As vampire-loving Stephenie Meyer fans line up to name their babies after characters from her bestselling Twilight series, what are the literary names you would ward off with garlic?

Scary, scary news from the US: Twilight-loving parents are naming their children after characters in the books. The annual list of the most popular baby names in America, released on Friday, shows that Isabella (the name of Stephenie Meyer’s drippy human heroine) is the most popular girl’s name, while Jacob (the werewolf part of Bella’s love triangle) tops the list for boys.

OK, Jacob’s actually topped the chart for years, but the New York Times points out that Cullen (the surname of Edward, the vampire part of the love triangle) showed up at 485 on the list, “leaping almost 300 spots from 2008 for the biggest increase of any boy’s name”. One of the 555 couples to name their baby Cullen was Brad Lafferty and Michelle Mikkelsen. Mikkelsen told the NYT that she read Meyer’s Breaking Dawn while pregnant. “I like old names,” she said. “And most of those characters in there are vampires. So they are really, really old names.”

Hmm. Quite apart from the fact that Breaking Dawn must be one of the worst books to read while anticipating giving birth – there’s a horribly gruesome scene when a half-human, half-vampire child is born which, I would have thought, would send any prospective mother into meltdown – I have to wonder whether these little Cullens are going to thank their parents when they discover their parents’ inspiration. I know I wouldn’t appreciate being named after a weedy, obsessive vampire.

But it makes me wonder if there are any characters I’d appreciate as a namesake. Scarlett O’Hara is one of my all-time favourite heroines, but I’m not sure I’d lumber a child with her name; ditto Frodo – although Bilbo is quite sweet. And I’m rather fond of Lolita, but thanks to Nabokov, I think I’ll probably give it a miss. Have you been literarily inspired in naming your child, or are there any fictional characters whose names you’d avoid like the plague? © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds