So, I couldn't sleep last night and I got to thinking about names. It's not that weird, I promise. Before I went to bed I read that Tamara Ecclestone (like the Paris Hilton of the UK) welcomed a daughter and named her Sophia. I also read about Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky's new twins, Tristan and Sasha - adorable choices. So, let's talk about names for a while.
WHAT A CHARACTER
How do you come up with your character names? My main culprits are featured above. I use Nameberry a lot. Usually I type in one name and then drop into a Nameberry hole. Sometimes I use Mumsnet too, especially if I want something current. The Baby Name Wizard is useful too, as people can add comments about people they know with that name - or if they have it themselves, can comment on living life as a Shakira or Padma. I also have a Word document that I update if I come across a name I like and I've had this since I was about...fifteen. So almost ten years! Actually, the same goes for my 'Potential Faces' document but that's a topic for another day.
I'm not sure why but I find it fairly easy to come up with girls names but not so much for guys. I think there's a Connor or a Tom in at least three of my pieces. As for specific reasons and meanings, well, I don't generally look at the meanings in relation to my characters but sometimes there's a happy coincidence though. I tend to steer clear of using family names and close friends because everything can just get a bid too muddled but there are rare exceptions like Natalie. I have relatives and friends called Natalie but I just knew one of my characters had to be called Natalie. More often than not I'll stick to one name but there have been some problematic characters who just don't seem to want to work with the name I've given them.
What are your naming habits?
When I was younger, I never really came across many girls my age called Sophia. A couple of Sophie's but not many Sophia's. Nowadays, I'll be walking in the shopping centre and hear someone screech 'SOPHIA', turn around and see a little toddler tottering away from her mother. Or there will be a tweenaged Sophia in front of me at Starbucks - cue awkward smiles when we collect our orders. Sometimes it's mildly irritating when someone makes a comment about the current popularity of my name TO ME because it has nothing to do with me or my mum following trends. I can't find the top 10 list for the UK for 1989 but judging by my friends names and whatnot, Sophia was not popular. However, I love my name, so the more Sophia's there are the better. Besides, looking at the picture, I think we're in good company.
Do you have a popular name? What are your favourites?