Babies named after Katniss from “Hunger Games”?

"The Hunger Games" (2008)
The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games is a young adult science-fiction trilogy by Suzanne Collins. The last of the three books, Mockingjay, was released a few weeks ago.

At the moment, Mockingjay is #5 on the Bestseller List. Catching Fire, the second book, is #13. Hunger Games, the first, is #16.

Movies based on the books are in the works.

What interests me about the series is that most of the Hunger Games characters have odd names. The young female protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, was named after an edible plant called katniss. She has a younger sister named Primrose, a male friend named Peeta, and lives in a world where people are named anything from Glimmer to Plutarch.

We all know that popular books and movies have the potential to affect baby name trends–even create brand new baby names. Babies have been named Renesmee thanks to Twilight, Neytiri thanks to Avatar, Galadriel thanks to The Lord of the Rings…the list goes on.

Could you see Katniss crossing over into the real world as a baby name? How about any of the other Hunger Games names?

(I first learned about these books in a video by Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn, which is a great blog/site/podcast for writers.)

Update, March 26, 2012: As you know, the trilogy is now a movie. And, last weekend, Hunger Games (the film) had the 3rd-best opening weekend of all time (after The Dark Knight and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2). So…Katniss is pretty much a sure thing at this point. If it doesn’t debut in 2011 for the books, it’s bound to debut in 2012 for the movie.

Update, July 21, 2020: The name Katniss did indeed debut in 2012, as did Finnick. Primrose made a return that year as well, as did Gale for baby boys. Two more Hunger Games names affected by subsequent movies include Everdeen (debuted in 2014) and Cressida (re-emerged in 2014). And, going back to the books, the name Rue returned in 2010.

45 thoughts on “Babies named after Katniss from “Hunger Games”?

  1. I like the name katniss, because the plant is more commonly known as arrowhead and it’s a subtle form of meaningful name – not like Remus Lupin, aka “Wolfy McWolfman”, of Harry Potter fame.

    But I don’t see it as a real name. Sounds too much like “cat piss”.

  2. Hi Nancy, Thanks so much for the link! I’m so glad to have pointed you towards The Hunger Games – they are such great books. It’s just funny that you have the article on a baby names blog. I never thought of it that way. Fantastic! Thanks, Joanna

  3. Slightly OT, but I just spotted this quote from Suzanne Collins about the origin of Everdeen:

    Entertainment Weekly: Which classic have you never read—but pretended you did?

    Suzanne Collins: I sort of half read Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge. It was assigned in 10th grade, and I just couldn’t get into it. About seven years later I rediscovered Hardy, and consumed four of his novels in a row. Katniss Everdeen owes her last name to Bathsheba Everdene, the lead character in Far From the Madding Crowd. The two are very different, but both struggle with knowing their hearts.

    Source: Suzanne Collins on the books she loves

  4. While there are many unusual names in the Hunger Games series, there *are* some realistic possibilities.

    GIRLS: Venia (vee-nee-yuh), Primrose, Rue, Madge, Johanna. Enobaria *could* be a possibility, but it’s a bit strange.

    BOYS: Haymitch (alternate spelling of Hamish), Finnick, Cato, and Peeta.

    Note: A character’s name is Hazelle. Could it be pronounced Huh-ZELL (like bell), or the typical way, Hay-zull?

  5. I know a new born who’s name is Clover after the character in the Hunger Games. She was born 12 weeks ago. Clover Lynn L$*%#en, I think it is kinda cute but a little strange.

  6. Yes. I seriously want to name my daughter Katniss. My son is most definitely Haymitch or Finnick. If i had another daughter, I would name her Enobaria, or Madge, or possibly Prim(rose)….DEAD SERIOUS!

  7. Allison: I think the character’s name is Clove, but Clover is a nice variaiton.

    Hayley: I like Finnick as well. Very snappy. I’m personally not a fan of Enobaria, but that might have to do with the fact that she’s a ruthless bloodthirsty animal in the books. I think Prim and Madge are real possibilities.

  8. Madge is a real name its a diminutive of margaret. But I won’t lie Enobaria is on the table for my soon to be born baby girl. I love it it sounds so strong yet still lyrical and feminine and has several viable nickname options

  9. I’m planning on naming a daughter Katniss. Mostly for the character herself, but I do like the name.

    I would assume that if the names get popular, it won’t be for a while. Granted, a lot of adults are into The Hunger Games, but most of the fans are young enough that they won’t be parents for a while. (I’m 20 and know I don’t plan on kids for at least a decade.) At any rate, I hope Katniss doesn’t get too popular, because I want it to be somewhat original.

  10. I am definitely considering naming my daughter Katniss. It’s very pretty, and very powerful if people know what The Hunger Games is. Very honorable.

  11. I’m not sure I’d be willing to name my daughter Katniss, but I’d definitely consider any of the others. Prim for sure. Rue, sure. Clove, sure. Cinna, sure. Johanna, sure. Seeder, sure. Madge, sure. Hazelle, sure. Maybe Effie as a nickname for Ophelia or Josephine or something.

  12. Well in there I love the name Venia ( Although it sounds like Veins) , Primrose is cute yet old, Enobaria.. is not to my taste at all , Peeta is so cute as a boy name (:,Johanna is too common, Rue is Adorable !, Madge is ok … ,Finnick is amazing ! So is Cato and Clove. But Not Haymitch sounds like an old mans name …. and Gale Seems like a girl name, Katniss is ok , Iam not too fond of it, if she couldve only been named something like Katia or Kat, it wouldve made more sense, Katniss seems like.. Cat Piss :/ , Hazelle is cute, Cinna is beautiful for a girl !, , Seeder is ok , Effie is a pretty nickname, But if Anything they should name a charactar Ophelia. Love that name to death ! I also like the last name Snow. its wonderful

  13. I honestly love the name Katniss. From the books, the names i would legitimently name my kids are…

    GIRL: Madge, Primrose, Rue, Katniss, Clove and Johanna

    BOY: Gale (i looovvvveeeeeeeeee gale, the character) and Finnick

    I would also change Gale to the girl variation, Gayle, because i love the way it sounds. My top pick for the girls would be Madge, Rue and Primrose. The male names in the books didn’t thrill me, I just thought they were very original.

  14. Sorry, just another quick comment…

    Livianna: I completely forgot about Cinna!! But I do love the name for both sexes.

    … Doesn’t Cinna die?

  15. I named my daughter Katniss. Alas, that was before I knew there was going to be a movie. With everyone now jumping on the bandwagon, I think I’m going to have to rename her. I love the name, but I chose it because it was unusual. Sigh.

  16. I love the name Katniss! But it must be because I dislike my original name. I would name my baby girl if I have one in the future if it isn’t too popular.
    The name is very powerful, courageous, and brings life to the world of names being quite exotic.
    Also, it seems easy to pronounce unlike other exotic names.
    But I wouldn’t name my child because of the book, but because its a name I am just frankly in love with!
    Although the books have pulled me under and when I was finished reading them, I started over.

  17. My husband and I are older fans of the series (we’re 26), and we love the name Katniss. I think it sounds like a more modern form of Cadence. If the movie is a blockbuster I think the name might be in the top 100 girl names…but I don’t think it’ll be in the top 10 like Isabella, just for the fact that Isabella is already a more classic name and classic names have been trending for a while (Emma, Ava, Olivia, etc).

    I really like that Katniss is a strong female literary hero, and since our love of reading is important to us, we’re going to keep the name in mind as a middle name if we have a girl. I’d probably give her a more traditional sounding first name, so when she’s 60 and, say, if the books aren’t classics/remembered in the far future, she wouldn’t feel so unusual. I have a unusual first and middle name and it’s bothersome at times.

  18. I see Katniss as being a real name. Renesmee just sounds…strange. Katniss sounds like an easy, beautiful, catchy name. I also see rue, gale, prim, cinna, finnick, clove, and peeta as being good names. Some that are listed may be real names

  19. I agree with Nicole, Katniss does sound like a real name. I think Renee Esme would have sounded better than the combo name Renesmee.

    E, my middle name is Hazelle and we say it Huh-ZELL. I was really excited the first time I read The Hunger Games and saw it! I’ve never met another Hazelle in real life. For my mom, it was a combo my great-grandmother’s name, Ellen + Hazel =Hazelle.

  20. I loved the books and I’m thinking of re-reading them all and I only just got and read them all about 2 weeks ago lol. They’re fantastic books. As for naming my future child after any of the characters in the book? Yeah I’d absolutely do it, but not just to copy the books, but because I genuinely like the names. I love Katniss as a name. I think it’s so adorable and it’s unusual without being ridiculous. I always liked the nickname Kat for Katherine or Kathleen but Katniss is a nice, unique alternative to 2 overused, yet beautiful names. I doubt I’d use Primrose as it’s awfully formal. Katniss is just beautiful. I love Peeta too and Peta/Pita are actual names, so just adding that extra e isn’t a big deal. Haymitch is cute as is Finnick. But my favorite name from the books is Katniss and I’d absolutely consider it as a name if I have any kids, as long as it was okay with my husband lol.

  21. I would definatly consider naming my daughter katniss just because i absolutely loved her personality in the books and i also just love the name. I also would possibly name my daughter primrose or cinna but i think katniss is less of a supriseing mame. Also i love annie. As for boys i love the name finnick and his charachter throughout the books (it can be shortned to finn) and i even like the names cato and cinna for a boy as well. As for peeta..idk. i abdolutely love the charachter but i think i would need to let the namr ggrow on me for a while but i do see it as a possibility. But i do suggest not naming your kids katniss and peeta because if they end up reading the books one day i doubt they will be thrilled to find out the were ‘star crossed lovers’ but yeah i love katniss and i think its very pretty :)

  22. i agree “cat piss” is the first thing that comes to mind…your kid would get hell in school for this

  23. You don’t have to copy a specific name, either. Garden and medicinal herbs have lots of quirky, interesting common names to choose from: Betony, Caraway, Dill, Hyssop, Perilla, Rosemary, Sage, Sorrel, Sylvetta, and so forth. You just have to do some digging.

    And be creative. I mean, Helichrysum is a bit much, but ‘Everlasting’ has a sweet tone, and the order name of Asterales (which includes Everlasting and Daisies and Sunflowers and so on) is simply lovely.

    Oh, but in postscriptum: herb names to avoid, if you value your child’s well-being in elementary school include LOVAGE and ARUGULA. :[

  24. Of course Cinna dies. He’s presumably named after Cinna the poet, who was lynched after the death of Julius Caesar because people thought he was Cinna the conspirator. Our Cinna, in the books, is both of course :)

  25. Gawd….. Your kids are going to hate you! ( all you people naming your kids Katniss etc.)

  26. Katniss is a pretty name, but I have to agree that it sounds like “cat piss.” I like the name Duxelles (dew-SHELL), even though it’s a French mushroom dish. Rue is a cute name, but I think the only name in the Hunger Games I would consider is Hazelle. Peeta and Gale are definitely no’s, and it’s the same with Haymitch. Finnick I could live with, but that wouldn’t be up for consideration. I wouldn’t really name my kids after popular book stars, just because I would understand their embarrassment. Also, I could live with Edith, because my favorite singer in the world is Edith Piaf.

  27. Im 7 months pregnant, and it’s a girl!!! At first I really was thinking Boutt naming her Renesmee, but yesterday my friend told me that she saw the hunger games, and that there was a girl named Primrose in it. As soon as I heard the name, I said the baby is Primrose. But I still liked the name Renesmee, so I thought, and my boyfriend agreed, that our daughter will be named PrimRose Renesmee!! I honestly think it’s a BEAUTIFUL name, and she’s gonna be a BEAUTIFUL baby girl!!!

  28. Prim(rose) does seem like a great name! I actually named my daughter Prim before Hunger Games BOOK was out!

  29. I honestly wouldn’t name my child Rue simply because the meaning of it is Regret. I wouldn’t want them thinking that I regret having them. For example, “I rue the day….”

  30. I remember I didn’t really like the names when I first read “The Hunger Games,” which is odd since I love unique and different names. I immediately grew attached to the “Harry Potter” names, but it took a while for me to like the names from THG; they definitely have grown on me and I love them. So much that the first son I have will be named Peeta!

    Favorite girl names:

    Favorite boy names:

  31. My little sister’s called Katniss, though she’s 14 so she’s not named after the Hunger Games character, just the plant. I think it’s a beautiful name. I reckon names from books should be used more in real life!

  32. I actually like the name Katniss for a girl if I have a baby girl when I’m older I’d name her Katniss Rose (short for Primrose). It would be a really cute name when she’s younger, when she’s a teen it could be Kat, and when shes an adult Katniss would be great! It’s a beautiful name that I would name my child. O and btw the name is Clove not Clover just so u know. For a boy Gale is a real name but it would be hard to work Peeta in there. It could be like Gale Cinna, or Cinna Gale. I personly think Cinna Gale sounds better. But I LOVE this series and would definitely name my child after a character in it also because they are beautiful names! :)

  33. I hate katniss’s name
    But I love the names Rue and primrose. When I grow up I want to name my daughter Rue and if they are twin then Rue and Primrose (prim)

  34. I might legally change my name to Katniss, if I don’t then if I ever have a child that’s a girl I am naming her Katniss Primrose.

  35. When Katniss first met Gale he thought she said her name was Catnip and uses it as a playful nickname though out the book series. I think the name is a little like Apple or Peaches but less obvious unless you know the Katniss plant. I adore the name Tiger Lily from Peter Pan but my niece was named Lily and Tiger as a first name is a little out there so I deviated. I thought of using Honeysuckle for a while but that was until I came across Primrose in THG I warmed to the character straight away and am seriously considering calling my child this. I’m still keeping Honeysuckle in there though and I’m going with Primrose Honeysuckle for my daughter. I know that like me others will have connected with Prim too so I’m not picking it because the name is unique simply because I like it. I also warmed to Renesmee in TTS but she had a minimal part in the books and films the name was made up and so would always be associated with the francise. When you name your child after a litteray chacter I think the character needs a good solid backbone and for me Renesmee didn’t have a big enough part to have the same impact as say her mother and her Imprintee who have the most called apon names at present. Prim was there in THG from the beginning if it weren’t for Prim being called at the Reaping then Katniss wouldn’t have gone on to prove what a Hero she was so although not the main character Prim had a strong part in the plot of the story.

  36. I named my son Finnick Gaines. Finnick was one of my favorite characters in the books and I love the name. Gaines is after my Dad.

  37. I love the name Katniss. It is very unique, and I would definitely consider naming my daughter Katniss. Beautiful name.

  38. It’s frightening how many parents are treating their children like accessories. Naming your kid something unusual just because you want to show off could be harmful in the long run. Can you imagine some poor kid going to school with the name Katniss? “Cat Piss” and “can’t kiss” would be just a few rude names they could be called by their peers. And unfortunately The Hunger Games isn’t just going to fade out as a fad, it’s right up there with Harry Potter, so people will know what the name is from. Just a matter of opinion, but ‘Katniss’ is grating to say, it sounds almost gibberish, or like something you’d name a pet cat or dog, not a child.

    Maybe people think it’s a cute and original name now, but picture your son/daughter in high school… Katniss is one of those names like Trixibelle, Brick, Alecto, Dweezil, Satchel or Moon Unit – it sounds cool, especially if you’re having a kid at a younger age, but changes are pretty high that your child won’t be thanking you. O_o

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.