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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    3,389

    Mafia and "Beauty and the Beast" names

    As part of a series of retellings, I'm currently reinventing Beauty and the Beast in which Beauty's father is a conman and the Beast is the youngest son of a mafia family. The six siblings, as stated in the original story, of Beauty are mostly from different mothers.

    Beauty, in my version, is quiet, sensitive and odd. She's got her head in the clouds, loves reading, gardening and music, and is socially awkward but overall very sweet. But she's still very opinionated, and is quick to rebel if she thinks something isn't right. She has very wild, curly light brown hair, and light green eyes. She lives with her younger sister, who is also very quiet and pensive. Originally, her name was Laurel and the younger sister's Lavender, but I think Laurel is a little too domicile, too plain for her. What do you think? Keep Laurel or change it? If so, what to?
    Her other siblings are Willa, Clementine, Jesse, Nigel (though I might change this one), and Cassius (prn. CASS-ee-us). Her father is William Float, and her mother Lilah, perhaps short for Delilah (she ends being traitorous, so I thought it suit her).

    The Beast is called Samael, nn Sam, as of now, after the conflicted, not-good-not-evil angel of Talmudic origin. But I'm wondering, since the other names in the adaption are mostly normal or at least familiar, that Samael's a bit too "out there." I just don't know what to change it to because it fits him so well. He too is conflicted, struggling between his moral conscience and his desire to impress his family, namely his mother, Ekaterina. His family's last name is temporarily Smirnov. It's an alias, and I think it works well because it's a very common Russian last name, and means "peaceful," sort of ironic. Sam is tall, has longish dark brown hair, light brown eyes, and a gash across his face. Again, change Samael or leave it, and what to change it to? Would it bother you that the name is unfamiliar if you don't know its origins?

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    933
    About Beauty's name, I think Laurel is an OK name for her. But it's got some cons-- it's a little too similar to Lavender in my opinion. Here are some other names for Beauty rather than Laurel: Annabel, Cecelia, Katherine/ Catherine, Olivia, Maeve, Meredith, Rosamund/ Rosalie/ Rose or Wren. I LOVE all of the other sibling's names-- Willa and Clementine are my favorites! Nigel is a good name, too and Jesse and Cassius are perfect.

    I think Samael actually is a good name for him. I don't think your average reader would know that Samael is Russian, though it doesn't bother me. I actually like the change of name, instead of keeping all the names reasonably common. But, if you're going to change it, here are some Russian boys names-- Alexei "Alex," Viktor, Daniil, Dmitry, Ivan, Maxim "Max," Mikhail, Nikolay "Nik," Eduard, Erik, or Yakov. My favorites are Dmitry, Maxim, Nikolay and Eduard.

    Hope I helped. Have fun with your story!
    Erin (Writer, Nerdfighter, Ravenclaw; Not expecting, just collecting)
    (Adelaide, Betty, Cassia, Georgia, Ocean, Violet)
    (Asher, Gabriel, Josiah, Oakley, Rowan, Wayland)

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Sin City
    Posts
    332
    miranda, writer
    history enthusiast/buff and self-proclaimed fangirl


    rafael • adrian • emmett • aaron • jared
    raynor • niccolo • richard • philip • frederick • james


    ingrid • sybil • evelyn • amalia • cosima
    helena • leonor • blanche • florence • arbella • freja

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    3,389
    @rainerloner: I really like Cecilia! Though I didn't state it, I wanted a name with nickname-able options and Cecelia is perfect. I love both nicknames Cecily (probably by family, especially her dad) and Celia (a more romantic name, probs by Sam). I actually originally considered Rosamund and Rosalie, but decided next to Lavender there was a little too much flora going on.
    Thanks for the advice on Samael! I'm glad to hear there's not too much of a negative reaction, because I'm always concerned that people will find the names "made-up", and, especially on Nameberry, that tends to warrant very harsh feedback.
    @miranda082: I like Hazel, but think it's a little soft for her. Lilac was an original concept name for Lavender, but it sounds too much like Mom Lilah for my taste. I'm intrigued by the name Lilith, however. Not necessarily for Beauty, but with it's dark meaning I think it could do well for one of Sam's relatives or maybe as an add-on to Ekaterina.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    879
    Cecilia is great, and I would totally use it in my retelling if it weren't my name. (This seems to be a popular fairytale just about now, haha) It means 'blind,' which adds a nice aspect to Beauty's personality (love is blind, that sort of thing). I would also recommend the Cecilia spelling, as it is the original one, and as a Cecilia, Cecelia just looks odd.

    Throwing a few extras out there, sorry for any repeats: Florence, Tabitha, Gretta, Beatrice, Charity, Carita, Lavinia

    Samael is pretty cool; like a cross between Samuel and Michael. But it's close resemblance to Samuel makes it look/sound odd, I keep wanting to end with Muel as opposed to Mael. Maybe something a tad longer?

    Ishmael
    Ignatious
    Marcus
    Matthias
    Lucian

    Those are more examples than suggestions; if you really want a made up name, try breaking names into chunks and rearranging them. Marthen, Kathius, Kevander, Cassien, Samorus...

    But to answer your question, Samael DOES work, doesn't sound too made up, and won't present many challenges.
    I'm not feeling incredibly profound at the moment. Check back later.

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