Celebrity Names Blog

Sherlock Holmes as a Baby Name? Why Not?

Between the award-winning BBC series Sherlock, the new CBS series Elementary and of course, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law's Sherlock Holmes film series, Sherlock Holmes seems to be on everyone's minds lately. Except, it seems, baby namers. Despite being one of literary history's most beloved character for the past 125 years and especially one with such a unique name, neither Sherlock nor Holmes has caught on. 

Perhaps the name is too associated with the character and at this point feels cliche, almost like Hamlet, for it to have caught on. It seems to be reserved mostly for pets than for children. There is no doubt, however, that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created a memorable character with a fascinating name. According to the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, Doyle most probably combined the last names of a prominent violinst, Alfred Sherlock, with doctor and jurist Oliver Wendall Holmes. 

Holmes's famous partner in crime-solving, Watson, had a better turn, but probably not do to the books. Watson was popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but hasn't been in the top 1000 in decades. Unlike Sherlock Holmes, Doyle borrowed the name Dr. John Watson from a real doctor who lived during that time. 

In this day and age when names are influenced from everything from food to cars and with the renewed popularity of Sherlock Holmes on TV and in film, is it possible that Sherlock, Holmes or Watson might become more popular baby names? 

What do you think: would you ever name your baby Sherlock, Holmes or Watson (or another character from the Sherlock Holmes stories, Mycroft perhaps)? What other famous literary characters would you name or would absolutely not name your baby after? 

--A.F.

Comments

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September 26, 2012 5:26 PM
By Ali (not verified)

I asked my husband about it as a baby name when we were watching an episode and he immediately pointed out how often the kid would hear the phrase "no sh** Sherlock" his whole life. I don't think its ready for a comeback.

I did love the name Doyle when I was younger.

September 26, 2012 5:31 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Sherlock, not so much. I agree he'd hear "No sh*t Sherlock" his whole life. Not to mention every time he made a mistake and got "Way to go Sherlock". I could see some people liking it as a middle name though. It has a literary pedigree and is a bit daring, which should appeal to certain demographics. Holmes seems odd to me as a first name, I just don't see it catching on.
Watson has some potential though. I think it'd fit in with all the other surname as first.

September 26, 2012 8:03 PM
By BL (not verified)

I could kind of see Sherwood getting back on the chart instead.

September 27, 2012 2:58 PM
By KF (not verified)

Agreed. My first thought was how the name Sherlock is used as a facetious way of calling someone dumb.

October 2, 2012 2:16 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I love this name. My two daughters are named after characters by Poe and Shakespeare, and Sherlock Holmes was a name I considered for a boy. Unfortunately, it doesn't go with my last name. My last name is Inn and the nickname "Lock" would make the name "Lock Inn." :)

October 2, 2012 8:19 PM
By Hello, My Name Is Pabst (not verified)

We love finding names in unusual places! Particularly fond of Watson and Elementary for a name.

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August 23, 2016 6:29 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

We did name our son Sherlock, he's nearly two now and not once has anyone said anything rude. The first thing the nurse said after he was born was "Here's your beanie Holmes" We thought it was the perfect entry, being fans of the books and BBC series. He loves his name and when we watch anything with Sherlock he gets a kick out of hearing his name. We believe that if he faces his name with pride and joy at the beginning of every introduction (first day of school or otherwise) then his peers will do the same. Who wouldn't want to be named after one the most intelligent characters ever written about? Then again, if people can accept his older brother's name Tripp (And Tripp himself understand the difference between 'Don't trip' and 'Don't, Tripp' then I think our Baker St Baby will be fine. <3 Afterall.. whats in a name?

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