Great Girls' Names from Classic Children's Literature
Turn to the pages of your favorite childhood reads for the perfect name for the character you're creating. You'll find wonderful names for your daughter -- and inspiration for some bedtime stories.
Alice Pick this Germanic name for a girl who's destined to be curious, just like her namesake in Alice in Wonderland.
Anne Anne of Green Gables was Canada's answer to Little House on the Prairie, with tales of a sweet girl living in a small farming community with her adoptive parents, the Cuthberts. Anne (with the 'e' to add panache) is a biblical name that's served saints and queens, and it's currently ranking in the top 600 names, after a long hundred years as a top-200 name.
Charlotte The wise and wonderful spider from Charlotte's Web helped rescue pig Wilbur from becoming dinner, becoming one of the most beloved arachnids in all of literature. Her name is currently 27th in baby-name popularity, and still rising.
Dorothy ] The girl who travels by tornado from plain old Kansas to the wilds of Oz sports an old-fashioned name that means 'gift of God.' It's currently on an upswing after nearly disappearing from the list of the top 1,000 names.
Eloise The slightly wild child who makes her home in the swanky Waldorf Astoria is a the perfect inspiration for your daughter's name. Eloise, a classic name that means 'healthy,' has made a miraculous comeback overnight, from near the bottom of the top 1,000 in 2009 to 443 today.
Fern Maybe this fresh, nature-inspired name, popularized in the book Charlotte's Web, will finally make a comeback as part of the floral-name craze.
Ginevra This variant on Guinevere (the name of King Arthur's bride) was J.K. Rowling's choice for Ron Weasley's sister -- and Harry Potter's future bride.
Gretel The original 'don't take candy from strangers' story features brother-and-sister pair Hansel and Gretel. Hansel is still a tough sell for boys, but Gretel, which is a variation of Margaret, could be a perfect choice for your daughter.
Harriet Harriet gets into some misadventures in Harriet the Spy, but the beloved heroine may help bring her old-fashioned name, which means 'ruler,' back into the limelight.
Jo Little Women's main protagonist was based on author Louisa May Alcott herself -- the bright and boyish middle sister who shortened the pretty Josephine into the simpler Jo. It's a top-200 baby name currently, and on an upswing as part of the old-is-new name revival.
Laura Laura Ingalls Wilder's true adventures on the frontier made compelling reading in her book series -- and great TV back in the 1970s and '80s. Her name, which means 'bay laurel,' has remained a classic, top-300 baby name for more than a century.
Madeline Madeline lives in Miss Clavel's boarding school in Paris, setting off on adventures with the other 11 girls who live there. Her name has had a massive rise in popularity since the early 1980s, and it currently ranks as one of the top 100 baby names.
Marilla The wise adoptive mother in Anne of Green Gables sports this name, a truly old-fashioned one that means 'from the sea.' It hasn't been used much since the late 1800s. Why not start a trend?
Matilda Spunky, impossibly bright Matilda, from Roald Dahl's delightful novel of the same name, manages to save herself from her wicked parents and help out her favorite teacher, too. Thanks to the popularity of the book, the movie, and now, the musical, this name, which means 'mighty,' is back on the charts.
Pippi The irrepressible little girl with the crazy pigtails and bright-colored clothes gives us a peppy nickname-as-a-name that means 'horse lover.' If you want to give it a more formal and grown-up vibe, you could always opt for its original root, Philippa.
Ramona Beverly Cleary's rambunctious little sister bears a Spanish name that means 'protector.' It could be a cool up-and-comer, since Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Saarsgard chose it for their daughter.
Scout You view To Kill a Mockingbird's tale of racial injustice in the deep South through narrator Scout's eyes. It's a name that can work for boys or girls, and celebrities have been giving it to their offspring of both sexes for the past few decades.
Wendy Peter Pan author James Barrie made up this name, based on his own childhood nickname. It's a cheerful name that perfectly fits the prim-and-proper Darlings' daughter.