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.


  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!

  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.


  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.:)

  4. Ruburt? Well, it certainly sounds Dwarven.

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

  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!"

  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.

  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.

  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!

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


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