What's In a Name?

Friday, February 10, 2012

   "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."- Shakespeare 

Hiya! Annika here. Today, we're going to talk about names. Despite the wide range of people a name can cover, certain things come to mind when you hear certain names.

What do you think of when you hear Esmeralda?

Billie Jean?










See? Different things come to mind. For example, Analiese makes me think of a princess. Billie Jean perhaps a turn of the century cowgirl. Juliet- well, Wizards of Waverly Place, to be frank.
But people's perceptions of names are very different. Did you know that some people dislike the name Lucy because they somehow see it related to the name Lucifer? I find this odd, as Lucy Pevensie, one of the most innocent characters I've ever read about, is named this. So in step, I have come to associate the name with innocence.

Now, when it comes to naming characters, sometimes a name can indicate something they don't realize or keep buried. Oddly enough, my nanowrimo novel's protagonist was named Demi, even though she proves to be anything but by the ending. Her name is Demetria, but for some reason she is always called Demi, even going so far as to prefer it over her true name.

Other times it is because they can't stand their full name. For example, George Fayne from the Nancy Drew Mysteries real name is Georgia, but she prefers George. This is justified, as even when the original books were written, she was shown to have tomboyish tendencies.

Something that has always annoyed me in Fantasy and Sci-Fi is that some writers go over the top with names. Even in fantasy, I'd rather use slightly less common Earth names. Or if I make up one, I make sure to still keep it simple. I'd actually use Ivy or Tess(a) or Ava instead of something crazy like Elfiria or Mcedomen.

Here are some great naming resources:

The Baby Name Wizard
Behind the Name
Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names

But what do you think? Do you have any favorite names or traditions for finding names for your characters?


  1. When I hear Lucy, I think blond curls, and innocence. Thats really interesting that most people connect it with Lucifer!

    Imogen: A medival princess.
    Esmeralda: A gypsy.
    Collete: A french tyrant.
    Juliet: Romeo.
    Ivy: A small, dainty girl.
    Anna: Of green gables.
    Helen: Of troy.
    Madison: energetic girl. And thats only cuz I know one.
    Tessa: A meek, mild woman.

    and Annika? I think of a super sweet girl who is a peacemaker. (I've got a character named Annick who is like that, and it is close enough to yours, to give me the same mental image/though)

  2. Cool! Colette actually makes me thing of a French dressmaker, because I named one that! LOL! I can see the likeness XD

    On a side note, do you like the new design? I know I've changed it a lot, but I think this ones a keeper :)

  3. Hi Annika!

    Thanks for your comment on my blog >:D I'm probably going to end up reading all the Clique books, hehehe. And why haven't I seen you around TLF lately? Miss ya sister! ;)


  4. LOL! I've been on The-Forum-of-Eternal-Torment- I mean TLF, less lately... dunno why, I just have. And I'm not supposed to be on the computer for a week or so, but I'll pop up every now and then :)

  5. Wow I love this post! Names are awesome things and it's so funny how certain names have reputations of there own! I LOVE the name Lucy! It makes me think of Lucy Ball, the queen of comedy! LOL!


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