Friday, May 6, 2011

Names and What They Mean

For me coming up with the name of a character is one of the exciting and most important parts of their development.

I usually go to baby name books or ancient scriptures to find my names:


Here is a list of character names and why I choose them:

Scotlyn: Originally this name was Scotland. I found in my personal genealogy research that I had many ancestors who were kings and queens. Most of them were from the Celtic isles.

The masculine form of Scotlyn is Scott. It means “From Scotland.” This is a symbol of her heritage.

Cyrus: I got this name from the Bible. Cyrus the Great was a king who led his armies into battle and concerned Babylon. He did a lot of great things for the world. Babylon is a symbol for the world. I though it was appropriate since my Cyrus is destined to become a king much overcome the world.

Hazella Lamia the witch: I thought of Witch Hazel. I know, so silly. All witches seem to have an ‘a’ at the end of there name so I added the ‘a’. In mythology Lamia is a female phantom who frightened children.

Cassi the pixie: When I was developing the pixie character Cassi (my cat) kept interrupting me. She climbed in my kitchen cupboards and started knocking out cans of food. I guess she was hungry. Then she pranced in front of my computer screen wanting attention. Her personality was so fun that I incorporated many of my cat’s traits and her name into the pixie.

Hannah: Bible

Jeremiah: Bible

King Hilkiah: Bible

Poseidon: Emperor of the sea from mythology.

Anthea the fairy queen.: Her name means “flowery”.

Asherah, the mermaid: Her name means “she who walks on the sea”.

Ruburt the dwarf: I found this name in a dwarven encyclopedia. LOL. Seriously.

Jacob and Rachel: I love this Bible romance story and wanted to have a couple by the name of Jacob and Rachel. I thought these names fit since they were given the task of gathering twelve tribes.

Maryweather: My favorite fairy from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. Although in my book she is a laundry maid and VERY different from the Disney character.

Leah: Bible

Fredrick: A medieval name I researched and liked.

Lyrad: ‘Daryl’ spelled backwards.

Selustis: A morphed name meaning “dark lust”

Erebus: A mythological place of darkness on the way to Hades.

Woldor the wise dragon: a morphed form of “Wold”. Wold is an ancient name that means from the upper lands. This is appropriate since my dragon live high in the mountains.

Alamar: is a Spanish name that means “to the sea.”

For me, naming a character is an important way for me to connect to them.

10 comments:

  1. I really enjoy choosing names for characters too. I tend to go with a gut feeling more than checking out the meaning behind it - but that usually works out quite well!

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  2. Lovely read, as I write poetry mainly about my family and my life's expereiences I hardly have cause to chose names,

    Have a good day.

    Yvonne.

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  3. This is very interesting! I to go to baby books, but I usually just come up with the names off the top of my head.:)

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  4. Ruburt? Well, it certainly sounds Dwarven.

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  5. interesting names some of those are i've always wonder where writers come up with names for their characters

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  6. I love choosing character names. But it's hard if the character is already developed before I find one. Then I have to wait for the absolute perfect name that says "HERE I AM!"

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  7. This was an interesting read. I'm very interested in where names, and words generally, come from, and your post made me think about where I get the names for the characters I write.

    As near as I can figure, it's just the sounds that I go for. I get a sense of characters usually by writing their dialog, or sometimes visualizing them physically - and that suggests sounds and rhythms to me. I know how weird that must sound, but a "Jenn Romanna" or "Justin Ballantyre" come to me by that process, and it's only afterwards that I think 'Romanna'/'Romany' and she becomes a gypsy girl, or Ballantyre suggests a Scottish milieu. It often feels like they were there before I found them, and I'm letting them tell me who they are.

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  8. Those are great names. Are all those characters going to be in the same book? I usually go to "baby names" books or sites. I love learning the histories behind the names and the name meanings. In fact, I have a hard time getting my characters going until I feel I have found the right names for them.

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  9. It's so difficult for me to come up with character names! Usually if an idea hits me, I'll start jotting it down with either a blank (_____) where the name will be, or with the first silly placeholder name that pops into my head. Sometimes the placeholder will become the name, or I'll "hear" a name being spoken, one that fits so well with the character I had in mind, that I'll use it!

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  10. I like your process. I enjoy coming up with names. It's fun.

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