Naming the Fishes

A Blog For Name Lovers Everywhere

A Novel of Names

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? A year, I believe. I may not have exactly the same passion as I did for name etymology, but one of the wonderful things when brainstorming a novel is coming up with character names. My favourite part, it seems.

So as I’m preparing for NaNoWriMo, I thought it might be a fun idea to share with you the names of my characters. The list isn’t complete as of yet, but the main characters are covered.

The brief: 1920s Beauty and the Beast retelling – sort of. Magic. An ancient mystery.

The names: French Scholars. English cultists. Hungarian Antique Collector. Turkish teacher. A revered Roman magister. etc

WOMEN

Cressida | Medieval form of Chryseis meaning “golden.”
Delphine | French form of Delphina meaning “of Delphi.” It’s possibly related to Greek Delphys meaning “womb.”
Ivy | A English name for the climbing plant with yellow flowers.
Ffion | A Welsh name meaning “foxglove.”
Klara | A form of Clara meaning “clear, bright, famous.”
Mathilde | From the Germanic name Mahthildis meaning “strength in battle.”
Perrine | Feminine form of Perrin meaning “stone.”

MEN

Amaury | French form of Amalric meaning “work, labour” and “power.”
Atlas | A Greek mythological name possibly meaning “not enduring.” Atlas was a Greek titan punished by Zeus to carry the heavens on his shoulders.
Evander | Variant of Evandrus, derived from Greek meaning “good” and “man.”
Hiram | A Biblical name that possibly means “exalted brother.”
Ozan | Means “bard” in Turkish.
Percy | A English surname. It was borne by a noble family, and first used as a given name in their honour.
Soma | A Hungarian name meaning “dogwood, cornel tree.”
Vitus | A Roman name meaning “life.”

It’s an eclectic mix of names to be sure. Some fit the time period, Ivy and Percy for examples. Others well, are names that the characters have picked for themselves inspired by the classics – Evander and Cressida. There are guilty pleasures as well – Delphine and Ffion.

And since this is based off a popular fairytale, what would you call your Beauty and Beast?

For me…

Beauty – Delphine
Beast – Evander

Have fun with it!

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5 comments on “A Novel of Names

  1. apolla13
    October 23, 2015

    I once planned a story that revolved around fairytales- though that stalled for a bit. My beauty was Hakon (pr. haw-koon) and the beast was Zaharina- I switched around the genders because I thought there weren’t enough ugly women who could be loved by good-looking men. Or maybe because it was more interesting. Anyway, the stories never really went anywhere.

    I’m preparing for NaNoWriMo too. I’m still a little uncertain about the story I’m going to write- it revolves around a murder I don’t know who committed yet so that’s got me nervous a little. I’ve always tried to do NaNo but either the time wasn’t right or the story just faltered. I’m hoping this November I can manage it. Anyways, my two main characters are Auryn (f) and Lysanor (pr. lye-sa nor). Other characters are :

    Florentine
    Hendrina
    Linaya
    Melisandra
    Rosalba
    Dian
    Mari

    Iamos
    Tycho
    Gamaliel
    Raymond
    Tobin
    Crux
    Carroll
    Vector
    Belarus
    Dylan

    • Olivia
      October 24, 2015

      Your gender swapped Beauty and the Beast story sounds interesting! Love the names of your characters, particularly Melisandra and Tobin. And good luck to you for NaNoWriMo.

      • apolla13
        October 24, 2015

        Thanks! Interestingly enough, Melisandra and Tobin are my murdered couple. I didn’t mention this before but I love the names of your characters as well. Interesting names always make a story more enjoyable (in my opinion). Good luck with your NaNoWriMo as well!

  2. waltzingmorethanmatilda
    October 24, 2015

    Delphine and Evander are very pretty fairy-tale names!

    The story of B&B is from 18th century France, and quite unusual in that the heroine is a normal middle-class girl. For that reason, I would give her the common name Marie to reflect that – the story’s author is Jeanne-Marie, so it’s a bit of a tie-in.

    I am actually quite puzzled as to which country the Beast is a prince of. Not France, as it is made clear Beauty’s father had to travel a long way. When the story was made into an opera, the Beast was vaguely Arabic or Persian and given the name Azor (which is actually Hebrew), which ties in with the idea that he was from a land of roses.

    I am tempted to call him something like Zahi or Zayn, which both mean “beauty, beautiful”. A reminder that the Beast is really a Beauty too!

  3. waltzingmorethanmatilda
    October 24, 2015

    PS Another idea is that the girl could be Isabelle, making Belle an obvious nickname with another meaning.

    PPS In the opera, the girl is named Zemarie, a French form of yet another Hebrew name, but it does come back to Marie again.

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