23 January, 2012

More on Names: Literary Heroines

So after much thought (I am serious about giving this child the best name that Steven and I can possibly decide on), we have three criterion for the name. It has to have 1. a beautiful heritage and/or 2. a beautiful sound to it and 3. mean something beautiful.

My brain works in lists, so I've made a plethora of them in those weird moments when you don't really have to do anything, but only have like two minutes of down time (waiting in the grocery line, waiting for Sunday school to start, blowdrying hair with one hand and list-making with the other).

This first list is a list of all of the literary names that we love:

1. Valentine. After Valentine Wiggin from the Ender's Game series. This is one of my all-time favorite books. I've read Ender's Game at least a dozen times and I pretty much stalked the author until he answered all of my questions about the psychology of the characters when he came to my school for a writing forum. I love Valentine. She's so loving and kind but also bold and willing to do what has to be done for the good of everyone. I'd love for our daughter to be named after her - especially since I want to name one of our future sons "Ender", but Steven isn't so on board... so it'd be nice for our family to have some EG representation.

Downside: I can't stand the nickname 'Val'. Ugh. But we could call her 'Valen' instead, which is cute.

2. Scout. After Scout Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. I just love her and identify with her in so many ways. She's so innocent and sweet. She sees things so clearly because she's so young, and I want our girl to grow up with a very clear understanding of right and wrong. Plus Scout is just so dang cute!

Downside: People might make fun of her for having such a boyish name.

3. Briony. After Briony Tallis in Atonement. I love this story. I love how Briony totally screws up everything and then has to go through heck and lots of pain to really realize how horrible she is and then try to fix things - and still, they don't get fixed. It's so tragic and sad, but also a good reminder to always be honest. And I think it is just a beautiful, beautiful name.

Downside: I don't really want my daughter reading this book. Cause the truth is, it's not very appropriate at times. Embarrassing to admit that one of my favorite books has some questionable scenes at the beginning, but it's the truth.

4. Blythe. After Gilbert Blythe in all of the Anne books (Anne of Green Gables, etc). Because I was in love with him my whole childhood and would love for my girl to love these books as well.

Downside: I don't think there is one.

5. Scarlett. From Gone with the Wind. It's just such a beautiful name.

Downside: I can't stand her. I don't think she ever really redeems herself for being such a snot.

Thoughts? And if you don't mind sharing, will you comment with some of your favorite literary names?
(Disclaimer - I might steal)


  1. Not Scarlett. It's too used lately. I love your list of names though! this is so exciting. I'm obsessed with finding the right name for my future baby, I think I've annoyed everyone with it, but I'm pretty dang sure I've come up with my favorite boy and girl names. Woo!

  2. I like your original ide.. name her Scarlett but call her scout that way if she doesn't like it when she's older she can go by Scarlett. Valentine is cute but I do think most people will call her Val.

  3. My husband wanted to name our son Ender, so I know the feeling of wanting literary names! I like Scout and Scarlett. My childhood pet was a mini goat named Katie Scarlett. I loved her.

  4. Blythe is amazing! That's my favorite! What a good idea! Some other literary names might be:
    "Jo", "Josephine", "Teddy": Little Women; "Laura" or "Larabeth": Little House on the Praire (Laura's husband called her "Beth" so I thought Larabeth was kinda pretty). Though I really like "Blythe" that is so beautiful and Anne of Green Gables are great books!! Good Luck!

  5. i don't have a have a literary name to put forward... can I still comment? :) I love the name Blythe. That is my favorite from the names you listed! Ok there is my two cents. :) Good luck naming that little muffin! :) Can't wait to see her.

  6. I also have no literary names to offer, but on the theme of a beautiful name that means something beautiful - Malaika means angel in Swahili.

  7. i would tell you my favorite literary name if it wasn't on my list. Is it weird that I already make lists of baby names when we aren't even close to expecting? whatever. i am confident that you will choose a great name.
    other literary names: Eowyn-haha. Katniss, Lily, Luna, Fleur, Mercedes, Immaculee (real person), Bennet, Jane, belle, rose...

  8. One literary name that I don't think I'd use for obvious reasons is Alaska (Looking for Alaska). Though she's also not a great role model, the name has lots of meaning!

    I like the shortening of Valentine to Valen. And although it doesn't exactly work, prounouncing Valen with a long a like Vaylen.

  9. I agree with Whitney... Scarlett is a very beautiful name, but a nickname like Scout would make the name even more unique. As for Valentine being shortned to Val, I have come to learn people are going to do whatever they want when it comes to shortening names; we have been specific with our boys in telling friends or family members that Quincy is not "quinn" or "quinc" and that if they must shorten it, it's "Q". Same with Braxton, who is "B". You can try and nip that in the bud when she's little. Good luck-- no doubt you guys will ome up with something great! :)

  10. Jane. Jane Eyre has been one of my favorites since middle school, and she's smart and hard-working. Only downside is that she's so darn practical!

  11. Also there is the name isabeaux. I love it but would never be brave enough to use it. But its so lovely. I know its from a movie, not sure about a book.

  12. Okay--I couldn't resist. I am really going to share my opinion here, and I don't think it should make much of a difference to you what I think.

    Not Scarlett. Oh, I Really dislike Scarlett's character in Gone with the Wind, probably more than any other character. Makes me want to puke. Why on Earth name your daughter after her? (Strong opinion on this one, I know)

    Second--I LOVE Gilbert Blythe too, I understand that part, but naming your daughter after a romantic lead Male role seems strange.

    Scout--sounds like a dog's name, or would be a good nickname, but I just don't really know about it as a name, name.

    I like Valentine/Valen. It seems strong and feminine at the same time. I think you've really got something there. Me gusta. Plus it sounds good with Gage, "Gage and Valen," and Redfern. :D

    The random word it is asking me to type for "verification" is "Donalia"... sounds nice! and it's kindof like Denalee, but different. Maybe it's a sign. That would be pretty funny.

  13. :) Coming out of the blog-love stalking/ lurking shadows to share that I ran into many of the same issues as you, though over five years back, so we changed direction and chose to give our daughter the first name of my favorite author, Madeleine l'Engle. I look forward to her reading all of her namesake's books one day, and currently we're reading "The Other Dog", a true story/ children's book by l'Engle.

  14. I like Scout, but Harper as well :) (dumb posh spice)
    Like Scarlett but HATED the character.
    Blythe is pretty. I don't like Val (but Valen and Valentine are good). I'm from the Philly area... and well, too many Italians. :)
    Other's that I like are more classic: Anne and Clare (British in nature... I love the British. I'm also more partial to history)
    Best wishes.

  15. oh wait, one more name... literary based, sort of.
    Ginevra. it's Ginny's full name.
    from harry potter. :) i'm a dork and love, love love the books.


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