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15 Baby Names Inspired By Feminist Book Characters

Focus Features

One of the most inspiring places to search for baby names is within the pages of your favorite books. It's less conspicuous and popular than choosing a name from the top 100 charts, or even from a family member, and is instantly classy and timeless. No matter the gender of your baby, there are so many baby names inspired by feminist book characters that would make perfect namesakes and examples as your child grows up.

Books are powerful, and the characters inside them even more so. They can spark social change and personal reflection and can be passed down from age to age, never loosing their relevance. Not all of these book characters are obviously feminist, but they all have one thing in common, they either stand up for women or grow up to become empowered and independent women themselves. Many of them come from eras when women were very suppressed and definitely not empowered, making their rebellion and independence even more inspiring.

Whether you're having a boy or a girl, these names will start your kid off on the right foot, setting an inspiring example and teaching them that feminism isn't just for women and definitely isn't just a modern issue.

1. Jane From 'Jane Eyre'

Though it's been a popular name throughout history, Jane from Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre is a particularly empowering character. Despite her tragic childhood, Jane rises above and never doubts her potential and intelligence. Her name means "God's gracious gift" and is the perfect vintage sounding name for a little girl.

2. Lyra From 'His Dark Materials'

Lyra, the protagonist of the His Dark Materials trilogy lives in a universe parallel to our own and earns the name Silvertongue. She is brave and powerful, called "Eve, the mother of all". The name means "lyre" in Greek, named after the guitar-like musical instrument.

3. Rhett From 'Gone With The Wind'

Though Rhett Butler from Gone With The Wind isn't generally top on the list of literary men who stand up for women's rights, surprisingly, he fits the bill. Though he often gets fed up with Scarlett's antics and selfishness, he merely wants her to get out of her own way to achieve her full potential. The name means "advice" and is a masculine name with plenty of history.

4. Anne From 'Anne Of Green Gables'

Anne means "grace," and fittingly so. Anne from Anne of Green Gables is awkward, lovable, and grows to be full of grace and wisdom, despite her many blunders. She's not afraid of doing things typically reserved for men and never lets her gender get in the way of what she can or can't do.

5. Beatrice From 'Much Ado About Nothing'

One of Shakespeare's strongest female characters, Beatrice (meaning "she who brings happiness") from Much Ado About Nothing is witty, and unwilling to let a man tell her what to do. Despite her spunk, she is truly vulnerable and opens herself up to love at the end.

6. Scout From 'To Kill A Mockingbird'

The protagonist of To Kill A Mockingbird is a young girl, but it doesn't stop Scout (or Jean Louise) from being adventurous, carefree and very un-ladylike, as her boyish nickname, which makes a great gender-neutral name, suggests.

7. Jo From 'Little Women'

Jo, or Josephine, from Little Women becomes a talented writer during a time when women weren't allowed to hold many professions. She rose above her circumstances in an inspiring and empowering way, making the name, meaning "Jehovah increases," a great option for boys (Jo) and girls alike.

8. Freidrich From 'Little Women'

Freidrich Bhaer (or more commonly spelt Frederick), from Little Women is as empowering of Jo as she is for herself. His name means "peaceful ruler," making it the perfect and inspiring name for a little boy.

9. Gwendolen From 'The Importance Of Being Earnest'

Welsh for white ring or circle, Gwendolen is a classy name with a few great nickname options. From Oscar Wilde's comedic play The Importance of Being Earnest, Gwendolen is overly independent and smart, despite her relationship with Earnest.

10. Lucy From 'The Chronicles Of Narnia'

Meaning light, Lucy is increasingly popular for new babies. Lucy Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia is passionate, spirited, and loyal. She is the first one to discover Narnia and leads her older siblings on the adventure of a lifetime.

11. Gilbert From 'Anne Of Green Gables'

Despite his love/hate relationship with Anne, Gilbert from Anne of Green Gables (eventually) stands up for Anne and always treats her as an equal His name means "shining pledge" in German and is a great vintage name to bring back.

12. Hermione From 'Harry Potter'

Hermione Granger from Harry Potter is intelligent (despite being a renowned know-it-all), kind, and caring. Her name means "messenger or earthly" and is derived from Hermes from Greek legend.

13. Ramona From 'Ramona Quimby Age 8'

Meaning "wise protector" in Spanish, Ramona Quimby from the popular children's books is adventurous and never afraid to keep up with the boys.

14. Elizabeth From 'Pride and Prejudice'

The classic heroine from Pride and Prejudice is one of the strongest female characters to date. Her name means "pledged to God" and is as classic as it is beautiful.

15. Matilda From 'Matilda'

With a meaning packed with power, Matilda means "battle-mighty" in German and is a fittingly strong name for the tiny girl from the popular Roald Dahl novel.