Most fair

nameFor the better part of a week, I’ve been discussing names for the symbols they are. I touched upon the geographical aspect of place names, but I didn’t go deeply into the dwelling end of things. There are just so many. Too many to mention them all because being someone from somewhere was a very common way to get a name for yourself.  Names like London, Winchester, and Stirling are obviously place names taken right from the city or town. Names such as Sexton, Abbey, and Bristol are proximity place names too. They have to do with living near the graveyard, church, or  bridge. Sometimes, if you know the names of things, it’s easy to figure out where the names you’re reading originated. At least in English. In my opinion Italian is easiest. Lots of place name surnames in Italy. Greco for example, is a name for an Italian who either looked Greek or came from Greece. Calabrese came from Calabria. Lombardi came from Lombardy. Add a vowel to the end of the Italian place name and you’re good!

I’ve also touched upon occupational names this week, and again, there are thousands found around the world. What’s left? Unbelievably, a lot.  More than enough for a few name posts next week! Today it’s all about descriptive names.

Descriptive names
We don’t have to go far to understand how Fairchild, Young, Black or Armstrong might have been chosen or given. They speak for themselves. Others like Lovejoy, Wise, Moody, and  Merry are obvious too, though rather subjective. Sullivan, Franklin, and Wynn take a little more thought. (“One-Eye”, free man, and friend)  Here are a few more descriptive names:

Campbell = crooked mouth
Drew = skillful
Tate = cheerful
Todd = fox
Truman = true man
Wendell = Wend (twisted)
Wynne = friend
Blake = pale or dark
Brady = broad eyes
Cade = round
Chance = lucky
Dunn = brown
Crispin = hairy/curly
Cole = dark
Doyle = dark
Curtis = courteous
Russo and Rossi = redheaded
Boyd = blond
Brown = brown skin or hair
Cameron = crooked nose
Ricci and Rizzo = curly
Cody = helpful
Darcy = dark one
Vaughan = little
Grady = noble
Kelley or Kelly = slender
Kennedy = ugly head

See what I’m getting at? When authors pick character names for our stories, we already have a personality image in mind for that person. Why not have fun with it? It doesn’t have to be obvious like Mr. Moody has a mercurial disposition or Mrs. Lovejoy is always laughing. It could be Mr. Grady is a principled man or Ms. Kelley teaches ballet. Many years ago I chose the name Doyle for the main villain in my magnum opus (referenced in previous posts) because the name has dark associations. I enjoyed that innuendo so much, this sort of thing is a habit of mine now. You’d be amazed at just what’s hidden in plain sight in my storytelling. I’ve already pegged a few of the above names for future novels.  🙂


EQ-RR.bannerThe doors are open!  Author Beth Barany is there today. Come see her favorite reviews.
A place for your old stars to shine 😀


Another 100 Things Blogging Challenge! For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Words on the Verge of Extinction. There are 90 entries to come.

Here’s one for today:

Ingeniculation (noun from 1623-1658)

bending of the knee

4 Us iconToday we have author R. Ann Siracusa’s interview.

All through January the RB4U authors are doing interviews. The thoughtful questions are a great way to get to know us. Commenting that day gives you a chance to win a collectable t-shirt. Come see!

Right now the COLD SNOW, HOT ROMANCE CONTEST is on! Three winners will each receive a $25 gift card for Amazon/Barnes & Noble, and split the other prizes randomly picked from prize list. Be sure to check all our pages for news about authors and their books, publishers and their books, and industry representatives.


b1e43-eqpicSeveral promotional opportunities for romance authors can be found on my Exquisite Quills group blog. Meet the founding authors and our guests.

Exquisite Quills Yahoo Group

First Kiss Wednesday ~ share your best 300 word kiss.
Set the Scene in Six ~ share your backdrop or lead-up on Sundays.
The Genesis of a Book ~ share the spark that ignited your novel
Author Interviews ~
We’re booking late spring now.


all7books-smallLove Waits in Unexpected Places – Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Sample my love stories for free!



About ~RoseAnderson

Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes under the pen name Madeline Archer.
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7 Responses to Most fair

  1. rosgemmell says:

    Thanks for another great reference list, Rose!

  2. melissakeir says:

    What a great post! I’ve learned a lot from your posts this week. I always looked up first names in the baby dictionary but I didn’t consider the last names. Usually those came from my students. 🙂

    • Thanks Melissa. 🙂 I have links planned for next week. One has over 20,000 names by country. Very useful, I found it several years ago and it has been great for foreign names.

  3. Marianne Stephens says:

    Your blog site is excellent…so much information and easy to read. Info about names is something I hadn’t thought about. Thanks for your posts!

  4. Some of those names sound much more noble than their meaning! Fun, Rose…. thanks.

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