Horror novels need good heroes, and Stephen King knows how to write both. If you're a book nerd with a bun in the oven, consider picking one of the many heroic baby names from Stephen King books for your new addition. I promise, you won't be sorry.
When it comes to baby names, book nerds do it better. Millennial bookworms developed their parenting skills via Harry Potter, and snagged a few awesome baby names to boot. Seriously, folks, we're killing it.
If you're all about bringing classic baby names back into fashion, Stephen King books are the place to turn for inspiration. King has a way of writing Joes and Jills that are vibrant and multi-faceted. Don't be surprised if you see your grandfather's name listed below.
Given that most of his novels and stories take place in the postwar U.S., King recycles a lot of names. Common names — such as Jim, John, and Mike — appear again and again. Sometimes they're good guys, and sometimes they're bad. Most of the names on this list belong to only one major King character, but I have noted instances of multiples below.
Submitted for your consideration, here are 10 heroic baby names from Stephen King books.
1. Abra from Doctor Sleep
Abra (ABE-ruh) Stone is Danny Torrance's tween friend and fellow psychic. After she develops a connection with him, Abra reveals to Danny that a vampiric group called the True Knot is hunting down psychics to torture and kill for their "steam": a mysterious energy force that keeps them alive.
Abra is soft, sensitive feminine form of Abraham that was the name of a soft, sensitive character in the John Steinbeck book and movie, East of Eden. In the bible, Abra was a favorite of King Solomon and it was a popular name in seventeenth century England. Abra is also a West African name used for girls born on Tuesday. The magical 'abracadabra' is thought to have originated in the Aramaic language.
2. Bill from IT
Bill Hodges (Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, End of Watch) might be the more prominent bearer of this name, but no one forgets Big Bill Denbrough. The Losers' Club's reluctant-but-effective leader, Bill went tongue-to-tongue with It in the Ritual of Chüd, and won.
Bill means "resolution protection." Despite the name's cool meaning, you aren't likely to find many Bills in your child's preschool class. Bill reached an all-time high in 1931 (No. 57), and the name has been on the decline since the 1950s.
3. Carrietta from Carrie
Carrietta "Carrie" White has lived a tough life. Abused at home and bullied at school, the poor girl has never really had a chance to shine. But when the mistreatment finally goes too far, Carrie snaps, and cuts a swathe of glorious revenge through her hometown.
A combination of Carrie and Etta, Carrietta's individual parts mean "free man" and "estate ruler." Nameberry predicts that Etta could soon make a comeback, thanks to the popularity of Emma and Ella. No such resurgence appears to be in the cards for Carrie, however.
4. Douglas from Dreamcatcher
In Dreamcatcher, Douglas "Duddits" Clavell is the longtime friend of Jonesy, Pete, Beaver, and Henry. After the four boys saved him from a group of bullies, Duddits enhances each of his new friends' innate psychic abilities. When an alien invasion and a single-minded colonel threaten to destroy the world, Duddits is the only one who knows how to save it.
Like most of the names on this list, the once-popular Douglas has seen a slump in usage of late. Nameberry reports that this Scottish creation, which means "black water," was once "used equally for girls and boys." Give Douglas a test run and see what you think.
5. Frances from The Stand
In King's dystopian novel, Frances "Fran" Goldsmith is one of the few survivors of a superflu outbreak that ravages the U.S. Just before people begin to fall ill, the 21-year-old college student learns that she is pregnant with her unreliable boyfriend's child. She soon finds herself faced with a dangerous trek across the country, carrying what could be one of the world's last children.
Although it's traditionally depicted as the name girls want to get away from — it was the given name of both Gidget and Dirty Dancing's Baby Houseman — Frances might be making a comeback. Meaning either "from France" or "free man," the name was bestowed upon the daughters of Kate Spade and Amanda Peet.
6. Gordon from "The Body"
Budding writer Gordon "Gordie" LaChance has it pretty rough. His parents are still reeling from the death of his athletic older brother, Dennis, and Gordie is staring down a tough decision over whether to pursue advanced classes or stay on the average track with his friends. Accompanied by three other boys, Gordie sets off to find a corpse, and report it to the police, in "The Body."
Gordon means "great hill." Although not particularly popular, it could be poised for a return to the charts. Nameberry predicts that, "[a]s this long-term Age of Jordans, both male and female, begins to wind down, the neglected Scottish favorite Gordon, with its more distinguished history, could come back as a distinctive alternative."
7. Roland from The Dark Tower Series
Roland Deschain is a gunslinger of Mid-World: a knight in a duster coat on a quest to reach the legendary Dark Tower. The adventures of King's most celebrated hero are the focus of the author's Dark Tower series, which wrapped up in 2007. Roland hits the big screen in January 2017, with Idris Elba cast in the role.
King's hero isn't the only famous Roland of the bunch. The gunslinger is named after the Robert Browning poem, "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came," which was, in turn, based on a French legend about "the supposedly eight-foot-tall romantic hero and nephew of Charlemagne." It's fitting, then, that Roland means "famous throughout the land."
8. Susannah from Song of Susannah
Another Dark Tower hero, Susannah Dean is a member of Roland's ka-tet. Formerly the split personalities of Odetta Holmes and Detta Walker, Susannah transitions from minor antagonist to trusted friend over the course of The Drawing of the Three. After separating from the ka-tet at the end of Wolves of the Calla, she lends her name to the sixth Dark Tower book, Song of Susannah.
Susannah means "lily." It hasn't been an ultra-popular name in the last century and a half, and it fell off the Top 1000 charts in 1978. Shakespeare fans know that the Bard chose this moniker for one of his daughters, albeit without the ending H.
9. Ted from Hearts in Atlantis
There are two prominent Teds in Stephen King's books: Teddy Duchamp from "The Body" and Ted Brautigan from Hearts in Atlantis. Teddy's given name is Theodore, meaning "gift of God," but Ted is just Ted.
In King's short story, "Low Men in Yellow Coats," Ted is an older gentleman who comes to board at the Garfields' home. He's a powerful psychic, or "Breaker," and is on the run from the monstrous Can-toi: the titular Low Men.
10. Winifred from The Shining
Winifred "Wendy" Torrance is the wife of Jack and mother of Danny Torrance. In The Shining, she moves with her family to the haunted Overlook Hotel. After the hotel's ghosts cloud her husband's mind, Wendy manages to escape to safety with Danny.
Wendy is not a traditional nickname for Winifred. Most parents will choose Winnie or Freddie instead, a point King addresses early on in The Shining. Winifred means "blessed peacemaking."