VesperThis post was originally published on December 24, 2009. It was substantially revised and re-posted on August 17, 2015.

It’s on an-trend name from the night sky and the silver screen.

Thanks to Shelby for suggesting Vesper as our Baby Name of the Day.

Vesper: Bond, James Bond

Vesper Lynd

Ian Fleming introduced James Bond in 1953’s Casino Royale. He wrote more than a dozen novels about the suave secret agent.

Vesper Lynd was created by Fleming for Bond’s first adventure.  Her name is a play on West Berlin.  In Casino Royale, she’s a double agent – as divided as the city – but Vesper ultimately proves herself loyal to James.The book was adapted for the big screen for the second time in 2006, with Eva Green as the double agent.

It’s said that Fleming based Vesper on a real life spy, Poland’s Krystyna Skarbek, a woman he knew in her later years.  Resourceful Skarbek organized couriers to bring intelligence reports from Warsaw to Budapest during World War II.  She escaped the Gestapo in Hungary.  In France, she once cajoled, threatened and bribed Gestapo agents into releasing two of her male colleagues.  Her real life story is arguably more intriguing than the fictional character she inspired.

Vesper: Night Sky

Bond girl aside, Vesper is the Latin term for the evening star, which was actually the planet Venus.

But wait, you say, the Roman god Vesper is masculine. In Greek, he’s Hespeus. In both traditions, he’s the son of the dawn, the brother of the morning star.

Should we cede Vesper to the boys?

Maybe. But there are also the Hesperides, nymphs of the sunset and the evening. The Greeks believed that they lived in a garden somewhere on the edge of the world. Sometimes there are just three; other accounts list more. Heracles visited the garden for his eleventh labor, to steal the apples they tended.Venus reflected in the Pacific Ocean

The Hesperides became popular in Renaissance art, and their garden is mentioned by everyone from Milton to Shakespeare.

Vesper: Add an ‘s’

Vespers – add an ‘s’ – is also known as evensong, an evening prayer service in several religious traditions. Mozart and Vivaldi are among those who have composed musical accompaniments.

Evening prayer services date back to the earliest days of the church in the ancient world. St. Benedict may have been the first to use the term, back in the sixth century. Specifics vary over the centuries and by faith tradition, but it has traditionally been one of the more important and solemn prayer services of the day.

Vesper: Rarity on the Rise

VesperThere have been a handful of newborn boys and girls given the name over the years. But Vesper’s use has recently picked up. 35 girls were given the name in 2013, and 52 in 2014 – a new high.

And why not?

  • Parents love a name with meaning, especially a subtle, spiritual one.
  • With Harper and Piper on the rise, Vesper’s -r ending is stylish.
  • We’re also fans of the letter V, from Ava and Olivia to Everly and Vivienne.
  • Nature names, including those from the night sky, are very much in vogue.

Pop culture references include:

  • Lloyd Alexander gave the name to the adventurous orphan in a series of young adult novels.
  • It’s a surname for one of the families in the 39 Clues series of bestselling adventure noels.
  • A minor character in the Batman comics was named Vesper Fairchild. She was a love interest for Bruce Wayne. There’s also a Vesper in Marvel’s Genetix series.

Overall, Vesper remains rare. But in our age of Harper, Vivienne, and Stella, it’s a wearable choice. If you’re after something that stands out and fits in, Vesper is one to consider.

What do you think of Vesper? Is this name too Bond girl, or just right for a baby?

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

You May Also Like:

What do you think?


  1. Interesting thread. I had never seen this page before. Coincidentally, my middle name is Vesperena, and am the youngest of 5 with my oldest sibling being named Venus. (Evening and Morning ). Clearly, my father had an appreciation for Roman mythology as we all studied Latin throughout our schooling in the 80s. I have always wondered if there were any other Vesperena’s out there or whether I was flying solo on this planet??

    I used to think it would be a good name for a yacht!

    1. Vesperana is fascinating! It looks like it has never been given to even five girls in a single year – at least not as a first name. Searching old records on and other genealogical sites, I can see plenty of woman named Vesperina, plus a few called Vespera, but so far, no Vesperanas!