Writing-Inspired Names for Bookish Babies (& Literature-Loving Parents)

Anyone can name their baby after a character in a book — but did you ever think about naming your baby after the book itself? The world of literary terms is full of hidden gems that can make unexpectedly beautiful writing inspired baby names. In an age where everyone is looking for unique baby names, these stand out … because not only are they pleasing to the ear, but you won’t find them everywhere.

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Of course, not every literary term can do double-duty as a name; we’re not suggesting you call your kid Analogy or Chapter. The terms we’ve chosen here are the ones that are the most wearable as names, without being weird, and most are gender-neutral. Some of them are just different book-inspired spellings of existing names (such as Read), some are up-and-coming names (like Legend, which was actually given to 3,152 boys and 54 girls last year), and some are adjacent to existing names (if the name Sage, for example, can reach #391 for boys and #144 for girls in the top 1000 most popular names, then why not Saga?).

So if you’re a lit-loving parent who’s into finding unique baby names from unconventional sources, scroll on for some surprisingly viable options.

Writing inspired baby names? Now that’s a novel idea!

  • Penn

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    It isn’t hard to figure out why Penn makes the list of writing inspired baby names! It’s a surname-turned-first-name meaning “from the hill” (though some say it’s derived from the Welsh word for “head”) — and its short-and-sweet single syllable makes it perfect for a middle name. It’s also a great way to pay homage to any family ties to the state of Pennsylvania!

  • Sonnet

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    An unconventional name, to be sure — but so meaningful! By definition, a sonnet is a 14-line poem, typically rhyming and melodic. Which makes sense, given that the word itself comes from the Italian sonnetto, meaning “a little sound or song”.

  • Paige

    As Paige is an actual name — meaning “page” as in assistant or servant — it’s definitely a subtle tribute to the literary world, but a tribute nonetheless! At last count by the U.S. Social Security Administration, Paige was at #316 of the top 1000 most popular girl names.

  • Lyric

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    We all know that lyrics are the words to a song — basically poetry set to music. But when you think about it, Lyric can also be a gorgeous name that’s equally wearable on either gender. It’s made up of sounds that are not unfamiliar in baby names, so it doesn’t stand out as weird; just unique!

  • Booker

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    An English occupational name turned first name, Booker literally means “maker of books” — and has associations with author, educator, speaker, and Presidential advisor Booker T. Washington. The only downside to this name? There are really no nickname choices, unless you just want to call your child Book.

  • Epic

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    An epic is a long poem, typically derived from ancient storytelling, about extraordinary deeds done by extraordinary people (think of the Iliad and the Odyssey). As names go, it’s unique, but not in an eyebrow-raising way — after all, it’s not that far-removed from Eric.

  • Fable

    Amid the resurgence of adorable vintage names, Mabel has has an astonishing rise — jumping up the popularity chart nearly 400 spots from 2013 to now. So why not Fable? It’s got the same charming sound as Mabel, but is decidedly more gender-neutral. And most of us have pleasant childhood associations with our favorite fables, which are short stories typically about animals or magical creatures.  

  • Read

    If Reed and Reid are mainstays in the top 500 on the popularity chart, we think Read is a perfectly viable writing inspired baby name! It’s especially meaningful to little ginger babies, as the word read in Old English meant “red” and was used as a nickname for people with red hair … but it’s adorable on anyone regardless of hair color!

  • Story

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    As a name, we just love Story’s almost-whimsical feel. Babies are blank books whose stories have yet to be written — and this name pays homage to the journey.

  • Canon

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    In literature, a canon is a group of books, plays, or poems that are considered very important. As a name, it’s a beautiful way to honor the most important thing in your life! Cannon with two Ns is in the top 600 most popular baby names, but this spelling doesn’t even break the top 1000 — so it’s still fairly unique!

  • Quill

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    Before keyboards and ballpoints, there were quill pens — and Quill can be a fantastic and unique name. If you’re not comfortable with just Quill, you could go with Quillan, which means “mind, intelligence, inspiration”.

  • Poet

    For thousands of years, poetry has been used to tell stories and express emotions, sometimes in beautiful rhyme. (The oldest poem known to man is the Epic of Gilgamesh, written around 2100–1200 BC!) And we wouldn’t have those poems without — you guessed it — poets. If you use Poet as a name, it’s a literary double-whammy … because you could use Poe as a nickname, as in famed author Edgar Allan Poe!

  • Saga

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    Very much like an epic, a saga is a long and detailed account of events, often about heroic deeds, usually with some drama thrown in. As a name, it’s definitely unique — but if you think about it, it’s just one letter away from the very popular Sage.

  • Legend

    A legend is a story from the past, often regarded as a historic event, but unconfirmed. But it’s also the word used to refer to a very talented, famous, and highly-regarded person in a certain field. Either way, Legend is a name full of power and potential. 

  • Stanza

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    A stanza is a group of lines within a poem — the building blocks of poetry. In Italian, the word stanza is used to indicate a stopping place. The -za ending is reminiscent of names like Vincenza, which makes Stanza very wearable as a name instead of just a word.

  • Elegy

    An elegy is a serious and reflective poem — sometimes used to honor those who have passed on (though it’s not to be confused with “eulogy”, which is the speech given at a funeral). As a name, Elegy is gender-neutral, and not out of the realm of normalcy when you think about names like Emily and Ellery.

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