I don’t know if this is because I’ve been stressing about my latest impending birthday, but recently I’ve been noticing a lot of baby bumps. I’ve had three pregnant colleagues, two pregnant friends and a pregnant hairdresser to contend with, and although they really have highlighted the vacuum that is my womb, they get points for being walking topics of conversation. (It’s great if you’re like me, and awkward silences chill you to the bone.)

Of course the best one (after all the truly horrifying symptoms, of course) is the subject of baby names. I love a good chat about baby names. I have been known to read a baby name book from cover to cover… but I digress.

What I have noticed from talking to all of these pregnant people is that

  • Everyone wants a unique name
  • Everyone is terrified of naming their child something tacky
  • Nobody knows where to find a unique name that isn’t totally made up or a character from Star Trek

But I know. I know exactly where to find unique names. Read a book, people. If anyone is great at coming up with an unusual name, it’s an author with an unnatural attachment to a character they’ve created.

So today I thought I’d round up a few baby names for bookworms; obviously there are thousands of others your could go for, but these are my personal faves:

Baby names for Girls

1. Bathsheba

Bathsheba Everdene, from Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy, starts out on a good note by saving the life of charming shepherd Gabriel (our favourite character). She is known for valuing her independence more than the promise of love from some man, and manages to truly kick ass at being a female farmer. Qualities you would love to see in your daughter, right?

2. Matilda

Starring character in the eponymous Matilda by Roald Dahl, Matilda gets gold stars on every front. She is a voracious reader, a magical maverick AND a moral crusader.

3. Aurora Leigh

Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning is an epic poem narrating the past of Aurora, a woman more interested in losing herself in the works of saucy Shakespeare than in the acceptable ladylike pursuits of the age. Sassy and independent, rather than allowing herself to be pushed into a warped marriage, she runs away to London to become a poet.

4. Lyra

I threw this one in for those of you who fancy something a bit less traditional… Lyra Belacqua is the focus of Phillip Pullman’s amazing trilogy His Dark Materials. She’s feisty and mischievous (as well as being a barefaced liar at times) but she is also one of the most endearing kids in literature.

Baby Names for Bookworms

Baby names for Boys

1. Galahad

Sir Galahad is one of Arthur’s knights of the round table (and son of the traitorous Lancelot). Apparently he received his knight’s training from Queen Guinevere herself, so we have to assume he had an enormous respect for strong, independent women.

2. Indigo

In Saffy’s Angel, Indigo Casson is the sole brother in a family of neurotic females, and I feel like he should get an honourable mention for remaining patient and kind while surrounded by all of the sisters and the flakey artist mother (because who else would name their brood after paint colours?). His main focus in life is to rid himself of his fear, so I think that earns him a bit of a high five.

3. Sirius

I don’t know if I will ever forgive J.K. Rowling for killing off Sirius Black. He was hands down my favourite character in the whole Harry Potter franchise. I loved that he was the sole “good seed” in a family of evil Slytherins. I loved that he gave Harry the family he so craved. Ugh. He was just the man for me.

4. Gilbert

Before there was Sirius, there was Gilbert. Gilbert Blythe (from the Anne of Green Gables series) can most accurately be described as my first love. He adored Anne from the offset – it didn’t matter that she smashed a slate over his head, or dyed her hair green, or picked another man over him – he still waited for her. Earlier this year, Jonathan Crombie (who played Gil in the mini-series) passed away, and I experienced a heartbreak only previously known upon the demise of Patrick Swayze, so there is just no way I could leave him off this list.

So these are my top baby names for bookworms (which of course can also be applied to small furry creatures too); what are yours?

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