What's in a name?
I know my Mom and Dad argued about what they were going to name us. You’d think since they had nine kids, they could simply take turns. Nope. One of my brothers actually came home from the hospital with “Boy” listed on his birth certificate because Mom and Dad couldn’t agree.
Dad wanted to name him Shenandoah. Mom didn’t. She wasn’t going to give in. And so “Boy” is the name shown on his birth certificate.
My sister and I have rhyming names. I kind of think Mom was running out of ideas and at the bottom of her list, when we came along. People sometimes think we’re twins because our names are so similar. I think it’s funny because I’m older ;) She doesn’t.
But as writers we all have to ask ourselves what is in a name? How should the name reflect on our characters? Should they sound strong and forceful or meek and mild and can names do that for a character? It’s like predisposing our characters to certain traits simply because of their name.
Harry Potter, for instance, was a rather mundane name for a wizard but there must have been hidden meaning in his name…right? I looked it up to see what it means. Can you guess?
It means "Army Ruler". Or according to the UK, it comes from the name Henry, which was a name for Kings. So, maybe it's not so unusual for a special wizard.
This is just to remind all your writers and/or parents out there: names have a huge impact on people and we should consider them strongly when we are writing and/or planning how we want to portray or pre-dispose the "people" in our stories.
Horizon: Scott Westerfeld
20 hours ago