The Daily Post: Upturned Noses

I have a thing for names. As a writer – many times before I have a plot I have a character. And that character has to have the perfect name. Sometimes it has to mean just the right thing to describe that character even though I know in my head that no one is going to go look up what the name means. Sometimes it just has to be something not common but not to outlandish.

I have a very popular name. Brittany. Spelled what I call the correct way – but those who are not name snobs would say is the original spelling. I get very angry when people can’t spell my name correctly – Britney, Brittnay, Brittney, Brytnay….ick. I shudder just looking at all those random collections of letters that supposedly is just a spelling variation on my name. I don’t like them. And I’m way too snotty about it for my own good.

I don’t like plain names. Bob. Jane. I have no actual reasoning behind this other than they sound weird in my head – which as all snobs know is an obvious reason for turning your nose up at something.

I don’t like names that I can’t pronounce when I read them in my head – so basically anything Gaelic (be it Irish or Scottish), or anything Welsh. Which is ironic because I love Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh names. Siobhán is one of my favorite names! I wanted to name my daughter that – such a pretty Irish name that means God’s grace. My husband, being a more sane person than I, took one look at that name and explained that we don’t live in Ireland and no one will know how to pronounce it! I still have a yen for that name – one day I will have a character with that name. But because of names like that I can be pretty snobbish about something I can’t pronounce.

[ Sidenote: I was so happy to actually know how to pronounce Hermione before she spelled it out phonetically. ]

I like the old-fashioned names especially if they aren’t still in common usage. Evelyn, Guinevere, Charlotte, Blythe, Margaret, Temperance, Winifred, Eleanor, Dulcina…I could go on and on and on. So many of my character have names like this. I also really like the more traditionally masculine names for girls. Logan, Giovanni, Peyton, Chuck, Drew, Dylan, Taylor, Alex, Quinn, Sam, Blake, Andy, Harper, Kaden..again you could see how long I could go on.

I’m simply fascinated by names – what they mean, what’s their origin, etc. I’m always looking them up and making random notes about different names. (Mostly girl names because the majority of my character tend to be of the female persuasion).

And I’m THAT person that judges a person on their name. I’ll give them a mental nickname if I don’t think their real name fits who they are. It’s a bad habit – one I’m trying to break. But there are too many times when I get lost in the middle of a conversation because I’m trying to pick that just perfect name for the person I’m talking with.

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Oh Shakespeare – the name is EVERYTHING!

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