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.
Babs—is the Head of Heimilich Hospital’s Human Resources Department. Her old-fangled nickname for Barbara is suddenly sounding sort of cute again.
BeatriceBaudelaire, whose death, along with husband Bertrand, in a fire leaves her children orphans. Beatrice is back in full revival mode, now at Number 565, in the Top 100 in the UK.
CarmelitaSpats is a pupil at Profrock Preparatory School who appears in The Austere Academy, The Slippery Slope, The Grim Grotto and The Penultimate Peril. Carmelitais a peppy Latinate spin on Carmel, associated with Olympic champ runner CarmelitaJeter.
ArthurPoe— a banker who became Vice President in Charge of Orphan Affairs at Mulctuary Money Management. His name has come out of retirement, now at #292.
Charlesworks at the Lucky Smells Lumber Mill. Charles is, of course, a royal classic, now back up at Number 50, higher here than in England.
Dewey—the name of one of the managers of Hotel Denoument in The Penultimate Peril. A Top 20 name at the end of the 19th century, Dewey hasn’t been heard much since the days of Donald Duck’s nephews, despite some distinguished surname heroes.