How Goes It, Bookworms?
Things are lovely here in my neck of the woods. Fall is in the air, Halloween is around the corner, and all is well. The only way it could be any better? A LIST! That’s right y’all. It’s TOP TEN TUESDAY and I’m joining up with the ladies of the Broke and the Bookish to play along. This week’s topic is Literary Names We Love or Unusual Character names. Now. When it comes to naming children, I’m super old school and wouldn’t consider anything that hadn’t been regularly used as a first name for at least 200 years. Literary characters, however, are not subject to such silly rules. I’ve got reasons I like the names, I swear. They just might not be good reasons. Ready?!?!
1. Cath and Wren from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Cath and Wren are twins… By surprise. That’s right. Despite modern technology, occasionally things slip by sonogram techs… Like spare fetuses. Anyway, their mom didn’t have two names chosen for her girls, so she split the one she had, “Catherine” in half.
2. Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell- Fun fact! Scarlett’s first name is NOT Scarlett. It’s KATIE. That’s my name too! Whenever we go out, the people always shout, there goes
John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt KATIE! Da da da da da da da!
3. Olivia Joules from Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding- Back when we thought Bridget Jones was done adventuring, Helen Fielding introduced us to another quirky heroine by the name of Olivia Joules. Now, Olivia was born with a different name, but she wanted to start fresh. How can you go wrong with naming yourself after the unit of measurement for kinetic energy? I know my own personal Joules (from Pocketful of Joules, of course) is the bee’s knees.
4. Fergus from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Sometimes you need to escape your past as a child prostitute, and the only way to make a clean break is by taking on the name of a Scottish warrior-type, okay?! Gosh!
5. Peeta from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I really like puns, right? And Peeta’s family runs a bakery. Pita is a bread. I just tell myself that his parents were lousy spellers. District 12 isn’t exactly known for its educational system.
6. George from Feed by Mira Grant. I simply adore the idea that George Romero zombie movies proved vital in the war on Kellis-Amberlee. Naming children after various zombie movies (because Shaun is OBVIOUSLY named for Simon Pegg’s masterpiece)? Hilariousness. Mira Grant is crazy clever.
7. Minerva McGonagall from the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. I really like alliteration, and it would seem Rowling does, too. Why does the coolest professor at Hogwarts get the honor of being on this list instead of, say, Severus Snape, if the only qualifier is alliteration? Because she’s awesome, and I said so. Soooo. Yeah.
8. Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Wuthering Heights and I have a complicated relationship, BUT. Heathcliff is a cool name, and it totally reminds me of that kickin’ 80s cartoon with the orange cat.
9. Coraline from Coraline by Neil Gaiman. I’m still working on writing up my review for this one, but I really like the name Coraline. Gaiman said he came up with the name by butter-fingering the name “Caroline” while writing a draft. I tend to think faster than my fingers can type, so I’m prone to typos too. For a while I found myself typing “Kaite” instead of “Katie” pretty regularly, at which point I started pretending to myself that “Kaite” was simply a Gaelic spelling of “Katie.” I’m deluded.
10. Wendy Moira Angela Darling from Peter and Wendy by JM Barrie. I’ve got to give it up to the girl. If you can successfully rock two middle names and introduce yourself as such without a hint of irony? Girl’s got swagger.
What do you think, Bookworms? Have you got a favorite literary name? Let’s name us some houseplants! (Because that is a completely normal activity for college aged girls. What ELSE would you name a spider plant if not Charlotte?!)