Bond... James Bond. The superstar fictional spy has won fans all over the world with the dozens of books and movies he's starred in over the decades. Men want to be him, and women want to be with him. With his incredible gadgets, amazing cars, and impeccable style, he's become a pop culture icon. So it's no surprise that some moms and dad might look to the always suave 007 for baby name inspiration.
Bond's been around since 1953, when he first appeared in print as the star of the novel Casino Royale. Since then, he's featured in another 60 books (including a series that imagines Bond as a teenager). Then of course, there are the films. You don't have to be a huge Bond fan to know some of the movies' most famous quotes, scenes, and styles, because they're so ubiquitous. Seven different actors have taken on the iconic role so far, all of them male. Who's to say that won't change one day though? Fans recently started an online campaign to make Gillian Anderson (of X-Files fame) the next Bond. I for one, think a woman could do a fine job, so I won't confine this list to just boy names.
You may want your little one to inherit Bond's smarts, style, and fame, but let's hope they don't share his love for danger and international intrigue— what mom wants to be up all night worrying over what spy hi-jinx the secret agent in the family is up to now?
Here are 20 fitting baby names for the little man or woman of mystery in your life.
Let's start with the obvious— James. Fitting for the U.K.'s number one spy, the name is an English version of the Hebrew name Jacob. Meaning "supplanter", it's a perennially popular name that usually cracks top ten lists in the U.S. It's a classic that you can find everywhere from the bible to saints to lists of kings and presidents— in fact, more American presidents have this first name than any other.
It was once pretty much exclusively known as a boy name, but thanks to celebrity parents Ryan Reynold and Blake Lively choosing the name for their baby girl you may see it popping up more and more for females. If you're looking for another unisex option, you might want to try Jamie. Parents with Scottish heritage could go with another variation, Hamish, and those with Irish roots might consider Seamus. James also has good nickname potential— lots of James' end up going with Jim or Jimmy.
For the last decade or so British actor Daniel Craig has been the man bringing James Bond alive on the big screen, making his first name nearly synonymous with 007 for some fans. Daniel is another biblical name that means "God is my judge" in Hebrew. It may be too common for some, as it's been near the top of the charts for a few decades now. But its perpetual popularity also means it's a classic that will probably never go out of style. It's a name that works whether you hope your child will grow up to be a politician or an actor or a writer. It also seems to have global appeal, as it's common in countries all over the world from Ireland to Israel to Spain. Many little Daniels will likely end up being dubbed Dan or Danny. For a baby girl, you can go with Danielle.
Ian Fleming is the man who first brought the world James Bond. And it's no coincidence that he dreamed up the world's slickest spy— he did a stint with the British Naval Intelligence Division himself. His own life gave him lots of material to draw from for Bond's adventures, as Fleming was wealthy, well-educated and worked as a journalist in addition to his time as a spy. He'd be quite an accomplished namesake for a little boy. The name Ian is actually a Scottish version of John, and it means "the Lord is gracious."
It's also the first name of another famous British author, Ian McEwan. You might be more likely to recognize it from some of the famous actors who share the moniker, however, including Ian McKellen (Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Ian Somerhalder (of The Vampire Diaries). It's typically pronounced ee-an, but Ian Ziering (of Beverly Hills, 90210) pronounces it eye-an.
Pierce is an English name that simply means "son of Piers." It's also the first name of the handsome Irish actor who played James Bond in four movies during the late '90's and early 2000's (he immediately preceded the current Bond, Daniel Craig). Maybe it's just because it's attached to such a debonair actor, but the name Pierce always seems to conjure up an image of a suave, good-looking man to me.
It's not a name that's ever been very popular in the U.S., but just because it isn't common doesn't mean it's unusual. In fact, you may be more used to it as a last name, like in the case of former president Franklin Pierce or basketball player Paul Pierce. You can switch up the spelling and even the pronunciation with variations like Pears or Piers (as in Piers Morgan), or go with a similar name like Pierson.
Though he hasn't starred in a Bond movie since the early '80's, for many fans, Sean Connery will always be the true 007. He was the original Bond back in 1962, and he's also one of the most prolific with seven Bond movies under his belt. His first name Sean is the Irish version of John, and it's always been a classic favorite in that country.
There are tons of ways to spell Sean, including Shaun, Shawn, or even Shaugn if you're a fan of silent consonants. Girls can go with Shauna, or just stick with Sean like actress Sean Young. My favorite Sean has to be Sean Bean, the actor who played Ned Stark in Game of Thrones— whenever I came across his name as a child, I thought it hilarious that his first and last names rhymed. It took me many, many years to realize that they don't.
Miles is an English name that means soldier, or merciful. It's also the first name of James Bond's boss in the British Intelligence Service. Though he goes only by the letter M, his actual first name is revealed to be Miles. If James Bond is one of the coolest men in the world, how cool must the guy be who gets to boss him around all day long?
Miles has been hovering around the top 100 baby boy names in the U.S. for a few years now, but it hasn't quite cracked that threshold yet. It's a variation of Milo, which is less popular but slowly edging up the charts. The name is also linked to jazz great Miles Davis. For a fresher take on the spelling, you can swap the 'i' for a 'y' and go with Myles. For girls, you may want consider the similar sounding Mila.
You can't get more classic than the name Eve. She was, after all, the original woman according to the Bible and in Hebrew her name literally means "life." Eve is also the first name of Bond's trusty sidekick better known by her last name, Moneypenny. She starts off as M's secretary, but in the more recent films she's out in the field kicking butt and taking names right alongside Bond. Interestingly enough, author Ian Fleming never bothered to give Moneypenny a first name— we have the makers of the film Skyfall to thank for that.
If you're looking for a not so common name, this is a great option. Eve has barely cracked the top 500 in the U.S., and Eva hasn't faired much better. Meanwhile, the similar sounding Ava has burned up the charts— it's hung on to a spot in the top 5 for about a decade now. Other similar sounding options include Evie, Evelyn, and Evette.
Timothy is another biblical name with a connection to the Bond series. It comes from the Greek and means "honoring God", which might make it a good pick for religious moms and dads.
He was the fifth man to take on the iconic role of 007, though the Welsh would end up starring in just two films. He's nabbed other iconic roles through his career, including turns as Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre and Rhett Butler in a Gone with the Wind TV series. Dalton is far from alone among actors who share this classic first name— there's Timothy Hutton, Tim Curry, Tim Allen, and Timothy Olyphant to name just a few.
Timothy's been sliding down the charts for a few years now, currently ranking near 150th. If it's not quite right for you, you might consider the French variation Timon, or even the German Timotheus. There's also the similar sounding Tom.
A French name meaning "reborn," Rene makes a great baby name for either boys or girls (though it's typically spelled Renée for a girl). Rene Mathis is a James Bond cohort whose been around since the very beginning, appearing in the first novel Casino Royale and of course the recent film remake of the same name. You may be more familiar with it as a girl's name in recent years, thanks to actresses like Renée Zellweger (star of Bridges Jones' Diary and its sequels) and Renée Elise Goldsberry (of Hamilton fame). The name may or may not get a bump from the Kardashian clan— the newest member of the reality TV family is Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna's daughter Dream Renée.
In the U.S., Rene appears in the top 1000 for both boys and girls, with a slight edge in popularity as a boys name. It can also be spelled Renae.
The name Vesper comes from the Latin and has a beautiful meaning— "evening star." Vesper Lynd is James Bond's ill-fated love interest in Casino Royale, who was brought to life by Ursula Andress in the 1967 film and by Eva Green in the 2006 version. It's another unisex name, but one rare enough that it hasn't cracked the popularity charts for either sex. Perhaps the connection to Bond will be enough to finally get it into the top 1000?
007 borrows the name of his love interest for his signature drink, the Vesper martini, which as we should all know by now he prefers shaken, not stirred. You've probably heard Vesper used more as a word and less as a name— in some Christian religions, evening prayers are known as vespers. Sadly, Vesper Lynd doesn't make it to the end of Casino Royale, though even in death she seems to be the woman Bond pines for.
Names don't get much more cheerful than Felix. It comes from the Latin and means "happy" or "fortunate." Who wouldn't want those things associated with their son? Felix Leiter is another Bond associate who's been around since the beginning, appearing in Casino Royale as a CIA agent who saves Bond's hyde when he finds himself in a tough spot. In popular culture though, your mind may leap to Felix Unger of The Odd Couple.
If that association had an effect on the name's popularity at all, it may have faded by now (the original sit-com went off the air back in the '70's, though it does live on in reruns and with a recent reboot starring Matthew Perry). Felix has been steadily climbing the charts since 2000 in the U.S., while enjoying even greater popularity overseas. The name is a heavy favorite in Germany and Austria. International variations include the Spanish Feliziano and the French Félicien.
Kim may be too strongly identified with females (thanks a lot, Kim Kardashian) for parents to use with a boy, but the name is actually unisex. Kim can be short for the boy name Kimball, which is Welsh for "warrior chief". If that's not manly enough, it's also the name shared by a man who many describe as a real life American version of James Bond— Kim Roosevelt.
If you're wondering if he shares a connection to those other famous Roosevelt, the answer is yes: he was the grandson of former president Teddy Roosevelt and an intelligence officer who served all over the world before the CIA was even invented. In fairness, I should point out that Kim was just a nickname, while his actual first name was Kermit. Kim or Kimball are not on the charts at all for boys, while Kimberly has actually been falling in popularity for girls over the past 15 years. Once again, thanks a lot Kim Kardashian.
This delicate, feminine name comes from the Greek and means "honey." Such a sweet name may not conjure up images of an international spy, but that's exactly how you'd describe Melita Norwood. While her friends, family, and neighbors probably assumed she was just another sweet little old lady living in London, Melita Norwood actually spent the better part of three decades spying on the British in the service of Soviet Russia. She worked at a metal company that was doing research into developing an atomic bomb for the U.K., and was secretly smuggling info to the KGB.
While her actions aren't exactly admirable, you have to admit that she must have possessed a huge amount of bravery, cunning, and intelligence— not bad traits for a little girl to grow up with. Norwood professed to be a true believer, spying not for fame or money but simply because she wanted to advance Russia's cause.
Virginia isn't just a state, it's also a baby girl's name from the Latin meaning "virginal" or "pure." It's also the name of one of the most important spies of WWII, American Virginia Hall. She worked with both the American and British spy services, pulling off amazing exploits that included helping rescue prisoners of war and organizing Resistance fighters.
She posed such a threat to the Nazis that they dubbed her "the most dangerous of all Allied spies." But the coolest thing about her might just be that she accomplished such amazing things despite losing a leg and have to use a prosthetic, earning her the nickname "The Limping Lady." Virginia is just outside the top 500 for baby girl names in the U.S., falling steadily since 2000. But who knows... with Hall soon to be the subject of an upcoming biopic starring Daisy Ridley, the name could shoot up in popularity.
Sidney is a unisex baby name that's derived from the French "Saint Denis." Say it very slowly and in a French accent and you'll hear how similar they sound. Sidney Reilly is also the name of a famed real-life spy. He worked with the British to try and bring down Vladimir Lenin and Communist Russia in the early 1900's, but it's believed that Lenin ultimately got the better of him and ordered him killed. His exploits, however, live on— some believe Sidney Reilly inspired the character of James Bond.
As a boy's name, Sidney's popularity has been waning for years. That's probably due in large part to the name's usage among females. The more feminine spelling Sydney sits just outside the top 100, after being a top 25 name in the early 2000's. For girls, the traditional spelling of Sidney also still manages to make it into the top 1000.
The baby girl name Vera comes to us from Russia, meaning simply "faith." Vera seems to be having a bit of a moment in the U.S., with its popularity skyrocketing from almost 900 in the top 1000 to just over 300. Parents who love it because it's short, sweet, and unusual may find that it's no longer quite as unique, but of course it has a long way to go before it's as popular as other simple names like Ava.
Though she didn't make the name famous, Vera Atkins was a real-life WWII spy who certainly deserves as much fame as a character like James Bond. She gathered valuable intelligence for the British thanks to her connections with Germany, earning the trust of none other than Winston Churchill himself.
Of course, you may also know the name Vera as a song title on Pink Floyd's classic 1979 album "The Wall."
Everyone knows Bond's signature catchphrase (and if you don't, just scroll back up to the very top of this list for a hint). It's the way he always introduces himself as "Bond, James Bond." That might just be because of Sylvia Trench, who introduces herself to 007 in just the same fashion before he mimics it back to her with his own name. She's considered the first of the iconic "Bond girls", earning an appearance in not one but two films. As a baby girl name, Sylvia is from the Latin for "from the forest."
It's very been wildly popular for baby girls in the U.S., but it has been slowly inching its way up the charts since about 2010. The most famous woman to bear the name might be Sylvia Plath, who would make somewhat of a morbid namesake. To change it up, you can go with the spelling of Silvia, or opt for the French alternative Sylvie.
William is a perennial favorite for baby boys born in the U.S., maintaining a spot in the top 10 most popular names for years on end. It's an Anglicized version of a German name meaning "resolute protection." It's got a plethora of nickname options including Liam, Will, and Bill.
Bill happens to be the shortened version of the named used by one of James Bond's MI6 associates, Bill Tanner. He's featured in several of the original novels by Ian Fleming, as well as several of the films. Starting with 2008's Quantum Solace, he was finally given an upgrade to a regularly recurring character. Given that he's the Chief of Staff to Bond's boss M, it makes sense that fans would be seeing a lot of him on screen. William is a fitting name for a quintessentially British character like Bill Tanner, given that the name has such a long history in England from William the Conqueror to William Shakespeare to Prince William.
Thomas is an ancient name that dates back to the Bible and beyond. It comes from the Aramaic and means "twin." Many little boys with this moniker will end up being called Tommy or Tom, which is also the shared name of two leading contenders for the next James Bond. With four Bond films under his belt, rumors have swirled for years that Daniel Craig is ready to retire the role. English actors Tom Hardy and Tom Hiddleston are both said to be in the running, and in my opinion, you really can't go wrong with either.
You can't really go wrong with Tom or Thomas as a baby boy name, either. It's a solid, classic name that's been consistently popular for ages, currently hovering near the top 50. For international flair, you can go with Tomas or the Italian Tomasso. For girls, you can go with the unique Thomasina.
Tatiana is a baby girl's name with its roots in Russia, where it's derived from a Latin surname. Fittingly, it's also the first name of the Russian beauty who Bond cavorts with in From Russia with Love (both the book and the film version). Tatiana Romanova is a spy herself, but falling for Bond complicates things for her— especially since her orders involved a plot to kill him. Bond returned her affection, but sadly not much came of their romance (which is something you can say about the vast majority of so-called Bond girls).
Tatiana's name was borrowed from a Russian Grand Duchess and daughter of Tsar Nicholas II. The name may be less common in the U.S.these days, as it's been declining in popularity there since 2000. You can also spell it Tatyana, or change it up to the similar sounding Tianna, Tanya, or even Tasha.
Sources: Nameberry, The Guardian, Smithsonian Magazine, Vanity Fair, 007James.com