Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Name Game

Former “Bachelorette” Trista Sutter and her husband Ryan had their second child on Friday. It’s a girl! Their first born, a son, was given a fairly common name: Max. Their daughter, however, received a more unique name: Blakesley.

What’s up with the “different” names celebrities have chosen for their babies? In case you haven’t noticed the trend, here’s a list of first and/or middle names:

Girls: Maru, Camera, Puma, Sailor, Suri, Coco, Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches Honeyblossom, Little Pixie, Emerson, Alcamy, Makena’lei Gordon, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily, Moxie CrimeFighter, Ever Gabo, Saffron Sahara, Tallulah Pine, Tu, Poppy Honey, Daisy Boo, Apple, Zahara, Shiloh, Reignbeau, Harlow Winter Kate, BreAzia Ranee, Sage Moonblood, Tiger Lily, Lola Daisy, Gaia Romilly, Iman, Dusti Raine, Keelee Breeze, Rumer, Moon Unit, and Diva Muffin.

Boys: Liron, Seven Sirius, Denim, Ky, Kal-el, Blue, Free, Hud, Spec Wildhorse, Moses, Maddox, Pax, Freedom, Rocket Valentin, Racer Maximilliano, Rebel, Rogue, Sedg, Audio Science, Seargeoh, Rufus Tiger, Akin, Thyme, Dweezil, and Ahmet Emuukha Rodan.

For all the writers out there, please think twice before naming your hero or heroine by these “interesting” names. Don’t forget the importance of choosing the right name to fit your characters, but to have a name the reader can remember. If I can’t pronounce the name or recognize it, I’ll probably have a hard time telling someone else about the story. The conversation would sound something like this:

Me: “Hey, I finished a book the other day.”
You: “Really? What was it about?”
Me: “Well, the hero… I forget his name… was chasing after the villain with a strange name… and they both tried to win over the heroine, who had a name I’ve never heard of before. Kind of hard to explain.”
You: “What was the title of the book?”
Me: “I’m not really sure how to pronounce it. I’ll have to spell it out.”

Okay, so maybe the conversation wouldn’t be THAT bad, still… Why take such a risk? You want your readers to love everything about your book, including the main characters’ names. This doesn’t mean you must use extremely common names like John, Jane, Mary, and David, but something not quite as “unique” as those names listed above would be appreciated.

Have you come across strange character names in books you’ve read or movies you’ve seen? What about in real life? Have you heard of any that have made you shiver and feel sorry for the poor kid?


  1. Hi. Thank you for visiting my site. I got the chance to visit yours and jump in the conversation about names. Your comment about remembering names of protagonists and villains: quotable.

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  3. Hi thanks for visiting and leaving me comment luv.

    a friend of mine named her daughter "Jerawyn". That's about the most "original" name I've come across in person!

  4. I thought the names were getting weird in the 60s and 70's you know all the hippies could not possibly use a name like Joe or Sam.. it was Flower, or something earthy..

    Now, well I don't know where these names come from!!

    Jan :)

  5. oh.. I meant Flower for a girl.. not a boy.. I guess he was River, or something!

  6. Such weird names. Have you heard of the name Nevaeh? Heaven spelled backwards.

    Thanks for stopping by and come back anytime!

  7. OMG! I work at an inner city school, our kids are ripe with names that either don't make sense phonetically, or they are just too bizarre, with hyphens, and accents, cap letter all peppered throughout the name!

  8. Thanks for dropping by.

    I quite like unusual names although Audio Science is going too far!

  9. Fifi Trixibelle? Seriously? Oh sweet wounded wuffles.

    I've always liked the idea of naming my kid an unusual name (not THAT unusual.) Something not like Meg or Jennifer or Jessica. There's nothing wrong with those names, I just never want my kid to be one of four Jessicas. But I'd never go that far out there. I'd do like Iris or something.

    As far as my characters go, I stick with pretty simple names. I have no idea why. But you made a lot of good points! I think it makes them more relateable too--honestly, are you going to connect with someone named Ashley or Trixiebelle?

  10. I love naming my characters. Most I've chosen have been normal: Ted, Will, Roy.

    Writing fantasy does allow for a bit more wiggle room, though. I created a Witch Nettle and a siren called Ligeia--only because that's what the Greeks used. Currently, I'm crafting a magician The Great Huzzah--fun stuff.

  11. Yeah, I don't know about all these strange names for celebrity kids, but whatever. :-)
    In our stories, I think we should use unique names but not difficult ones.

  12. Utah is known for having odd names because they name girls after their Daddies. Like say my dad's name is Paul....you could get named Paullynne, Paulenne or Paulia.

    I like when names in a book are normal or I get confused about who is who.

  13. You made some really good points with your post. I guess when I run into people with ruffling names, I roll my eyes in my mind. I think those kind of names are better left for your pet.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am enjoying browsing through yours!

  14. My Mom has the weirdest name - Clodella. I call her Cruella behind her back.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  15. This was like a little pop quiz for me ... I kept identifying the celebs who gave these names. They are quite ridiculous.

    And one of my pet peeves is when parents give their kids "famous" names. I went to a school with a Scarlett O'Hara. I always felt bad for her.

    And in college, there was a girl named Alpha Beck. Nice pun but what about your poor daughter?

    But I have to admit, Suri is kind of growing on me. It isn't too bad!

    Thanks for visiting yesterday... I appreciate it.

  16. I hate when guys are named Hunter or Walker or things like that. I want to throw out there, "let's go with Shooter or Jogger or Sitter." They make as much sense. I like basic names for guys like Luke or Charlie or Jason or Matt. Names that sound like guys without being shot up with testosterone.

  17. I hate reading a book and I'm flying along and have to stop on a name I can't pronounce.

    And man! Really? Those are actual names of star's kids? That is just ridiculous.