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Fiction, Literary Ramblings and Thoughts, Other Musings, Writing & Writers

What’s in a Name?

In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Juliet said:

 “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Translation:  Names aren’t so important, a rose would still smell as sweet even if it were called something else.

Oh, but I beg to differ.  Names are very important, especially when you’re trying to figure out what to name a nice character, a bawdy one, a philanderer or seriously disturbed one.  Who would you picture as the more attractive woman:  Gabrielle or Gertrude?  What about a handsome hero — Carlos or Clarence?  Not to diss any Gertrudes or Clarences out there, but you get the point.

In the movie, When Harry met Sally, Billy Crystal (Harry) and Meg Ryan (Sally) are talking about when each of them had great sex with someone.  Harry asks Sally, “With whom?” and Sally responds after a few exchanges:  “Shel Gordon.”

Harry’s response:

“No you didn’t.  A Sheldon can do your income taxes.  If you need a root

canal Sheldon’s your man, but humping and pumping is not Sheldon’s strong

suit.  It’s the name.  Do it to me ‘Sheldon’, you’re an animal ‘Sheldon’,

ride me big ‘Sheldon’.  Doesn’t work.”

Unconsciously, we picture a person by the name a writer gives them.  What’s more, some names have cultural references associated with them such as  Bubba, Vinnie or Daisy May.  You have a mental picture when you hear them (c’mon, you know you do).

You wouldn’t name an exotic dancer Ethel, now would you?

With that in mind, I’ve found a website while researching today whereby you can plug in a name and get an analysis based on a Mathematical Principal.  It has over 800,000 names so plug your own name in — it’s fun.

Also, if you’re stumped for last names, download this Last Name Writer List that I found compliments of Cvisual.com for a nice list of surnames that may just be the right one for your character(s).

For the top 100 names of all time check Nameberry.com.  Exotic girl names can be found on SheKnows.com and for guys, click here or here for a great selection.

What would you name a gorgeous femme fatale?  An introverted yet handsome male character?  An overbearing mother or father?  A bully?

Share your comments below and happy writing.

References:  Corkynet Scripts

About Brigitte



2 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. Great resources. Thanks!

    Posted by finally_write | February 25, 2012, 9:56 pm

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