What’s In a Name?

Cedar Peak--UtahRecently I stayed at a La Quinta Inn in Fort Collins, Colorado and helped myself to the free hotel directory naming all the city locations. I was amazed at the wonderful collection. For first names I found Charlotte, Austin, Lenexa, Hammond, Augusta, and Morgan. Interesting last names included Denham, Slidell, Verona, Cordova, Calhoun, LaGrange, and Plattsburgh.

Historical Names from Fremont Indian Park, UtahI also took photos of monument and museum placards for historical names. We stopped at the Fremont Indian State Park (where tragically the rare archaeological site of an entire village of the Fremont Indians was destroyed to build the I-70 freeway in Utah.) Names of settlers included Hanna Braithwaite, Bernard Barnson, and their kids Lora LuJean, Rowland, and Ormandy, among others.

Even La Quinta and Fremont make wonderful last names. Names are important in writing as they help the writer, and especially the reader, to connect to the characters. Aside from the internet, where do you suggest finding names for your characters?

8 thoughts on “What’s In a Name?

  1. Hola, Carole,
    I like to use names of people I’ve known, and also characters from books. However, I have not been able to find a suitable place for Ichabod or Ahab. I’m looking.
    El Davo

  2. That’s a great one, Marta. Names are always tough for me. Each name has an emotional value to it and I take a long time on that. In the end, I often mix and match friends’ names. I know a lot of people as a long time teacher, so that’s easier than it sounds.

    • That’s actually cool to know an author who was a former teacher and see a familiar name, especially surnames. Not only can the reader brag about knowing the author, but they can laugh at the new fake persona of a fellow student. (Or maybe laugh because the author caught bits of their true personality on paper.) Thank you for visiting, John.

    • Sometimes it’s fun to be the bad guy! Just make sure to add an “e” when you borrow my name. I always laughed at people who explained how to spell their names, “That’s Carole, with an E.” I added the E because numerologically, the E adds more balance and “good luck” to my name. (I’ve got some of the luck, but it’s the balance I’m working harder on!)

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