Popular Baby Names Inspired by Books

baby names inspired by books

With the BookTok hashtag on TikTok amassing 81.2B views online¹, it’s clear that people’s love for books is ever-growing. But exactly how much are people influenced by the books they read? Could a bookworm be that influenced that they name their baby after a novel’s protagonist?

Following a 4,100% increase in interest for the search term ‘book baby names’², we’ve delved into ONS data³ to reveal the biggest jump in baby names that are also characters in BookTok's top recommendations:

Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

With a 4.5/5 rating on Good Reads⁴, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a fictional novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Findings reveal that Brits book lovers are a fan of the protagonist’s name, ‘Evelyn’, as it ranks in position 21 for baby girl names. In 2021, 1,729 babies were called ‘Evelyn’, which is 20 more than in 2020.

Netflix is set to release an adaptation of the New York Times best-seller, and although a launch date hasn’t been announced, we think name ‘Evelyn’ will grow even more in popularity when the film drops.

Malibu rising

Another fictional novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Malibu Rising, has accumulated 31.8M hashtag views on TikTok, with fans sharing their ‘obsession’ through book reviews and encouraging people to add to their TBR (to be read pile).

The mum in the book is named ‘June’ which currently ranks in position 1,007 for the most popular baby girl names in the UK. Whilst this might seem low in the rankings, this is an impressive improvement compared to 2019 when it sat in position 1,063. We anticipate an influx of parents-to-be naming their baby ‘June’ in 2023.

The Love Hypothesis

Author Ali Hazelwood brings us The Love Hypothesis, a contemporary rom-com novel, following the story of Olive Smith, a PhD student who wants to prove to her best friend that she’s moved on from her previous relationship.

On TikTok, 423.8M people are talking about the romance book and it looks like it could have had an impact on the number of babies named ‘Olive’. In 2020, this baby girl's name ranked 99 (510 babies). However, in 2021 the name saw an uplift to position 74 (691 babies).

Midnight library

Published in 2020, The Midnight Library is a fantasy novel by Matt Haig that ponders the infinite possibilities of life, and has a rating of 4/5 on Good Reads. On TikTok, 18.1M BookTokkers are showing their love for the non-fiction book and the protagonist, Nora.

With the name ‘Nora’ leaping to position 123 from 153 (2021 compared to 2020), it seems that Matt Haig fans have taken a liking to the baby girl name, meaning ‘shining light’. In 2021, 406 babies were called Nora, and with talks of a film adaptation, we’re likely to see a spike this year, and next.

Another character in the book named ‘Hugo’ increased in popularity in 2021 too, with 129 more baby boys called this compared to 2020 (1,325).

It Ends With Us

Perhaps one of the most popular novels of the last few years, It Ends With Us, written by Colleen Hoover, follows the relationships of the protagonist, Lily. BookTokkers are so obsessed with the non-fiction that they’re going as far as getting tattoos in dedication. So, could it be that Co-Ho fans are naming their babies after the characters in the bestselling book?

Ranking seventh, ‘Lily’ is a favoured name in the UK, sitting in the same position as the 2020. In 2021, 2,182 baby girls were given the flower-inspired name. ‘Alyssa’, Lily’s best friend in It Ends With Us, saw a slight increase in popularity too, with 240 babies named this in 2021, nine more than in 2020.

Where The Crawdads Sing

Coming of age novel Where The Crawdads Sing, written by Delia Owens, follows the life and adventures of a young girl named ‘Kya’, a nickname for ‘Catherine’. Although this shortened name was much more popular in the early 2000s, it saw a slight peak in 2019, just after the book was published (14 babies). Although, this dropped again the year after, since the film adaptation was announced in 2021 the name is starting to creep back up in the rankings.

BookTokkers are still raving about the book four years after its release, with the book’s hashtag racking up 86.2M views on TikTok.


Heartstopper is a young adult LGBTQIA+ graphic novel and webcomic series written and illustrated by British author Alice Oseman. Although the story of Charlie and Nick was made popular by the 2022 Netflix series, the ongoing novel series was picking up traction before this with BookTokkers (8B hashtags views on TikTok).

Although the baby girl and boy name ‘Charlie’ saw decreases in 2021, the name ‘Nick’ saw an increase in new parents calling their babies this Heartstopper-inspired name (19 babies in 2021 compared to 6 in 2020). For expectant parents, other baby name ideas similar to ‘Nick’ could include ‘Nicky’, ‘Nickolas’ and ‘Nicko’.

Red, White, and Royal Blue

Another trending book on TikTok, Red, White and Royal Blue, is an LGBT romance novel by Casey McQuiston, and the hashtag has accumulated 166M views on the video app. One of the main characters is Henry, which is also one of the most popular names among Brits in 2021 (2,912 babies). Ranking tenth as the most popular baby boy name in the UK, The Kid Collective predicts that this novel is likely to encourage a resurgence of traditional, royal-like names.

Other royal baby name ideas include ‘George’, ‘Charles’, ‘Edward’, ‘Louis’ and ‘Arthur’.

Normal people

With over 6B hashtag views on TikTok, it’s clear that Sally Rooney’s second fiction novel is a favourite among BookTokkers. The love story of Marianne and Connell captured people’s hearts across Britain when the book was first published, and after the BBC series was released in 2020, popularity for the novel saw an uplift again.

Although the name ‘Marianne’ was most popular during the late 90s, ten more babies were called Marianne in 2021 compared to 2020 (27 babies). With Normal People still making waves on BookTok, it’s likely we’ll see a spike continue into the New Year.

Modern variations of ‘Marianne’ include ‘Mia’, ‘Mari’, and ‘Mimi’.

TikTok and reading habits

We’re delighted to have spoken to Marianne from The Willoughby Book Club on her thoughts on how books influence reading habits: “Here at The Willoughby Book Club we can feel the influence of TikTok on reading habits. ‘Forgotten’ classics have come to the fore, and under-the-radar books have become massive hits. Anything that brings books into the hands of readers is fantastic in our opinion!

“We have the privilege of seeing trends in children’s names from selecting books for our young subscribers each month, and we’ll be watching with interest to see the growth of BookTok names over the next few years. Speaking as a Marianne myself I can say with authority that it’s lovely to have a name from a book, although I was from the era of Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr rather than Normal People. I can also confess that in our extremely bookish office lots of us have named our pets after fictional characters, me included. A literary name is a secret meaning you can hold close or shout to the hills about, but as with reading the meanings are as limitless as the readers themselves.”

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the book lover in your life, The Willoughby Book Club have a range of gift subscriptions which include baby, children, mum, and toddler options.

Books for babies

It’s so interesting to see how trending books are influencing people’s decisions on what they call their babies. We think it’s such a great way to find unique and lesser-known baby names, as we can understand how difficult it is at times to choose a name for your baby - it’s a big deal!

We also like the idea that these babies will grow up to know that their name is based on their parents' favourite books, and perhaps they’ll go on to be bookworms just like their parents too.

Reading is great for people of all ages, and although babies won’t be able to read for themselves at a young age, reading to your baby is a good idea as it helps them with social development and thinking skills. Following this, your baby is likely to improve their language skills quicker as they’ll be encouraged to copy sounds and learn varying words.

Also, teaming books with physical open-ended play pieces such as wooden animal characters, enables a deeper, more engaged learning activity and allows space for a child to create their own storytelling scenes and develop their imagination.

For parents with babies and toddlers, introducing them to educational toys such as Magenti’Books or soft activity books and the wonder of stories through the Yoto player offer great ways to introduce them to the idea of reading and story telling.


  1. All hashtag insights gathered from TikTok correct as of October 2022
  2. Google trends data for the term “book baby names” correct as of October 2022
  3. 2021 ONS data published in October 2022 & data gathered from this ONS tool
  4. All Good Reads data correct as of October 2022
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