Tuesday, November 15, 2016

What's In A Name?

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What's in YOUR name? Did you know names actually mean something? Well of course you did, why else do we call our cranky co-worker "Mr Grinch", or label our mopey next door neighbor "Eyeore". Every name has a connotation, whether we realize it or not.

When my husband and I named our children, we tossed around the standards, then the crazy faddish names that hit the top ten list every year - "Neveah" being the new popular female name. ("Heaven" spelled backward. See? Meanings). We finally settled on a pretty name -- well, we though it was pretty. My daughter's name means, "Growing in God's Graciousness". Let's hope she does 'cause she sure inherited a massive dose of my sassiness. My son's name means, "Defender of the Weak". So far for a four year old he's imitating every superhero known to comic books.

Did you know your favorite authors have to be careful what names we pick? (Don't you love how I said "we" and included myself in "favorite authors"? lol). I've learned a lot in story telling, and names MEAN something. A hero named "Horace" doesn't scream -- super duper hotty. Sorry. Nope. A heroine named "Ursula" doesn't spring to mind a timid heroine I can sympathize with.  A man named "Jayden" in a historical isn't believable. A heroine named Star in a historical might work if they're in a questionable industry, but isn't probably the first pick for a modest young lady.

Then there is the question: How does the name sound in comparison to other characters? I had Jeremiah and Hezekiah in one of my first chapters. Aside from being extremely Biblical in nature and a bit Old Testament -- the "iahs"got a bit redundant. Quickly. Too many names starting with the same consonants can get confusing. Right readers? Adam, Anna, and Adrienne . . . Matt, Mike, and Melissa . . . confusion.

There's a lot that goes into a name when writing a book, when naming a child, or when considering that perfect nickname for your co-worker. I nicknamed one of the receptionists at work "Pollyanna" because she never seemed to not spread sunshine.

My name means "Love" - it's French -- correctly spelled it would be J'aime. We dropped the apostrophe-thingy and went for English. But my mom said I always lived up to my name. I've loved life and everything in it passionately. I must be French. Wait. I am. Go figure.

So what's in YOUR name? How do names touch your life? Best name in a book that you've read lately?


Jaime Jo Wright
Professional coffee drinker & ECPA/Publisher's Weekly best-selling author, Jaime Jo Wright resides in the hills of Wisconsin writing spirited turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Coffee fuels her snarky personality. She lives in Neverland with her Cap’n Hook who stole her heart and will not give it back, their little fairy TinkerBell, and a very mischievous Peter Pan. The foursome embark on scores of adventure that only make her fall more wildly in love with romance and intrigue.

Jaime lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures atjaimejowright.com.

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  1. Gail - means source of joy
    Both of my kids have names from the Bible, but not for that reason. When I was a teenager in youth group at church there was a beautiful dark haired girl named Rachel. I said to myself if I ever had a daughter I'd name her Rachel and I did. My son is named after his paternal great grandfather, Benjamin.
    Many years ago when I worked on OB at the hospital, one of my jobs was to fill out birth certificates. I got some crazy names given to write down. We were told not to offer spellings, that was the moms job so that was sometimes crazy too!

    1. Oh wow!!! That's an interesting story in and of itself!

  2. My name means either "from the forest" or "forest maiden".


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  4. Aerykah isn't the name my parents gave me... and when picking that pseudonym I mostly chose it because I liked the spelling & thought it was pretty... I later discovered that I liked the meaning quite a lot too. It means "forever strong". :)

    In my family, we were given names based not so much on their literal meanings, but based more so on their connection. Of the 7 kids in my family, 6 of us were named after relatives. That's what our names mean to me-- the importance of family.

    1. Family is so important, but pseudonym names are too! Way to go in choosing one!

  5. This is a really good point, Jaime! My daughter loves this certain fantasy series and always wants me to read them too, but the names irritate me sometimes and I'm like, "Who is this again?" and "How do you pronounce this?" Arg. ;) But I will keep pressing through because she loves them. :)

    1. Agreed! And you're a great momma, cause if that's what she loves it encourages reading! <3


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