Name News
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News about baby names, adult names, fictional names, and more. To search: click on the filter-shaped icon on the grey bar at the top of the page.
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The Bridgerton Names Show Off an Age-Old Cultural Bias

The Bridgerton Names Show Off an Age-Old Cultural Bias | Name News | Scoop.it
The aristocracy is integrated, the orchestras play Taylor Swift...but the names stick to a surprising convention
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The Tiffany Problem

the Tiffany Problem describes the tension between historical fact and the average, everyday person’s idea of history.
Clare's insight:

It's like Sebastian in reverse!

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a Becket, a Kempis, a Cruce

a Becket, a Kempis, a Cruce | Name News | Scoop.it
St. Thomas a Becket, Thomas a Kempis (author of The Imitation of Christ), and St. Teresia Benedicta a Cruce (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, aka Edith Stein) all have that "a" in common -- have any of you wondered what it means? I admit I'd only had a vague, noncommittal curiosity until today, when…
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Suspending Disbelief - The Accuracy of TV Show Names

I'll admit that Olivia is more common than Mariska, at the very least - but how well do other television shows fare when naming their main characters? Let's look at some examples!
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Modern Baby Names That Aren’t So Modern

Modern Baby Names That Aren’t So Modern | Name News | Scoop.it
British name expert Eleanor Nickerson looks at modern-sounding names like Tiffany and Aubrey and finds that they have surprisingly long histories. They re positively medieval!
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NaNoWriMo: Balancing truth and accessibility

In our first post on this month's monthly topic, we discussed two easy ways in which authors of historical fiction can improve the historicity of the names they use. In this post, we tackle the spe...
Clare's insight:

So, er, I may have made a very unexpected last-minute decision to do NaNoWriMo, which would explain why I haven't been as active here as usual. I've been powering through, but I'll have to do a thorough name-audit at the end, and Sara's advice will come in very handy.

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Beloved Baby Names: Naming Tips for Novel Writers

Beloved Baby Names: Naming Tips for Novel Writers | Name News | Scoop.it
Hello everyone! November is National Novel Writers Month better known as NaNoWriMo. I think I'm going to be a little too busy to write a novel this November but I do love to write fiction. One of my favorite things about writing is choosing awesome character names. Today I want to share some character naming tips for all you novel writers out there!
Clare's insight:

Good luck to anyone embarking on NaNoWriMo today!

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The Art of Naming: When Twin Names Are Just Too Matchy

The Art of Naming: When Twin Names Are Just Too Matchy | Name News | Scoop.it
How do you feel about matchy twin names? Here's what I think makes names too close for comfort:
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This Pig (Name) Won't Fly

This Pig (Name) Won't Fly | Name News | Scoop.it
I feel compelled to take a stand on a pressing issue of the day:

The name Denise is so wrong for a Muppet pig.
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Names from SUITS | Tips on Naming Fictional Characters for Writers

Names from SUITS | Tips on Naming Fictional Characters for Writers | Name News | Scoop.it
Simply, the out of date names work because a lawfirm is a century-old institution with tradition and meaning.
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TV’s Out-of-Synch Name Syndrome

TV’s Out-of-Synch Name Syndrome | Name News | Scoop.it
Have you noticed all the grown-up TV characters with trendy baby names--and vice versa?? In this humorous piece, Nick Turner gives ample evidence of the disconnect.
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Evolet: Baby Name of the Day - Appellation Mountain

Evolet: Baby Name of the Day - Appellation Mountain | Name News | Scoop.it
Evolet was born in 10,000 BC on the silver screen, but she's right at home in 2014. Will this lovely Ev- name move beyond her movie roots?
Clare's insight:

I love the sound of Evolet, but I have to confess I'm a bit disappointed by its origins: I was holding out hopes that it would be an ancient Hebrew name.  Snobbish, I know.  Maybe I just need a few good associations to reconcile with it.

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Names Make the Book

Clare's insight:

"Well-chosen character names help set the scene in innumerable books...(Conversely, I find that careless naming is often a warning sign of sloppy writting to follow.) But occasionally, the character names go even further, becoming...well, characters."

 

Absolutely!

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Name Quotes 89: Shelley, Kelly, Bill –

Name Quotes 89: Shelley, Kelly, Bill – | Name News | Scoop.it
From an Uproxx article about DRAM’s most recent EP: Virginian rap crooner DRAM returned last night with the release of his new, three-song EP, That’s A Girl’s Name. Produced and co-written by…
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Why Every Regency Romance Hero is Named Sebastian

Why Every Regency Romance Hero is Named Sebastian | Name News | Scoop.it
When it comes to Regency fantasies, the historically unlikely Sebastian, ironically, is the ideal name for the job.
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The importance of researching character names

Choosing a name for a fictional character should entail as much time, care, thought, and attention as naming a child. Though you can always change it later if you grow to dislike it or discover it's inaccurate, it can be very difficult to suddenly start thinking of that character by an entirely new name. For…
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Scotland’s “Senga Syndrome”

Leslie Hills worked as a teacher in Scotland for several decades starting in the 1960s. Writing about her experiences in the 1990s, she mentioned Senga Syndrome: Years later I heard my experience s…
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The Americans / The Catch | Tips on Naming Fictional Characters for Writers

The Americans / The Catch | Tips on Naming Fictional Characters for Writers | Name News | Scoop.it
The Americans (FX) and The Catch (ABC) have both violated character naming rule #1 – Make the Name Age Appropriate.
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So you want to write historical fiction...

Our monthly topic this month, inspired by all the people out there participating in NaNoWriMo, is the handling of names when writing historical fiction. To kick things off, this post will look at some of the issues that writers and readers of historical fiction face.
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Predating naming trends

Fewer things put me off to a book, TV show, or movie, even from just reading a blurb or episode synopsis, than seeing an obviously predated naming trend. Sure, there are always outliers in every ge...
Clare's insight:

There are some sontroversial opinions in here, but I do agree it can be offputting to read a book with improbable character names for the time period. The first example that springs to mind is a series of books I otherwise adore, set in 11th and 12th C England, with lots of great authentic names and one Joanna.


More posts on anachronistic names

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When to change a character's name

Rare is the writer who’s never changed even one character’s name. It happens to just about everyone, growing to think of a character by one name and then suddenly realizing that name doesn’t work, no longer appeals to us, or just doesn’t have the kind of standout flair needed for a protagonist.
Clare's insight:

All sound reasons. I can sympathise from my occasional attempts to write stories about Anglo-Saxons. When I started, I called the characters what I thought were plausible Anglo-Saxon names. Then I learned what actual Anglo-Saxon names were (and how, as you'd expect, they varied with time and place) and had to change the characters' names, and it was painful but good, like ripping off a plaster.

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You’ll fall in love with these medieval baby names

You’ll fall in love with these medieval baby names | Name News | Scoop.it
Victorian names have been on trend for a while, but now parents are looking even further back into the past!

Thanks to the popularity of Game of Thrones, which is partly inspired by the middle ages, parents are looking to the medieval period for baby name ideas.
Clare's insight:

All I'll say is tread very carefully.  Some of these names were used during the middle ages (like Margery), some were used but in different vernacular forms (like Parnell for Petronilla), and some almost certainly were not used, though they have a historical feel to them (like Cedric).


Agnes, Sybbyl, Jacquelyn, Arabella, Beatrix, Guinevere, Gwendolynn, Seraphina, Katelynn, Luanda, Isolde, Emeline, Agatha, Cecily, Adelaide, Constance, Felice, Marion, Margery, and Petronilla.


Asher, Doran, Cedric, Walter, Clifton, Tybalt, Merek, Rowan, Justice, Randolph, Reynold, Bartholomew, Clement, Benedict, Edmund, Fulco, Gervase, Everard, Ellis, and Maurice.

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BuboBlog: a New York City Dad: The Least Realistic Names on Television

BuboBlog: a New York City Dad: The Least Realistic Names on Television | Name News | Scoop.it
I'm talking about 40-year-old characters who are named Sophia or Olivia. (Sure, it's possible that someone that age could have that name, but not very likely.)
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Medieval baby names back in fashion

Medieval baby names back in fashion | Name News | Scoop.it
Old fashioned baby names are enjoying a surge in popularity while new parents are spurning fantasy names according to the results of a new poll.
Clare's insight:

Ah, this again: the spurious Peyton, Wyatt et al.

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Create a Pen Name, Edward Gorey-Style - Nancy's Baby Names

Create a Pen Name, Edward Gorey-Style - Nancy's Baby Names | Name News | Scoop.it
Edward Gorey used some interesting pen names, all of which were anagrams of "Edward Gorey." Can you come up with any Gorey-style pen names for yourself?
Clare's insight:

This looks like fun.  I think Nancy's pen names are even better (less obviously anagrams) than Gorey's.

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