Wes Anderson is an iconic film director known for turning out bizarre and whimsical comedies that boast artistic imagery and a whole lot of heart. It’s no wonder that the film maker’s aesthetic is taking over TikTok. And the names of the quirky characters he crafts are just as fanciful as the storylines and cinematography that bring them to life. Here, a roundup of Wes Anderson baby names that have appeared in some of his most beloved films.
Atari—the name of the main character in Anderson’s bizarre stop-motion animated film, Isle of Dogs—is a gender-neutral moniker derived from the (namesake) Japanese word, which means “to hit a target.”
Gwyneth Paltrow famously played the part of protagonist Margot in Anderson’s cult classic film, The Royal Tenenbaums. In the movie, Margot is the adoptive daughter of the Tenenbaums, and a playwright with a fondness for fur coats, black eyeliner and cigarettes. As for her name—it has French roots as the diminutive of Margaret (or Marguerite) and a meaning of “pearl.”
Rhett is the name given to Natalie Portman’s character, who is the ex-lover of Jason Shwartzman’s character, Jack, in both The Darjeeling Limited and the short film Hotel Chevalier, which serves as a prologue to the former. Although this name of Latin origin meaning “advisor” is typically reserved for boys—it was the name of Scarlett O’Hara’s love interest in Gone with the Wind—Anderson proves it has gender-neutral potential.
Another name from The Darjeeling Limited, Francis (played by Owen Wilson) is one of three brothers and a main character in this whimsical flick. The name itself—a gender-neutral moniker of Latin origin that means “Frenchman,” “frank” and “free man”—is more classic than kooky, but if you’re looking for a safer Anderson choice, it certainly fits the bill.
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This sweet botanical name belongs to Olivia Williams’s character (and a main love interest) in Anderson’s 1998 film, Rushmore. Aside from its obvious association with a namesake fragrant herb, Rosemary is a name of Latin origin with plenty of vintage charm and a meaning of “dew of the sea.”
Anderson’s debut film Bottle Rocket stars Owen Wilson as Dignan, a whacky friend with big, criminal ambitions. Dignan is traditionally an Irish surname that means “descendant of the dark-haired one,” and is rarely used as a given name. Give this one to a baby boy and he’ll most certainly be the only Dignan on the block.
The French Dispatch, a whimsical, literary-themed comedy, features a large cast of characters with offbeat names. One of them is Roebuck, a food writer played by Jeffrey Wright. The highly unusual name has a meaning of “roe deer,” referring to a species of deer native to Europe, and has historically been used as a surname or a nickname for someone thought to resemble the animal.
Another sibling from the dysfunctional family portrayed in The Royal Tenenbaums—Chas, the real-estate buying brother of Margot, was played by Ben Stiller. This name of German origin is a variant of Charles and boasts a meaning of “free man.”
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A character from The Royal Tenenbaums played by Angelica Houston—Etheline is the eccentric matriarch of the family whose name has German and English origins, and a badass meaning of “noble snake.”
Yet another name plucked from The Royal Tenenbaums—Raleigh, played by Bill Murray, is the name of Margot’s neurologist husband in the film. In addition to being the capital city of North Carolina, Raleigh is also a gender-neutral moniker of English origin that means “deer’s meadow.”
This sweet, feminine name given to the lead female character in Anderson’s 2012 film Moonrise Kingdom has Hebrew and Egyptian origins, plus retro vibes and a little Southern charm. It means “joyful” and “lily.”
Bill Murray, who has starred in nearly every single one of Anderson’s films, plays Herman—a rich industrialist and friend of the teenage main character—in Rushmore. The name certainly wasn’t coined by Anderson, though: Herman is an ancient Germanic name that dates back to as early as the 8th century and has a strong meaning of “warrior.”
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You might recognize Rita as the name of the “lime girl” (a sweet Indian train attendant who’s a bit too smart for her monotonous service job) in The Darjeeling Limited. That said, Rita is by no means a traditional Indian moniker. In fact, much like Margot, this one is a shortened form of the Greek and Spanish name Margarita, which means “pearl.”
Asteroid City is yet to be released but when it hits theaters this summer, you will meet Jason Shchwartzman’s character, Augie, a grieving war photographer and father who’s gearing up to tell his four adult children that their mother has died. And let’s just say the moniker has plenty of leading character potential, since it’s derived from the Latin name August, which means “magnificent” and “great.”
Another name from the newest (and not yet released) Asteroid City—June, played by Maya Hawke, has a romance brewing with a singing cowboy in the film. (But we can’t tell you much more than that until we score some tickets ourselves.) Aside from its association with the calendar month, June is a retro-sounding name of Latin origin that means “young.”