Sorry for posting late this weekend. My grandma died, and her funeral was yesterday. (I'm okay, so don't worry, though I know I'll miss her.)
I did a post a while back about how words are awesome. Today, I thought I'd talk about how names are awesome. Like most writers, I have a thing about names and their meanings. I love playing with them in my works, and I like looking them up in real life, too.
I guess I've always been interested in the topic. My mom picked my first name for the meaning, and I don't remember ever not knowing about it. She used to show me the name "Kira" in her beat-up baby name book: "light" and "sun," two similar meanings that originate in the Sanskrit, Egyptian, Persian, and Russian languages. I thought this was fascinating. The complexity of language and the labels we take on for ourselves is perfectly captured in names.
By the time I hit middle school, I'd found out that my first name had other meanings, too, from various different languages, creating a bundle of contradictions that beautifully reflects the human condition. Besides "light" and "sun," there's also "dark" (Celtic), "lady" (Greek), and "beloved ruler to whom the people look" (Russian). In Hinduism, "Kira" is associated with sacred bells, and in Japanese, it is associated with the words "killer" and "glittery." I loved the idea of having all these multitudes of meaning inside of me. What could be more perfect for a writer?
Naturally, with my early introduction to name meanings, I've paid attention, a long time, to the names of people around me, and what they mean. I've gradually gotten into middle and last names as well as first names, constructing full phrases out of people's names. (My own chosen name meaning on my About Me page uses the "sunlight" interpretation, since that's what Mom chose it for, but I love knowing those other options are there too.) I've learned about common patterns in name origins. I'm not a very good name collector, but I do collect them nonetheless.
This leads into, naturally, my name choices for my book characters. Sometimes, a name just comes to me as a perfect fit. Sometimes, I have to spend a lot of time researching meanings and origins and sounds until I find a name that hits the exact right note for a specific character. For minor characters, I often pick a name basically at random. But I always write down what the meanings are, just because it matters to me. Those name interpretations will be included on this website in my character files once I have published books!
To give you a bit of a sneak peek, I'm going to share the name meanings of my main characters for each of my current WIPs.
Main character: Augusta Regna
Name meaning: Great Reign
Main character: Athena Tremont
Name meaning: Goddess of Wisdom and War on Three Mountains.
Main characters: Mandy Gale; Darren Beamer
Name meanings: Lovable and Joyful; Trumpeter of the Exiled
Main character: Caesarea Mont
Name meaning: Mountain Leader
Main character: Hunter Cole
Name meaning: Hunter of the People's Victory
Main character: Sage O'Riley
Name meaning: Prophet of the Sociable Race
Main character: Quinn Miller
Name meaning: Son of the Head Mill-Worker
Main character: Jedrek
Name meaning: Strong Man
Main character: Suzanne Clever
Name meaning: Clever Lily
Main character: Kaela Timberley
Name meaning: Beloved Girl of the Forest Clearing
Main character: Danae Goade
Name meaning: Goodly Judge
Don't forget, if you find the time, to start doing some research on character names for your favorite books. J.K. Rowling is really good at this, and it's always fascinating to look up the little details and inner meanings in her works. She will never fail to have something new to give you, I don't doubt.
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