Category: literary baby names
I’m due in September, and am becoming increasingly anxious about choosing just the right name, because we have language issues to consider, as well as cultural issues. And, as a classic Nameberry user, I’m completely name-obsessed.
I’m American and my husband is Croatian, but we live in the UK and plan to stay, so we want a name that works in all three contexts, and, if possible, is recognizable in a few different European languages.
I have a list of firm favorites, but my husband is lukewarm about most of them. He tends to favor Italian-sounding names, which I mostly dislike. I think we both want a “badass princess” sort of name, but just can’t agree on how to get there.
Noel Streatfeild has enchanted generations of young readers. She’s best known as the author of Ballet Shoes, a tale of three sisters finding their talents on and off stage.
Many of her stories follow a similar theme. The heroines and heroes discover their vocation for dancing, acting, ice skating, or some other art or sport. They fight the obstacles – life changes, lack of money, sibling squabbles, adults who just don’t understand – to pursue it.
Foundling children feature a lot in Streatfeild’s books, and she uses their names to tell their personal stories. For instance, the Fossil sisters in Ballet Shoes choose their own surname in honour of the fossil hunter who took them in.
By Mathieu Cailler
During my recent book tour travels, I would often read a short story titled “Zorba’s” from my collection, Loss Angeles. In it, a young couple contemplates names for their soon-to-be-born baby boy. They go back and forth: the husband likes a name, the wife does not, and vice-versa. What I noticed at the readings was that everyone has a name story. And it got me thinking about the names in my book, and how I came to select them.
Today we’re celebrating the natal day of William Shakespeare, and in his honor we thought that instead of reiterating the usual list of familiar major characters—Romeo and Juliet, Beatrice and Benedick et al—we’d pay our tribute to the Bard of Avon with the less obvious names of some of the more obscure, less Shakespearean-sounding characters.