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Atticus

I've only ever seen this name in To Kill a Mockingbird. It's a bold name for a courageous young man of conviction, the sort of person who is ready to change the world.

Gervase

In Evelyn Waugh's autobiographical trilogy, Sword of Honor, Gervase is the father of the protagonist, Guy Crouchback (a name I don't know if I'd recommend). Gervase is a wonderful, generous old man dripping with character and class.

Sawyer

Based on Mark Twain's adventurous character Tom, the name Sawyer sounds like a young man who is an independent thinker who is not afraid to take risks.

Darcy

Darcy is the handsome, somewhat misunderstood hero of Pride and Prejudice. In the end, he is revealed to be a man of deep sensitivities and compassion.

Rhett

From Gone With the Wind, Rhett as a human being may or may not be admirable, but the name is attractive because it sounds familiar but has a unique twist.

Milo

Milo Minderbender (you'd have to be truly bold to use the second half of the name) is only one of many inventive characters from Joseph Heller's Catch-22. The character may be a masterpiece of a modern dystopian classic, but the name is traditional and ought to be ready for a comeback.

Tristram

I've read the book Tristram Shandy and it is really, really hard to understand, but the name is great. It has a certain antiquity to it.

Ashley

Last week, I wrote about how I like the name Brett Ashley for a girl. Well, how about Ashley for a boy? While we're on the subject of using names in unexpected ways. I've always loved the name Ashley, used for a man, from Gone With the Wind. It sounds graceful.

Taliesin

Taliesin was a 6th-century Welsh poet. Say it out loud; it sounds like emerald green hills.

Newland

Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, a novel about the travails of living in upper-class New York, focuses on Newland Archer, who is trying to find authenticity in the midst of stifling social expectations. The name has a hint of New England ancestry to it and sounds like a very old family name.
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