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25 Baby Names Inspired by Jane Austen Novels

Jane Austen was an English author who published six novels between the years 1811 an 1818. She was an expert of the courtship rites of 19th century class system. Her stories often covered love, propriety, and marriage. Although many of her heroines were sweet on the surface, they often masked headstrong personalities. The heroes she wrote of ranged from dashing men to womanizing scoundrels. Her beloved characters rebelled against conventional standards and tarried around the English countryside in search of a decent husband, all while wearing a tight corset.

Austen's themes covered woman's lack of freedom, the influence of manners on society, and the importance of independent thought. Despite have lived centuries ago, her timeless stories resonate with today's readers and an entire legion of fans continue to celebrate her work. Her wit still shines through to this day. Three of her books, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma were made into successful motion pictures. There have been numerous television shows and many modern adaptations inspired by her works.

Maybe you've already devoured her stories, watched the TV shows, and bought the DVD's. If you still want to express your love for all things Jane Austen, let your adoration show by choosing your baby's name from one of the many characters living within the pages her stories. From romantic, feminine names to sensible, stately boy names, these classic monikers will stand the test of time. Perhaps, like Mr. Darcy, you'll find this list to be perfectly adequate.

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25 Jane

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Jane Bennet is the charming and gentle sister of Elizabeth Bennet in the novel, Pride and Prejudice. She naively believes in seeing the good in all people. Elizabeth even tells her that "you never see a fault in anybody. All the world is good and agreeable in your eyes. I have never heard you speak ill of any human being."

She finds herself attracted to Charles Bingly but is heartbroken when he seems to lose interest in her. In the end, patient Jane is rewarded when Bigly finally asks for her hand in marriage.

The name Jane is of English origin, and it means "God is Gracious". Famous people in history who have had this name include, Jane Austen, Jane Fonda, and Jane Seymore. The highest recorded use of the name "Jane" was in 1947 with a total of 9,941 babies. 369K people have been given this name since 1880.

24 Charles

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Charles Bingly is from the book, Pride and Prejudice. He's a wealthy young man and the owner of the estate, Netherfield. Bingly, as he is called, is popular with the eligible girls because he is kind and socially at ease. He has an instant attraction for Jane but is discouraged from pursuing a relationship with her by his friend, Mr. Darcy.

He's a simple character who bends at the will of friends and family. In the end, his love for Jane is pure and he purposes to her. Elizabeth Bennet depicts him as a man who is ‘very easy to understand’.

The name Charles is of German origin, and means "Free Man". The highest recorded use of the name was in 1947 with a total of 40,772 babies. According to the 1960 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the name ranks #7 in popularity as a baby boy's name in Georgia.

23 Elizabeth

Elizabeth is the protagonist of Pride and Prejudice and the second daughter in the Bennet family. She often goes by the nickname, Lizzie. She's quick witted and clever, with a sharp tongue that can lead her astray. Elizabeth is forced to rise above the nonsense of her class-bound family.

She must overcome her mistaken impressions of Mr. Darcy, rejecting his proposal of marriage when he insults her family. She realizes the error of her prejudice and slowly recognizes Darcy's noble character, eventually accepting his offer of marriage. Lizzie is lovely, vivacious, and has a vibrant humor.

The name "Elizabeth" is of Hebrew origin, and it means "God is My Oath". The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1880 when it was given to 1,948 new born babies. The highest recorded use of the name "Elizabeth" was in 1990 with a total of 20,742 babies.

22 Darcy

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Fitzwilliam Darcy is Elizabeth's male counterpart in Pride and Prejudice. He is the son of a wealthy family and master of the great estate, Pemberley. Mr. Darcy is dark in broody in a mysterious way.

He has a tendency to judge harshly and comes across as aloof when he professes his distaste for Lizzie's low connections during his marriage proposal. Yet, as the story progresses, his devotion to Elizabeth proves him to be worthy of her hand in marriage. In the end, he is loyal and romantic.

The name "Darcy" means "Dark One". It is a name commonly given to both boys and girls. It has both an Irish and a French origin, with two similar names emerging independently of each other. it is the name of a commune (a French town) in Eastern France. Records indicate that 17,760 girls in the United States have been named Darcy since 1880.

21 Emma

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Emma Woodhouse is the heroine of the novel, Emma. She is a precocious twenty-year-old resident of the village of Highbury who believes herself to be a naturally gifted match maker. Despite her claims that she will never marry, she causes all sorts of trouble by attempting to unsuccessfully match up friends and family who live in her village.

Her good friend, George Knightly, scolds and directs Emma as she struggles to emotionally develop. In the end, she discovers that she is in love with Knightly and they eventually marry. She is an independent character with a good heart.

The name "Emma" is of Latin origin, and it means "Universal". Famous people with this moniker include Emma Thompson, Emma Stone, and Emma Watson. The name was also made popular by the heroine of the television show, Once Upon a Time. The 1995 movie, Clueless, was a modern adaption of this novel.

20 George

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George Knightley is a character from the novel, Emma. He is a thirty-year-old gentleman, living in Donwell Abbey. Knightley is the brother-in-law to Emma. He is openly critical of his privileged friend and makes a habit of pointing out her flaws in hopes that she will better herself.

George has genuine concern and affection for Emma. He somehow manages to be protective without being possessive. Eventually, the two realize that they are in love, and marry. He is a gentlemanly, chivalrous, and kind character.

The name "George" is of Greek origin, and it means "Farmer". The highest recorded use of the name "George" was in 1921 with a total of 27,474 babies. According to the 1973 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the name "George" ranks #56 in popularity as a baby boy's name in Oklahoma. There have been 1.5 million boys given this name in the United States since 1880.

19 Marianne

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Marianne Dashwood is a seventeen-year-old girl in the novel, Sense and Sensibility. After the death of her father, her family loses their home, and fortune. She moves to Barton Cottage in Devonshire with her widowed mother and two sisters.

It is in Devonshire that she meets the scoundrel, John Willoughby. Her excessive sensibility leads to her to fall for Willoughby. Marianne is heartbroken when he spurns her. She is soon comforted by her long-time admirer, Colonel Brandon. The two fall in love and marry. Marianne is an idealist who wears her heart on her sleeve.

The name "Marianne" is of French origin, and it means "Of the Sea or Bitter". The highest recorded use of the name "Marianne" was in 1957 with a total of 3,023 babies. According to the 1966 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the name "Marianne" ranks #86 in popularity as a baby girl's name in Utah.

18 Brandon

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Colonel Brandon is a retired officer in the novel, Sense and Sensibility. He is immediately charmed by Marianne Dashwood when she moves to Brighton Hill with her family. His maturity comes across as boring to Marianne when she first meets him. He is overshadowed by the debaucherous, John Willowby.

Throughout the book, he treats the Dashwoods kindly and graciously. His steadfast devotion helps Marianne to heal after Willoughby breaks her heart. They both share a love of Shakespeare's sonnets and slowly, Marianne falls in love with him. They eventually marry. He is a sensitive and honorable man.

The name "Brandon" is of English origin, and it means "From the broom hill". The highest recorded use of the name "Brandon" was in 1992 with a total of 29,618 babies. According to the 1985 United States. Social Security Administration data, the name "Brandon" ranks #5 in popularity as a baby boy's name in Kentucky.

17 John

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John Willoughby is a dashing and handsome character in the novel, Sense and Sensibility. Known for being a playboy and wins the affections of Marianne Dashwood. He shamelessly flirts with Ms. Dashwood, bringing her flowers, reciting romantic prose, and snipping a lock of her hair.

Their mutual straightforwardness and openness of heart unite them. His attraction to Marianne is true but he doesn't have money to marry her. Willoughby abandons her in favor of marrying the wealthy Sophia Grey. He later regrets his decision.

The name "John" is of Hebrew origin, and it means "God is Gracious". The highest recorded use of the name "John" was in 1947 with a total of 88,325 babies. According to the 1911 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the name "John" ranks #1 in popularity as a baby boy's name in Hawaii. 5.1 million people have had this name in the United States since 1880.

16 Harriet

Harriet Smith is a seventeen-year-old character in the book, Emma. She lives at the local boarding school, Mrs. Goddard's Academy and no one knows who her parents are. Emma befriends Harriet and makes her the object of her matchmaking schemes.

Harriet is attractive but unremarkable and Emma's efforts don't lead to a love connection. Harriet is a loyal protégé and follows Emma's advice to refuse marriage with the one man, a local farmer, who actually loves her. In the end, she finds submits to Robert Martin and the two get married. Harriet is a silly and innocent girl.

The name "Harriet" is of English origin, and it means "Home Ruler". The highest recorded use of the name "Harriet" was in 1921 with a total of 2,388 babies. According to the 1915 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the name "Harriet" ranks #87 in popularity as a baby girl's name in Michigan.

15 Frank

Frank Churchill is a charming character in the novel, Emma. He is Mr. Weston’s son and Mrs. Weston’s stepson. Churchill is new to town but has been a topic of conversation with the ladies. He is intended for Emma and at first she finds him to be clever and attractive.

As the story continues, his character is shown to be vain and deceitful. Emma learns that he is having relations with local beauty, Jane Fairfax. Her short lived crush ends. Frank is a likable character but has many flaws.

The name "Frank" is of English origin, and it means "Free or Truthful". The highest recorded use of the name "Frank" was in 1918 with a total of 17,018 babies. There have been 193K boys given the name in the US since 1880. According to the 1972 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the name "Frank" ranks #98 in popularity in Kentucky.

14 Elinor

Elinor Dashwood is nineteen-year-old eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dashwood and the heroine of Austen's novel, Sense and Sensibilty. She is more guarded than her younger sister, Marianne. Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars only to find out the he has been secretly engaged to Lucy Steele.

When her sister Marianne is jilted by John Willoughby, Elinor hides her own broken heart to support her sister. Edward eventually breaks off the engagement and asks for her hand in marriage. Elinor is a loyal and composed character.

The name "Elinor" is of English origin, and it means “Light or moon". A variant spelling of the name, Eleanor. The highest recorded use of the name "Elinor" was in 1920 with a total of 656 babies. According to the 1913 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the name "Elinor" ranks #96 in popularity as a baby girl's name in New Hampshire.

13 Edward

Edward Ferrars is a sensible character in the novel, Sense and Sensibility. He is the friendly older brother to Fanny Dashwood. Edward developed a close friendship with Elinor Dashwood while staying at her former home in Norland.

The two engage in a flirtation but he hides a four-year secret engagement to Lucy Steele. He is a kind and sensitive man who breaks off the engagement and ultimately marries Elinor. He is a pensive character and makes a perfect match for the always level-headed Elinor.

The name "Edward" is of English origin, and it means "Wealthy Guardian". The highest recorded use of the name "Edward" was in 1924 with a total of 21,128 babies. According to the 1961 United States Social Security Administration data, the name "Edward" ranks #42 in popularity as a baby boy's name in Missouri. There have been 1.3 million males given this name in th U.S. since 1880.

12 Lucy

Lucy Steele is a woman in the novel, Sense and Sensibility. She has been engaged to Edward Ferrars for five years. She seems pretty and sweet. Lucy befriends Elinor Dashwood, knowing that her fiance has developed a closeness with Elinor. Lucy is a sneaky girl who aims to climb the social ladder but her success costs her engagement to Edward. He frees himself from their agreement to marry Elinor. She tricks the other characters in the book to like her, despite her treachery.

The name "Lucy" is of English origin, and it means "Light". The Social Security Administration has recorded 189,626 babies born with the name in the United States. The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1880 when it was given to 590 new born babies. The highest recorded use of the name "Lucy" was in 2015 with a total of 4,512 babies.

11 Fanny

Fanny Dashwood is an uppity character in the novel, Sense and Sensibility. She is married to the Dashwood sisters' half-brother, John Dashwood. When Mr. Dashwood dies, he leaves his entire fortune to John and asks him to provide for financial support to his sisters. Fanny convinces John to only grant the women a portion of their inheritance.

Then, when her brother, Edward shows an interest in Elinor Dashwood, Fanny does everything in her power to discourage their attraction. She is all about climbing the social ladder and using her power to advance herself financially. Her positive attributes might include determination and independence.

The name "Fanny" is of American origin, and it means "Diminutive form of Frances". Fanny has been a popular name since the 19th century and remained on the top 1000 list until the 1960's. It dropped off in popularity in the 1940's and isn't as commonly used today.

10 Margaret

Margaret Dashwood is the youngest sibling in the novel, Sense and Sensibility. She is a curious child who is impressed by all things grown up. She can be found spying on her sisters and their suitors through a telescope from atop her treehouse. She speaks her mind and often doesn't have the same social graces as the adults in the room. Margaret is playful and sweet. She is a hopeless romantic like her mother and her sister Marianne.

The name "Margaret" is of English origin, and it means "Pearl". From 1880 to 2015, the Social Security Administration has recorded 1,245,884 babies born with the name Margaret in the United States. The highest recorded use of the name "Margaret" was in 1921 with a total of 28,466 babies. According to the 1960 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the name "Margaret" ranks #44 in popularity as a baby girl's name in Alabama.

9 Anne

Anne Woodhouse, formerly Miss Taylor, is a character in the novel, Emma. She was Emma's beloved governess and the only successful recipient of Emma's poor matchmaking skills. Anne is married to Mr.Randall and mother-in-law to Frank Churchill.

She is Emma's devoted companion, acting as a support and listening ear during her failed schemes. Anne is known for her kind temperament and is well liked by all who live in Highbury.

The name "Anne" is of English origin, and it means "Variant of Hebrew Hannah meaning Favor or Grace". Famous actresses with the same name include, Anne Hathaway and Anne Heche. The highest recorded use of the name "Anne" was in 1959 with a total of 5,742 babies. According to the 1963 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the name "Anne" ranks #64 in popularity as a baby girl's name in Wisconsin. There have been 321K girls named Anne since 1880.

8 Elton

Mr. Elton is the village vicar in the novel, Emma. He is a handsome and well liked man in Highbury, who is aways welcome at any social gathering. Emma tries her best to match him with her friend, Harriet, pairing the two at any given opportunity.

He ultimately denies any affection for Harriet when confesses his desire to marry Emma, She is shocked and refuses his offer of marriage. He pridefully takes on a bride from Bath shortly after her rejection. His new wife lacks social graces and from that moment on he comes across as superficial.

The name "Elton" is of English origin, and it means "The Old Town". The highest recorded use of the name "Elton" was in 1920 with a total of 394 babies. According to the 1975 United States Social Security Administration data, the name "Elton" ranks #98 in popularity as a baby boy's name in Hawaii.

7 Charlotte

Charlotte Lucas is a pragmatic character in the novel, Pride and Prejudice. She is a dear friend to Elizabeth Bennet. Being six years older than Lizzie, she in is danger of ending up a spinster if she doesn't soon marry.

After Mr Collins is refused by Elizabeth, Charlotte accepts his proposal of marriage. She has a practical perspective on her relationship with her husband and values security over the concept of love. Her character is intelligent, patient, and ambitious.

The name "Charlotte" is of English origin, and it means "Free". It's a name commonly given to girls. The highest recorded use of the name "Charlotte" was in 2015 with a total of 11,332 babies. According to the 1945 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the name "Charlotte" ranks #69 in popularity as a baby girl's name in Montana. There have been 323K girls with this moniker in the US since 1880.

6 William

William Collins is Lizzie's annoying cousin in the novel, Pride and Prejudice. He is the heir to the entailed Bennet estate, Mr. Collins is also a clergyman whose parish is in the estate of Lady Catherine de Bourgh. He is a confident and stable man.

When he comes to visit the Bennet family in search of a potential wife, he sets his sights for Elizabeth. When she refuses his hand in marriage, Mr. Collins proposes to Lizzie's good friend, Charlotte. The two engage in a pragmatic marriage of convenience. William often comes across as fawning, awkward, and formal.

The name "Charles" is of German origin, and it means "Free Man". The highest recorded use of the name "Charles" was in 1947 with a total of 40,772 babies. According to the 1960 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the name "Charles" ranks #7 in popularity as a baby boy's name in Georgia.

5 Catherine

Lady Catherine de Bourgh is a grande dame in the novel, Pride and Prejudice. She is Mr. Collins’s patron and Mr. Darcy’s aunt. Known for being a wealthy noblewoman, Catherine epitomizes class snobbery when she attempts to order Elizabeth away from her nephew, Mr. Darcy.

She appears at Lizzie's doorstep, demanding that any offer of marriage be denied because Darcy is matched with her daughter. When Elizabeth tells her off, Lady Catherine storms off in a snit. She is an independent and domineering character.

The name "Catherine" is of Greek origin, and it means "Pure". The highest recorded use of the name "Catherine" was in 1956 with a total of 12,067 babies. According to the 1940 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the name "Catherine" ranks #63 in popularity as a baby girl's name in North Carolina. There have been 657 girls given this moniker in the United States since 1880.

4 Caroline

Caroline Bingly is a glamorous and wealthy character in the novel, Pride and Prejudice. She is the younger sister to Charles Bingly and good friend to Mr. Darcy. Caroline is a sly woman who does her best to separate her brother from marrying Jane Bennet.

She can often be found grimacing in the corner at social functions and seems to have eyes for Mr. Darcy, although he doesn't give her the time of day. She often comes across as being conniving, snobby, and overly-critical of other women. On the good side, she is well educated and ambitious.

The name "Caroline" is of Latin origin, and it means "Beautiful Woman". The highest recorded use of the name "Caroline" was in 2000 with a total of 5,021 babies. According to the 1938 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the name "Caroline" ranks #91 in popularity as a baby girl's name in North Dakota.

3 Lydia

Lydia Bennet is one of Elizabeth's sisters in the novel, Pride and Prejudice. She is a frivolous girl who can often be found giggling over boys with her sister, Kitty. Lydia likes to party and often goes to town to flirt with soldiers. She is frustrated when the regiment leaves town.

She receives an invitation to visit the colonel and his wife in Brighton. Lydia brings shame upon her family by marrying a soldier, George Wickam. Mr Darcy pays her dowry, inevitably winning Elizabeth over with his generous act. Lydia is an energetic, confident, and social character.

The name "Lydia" is of Greek origin, and it means "From Lydia, Greece". The highest recorded use of the name "Lydia" was in 2014 with a total of 3,626 babies. According to the 2001 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the name "Lydia" ranks #71 in popularity as a baby girl's name in Minnesota.

2 Kitty

Kitty Bennet is one of Elizabeth's four sisters in the novel, Pride and Prejudice. She is closest to her sister, Lydia, and the two flit around parties. She is a source of embarrassment for her other sisters, Elizabeth and Jane.

Kitty is devastated when Lydia is permitted to travel to Brighton with the colonel and his wife. She is a silly, boy crazy girl. Eventually, under the good influence of Elizabeth and Darcy, she straightens up and becomes "less irritable, less ignorant, and less insipid".

The name "Kitty" is of English origin, and it means "Pure". According to the 1961 US. Social Security Administration data, the name "Kitty" is not a popular baby girl's name in Ohio. Across the entire United States a total of only 23 babies also bear the same first name during the same year. There have been 12K girls given this moniker in the US since 1880.

1 Mary

Mary Bennet is middle child of five in the novel, Pride and Prejudice. Mary could easily be called the forgotten sister as she is not as beautiful as her two older sisters, Jane and Elizabeth. She is also nothing like her two younger sisters, Lydia and Kitty, who are childish and silly.

Mary is described to have the brains of the family. In the second chapter, Mr. Bennet describes Mary and says “What say you, Mary? for you are a young lady of deep reflection I know, and read great books, and make extracts” She is a deep thinking and quiet character.

There are several interpretations of the name Mary including "sea of bitterness", "rebelliousness", and "wished for child". However it was most likely originally an Egyptian name, perhaps derived in part from "beloved". There have been 4.1 million girls named Mary in the United States since the year 1880.

Sources: names.org, sparknotes.com, schmoop.com, behindthename.com

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