Category: baby names from books
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.
Welsh names can be divisive. Some people love them for their look, sound and cultural associations, while others run screaming from the unfamiliar spelling and pronunciation.
In this post we’ll look at some of the oldest Welsh literary names, and I hope you’ll find them surprisingly usable.
If you like names with a hint of mystery, a vintage British feel and a splash of the exotic, come and join me in the drawing room and I shall reveal my deductions about names from Agatha Christie’s novels.
Christie is known as “the Queen of Crime” for good reason. In a career spanning over fifty years and over seventy novels, she shaped modern crime writing. Not just books, but also detective dramas, murder mystery parties, and the board game Cluedo (called Clue in North America) wouldn’t be the same without her.
Even if you haven’t read any of her books, you probably recognise the basic elements. There’s the genteel setting (like an English country home), the suspicious death, the trail of clues and red herrings, secrets and scandals, and the brilliant detective who rounds up all the suspects and explains how they’ve cleverly worked out whodunnit.
Christie’s character names, like the characters themselves, are eccentric and memorable, but also true to their time.
“…there is great power, and great peril, in a name.” The Tombs of Atuan
Ursula Le Guin is one of the best-known science fiction and fantasy authors of our time. For the last fifty years and more, she’s woven gripping stories and tackled no end of big topics: gender, class, the environment, the power of words – and the power of names.
She’s best known for her books about the world of Earthsea. If you’ve read any, you’ll probably remember it contains wizards (and a wizarding school long before Hogwarts was dreamt of), dragons, kings, dark powers and ordinary people. You might also remember names are hugely important – literally a matter of life and death.
With a new Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, about to be released this summer, we thought this would be a good time to investigate just what influence, if any, J. K. Rowling’s fabulously inventive character names have had on the baby naming world, 16 years after the first book’s debut. Here, thanks to Esita’s digging, are the scientific results: