Even if you haven’t read the books, you’ve probably heard of The Hunger Games. The trilogy has topped the bestseller lists, and buzz about the upcoming movie adaptation has been constant for the past few months.
It is the tale of a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who overthrows a cruel and despotic government. Katniss Everdeen becomes the unlikely heroine after she is chosen to fight to the death in a televised game controlled by the all-powerful Capitol. It’s part Greek myth, part reality TV.
Author Suzanne Collins is quite the storyteller, and she’s a masterful namer of characters. Katniss sounds like a smoosh of classics like Katherine and Frances, but the name is borrowed from an edible aquatic plant. Sagittaria, the plant’s Latin name, comes from its arrow-shaped leaves. And wouldn’t you know it? Katniss saves the day through her extraordinary skill with a bow and arrow.
Even if you’re not into sci fi, the series is worth a read for the names alone. In Collins’ post-apocalyptic future, some familiar choices have endured, while other names have been sourced from the past. Many are new, drawn from the changed world in which her characters live. Each of the outlying Districts has a certain specific style.
This list includes minor characters and villains, and they range from the perfectly wearable to the truly out-there.
FELLOW CONTESTANTS & PAST CHAMPIONS
Cato – A willing contestant, from wealthy District 2. In the more affluent Districts, children often train for the Games, hoping for a chance to win riches and glory.
Women’s history month draws to a close just as Sucker Punch’s girl army hits the big screen.
But to parents who grew up with The Bionic Woman and Tank Girl, there’s something appealing about a naming a daughter after a daring female figure. The women on this list are handy in a fight, quick with a sword or a wand, and might have a super power or secret government clearance, too.
Not every appealing character wears a great name. Sucker Punch’s heroine answers to Babydoll. You probably wouldn’t consider Agent 99 or The Bride, either. (Though The Bride’s given name, Beatrix, is quite stylish.)
Here are some of the better-known tough girls, many of which would wear well in the 21st century:
Buffy – Despite a big screen debut and seven seasons on television, we haven’t met many bitty Buffys. But rookie screenwriter Whit Anderson has been tapped to reboot the vampire slayer’s story. Could the third time be the charm?
Claire – Television’s Heroes captivated audiences with the tagline, “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World!”
Echo – From short-lived sci-fi series Dollhouse.
Fiona – Some parents fret that Shrek’s better half is a reason to avoid this name, but the world’s most famous female ogre is quite admirable.