Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What's in a Name?

What is in a name? An interesting question for sure. How does one ponder it? Is a name chosen for some special or significant meaning? Or is it just made up? For me, I utilize many methods by which to name people, places, and events. Sometimes, and rarely I make names up just out of the blue. Most times I use ancient and obscure names of people gone by and locations no longer around. Sometimes I use anagrams of names to set a tone and common theme. But my favorite method is to utilize foreign words, usually for a deeper meaning. My favorite language to pick through are German, Latin, French, Russian, Greek, Celtic, and even Old English to split some hairs. That's another avenue I go as well, the older forms of modern languages. I figure, as a writer, that I will utilize as much language as I can to tell my story in the entertaining language of Imagination. Writing is my chosen media. English is the best language to tell stories in, as was Middle and Old English, and by extension German, because they convey the delivery of details in such a way as to paint the image in the reader's mind that others cannot. True, as Fredrick the Great felt about it, French is a very beautiful language to speak, hear, and to read; but it does not convey details quite like English/German. The beauty about English is that it also borrows many words from many other languages as well. Base English is a German dialect, but Latin, Greek, and French influences are by far the biggest contributors to what it is now. So really it's an amalgamation language. My biggest naming challenge still: my title. I guess it will come to me as I keep on writing.  


  1. Oh, I can't come up with a decent title either.

    I've combed through Old English and Celtic too to find good strong character names. Sometimes it works, sometimes I think they're too obscure for what I'm writing. But I agree the names are fun to research.

  2. I've changed the title on my WIP three times.

    I like searching for unusual names from different languages too, and then I tweak the spelling just a bit to make them more alien.

  3. LGS- I know, the title dilemma is maddening. I like most obscure names because they add a unique depth to the story. And their less likely to be used over and over again.

    Sherri- I've changed my title several times and have left it nameless for the time, until I have that epiphany. I do the same thing with names from different languages.