Special Report

20 Most Popular Literary-Inspired Baby Names in America

Source: Francesco Hayez / Wikimedia Commons

> Number of babies, 2000-2019: 13,662 boys
> Character name: Romeo from “Romeo and Juliet”

It’s not surprising to find Romeo on a list that also includes his Juliet. Even people who haven’t read or seen a Shakespeare play are probably familiar with the famous line “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?”

Source: Courtesy of Amazon

> Number of babies, 2000-2019: 11,020 boys
> Character name: Dorian Gray from “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” is a Gothic novel by Oscar Wilde. The book is highly regarded and Dorian is a beautiful young man, but it’s a bit odd that the name is so popular because he sells his soul so that his portrait will age and fade while he remains youthful. (Spoiler alert: The deal doesn’t work out well for him.)

Source: Nate D. Sanders auctions / Jacket design by Shirley Smith / Wikimedia Commons

> Number of babies, 2000-2019: 10,496 boys
> Character name: Atticus Finch from “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Atticus Finch is the hero of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1960 novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.” He’s a lawyer who defends an African-American man falsely accused of rape. Atticus was played by Gregory Peck in the very successful 1962 film version.

Source: Frank Reynolds / Wikimedia Commons

> Number of babies, 2000-2019: 6,710 boys
> Character name: Uriah Heep from “David Copperfield”

Uriah Heep is a character in Charles Dickens’ novel “David Copperfield,” but he’s anything but a hero. In fact he’s obsequious and insincere, so possibly not the ideal name for a young man. (Uriah Heep is also the name of a British rock band.)

Source: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE)

> Number of babies, 2000-2019: 6,930 girls
> Character name: Matilda Wormwood from “Matilda”

“Matilda” is a hugely successful children’s novel by British writer Roald Dahl. The title character is super-smart and has special abilities. In 1996 Danny DeVito directed a successful film version of the story starring Mara Wilson.

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