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Atticus

Atticus (AT-ik-uss) has been gaining popularity recently, thanks to Atticus Finch, the well-named main character of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. (My theory is that some parents searching for a literary name thought of this first, as almost all high schools require reading this.) Mr. Finch was a strong enough character to change the law community as a fictional role model for lawyers. His character in the 1962 film adaptation was voted the "greatest hero in American film."

However, there are other notable people named Atticus, dating all the way back to 112 BC. Titus Pomponius Atticus may have been the first namesake, an ancient Roman philosopher/author, one of two ancient philosophers with the name. Around the same time, Herodes Atticus was a rhetorician, and later namesakes include Archbishop Atticus of Constantinople, Saint Atticus (5th century, Armenia), musician Atticus Ross, and actor Atticus Shaffer.

In the literary world, authors Greg Rucka, Ron Hansen, Cicero and Kevin Hearne have used Atticus for characters. Some may even recall a rock band called Atticus. In recent years, two celebrity couples have used Atticus for their child - Casey Affleck & Summer Phoenix, and Daniel Baldwin & Isabella Hoffman.

Atticus simply means "man from Attica" in Latin, a place in ancient Greece which contains Athens. (Note: Athens is the capital, so name sites that list Atticus as meaning "from Athens" are incorrect.) However, it has long been associated with intellect and intelligence. Atticus broke back into the U.S. top 1000 in 2004 and now ranks at #462. The last time it ranked was in 1881, at #875.

Other high school English class names coming into fashion include Gatsby, Harper and Darcy.

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