The Name Game


I’ve discussed this topic on other occasions but inspired by a post on another blog that I visited, Ameena’s Musings, it once again prompted me to think on names.

For my personal name, my first name is Laura – which means crowned with laurel, or victor. My middle name is Ellen – nicknamed Ellie – which means bright light.  I don’t often feel like the bright light or a victor, but it does offer hope for tomorrow.

So what’s in a name?  POWER – that’s what!

The reason that we toil over choosing our children’s names and our character’s names – which in a way are our children – is that there is a power behind  names.

We don’t want to name our children something like Ebenezer or Dorcas! I still have my baby naming books which I have on my resource shelf for my writing.

There are certain associations that we make with names, certain images that we have for  names. Babette makes me think of a perky blonde that is not too bright. Harold makes me think of an older gentleman that is balding and has some insecurities.

Mary means bitter. I know a couple of Mary’s and they are indeed bitter and difficult to be around.

Of course, the definition of your name also depends on the cultural background of your heritage. For example, when Chevrolet named their car a NOVA then wondered why it wouldn’t sell in Mexico, where the meaning of that meant “no go”.

For our book characters, we want to make certain that the names are right, and that they are creating the correct image.  Knowing our characters helps to name them. OF course, sometimes they tell you right off the bat what their name is. Like Bran, in Kiss of the Dragon.  He is bold, brazen, arrogant, and in some senses a complete asshat. But then again that leaves a lot of room for improvement.

Names have power!  Whether it was Adam in the garden of Eden naming everything he saw or Rick Riordan in his latest epic novel, names carry a certain power with them.

Write on my friends, write on.



2 comments on “The Name Game

  1. I laughed so hard as I read this as I happen to know someone named Ebenezer and someone named Dorcas…

    Oh the research I had to do to name my son too! Nights and nights of reading baby name books and toiling the internet and I finally decided to call him ‘Adnan’ which means ‘someone who settles in paradise permanently’.

    Names do have power and I think its important to pick the right one.

    A good read this was


  2. Thank you! I toiled over my daughter’s names. Our oldest daughter, we had chosen Rachel – right up to the moment of her birth. Then we looked at her and said. . . she’s not a Rachel. Poor baby had no name for 2 days. Now her name suits her well!


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