10 boy’s names from classic literature

Here’s the second part of my blog on names from classic literature. This time, focussing on boys’ names. This time, I’ve taken a look at the characters to see how well their names fit them. I imagine almost every author chooses their characters’ names carefully but some of these are just perfect.
Warning: the text below might contain some spoilers!
If your little one has a name from literature I’d love to hear. Let me know in the comments below.

Jay from The Great Gatsby
by F Scott Fitzgerald

literature-boy-Jay

Meaning – from the Sanskrit for Victory

At the start of this novel, Jay Gatsby is a successful millionaire, mansion owner and party thrower. His name seems to suit him. By the end of the novel, we see the bitter irony of it.


Silas from Silas Marner
by George Eliot

literature-boy-Silas

Meaning – Forest or woods

Silas Marner is a weaver who has to leave his village because he’s accused of stealing. He settles in Raveloe. After his savings are stolen, he finds a lost little girl, whose mother has died in the snow. She brings him the joy his gold never could.


Edmund from Mansfield Park
by Jane Austen

literature-boy-Edmund

Meaning – riches (from Ed) + protector (from Mund)

Edmund is Fanny’s cousin, she looks to him for guidance and support. It seems it’s the perfect name for him.


Orlando from As You Like It
by William Shakespeare

literature-boy-orlando

Meaning – Famous throughout the land

Orlando is one of the main protagonists of the play. It’s a typical Shakespearean comedy of mistaken identity, runaways and forests! Orlando was already a well known name in epics when Shakespeare wrote As You Like It, so definitely “famous throughout the land”



George from Of Mice and Men
by John Steinbeck

literature-boy-George

Meaning – farmer, earthworker

George and his friend Lennie are field workers in California during the Great Depression.


Zooey from Franny and Zooey
by JD Salinger

literature-boy-Zooey

Meaning – life

I’d loved these short novellas (Franny and Zooey) when I was a teenager. The second story involves Zooey helping his sister Franny think through some pretty big, life questions.


Seth from Cold Comfort Farm
by Stella Gibbons

literature-boy-Seth

Meaning – appointed, placed

Seth Starkadder, the handsome, brooding son of this family, is obsessed with the movies (and sex) and eventually gets whisked away to Hollywood.


Bertie from Jeeves and Wooster
by PG Wodehouse

literature-boy-Bertie

Meaning – Bright raven

I love the idea of Bertie Wooster being a bright raven – he is one of the idle rich and definitely flits all over the place and is attracted by all sorts of things and situations. PS. I love how Jeeves always has to get him out of trouble!


Laurie from Little Women
by Louisa May Alcott

literature-boy-LaurIE

Meaning – Laurel tree (which is a symbol of Victory)

Laurie is a rich young man who lives opposite the Marches. He ends up marrying Amy.


Abel from Great Expectations
by Charles Dickens

literature-boy-Abel

Meaning – breath

Abel Magwitch is an escaped convict who becomes a hidden benefactor to the hero of the story, Pip.

As you can see, some of the names fit better than others, but the thing that links them is how cool they are. Does your baby (or baby-to-be) have one of these names? I’d love to hear from you.

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