Vintage baby names are all the rage these days. So let’s delve deep into history with the playwright who inspired the world. We’ve uncovered some of the cutest baby names from Shakespeare’s classic tragedies and comedies and had to share them with you.
He’s one of the literary greats and his choice of names for his characters are anything but tragic. If you’re a fan of literature or if you are looking for a name that exemplifies whimsy and wonder,, then look no further.
Shakespearean Girls’ Names
- Adriana (The Comedy of Errors) – This unique name certainly doesn’t err on the side of beautiful
- Audrey (As You Like It) – A name that still inspires generations today, we’ve got an Audrey among our Babyology babies – Mandi and Ben choose the timeless name for their third daughter.
- Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing) – Before Beatrice was the name of a princess, she was the witty, high-spirited heroine in Shakespeare’s classic comedy.
- Bianca (Othello and The Taming of the Shrew) – Bianca was a favourite of old Bill’s and is still popular today.
- Celia (As You Like It) – Modern yet classic, Celia should certainly be making a comeback on the baby name charts.
- Cleopatra (Antony and Cleopatra) – Cleo is such an iconic Roman (and Australian) name that it seems a tragedy not to include it on the list.
- Cordelia (King Lear) – How could you not love Cordelia in King Lear? She is kind, gentle, sympathetic and comes with plenty of adorable nicknames – Cora, Delia, Lia and Cori to name a few.
- Cressida (Cressida and Troilus) – Okay, so Cressida doesn’t have the best reputation in literature (she broke her man, Troilus’ heart), but the name is gorgeous nonetheless.
- Emilia (Othello) – Emily and Amelia are both on the most popular baby names‘ list these days but Emilia reigns supreme in literature.
- Desdemona (Othello) – Anyone who has read Othello will know this name well. And, if not, it might be time to read the play and see what all the fuss is about.
- Hermoine (The Winter’s Tale) – Before Harry Potter there was The Winter’s Tale. And Hermoine is also a name featured in classic Greek mythology – she was the daughter of King Meneleas and Helen of Troy.
- Juliet (Romeo and Juliet) – A rose by any other name would never sound as sweet as Juliet. We all know the story and the name is just as divine.
- Lavinia (Titus Andronicus) – “She is Lavinia, therefore must be lov’d.” And we are loving this adorable vintage baby name!
- Luciana (The Comedy of Errors) – Meek, yet powerful, Luciana is a beautiful and classic alternative to the more widely-used Lucy.
- Portia (The Merchant of Venice and Julius Caeser) – Portia remains a strong name in literature today. She is featured in The Hunger Games but her true origin is from Shakespeare.
- Rosalind (As You Like It) – She is perhaps one of our favourite heroines in Shakespearean comedies and her name still comes with charming connotations.
- Viola (Twelfth Night) – She may have been a gender bending heroine in Twelfth Night, but as a name, Viola is as feminine as they come.
Shakespearean boys’ names
- Caius (King Lear) – All hail Caius! This is such a cute name and is actually quite popular these days, possibly due to the vampire Caius in the Twilight series.
- Cassius (Julius Caesar) – Nothing brutal about this name, even if Cassius was an awful antagonist in the play.
- Edmund (King Lear) – Edmund comes with some serious literary awesomeness from Shakespeare as well as Jane Austen, who writes, “There is nobleness in the name of Edmund.”
- Jaques (As You Like It)- Jack always tops the most popular baby names’ list. But what about Jaques (pronouced Jay-Kwiss)?
- Lucius (Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar, Timon of Athens and Cymbeline) – Lucius is another classic Shakespearean name that has been adapted to the Harry Potter series. Before Lucius Malfoy, Lucius made an appearance in several of Shakespeare’s plays.
- Lysander (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) – Okay, it’s clear that J.K. Rowling was a Shakespeare fan. And Lysander is certainly a dreamy addition to the list.
- Malcolm (Malcolm) – Before he was stuck in the middle, Malcolm was a character in the tragedy Macbeth.
- Orlando (As You Like It)- It’s a name that blooms with potential and means “famous throughout the land”.
- Oberon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) – Prior to Game of Thones, Oberon was a famous king of the fairies. Then GoT happened and, well… GoT fans, make sure you check out our post on the things parents can learn from the Game of Thrones.
- Sebastian (Twelfth Night and The Tempest)- The Tempest is my favourite of the Bard’s comedies and the ocean-inspired play clearly has some modern-day connections. The Little Mermaid anyone? Ariel also appears as a character in The Tempest.
- Titus (Titus Andronicus) – He’s strong, powerful and adorable. For the female version, try Titania, inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Unisex Shakespearean Names
- Corin (As You Like It) – Used for a male character in As You Like It, Corin is by far my favourite on the list for either a boy or girl. Love it.
- Lennox (Macbeth) – We love this bewitching baby name, even if it’s from one of the most horrendous tragedies of all time.
- Regan (King Lear) – A name with regal connotations, Regan was one of King Lear’s daughters but is equally as popular today as a boy’s name.
- Valentine (Twelfth Night and The Two Gentlemen of Verona) – He was a gentlemen in Shakespeare’s plays, but Valentine can pass as both an adorable girl or boy’s name these days.
There are plenty more captivating Shakespearean names to consider – Caliban, Horatio, Hero, Fabian, Ferdinand, Romeo, Tarquin, Lorenzo, Tybalt, Tamora, Paulina, Patience, Nerissa, Miranda, Rosaline, Lucetta, Ursula… the list goes on.
Okay, that’s it. I’m having another baby. Or revisiting the pages of Shakespeare. The latter is probably more doable.
Check out our baby name archives for more inspiration including the unique and adorable baby names from our Babyology readers.