Want to celebrate your love of books with a baby name?
You can name your baby after a famous literary character – think Emma or Valancy. Or use an author’s surname – Hawthorne or Thoreau or Austen or Ellison. Some work as given names, while others seem better left to the middle spot.
But there’s another option, one that more and more parents are considering in recent years. Name your child after a literary genre, a type of narrative, or a related term.
If you’re a creative book-lover and a daring babynamer, too, here are some literally literary baby names to consider.
Canon – Okay, my first thought when I hear this one is gore and war. But there’s another way to look at this name – the Western canon, all of the most important works written.
Canto – It is an Italian word for song, and also a the division of an epic poem – roughly equivalent to a chapter in a book.
Legend – This one is a lot to live up to, don’t you think? We all hope our children will achieve extraordinary things, but opting to ink Legend on the birth certificate is extreme. Some parents are confident, though – there were thirteen girls named Legend in 2011, and 215 boys. He’s currently the 924th most popular choice for boys in the US.
Lyric – We think of Lyric as musical – it is derived from the Greek word for the lyre – but it is also a type of poetry. Lyric is one of the easier to wear names on this list, currently ranked #325 for girls in the US. Perhaps because it isn’t often-used in everyday speech, we have an easier time accepting Lyric as a name.
Madrigal – Like Lyric, this one is sometimes musical and sometimes poetic. With nicknames Maddie and Maggie built in, she’s easier to wear than you might think.
Novella – A novel is an original work of fiction; a novella is a shorter version of the same, both derived from the Latin novus – new. Novella’s -ella ending makes it a possibility for a daughter. It could also be understood as an elaboration of Nova.
Poem – If Fable is an option, why not Poem?
Poet – In an era of occupational surnames, Poet isn’t as outlandish as it first sounds. Soleil Moon Frye has a daughter called Poet Rose Sienna, and six girls were given the name in 2011.
Poetry – I almost dropped Poetry from the list, but five girls received the name in 2011. It takes Poet and turns her into a three-syllable, ends-in-y possibility.
Quintain – A quintain is any poem with five lines, including limericks. Quintain makes for an interesting way to get to Quinn, an alternative to Quinlan or Quinton.
Sonnet – Forest Whitaker has kids named Ocean, Autumn, True, and Sonnet. While Sonnet remains rare in actual use, it feels like Lyric – easier to wear than many on this list.
Story – A gender neutral possibility, 78 girls received the name in 2011. Jenna Elfman used it for a boy in 2007. Minnie Driver used Story for her son Henry’s middle name. Story rhymes with Cory and Tori – and so seems more approachable than some on this list.
What do you think of this group of noun names? Are there any that you would consider? Do you think they’re better in the middle spot, or work as first names?