Editor’s note: This post is a list of fictional witches. If you’re looking for a reliable resource for pagan baby names, please visit Isadora’s site, Bewitching Names.
With Halloween less than two weeks away, I’ve had witches on the brain.
Yes, there are generically named characters, like the Wicked Witches and the Witch-Queen, but fictional witches have worn so many fantastic names. Names that are perfectly wearable for a real girl, magical powers not required. Others have names that are interesting, but maybe not really suited for the real world. Elphaba fascinates me, but seems an unlikely candidate for a child’s name, so I’ve left her off the list.
I’ve decided to limit this list to girl choices. Sometimes male characters are called witches. More frequently they’re warlocks or wizards or sorcerers or something else, but it varies. So no boys allowed, at least for this post.
Read on for some of the most bewitching given names ever worn by those who ride broomsticks.
Witch Names: Borrowed from Books
Diana – Have you read A Discovery of Witches? Diana is a super-smart witch who has been trying very hard to deny that such things exist. Until she falls in love with a vampire. And has a bunch of other adventures. The third book in the trilogy is due out in 2014, and a movie adaptation is already in the works. A super-popular princess couldn’t boost this goddess name – could a blockbuster movie about a paranormal romance?
Esme, Esmerelda – This one comes from the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, where Esme is also known as Granny.
Hermione – The Harry Potter heroine has a great name – a clunky, Greek antique that stands out, just like the oh-so-famous fictional witch. She’s inspired two posts about names with similar qualities: The Hermiones: Part I and The Hermiones: Part II.
Fleur, Ginevra, Lavender, Lily, Luna, Minerva, Molly – There are whole posts filled with great names of Hermione’s fellow witches from the Harry Potter world. These are a few that come to mind when I think J.K. Rowling. I was tempted to add Bellatrix (a Belle-Beatrix smoosh? Be still my heart!) but she’s such a baddie that it felt wrong.
Mildred – Miss Granger’s polar opposite, Mildred is the bottom of the class at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches in The Worst Witch books. Despite her frequent misadventures and clumsiness with a spell or two, Mildred is brave, kind – and generally manages to save the day.
Rowan - Anne Rice is famous for vampires, but she’s also completed a highly successful series about a family of witches, stretching back generations. In The Witching Hour, Rowan Mayfair has grown up far away from her extended family in New Orleans, a brilliant surgeon who knows nothing about her family’s unusual past – or her destiny.
Antha, Deborah, Emaleth, Jeanne Louise, Marie Claudette, Mary Beth, Stella, Suzanne – More from the Mayfair witch family. Some of these are villains, and some are relatively minor characters. I haven’t read the book with Emaleth’s name in it, but I’m fascinated by the sound.
Serafina – My first thought is Ben and Jen’s second-born, but before Seraphina Affleck, there was Finnish witch queen Serafina in Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass.
Witch Names: Borrowed from Television
Alex – Her full name is Alexandra Margarita Russo, but Selena Gomez usually answers to the boyish Alex on Wizards of Waverly Place. I hesitated to include Alex on this life, if only because The Disney Channel seems to always refer to her as a wizard. But the series – and Miss Gomez – have been such a big hit that I decided to keep her.
Antonia – Do you watch True Blood? Season 4 takes the mild-mannered Marnie, a practicing witch, and mixes her up with the spirit of a sixteenth century witch named Antonia. Antonia is far more powerful than her host, and has a reason for seeking vengeance on all vampires. As a given name, Antonia ranks as a lovely, underused classic.
Hettie, Mona, Cressie – short for Crescentmoon – The Worst Witch inspired a television show that was so successful it lasted into the college years. Then along came The New Worst Witch, featuring Mildred’s cousin, Henrietta - called Hettie. Cresentmoon is one of the few character names that feels indulgently over-the-top, but in the era of Sadie, I think Cressie might be wearable.
Isobel – Smallville’s girl next door Lana Lang does a lot of growing up over the series’ run, and suffers some pretty unbelievable trials. One of them involves a seventeenth century French witch who possesses Lana.
Samantha – Long before The Charmed Ones, Samantha was a witch trying to make it as an ordinary housewife in the ‘burbs. Bewitched was a favorite sitcom in the 1960s, and remains a classic.
Tabitha – Bewitched’s cast expanded by one when Samantha and Darrin welcomed a daughter called Tabitha – also a witch. Her name was chosen by grandma Endora through some trickery, and while the parents were initially displeased, they later agreed it was the perfect name.
Clara, Serena – There were lots of other Bewitched witches, but these are my favorite of the names.
Willow – At first, she was just Buffy’s BFF, brainy and bright, but not supernatural in any way. As the series progressed, Willow learned witchcraft and joined the good fight in a whole other way.
Witch Names: Borrowed from Movies
Blair – Except somehow I forgot that the menace in The Blair Witch Project was actually named Elly.
Bonnie, Nancy, Sarah, and Rochelle – From 1996 high school movie/witch flick The Craft. The Love Spit Love cover of The Smith’s “How Soon is Now” would also be used in Charmed, making it an unofficial anthem for fictional witches.
Eglantine – From Bedknobs and Broomsticks, the enduring Disney flick. This one was based on book, so she might belong in a different category – but Angela Landsbury’s performance was so memorable that I thought she fit best here.
Evanora – The Wizard of Oz began as a series of novels by L. Frank Baum, but the character of Evanora was created for Oz the Great and Powerful. Something of a smoosh name, Evanora seems very in step with current trends.
Gillian, Sally, Frances, Bridget (Jet), Kylie, Antonia – In 1998′s Practical Magic, a heartbroken witch cast a spell that would impact her descendants for generations – true love meant an early death for the man involved. Despite the grim premise, the movie ends happily.
Gwen, Marnie, Sophie, Aggie – The Disney movie Halloweentown debuted on the Disney Channel, making it part-movie name, part-tv name. Either way, the names are great – there’s Aggie, short for Splendora Agatha, the nervous mother, the daring daughter.
Louise – In 1989′s Teen Witch, Louise turns sixteen – and discovers that she has serious magical powers.
Witch Names: Borrowed from Elsewhere
Morgan – As in the witch from Arthurian legend.
Would you consider any of these names for a daughter? Are there other names that should be on this list? And am I wrong about Elphaba being less-than-wearable?