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Baby Names Based on Literary Classics

Photograph by Twenty20

Suffering from a case of baby name writer's block? Leave the task up to a literary great. Whether it's inspired by a beloved character or favorite author, the perfect title for your little one could be found within the pages of a book.

William

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #5

Meaning: Strong-willed warrior

American author William Faulkner and the great William Shakespeare share this English name that's also common among British royalty. Use Will (No. 763) for a nickname.

Harper

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #11 (girls), #728 (boys)

Meaning: Harp player

Author Harper Lee made headlines in 2015 when "Go Set a Watchman" was released 55 years after the debut of her Pulitzer Prize-winning title, "To Kill a Mockingbird." An Old English surname, this moniker refers a musician or an instrument maker.

Jay

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #372

Meaning: Bird in the crow family

The title character of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 classic, Jay Gatsby is often seen as a symbol of wealth and the American Dream despite his tragic demise. This Latin name can also be short for No. 9 James (Gatsby's real name was James Gatz) or John (No. 26).

Jane

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #322

Meaning: God is gracious

From Charlotte Bronte's famed "Jane Eyre" to author Jane Austen, who wrote "Pride and Prejudice" and "Sense and Sensibility," this medieval English name is deeply rooted in British literary history. It's also the French feminine form of John.

Finn

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #234

Meaning: Fair

troubled yet beloved character in Mark Twain's classics, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and the "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," this Irish moniker has several other variations, including Finnegan (No. 464) and Finley – No. 223 (girls), No. 374 (boys).

Emma

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #1

Meaning: Whole, universal

The complicated heroine in the eponymous novel by Jane Austen, Emma is a Germanic name that skyrocketed from No. 13 in 2001 to No. 4 in 2002 after Jennifer Aniston's character on "Friends" gave birth to a baby girl of the same name.

Ernest

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #880

Meaning: Earnest, serious

This English name was shared by Pulitzer and Nobel prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway and one of the main characters in Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest." Use Ernie for a nickname.

Holly

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #449

Meaning: Plant with red berries

The main character of Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's," the iconic Holly Golightly was brought to life onscreen by Audrey Hepburn in 1961. This English name could be perfect for a December baby.

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