Category: Naming Characters, Pets, and Other Non-Babies

Abby Berry Juice profile image

Boy Baby Names: Gone to the Dogs?

a Name Sage post by: Abby View all Name Sage posts

They have a favorite name picked out for their son, but some have dismissed it as a dog name. What does that mean, exactly, in 2017? Should they choose another name, or stick with their first choice?

Monica writes:

We are expecting our first baby boy in just a couple weeks and still haven’t decided on his name.

We have a 2 year old named Betsy Ray, both inspired by family. We love the country casual vibe of her name, and really want to match that style for baby boy.

Hipster baby names are big where we live. I love most of them, and prefer “old man” names for the most part.

The middle name will be John, another family name. Our last name starts with a T and sounds like tunes, so names ending in a T don’t work well, and I tend to think names ending in S don’t sound very good, either.

Our current frontrunner is Murphy. My husband is a surfer, so the meaning – sea warrior – is perfect. Plus, there was a comic strip from the 1960s about a little surfer dude named Murphy, drawn by one of my husband’s favorite artists.

We’ve also considered Louie, Stanley, Victor, Fletcher, and Otis, but none of them have the same meaning.

I’m not sure about Betsy and Murphy together. Are they too matchy? When I look online, I see mentions of Murphy’s Law, Murphy Brown, and Murphy beds.

Also, lots of people call it a “dog name.” Which I’m really sick of on the whole. I always seem to like all those so-called dog names. Who cares if people named their dog a GOOD name? Does that mean we should just turn the name over to the dogs indefinitely?

Thanks for any advice you have. I want to just fall in love with Murphy, but I can’t shake this feeling that I’m not all the way done looking yet!

The Name Sage replies:

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ClareB Berry Juice profile image

Who Knew Victor Hugo was a Name Nerd?

posted by: ClareB View all posts by this author

By Clare Bristow

Victor Hugo, the nineteenth-century French writer best known for Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, was a keen observer of people and society. I’d wager he was something of a name enthusiast, too.

His books contain not just memorably-named characters, but also a lot of comments on names.

If someone has an unusual name, it usually has a back story. For example, Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre-Dame, was named after the first word in the liturgy on the day he was found as an infant.

Hugo’s characters talk about names, their own and others, just like we do in real life. In Notre-Dame, a group of women laugh at Esmeralda’s outlandish name (although they can hardly talk, with names like Amelotte, Colombe, Mahiette and Oudarde). Elsewhere, a man called Félix complains that his name is a lie because he is not happy.

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How J.K. Rowling Names Her Characters

By Meredith Testa, Namenculture

J.K. Rowling has been profiled on Nameberry several times, and with good reason- she’s as creative a namer as she is a writer. She draws character names from literature, mythology, history, astronomy, and countless international languages. No character is named haphazardly; families have consistent naming patterns (like the celestial Blacks and the floral Evanses) and individual characters’ names match their personas. Below are some of the best-named characters in the series.

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The Return of Lemony Snicket

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Lemony Snicket has just made a welcome return appearance, via Netflix, reminding us of what an inventive namer his creator (nee Daniel Handler) is—kind of a cross between C. Dickens and JK Rowling. Personally, I’m crazy about some of the incredible surnames in the series—Baudelaire, Caliban, Poe, Quagmire, and especially the use of the word Denouement as a name.

As for the first names, there are lots of classics, especially for the boys—Albert, Arthur, Charles, Frank and Phil—and some trendy girls’ names as well, such as Olivia and Violet, but there are some more uncommon examples as well. Let’s have a look at names from the whole series.

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posted by: ClareB View all posts by this author

By Clare Bristow

Edith Wharton is known for her novels of American society in the Gilded Age (the late nineteenth century) and early twentieth century.

Wharton was one of the first authors to write about this period, and she knew it well, having grown up in it. Her books are about not only high society – the parties, the travel, the social deals – but also the private life that went on behind it. Love affairs, secret debts, scandalous behavior, it’s all there.

Her characters’ names evoke that world beautifully. It’s interesting that relatively few have timelessly popular names like John and Mary. Instead, many have names that were fashionable in their era.

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