Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Weekly Geeks - What's in a Name?

dewey's weekly geeks2[7].jpg

For this week's edition of Weekly Geeks, we're going to take a closer look at character names. What are some of your favorite character names?

Go to Google or a baby name site like this one or this one, and look up a favorite character's name. What does their name mean? Do you think the meaning fits the character? Why or why not?

If you'd like, look up your own name as well and share the meaning.

I haven't participated in Weekly Geeks for ages but as I am currently trawling the baby names sites, searching for great names (both for the baby and characters) I had to do this one.

From His Dark Material - Philip Pullman

Lyra - The name of the constellation in the northern sky containing the star Vega. It is said to be shaped after the lyre of Orpheus. A lyre is an instrument like a lute.

So not really but obviously Lyra's name is appropriate given that she's not the most truthful of children or rather as Iorek Byrnison says she has a silver tongue.

Will - Its source is wil helm, an Ancient Germanic name meaning "Determined protector."

Ah, so fitting for Will, bless him.

From Secret Society Girl books by Diana Peterfreund

Amy - Its source is an Old French expression meaning "Beloved one."

Well everyone likes Amy, so not bad.

Jamie - Its source is Iacobus, a Latin name meaning "One who grasps by the heel or supplanter."

Um no.

And finally from my current, addictive read, Rebel Angels by Libby Bray

- Its source is a Latin expression meaning "Jewel."

Could work, the Jewel of the Order?

Felicity - Its source is Felicia, a Latin name meaning "Happy."

Maybe by the end but right now nope

- Its source is Channah, a Hebrew name meaning "Favored grace."

As above

Kartik - not found

Aw we'll never know.

Really though it's the image a name creates in our head that's more important than it's meaning. When we finally found out Poe's real name was James in Under the Rose. I was kind of disappointed, it didn't seem to fit him. Until he tells Amy he's name is Jamie, always has been always will be. Big sigh of relief - far more fitting and they rhyme! How can they not end up together.

Oh and if you're new here please just have a quick look at this post and see if you know these books. I just remembered about them and I'm desperate to find them again and see if they're as good as I remember!


  1. I love that you included Lyre and Will :)

  2. I always heard that Lyra's name was Lyra because it sounded like "Liar."

    That's interesting about the background of Jamie. I never thought of that, though I guess that's why the supporters of King James are called Jacobites, yeah?

    I used to have something up on the website about why I chose everyone's name. Baby book meanings can be fine (for instance, I have a character in my new book named Philippa because it literally means "horse lover"), but sometimes connotations for names exist outside of that. Like Clarissa I guess means "brightest" but in my head I was thinking of the Clarissa from Richardson.

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  4. Nymeth - I always reference HDM if I can :)

    Diana - Yes I guess so. The meaning seems to go really well for that James and his supporters. Interesting to know how you name your characters.

    Martin - um yes, well my name is rather fabulous!

  5. The fav character names that pop to mind are ones that are sooo simple, and so childlike and so visual. They are from the book Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton - I mean how can you not love -

    Dame Washalot (she did wash-a-lot),

    Saucepan man (the man with all pots and pans attached to him)

    Mr. Watzisname (who never remembered his name)

    Silky (with long silky hair) and

    Moonface (a guy with a moon-shaped face)

  6. SSQuo - They are great names, certainly better than the some of her other choices - Dick, Aunt Fanny!

  7. Yes, I believe Fanny was replaced by another name because of the double meaning! tsk tsk Enid.


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