Lahoma Vane debuted on Another World in 1967. The baby name Lahoma saw a usage increase the following year. Here’s more on the name Lahoma.

  • 1969: 44 baby girls named Lahoma
  • 1968: 109 baby girls named Lahoma
  • 1967: 24 baby girls named Lahoma
  • 1966: unlisted
  • 1965: 6 baby girls named Lahoma

Laken
The character Laken Lockridge debuted on Santa Barbara in 1984. The baby name Laken debuted on the baby name charts the same year.

  • 1986: 94 baby girls named Laken
  • 1985: 109 baby girls named Laken
  • 1984: 19 baby girls named Laken [debut]
  • 1983: unlisted
  • 1982: unlisted

Mergeron
The character Dina Mergeron debuted on The Young and the Restless in 1983. The baby name Mergeron was a one-hit wonder in 1984.

  • 1985: unlisted
  • 1984: 5 baby boys named Mergeron [debut]
  • 1983: unlisted

Mikkos
The character Mikkos Cassadine debuted on General Hospital in 1981. The baby name Mikkos debuted on the baby name charts the same year. Variant name Mikos also debuted that year.

  • 1983: unlisted
  • 1982: 6 baby boys named Mikkos
  • 1981: 15 baby boys named Mikkos [debut]
  • 1980: unlisted
  • 1979: unlisted

Penny
The character Penny Hughes debuted on As the World Turns in 1956. The baby name Penny saw a usage increase the following year.

  • 1958: 3,557 baby girls named Penny
  • 1957: 3,042 baby girls named Penny
  • 1956: 2,345 baby girls named Penny
  • 1955: 2,211 baby girls named Penny
  • 1954: 2,135 baby girls named Penny

Reva
The character Reva Shayne debuted on Guiding Light in 1983. The baby name Reva saw a significant usage increase the following year.

  • 1986: 134 baby girls named Reva
  • 1985: 115 baby girls named Reva
  • 1984: 92 baby girls named Reva
  • 1983: 43 baby girls named Reva
  • 1982: 37 baby girls named Reva

Ridge
The character Ridge Forrester debuted on The Bold and the Beautiful in 1987. The baby name Ridge re-entered the baby name charts after a long absence the same year.

  • 1989: 105 baby boys named Ridge (rank: 1,000th)
  • 1988: 99 baby boys named Ridge (rank: 975th)
  • 1987: 26 baby boys named Ridge
  • 1986: unlisted
  • 1985: unlisted

Sierra
The character Sierra Esteban debuted on As the World Turns in 1985. The baby name Sierra saw a significant usage increase that year.

  • 1987: 1,620 baby girls names Sierra (rank: 173rd)
  • 1986: 1,610 baby girls names Sierra (rank: 169th)
  • 1985: 1,199 baby girls names Sierra (rank: 215th)
  • 1984: 230 baby girls names Sierra (rank: 720th)
  • 1983: 193 baby girls names Sierra (rank: 807th)

Snapper
The character William “Snapper” Foster debuted on The Young and the Restless in 1973. The baby name Snapper debuted on the baby name charts the same year.

  • 1975: 6 baby boys names Snapper
  • 1974: 8 baby boys names Snapper
  • 1973: 5 baby boys names Snapper [debut]
  • 1972: unlisted
  • 1971: unlisted

Tara
The character Tara Martin debuted on All My Children in 1970. The baby name Tara saw a significant usage increase that year. Here’s more on the name Tara.

  • 1972: 7,230 baby girls named Tara (rank: 38th)
  • 1971: 6,327 baby girls named Tara (rank: 50th)
  • 1970: 5,334 baby girls named Tara (rank: 69th)
  • 1969: 3,519 baby girls named Tara (rank: 107th)
  • 1968: 2,184 baby girls named Tara (rank: 147th)

Do you know anyone named for a soap opera character?

Baby Names Needed for Quintuplets

A reader named Allison and her husband Dawson are expecting 5 (!) little ones. Three will be boys, two will be girls, and their surname will sound a lot like “Barber.” Here’s more from Allison:

We have twins Holden Patrick (Holden is from Catcher In the Rye and Patrick is my father’s middle name) and Theo Drummey (Theo because we liked it and Drummey is a family name.) I’m Irish and my husband is Canadian but doesn’t really have a name preference (other then if he had his wish our first daughter would be Jasmine Atlanta). As you can see I like to have my heritage in the names but I know from my family that names spelled in Gaelic form don’t usually go over well with the western way we pronounce things. At the same time I really like simple classy names and names with meaning… We have a large mix of name choices the only thing we knew is we don’t want any Winifreds or Paulinas or Alfreds or Richards, we also would like to stay away from Liam, Aidan, Maeve, Finn, Brigid all family names that have been taken. We are stuck! Here is our list of names so far, completely mixed up…

Tadgh- pronounced Tighe
Cian- pro. Keean
Callum- pro. Kaylum
Caelum
Rory
Christian
Samuel
Benjamin
Maxwell
Emmett

Ryann
Cecelia/Cecilia
Auden
Caoimhe- pro. Keevah
Kate
Jillian
Rosalie
Thea (I know we can’t use this because of Theo but I love it!)
Jasmine

Family Names: (we would use these as middle names)
Drummey
Patrick
Marie
Jeremy
Brian
Patricia
Bryanna
Pearl

Thank you! Any help is appreciated! :)

First of all, congratulations!

I think Holden and Theo have great names. Of the options listed, the five I like best with Holden and Theo are Benjamin, Christian, Maxwell, Kate and Cecilia, though I like many of the others as well.

I’d be wary about using names like Tadgh and Caoimhe because, where I am, names like these require explanation. Things will probably be tricky enough with quints…why add extra complication? :) But perhaps Allison and her family live in a place where Irish names are common and this isn’t an issue.

Here are some other ideas:

Conor
Cormac
Henry
Hugh
Kevin
Lucas
Neil
Nolan
Owen
Ronan
Ryan
Sean
Sebastian
Thomas
William
Abigail
Adele
Charlotte
Clara
Dorothy
Hannah
Lucy
Michelle
Molly
Nicole
Nola
Nora
Orla
Una/Oona
Willa

It’s hard to talk about middles before the first names are in place. I’d probably use short middles with long firsts and vice versa (e.g. Cecilia Pearl, Kate Patricia), just for balance. And I’d avoid the combo Jasmine Pearl, as that’s a type of tea. It’s delicious, but still.

Which of the above (3 boy names, 2 girl names) do you like best with Holden and Theo? What other names would you suggest to Allison?

UPDATE – Allison has just learned that there will actually be 3 girls and 2 boys!

Baby Names Needed for the Twin Siblings of Beatrix

A reader named Marissa, who has a daughter named Beatrix Penelope (nn Bea), is expecting twins–one boy, one girl. She’s got their middle names narrowed down (Anthony or Alexander for the baby boy, Daphne or Jillian for the baby girl) but she’d like some help with their first names.

Here’s what she’s looking for in a boy name:

For the boy I’d like names that are two syllables long and start and end in a consonant. So far I like Robert, Patrick, Daniel and Fabian. The only one he likes is Fabian, but we’re still not sure.

And here’s what she’s looking for in a girl name:

For the girl I’d like names that are three or four syllables long, and start and end in a vowel. So far I like Anastasia, Ophelia, Elena and Ursula, but he likes none of them.

The babies’ last name will sound something like Thisbe.

Here are some of the boy names I came up with:

Calvin
Clement
Chester
Conrad
Curtis
David
Declan
Dexter
Duncan
Felix
Franklin
Holden
Howard
Jasper
Kenneth
Lincoln
Linus
Lucas
Malcolm
Martin
Maxwell
Miles
Mitchell
Nathan
Nelson
Nigel
Nolan
Philip
Raymond
Reuben
Roland
Roman
Silas
Simon
Stuart
Thomas
Victor
Vincent
William
Winston

And here are some ideas for the girl name:

Acantha
Adela
Adelina
Adriana
Agatha
Alexandra
Alexina
Alicia
Allegra
Althea
Amelia
Annabella
Andrea
Angela
Antonia
Arabella
Araminta
Athena
Augusta
Aurelia
Aurora
Azalea
Eleanora
Eliana
Elisa
Eloisa
Estella
Eugenia
Eulalia
Imelda
Iona
Irena/Irina
Isabella
Isidora
Octavia
Odelia
Odessa
Olivia
Olympia
Ottilia

Which of the above do you like best with Beatrix? (And which ones make the best boy/girl pairings, do you think?)

What other names would you suggest to Marissa?

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?