Category: Naming Characters, Pets, and Other Non-Babies

Naming Book Characters: 3 Easy Steps

Naming characters

By Ellen Smith

I’m a name nerd.

True story: In college, I spent hours compiling data for a study on the attractiveness of male and female names. Amanda? Very attractive. Mildred? Not so much. Ken was more attractive than Keith, while Liam was about as attractive as Levi. By the end of the study, I had an Iliad-length research paper and a major caramel-macchiato addiction.

Ah, youth.

Believe it or not, even after all of that research, I still get excited to dream up the perfect names for the characters in my books. Finding just the right character name actually helps a story start to take shape in my mind. Since I have a tendency to get stuck on finding the perfect name (Maura or Mara? Lila or Lily?), I try to break the process down into just three steps.

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The People-Pet Name Switcheroo

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Puppy names

By Sophie Kihm

I’ve been thinking non-stop about dog names since we just recently got a puppy. When coming up with a name for the little guy, I was adamant about giving him a name that didn’t sound too “dog-like,” (aka, not Fido or Rover). I wanted him to have a real name. A person name. We ended up calling him Fisher, and it’s really the perfect name for him. It’s not too dog-like, and it’s not too common among animals or people (it ranked #799 last year). However, this whole situation got me wondering: if we like people names for pets, what about pet names for people? Are they off-limits or fair game?

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Are You Thinking of Renaming Yourself?

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changing your name


By Kara Cavazos @ The Art of Naming

Changing your name can be tough. It requires that you really know yourself and what you want.

You would need to browse through name lists and pick out the ones that jump at you. Maybe you’ll find something that instantly speaks to you, but most likely it’ll take a while and names will need to grow on you. You’ll need to try them on and wear them to see if they’re a fit.

You could go about it in many different ways but it would depend on if you want to keep a connection to your old name or abandon it completely. Here are a few of the many possible methods for choosing a different name for yourself:

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The Trendiest Dog Names

the trendiest dog names

By Stephen Smith

In the popular television series Columbo, the detective played by Peter Falk was sometimes accompanied by his droopy-faced basset hound. His dog’s name: Dog. Most dog owners are a bit more imaginative when it comes to naming their pets. The list of the most popular dog names generally doesn’t change much from year to year, a little like the list of most popular dog breeds in America. But some names are trendier than others, though they might not make the list of most popular. 

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People Names for Dogs

popular dog names

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Dogs are the new babies, or maybe the new pre-babies: After graduating from plants, young people learn to parent puppies before having a go at babies.  And then of course many parents adopt dogs after their kids grow up and leave the nest.

Proof that we think of our dogs as children: We give them names fit for babies.  All of the most popular names for dogs these days can also be used for people.  Or is it vice versa?

Here, according to the site Rover.com, are the top 20 names for female dogs:

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