I’ve discussed names for the symbols they are. Today I’ll wrap-up thoughts on character names before delving further into symbols. If you’re here for the first time, scroll down for some interesting bits.
A morning news show a while back talked about popular names and names associated with pop culture. Names like Lemongello and Orangello are real. So are ESPN, Cheese, and Leviathan. Poor kids. Visit snopes.com to check out the downside of wild names in urban legend claims.
Celebrities sometimes pick out stunners too: Moonblood, Camera, Audio Science, Pilot Inspektor, Moon Unit, and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen. I suppose the parents who thought up all these unusual names were making a statement of some sort. So, how about names as statements? I found this quote recently that adds a little thought on the topic.
“One thing is certain. I have no real feeling about my first name. I can only guess why this is. It seems to me that it may be because my parents gave it to me without any particular feeling simply because they liked it…It is as though my parents had seen it in a window of a shop, walked inside and bought it. It has nothing traditional about it, no memory, no history, not even an anecdote…it was simply a passing fancy. A family name, a saint’s name, a hero’s name, a poetic name, a symbolic name – all these are good: they have grown naturally and not been bought ready-made. One should be named after somebody or something. Or else a name is really only empty breath.”
~Franz Rosenzweig (1886-1929)
“One should be named after somebody or something. Or else a name is really only empty breath.” Interesting. That thought fits literary names too, especially if the meaning conveys a secret. Secret? Say I’ve created a character named Kenneth Ignis — I’ve made him a fireman in New Jersey. Looks simple enough at first glance, doesn’t it? Breaking it down, his first name is an Anglicized form of the Scottish Gaelic name Cináed which means “born of fire.” The last name Ignis just happens to be Latin for Fire. That’s a great way for an author to make an occupational name an indirect or secret message to the reader rather than the obvious Baker or Smith. But what if Ken is a renown muralist, or an architect working on a tower the likes no landscape has ever boasted? In this case the fire is the drive — a burning desire. It becomes a nod to the character’s personality.
Latin roots offer lots of potential for names. Or try other language roots: Norse and Greek, or go for Old French, Germanic, or Old English. You really can have fun with this. For more food for thought, I’m sharing my name links. Some were stumbled across ten or more years ago and have served me well. Sadly, I’ve lost a few old links to time. Fortunately, many are still viable. Enjoy!
The best of because there are many cultural options
You won’t believe how useful this site is
And here’s an oldie I’ve recently discovered. As a writer and info hound, I see amazing potential here. I love that title too. http://www.domesdaybook.co.uk/index.html
I hope you’ve enjoyed my venture into Onomastics.
Tomorrow: my favorite take on symbols.
It’s Wednesday and time for Hump Day happenings around the web.
Here’s one for today:
Phlyarologist (noun 1867)
one who talks nonsense
Today is author Fran Lee’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. http://www.romancebooks4us.com/
It’s First Kiss Wednesday! Come share your best 300 word kiss.
Several promotional opportunities for romance authors can be found on my Exquisite Quills group blogs. Meet the founding authors and our guests.
Exquisite Quills Yahoo Group
First Kiss Wednesday ~ share your best 300 word kiss.
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The Genesis of a Book ~ share the spark that ignited your novel
Author Interviews ~ We’re booking late spring now.
Today’s guest author: Guy Ogan
A new place for your old stars to shine 😀
Love Waits in Unexpected Places – Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories
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