Celebrity Names Blog

Katniss Craze: Will Hunger Games Inspire Names Like Twilight Did?

Katniss Craze: Will Hunger Games Inspire Names Like Twilight Did?
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The movie version of the best-selling book series The Hunger Games is officially underway with Academy Award nominated Jennifer Lawrence cast in the lead role of the heroine Katniss Everdeen. Seeing as the sci-fi trilogy has been touted as the next Twilight Saga, we can't wait to see if there will be parallels as far as the popularity of the character's names and if Katniss will become the next Bella.


As we've covered, the usage of names of Twilight characters -- notably Bella and Cullen --  boomed upon the release of the first Twilight book and continued after the first movie hit theaters. But those names previously held spots on the Top-1000. Katniss, on the other hand, has never appeared on the list. Will its relative obscurity keep it from catching on, or will the movie propel it up the charts?


In Suzanne Collins' story, Katniss is a 16-year-old girl who must rely upon her hunting skills in a brutal fight-till-the-death competition. Her name comes from the edible plant katniss, which is part of the genus Sagrittaria meaning "of the arrow." It is a water plant that is adaptable, like the character, and it's both delicate and hearty. The root of katniss can be eaten, it tastes like a sweet potato when cooked, and there is a line in the book in which she recalls her father telling her, "As long as you can find yourself, you'll never starve."


Other pivotal characters from the story with names you could start hearing more often are Primrose, Katniss' sister, and Peeta, a male friend and fellow competitor.


If you are of simpler taste when it comes to names, but like the sound of Katniss why not go with one of the more traditional "K" names Katherine, Katrina or Kathleen - all of which can be shortened to Kat. A more mainstream version of Primrose could simply be the floral inspired Rose. And those who like Peeta, why not Pete -- which means "rock"?


We can't wait for Hunger Games to hit the big screen in 2012 to see if Katniss develops into a popular trend in the name world. Do you think the name has potential? What do you think about naming people after characters? If your name came from a book or movie -- or you know someone else whose name has -- share it below. 



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March 19, 2011 4:08 PM
By Sarah (not verified)

Stephanie Meyer picked names that were already popular and fit in with the current trends. I don't think there's any chance that these names will catch on, other than possibly Primrose.

March 19, 2011 5:07 PM
By hillary (not verified)

I don't think Katniss will get as popular as Bella, which was already popular when Twilight was published, but I think it WILL get used, so its ranking will jump up...you can only go up from zero! More likely you'll see teenage girls who are already named Kathleen/Catharine/Katie start calling themselves Katniss as a nickname.

March 20, 2011 7:32 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I love the Hunger Games series and think it is more compelling story than the Twilight series. In my unscientific informal polling, I have found I am not alone in this opinion. This may help the names in Hunger Games.

March 20, 2011 11:18 AM
By Sarah (not verified)

I don't see a mention of the name Gale, which I could see people using. It's not quite as far out there as Katniss.

Also Rue, which is a very pretty name and is a very moving character in the first book.

March 20, 2011 8:56 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I think the names will follow more in the pattern of Harry Potter. In Harry Potter, Rowling used unusual names meant to be from another world in a sense. Collins did the same in The Hunger Games. The naming parallels are more pronounced here than with Twilight!

March 20, 2011 11:02 PM
By LGB (not verified)

I am not into sci-fi but I love the name Katniss. It is earthy. Clean. Not unlike Primrose or floral names. Ivy is hugely popular! Why not Katniss?

March 21, 2011 9:35 AM
By Grace (not verified)

Good point about Ivy. If Ivy is popular why not Katniss? Fern, Laurel, Heather.

March 21, 2011 11:06 AM
By Nicola (not verified)

I agree with the comment that The Hunger Games, with its stylized names, is more likely to follow the Harry Potter trend of being a pop culture phenom without the name influence. Anyway, who can forget Katniss's unfortunate nickname, Catnip?

That said, I'd like to see Rue and Prim make a splash as a result of THG. Both are pretty and distinctive-but-understated names.

March 21, 2011 11:59 AM
By Laura

Hmm...I'm trying to imagine telling my little girl that she's named for the heroine of a desperately bleak, violent, post-apocalyptic dystopia that I won't let her read for another decade. (And is "heroine" even the word for Katniss?)

March 21, 2011 4:40 PM
By <3sgc<3 (not verified)

Sorry, all I can think when I hear Katniss is catnip. Not my style at all.

March 21, 2011 7:21 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I'm named Meggie after the character in the Thornbirds because it was my parents' favorite book. I don't mind my name or particularly like it, but it is always confused with Megan or Maggie, which is kind of annoying. Still, its not as abnormal as Katniss, Peeta, or even Primrose.
I suggest if you want to name your kids after characters in a book, movie, or show, make sure the name is already fairly common (or common-sounding), or the book is not just some crazy popular book that will be completely obscure in about ten years. Otherwise nobody will get the reference. Thats why its good to use normal-sounding names, so that your child wont be left with a name that no one their own age understands.
Just my advice, but anyone is free to do what they like. I don't think the hunger games will be unknown any time soon, but what if your son/daughter grows up, reads the book, and doesn't like it. However, The Hunger Games isn't a bad series for anyone who doesn't mind a bit of violence.

March 24, 2011 4:15 PM
By Draiad (not verified)

To Meggie - it's funny that it's confused with Megan, because the main character in The Thorn Birds' full name was, in fact, Meghann Cleary. Meggie was her nickname.

April 4, 2011 11:09 AM
By Daysh (not verified)

All my best names come from literature - especially if you include the bible.

My son's names are both biblical, but if he had been a girl he would have been Alia (from "Dune") and my next favorite boys name is Nikolai (from "Ender's Shadow"). My favorite girls names are Antigone (from "Antigone"), Sarai (biblical), and Aria (from "A Song of Ice and Fire").

I don't think it's all that unusual either. I read alot, it means I come across alot of names. Obviously there are going to be some that stick with me.

June 7, 2011 1:28 PM
By Melissa (not verified)

I'd be shocked if Katniss sees much of a peak. The name has to have more than widespread exposure. It has to fit with the current trends or consciousness. I think Harry Potter probably gave names like Lily and James a bigger boost (names that already have that old-fashioned-now-fresh sort of appeal); but it didn't give as much of a push to names like Hermione and Ron (neither name quite fits current taste in sound and style).

April 30, 2012 1:03 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

i sugest that she names the the kids effie and haymitch

January 4, 2013 9:00 PM
By fuel that is of high (not verified)

The name has to have more than widespread exposure.

April 13, 2013 10:30 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I personally love the name Katniss. It I very unique, and I think the name could catch on.

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