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Nursery rhymes have been a staple in children's lives for centuries, often used by parents to entertain, lull or teach their sons and daughters. In fact, these lullabies and stories are so ubiquitous that almost everyone knows the words to at least one or two.
For many parents, baby names inspired by nursery rhymes are sweet and nostalgic choices, reminiscent of bygone eras and timeless characters. Children love nursery rhymes, and when they hear their name in one, they can relate to it even more. If you're trying to find inspiration from nursery rhymes, here are a few ideas for baby names inspired by these classic tales:
Recognizable nursery rhyme names
Perhaps the most recognizable nursery rhyme names are Jack and Peter. Between "Jack and Jill," "Jack Be Nimble," "Little Jack Horner" and the many other stories that feature a character with this boy's name, Jack is an obvious but enduring option for either a son or a daughter. If you want, consider variants to the popular name, like Jackson or Jacqueline. Peter is another recognizable nursery rhyme name, with characters like Peter Piper and Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater (incidentally, Piper makes a lovely name for a girl).
For girls, identifiable nursery rhyme names include Mary ("Mary Had a Little Lamb" and "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary"), Jill (of "Jack and Jill"), Polly ("Polly, Put the Kettle On") and Lucy ("Lucy Locket"). All of these are charming and classic choices.
Uncommon nursery rhyme names
While many nursery rhymes feature characters with simple names you've heard before, many of the stories use slightly unconventional monikers. For girls, Hettie, Arabella and Elsie all hearken back to children's stories. Margery (of "See Saw Margery Daw") is a less-common spelling of the name Marjorie, which makes it both unique and interesting - the name has increased in popularity in recent years because of the character Margaery from "Game of Thrones."
For boys, uncommon names inspired by nursery rhymes include everything from Hector and Dell to Cole and Foster.
How to choose names inspired by nursery rhymes
If you're considering a nursery rhyme name for your expected child, take some time to research the stories and understand their meanings, origins and characters. Some, including "Ring Around the Rosie" and "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" have unexpectedly negative origin stories that you may want to know about before using them as inspiration. Look for stories that are innocent, positive and pleasant, with characters children will be able to relate to. If you want to expand your options, look to old fables, lullabies and other children's stories as well as rhymes.
When you choose your name, incorporate the tale into your child's nursery. Decorate the walls with pretty illustrations, or line the shelves with books of poetry and stories.
Some of the top baby names are inspired by classic stories, and nursery rhymes are no exception. Whether you choose a name that's timeless or unconventional, you'll love the one you ended up with.
Also don't forget to check out the last baby name trends for more inspiration, with our current top 100 boys names and top 100 girls names lists!