Weekly Geeks 2009-06: What’s in a Name?

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For this week’s edition of Weekly Geeks, we’re going to take a closer look at character names. What are some of your favorite character names?

Go to Google or a baby name site like this one or this one, and look up a favorite character’s name. What does their name mean? Do you think the meaning fits the character? Why or why not?

If you’d like, look up your own name as well and share the meaning.

Oooo – a challenge!! I found this quite interesting and difficult because there are so many good names in literature out there. How to choose just one or two?

So, I’ll start with something easy – my name!!

Michelle - Of Hebrew origin, it is the feminine equivalent of Michael and means “Like God”. Yep, that’s me! ;-D

I absolutely adore Atlas Shrugged. I think the characters are strong, and I feel so powerful reading it. For that reason, I decided to choose some names from that book.

Dagny - Of Danish or Norwegian origin, it means “New” or “Day”. This is an interesting choice on Rand’s part. In a way, the reader discovers Rand’s “new” philosophy through Dagny’s discovery of it. One could even consider her discovery of the Gulch and final entry into it to be the dawning of a new day for the country.

Galt – Of English origin, it means “From the high ground”. Who is John Galt? This iconic question sets the stage for the entire novel. Eventually, we find out what the question means and who he really is. John Galt really is living life from the figurative high ground in that he firmly believes in the life he has founded in the Gulch and looks down or pities those who haven’t yet discovered how wrong they are.

Some of my more favorite names from books include the following:

Rhett – Of Welsh origin, it means “fiery” or “ardent”. Um, no explanation needed for this one.

Anne - Of Israeli, Hebrew or English origin, it means “favor” or “grace” or “God has favored me”. I’ll admit that I added this to the list because not only is it the first name of one of the greatest characters ever, it is my middle name. Apparently, my parents really felt a connection with God when they named me.

And I just have to add one last one -

Cullen – Of Gaelic or Celtic origin, it means “handsome, good-looking lad”. Okay, I am still giggling about this one. Could the name be any more perfect?!

Image: Signature Block

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6 Responses to Weekly Geeks 2009-06: What’s in a Name?
  1. Maree
    February 18, 2009 | 7:49 AM

    Great list; thanks for sharing :)

  2. gautami tripathy
    February 18, 2009 | 9:46 AM

    And I wrote about Howard Roark. Ayn Rand fans, are we?< HREF="http://readingandmorereading.blogspot.com/2009/02/naming-through-characters.html" REL="nofollow">Names and more names<>

  3. Michelle
    February 18, 2009 | 9:57 PM

    Gautami – I would say we are! I’m reading The Fountainhead right now actually. It hasn’t grabbed me as much as Atlas, but I am definitely digging it!

  4. Stephanie
    February 19, 2009 | 1:52 AM

    See….I was expecting to see EDWARD!! By the way, I pulled your name in my drawing!! I’m going to post it later, but wanted you to know!! You’ll have to email me your address…and I’ll pass it along to Valerie at Hatchette Books!!

  5. Stephanie
    February 19, 2009 | 1:54 AM

    By the way, I took the girls shopping last night…and Bella (my daughter) found a T-shirt that says, “I Love Boys That Sparkle”. She begged me to get it. I caved. But man…she’s only 8!! And she is big time in the Team Edward camp (if only from the movie!

  6. Michelle
    February 20, 2009 | 1:27 AM

    Stephanie, I figured Edward was too obvious…and I really was trying to branch out a little this week. But I just couldn’t resist…and Cullen is the name of our latest dog.I am still giggling over the fact that your daughter is firmly on Team Edward. With a name like Bella, could she be anything but? ;-) Did I really win? Very cool! I’ll drop you an e-mail later. Thanks!

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