Category: Names from the Arts & Pop Culture
By Linda Rosenkrantz
If you’re looking for a really unusual name, you might not have to look any further than your nearest library.
What follows is a melange of quirky character names—a mix of word names, surname names, nickname names, invented names–found in modern literature. To keep it from going on into infinity, I’ve limited the list to mainstream twentieth century novels and plays, avoiding for the most part the often bizarre nomenclature of sci-fi and other genre lit.
My seven-year-old daughter didn’t inspire my interest in American Girl dolls, one of their names did.
My daughter hasn’t expressed any interest in American Girl dolls and doesn’t own any.
But an American Girl doll has one of my favorite names. A retired doll from the historical line has an emerging name that has been slowly climbing the Social Security list. More about that later.
For the benefit of those who aren’t familiar with American Girl dolls, here’s the rundown:
They’re somewhat controversial.
Reality television has become a real influence in baby naming.
And why not?
There’s no shortage of reality stars, either.
All pioneer names didn’t evoke subsistence, desolate winters, or dull prairie life–some of their baby names were as adventurous as the frontier folk themselves. Here are some stunning examples that are straight from the pages of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s historical and largely-autobiographical Little House books.
Laura Elizabeth Ingalls (1867-1957) is the spirited protagonist who wrote a set of classic tales about her life at the request of her romantically-named daughter (and only surviving child) Rose Wilder Lane. Her first full manuscript was written under the working title Pioneer Girl and was rejected; this evolved into the nine-book series beginning with Little House in the Big Woods on through The First Four Years. Her lore didn’t stop there, though. West From Home is a series of Laura’s letters to her husband during a visit to the 1915 World’s Fair. On The Way Home and The Road Back are diaries of her major trips; the latter three volumes were published posthumously.