Every year a list of the most popular baby names is published. Some names are always on the list, or have been for the past twenty years like John and Andrew. Throughout history names have been chosen from different sources. Some common inspiration for names are nature, religious, historical, and literary. Art has influenced names throughout history.
Historical names are taken from all different types of historical sources. The most popular example is a family name. Even though family names generally do not descend from a specific historical figure, a lot of names go back generations and they are historical when considering timelines. Other historical names are from famous historical figures. Some possible potential historical names for females are: Jane Austen, Susan B. Anthony, Amelia Earhart. Some male historical names are: George Washington, Martin Luther King, and Marlon Brando. Historical male names could also include all past presidents. While most historical names only use the person’s first name, if a parent wanted there to be a stronger connection then they could use the first and middle name to have a stronger significance.
Literary names have also been prevalent throughout history. The most common literary names are Biblical names. These names have been prevalent since the Common Era has started. Some other old literary names come from Greek Mythology. Some very common names are: Achilles, Caesar, Aphrodite, and Artemis. Similar to historical names there are more male names to choose from than female names. Names from Greek Mythology are not as common now as they used to be. Greek names are now seen as more formal names and are not common at all in America.
Other literary names are more modern. One of the most modern examples of this is Harry Potter. Harry Potter names are slowly becoming more common as people who read the books as a child are having children. The names Harry, and Hermione are becoming more popular and will only continue to become more popular for the next 10 years or so because of the popularity of the books and the movies. Other modern literary names come from childhood books that children attached to and remembered. Some examples would be Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web, Ramona from Ramona and Beezus, and Matilda from Matilda.
Literary names have always been common, and they change throughout the generations as new books come out and capture a generation. Some names have always been popular and will continue to be due to the significance the names have.