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Category: adult names

TV Character Names: So what’s new?

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Every new TV season or so we like to check out the recently launched shows, as well as those still running, for any interesting names that have emerged since the last time we looked. Most scripters continue to come up with the obvious and the formulaic, giving their characters names like Jessica and Jeff and Rick and Robin, Amy and Andy.

But there are some who do think out of the box—though usually for not more than one character per show.  The list below steers clear of reality shows, so no Khloes or Kourtneys, and no cartoon characters or kiddie shows.

Girls

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Cool Middle Names: Find one for Facebook

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More people are coming to nameberry these days in search of cool middle names to use on Facebook. The whole give-yourself-a-new-middle-name thing started on Facebook way back in 2008, when supporters of Barack Obama took his middle name Hussein.

Next up: Facebookers began adopting the middle name Equality, to show their support for marriage equality.

Of course, adopting new cool middle names on Facebook is not all altruism.  On a more self-serving level, they can keep snoopy relatives, school administrators, and would-be employers from finding you and your potentially-embarrassing party pictures.

Self-namers in search of a cool cover can check out nameberry’s list of Cool Middle Names. Short and spunky, these names work best for girls. Among the best choices:

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Best-selling, prize-winning mystery writer JEFF ABBOTT takes us further inside his character-naming process in the second part of his guest blog. Today he presents concrete examples  of some of his popular characters, and how he chose their names–with the help of our very own site and books.

These are some character names I picked for my novels, using nameberry and Pam and Linda’s books:

Boys

AUGUST –From Adrenaline, Sam’s best friend, a Minnesota farm boy and college football player turned CIA agent. I liked the name’s old feel and new trendiness, and it felt solid, like the character.

BEN — From Collision, a young business consultant, very much ‘the guy next door.’

DESMOND/DEZZ–(From Panic, a young  psychopath who has spent his life doing dirty jobs for his rotten father. I wanted a name that sounded much softer than the character is, for constrast.

EDWARD — from Adrenaline, a young former actor who has turned to the dark side, let’s say. He is violent but tightly controlled, and I wanted a formal name. I actually like this name a lot.

EVAN — from Panic, a youngish film maker who finds out everything in his life is a lie. Pam and Linda described it as a “mellow nice-guy” name and it fit the character, who is entirely unprepared to go on the run for his life.

HECTOR — from Trust Me, used as the surname of a former soldier to suggest a warrior type, a la The Iliad.

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BabyReading

Best-selling, prize-winning mystery writer JEFF ABBOTT takes us inside his character-naming process in part one of a two-part guest blog.  Today he describes his methodology, tomorrow he reveals how he arrived at concrete examples–and, incidentally– of the part that’s been played by our very own books and website.

I think it is sometimes easier to name a child than a character in a book.

I have used Pam and Linda’s books to name characters in my novels now for the past several years. And they are perfectly geared to finding that ideal character name, given that the lists are organized by groupings such as style, energy, creativity, and so on. (My favorite all-time list as a resource: The Fitting In, Standing Out list).

I first used a baby naming book as a second-grader, when I was writing my first stories in pencil in a Big Chief tablet. I told my mom I was having trouble knowing what to name a certain character, and she gave me the baby name book she’d used. It listed names alphabetically, with ethnic origin and “variations and diminutives.” What I mostly learned from this book was that Teutonic meant German and I would have been named Caroline if I was a girl. (It was the only girls’ name circled in the entire book.) It offered a fairly slim list of choices, compared to today’s books, and I pretty much resorted to either trying to match a name to the feel of the character (like naming a pretty girl Melissa, which was the epitome of a pretty girl name at the time) or matching the name’s original meaning to the character. (I named a king in a very early short story Frederick because it meant ‘peaceful ruler’, and he was a nice king.)

I knew even then that picking a name because it meant ‘brave warrior’ in Old German had very little to do with how the name was viewed in our culture. And in the shorthand of fiction, you want a name that matches the character,that signals, however subtly, to the reader, a trait or feeling about this person.

When I started to write a new crime series about an ex-CIA agent who owns bars around the world, I wanted the characters to have names that matched their personalities. Now, the advantage of naming characters over kids is that you know the personality of the character, and you don’t know (yet) the personality of the beautiful little baby.

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Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel, one of nameberry’s favorite guest bloggers, now looks for–and finds– some intriguing names in the world of international espionage.

Fictional spies have glamorous names to go with their stiletto heels and hidden daggers. But for every femme fatale we find in books or movies, there’s a real life Spy Girl who risked all for her cause.

Ian Fleming created legendary super-spy James Bond, but also invented a bevy of Bond girls, some capable, some less so, most with outrageous names. Fleming based at least one character on a real-life spy:  Vesper Lynd, she of Casino Royale fame, was modeled on Polish-born British agent and saboteur Krystyna Skarbek, also known as Christine Granville.

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