ODD COMBINATION OF GIVEN NAMES NOTED IN MY READING
Archibald Leach changed his name to Cary Grant. (obit)
As of early 2014, the Nigerian Vice President is Goodluck Jonathan.
The complete name of a living person in 2010 was Fairly Strange. In Feb. 2011, I found Adelaide Firth and Deal Snoddy Doss (f-1921-era).
Here’s a family whose names begin with E––Elvis, Edith, Eula, Eunice, Earl, Elmer. And then came Robert. [I wonder how he felt about that. Left out? Or thankful?]
Ambrose Bierce was the 10th of 13 children. His father gave all of them names beginning with A: In birth order, they were Abigal, Amelia, Ann, Addison, Aurelius (the father’s middle name), Augustus, Almeda, Andrew, Albert, Ambrose, Arthur, Ardelia and Aurelia.
In my first novel, after I had forty-two characters named, I read Evan Marshall’s Marshall Plan for Novel Writing. Out of his ten suggestions for naming characters, I had not considered four of them, which meant—being an overachiever and an obedient person—even to folks I do not know––renaming nearly all of my people. I did keep the lead characters’ names as I had them, though they, too, had both changed from their originals. I had pulled names from my lists. I (cleverly, I thought) had four brothers whose names all began with H. You know, like Darrell and my other brother Darrell? Afterwards, I kept Heth, but changed the others to Floyd, McKinley and Ozell. Sometime later, since his wife was Frona Lee, I changed Floyd’s name to Lloyd.
Rita Lakin, in her Getting Old is to Die For, has two romantic interests, both named Jack! Talk about confusing!
Here are those four “rules” of Evan Marshall’s that I used.
1. Use a different beginning letter name for all of your more important characters’ first and last names. I went one better on his suggestion: write out the alphabet twice and fill in the first names on one and the last names on the other. Tedious? Maybe, but it worked.
2. Avoid names that end alike or similarly. I changed several, but decided to keep Liddy and Dovie, since I’d already taken possession of those characters. Or they’d taken possession of me.
3. Vary name lengths and sounds. Some one-syllable names (Tom), two-syllable ones (Dovie), three-syllable names (Sula Mae), etc.
4. Avoid using names ending in s. Think of how the possessives will sound to a reader.
My young-adult grandson Billy Joe, who has so far resisted one teacher and one neighbor’s efforts to get him to change his name to either Bill or William respectively, wondered if there were other adult men with the name Billy. Yes, Billy, there are many Billys out there. I even saw one man named "Billyjoe."
Now and then, a fictional name strikes fire from the list I’m making. Or a complete name will overwhelm me with creativity: Chip Cutter, an AP reporter; Olen Golden and Pearl Gray (107 at death). Or Bessie Etta Mee.
Sometimes a real name will spawn a fictional one. For instance, from Katie Hawk (a real name), to Kitty Hawk; from Holly Bobo to Holly Hobo; from Hardage to Yardage; from Anne Hanna to Anna Hanna; from Kenzie Freer to Frenzy Freer.
A real wedding announcement during the mid-1930s was Rabeneck – Robnett. A fictional wedding announcement: Biddle –Riddle. Another fictional engagement announcement: Golden-Latch.
Oddities of names in families intrigue: Breezie & Autumn and Stormie, siblings. And Liam, Dawson & Remington, brothers.
A complete name: Alvie Calvert (hear the assonance?)
A fictional couple: Munsey and Minerva.
Real, complete names of survivors: Berry and Betty Terry; Wilber Joe & Wilma.
Here’s a husband and wife, Johnny and Johnnie.
The Duchess of Alba, an 85-year-old Spanish noble whose full name is Maria delo Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva, has married Alfonso Diez, a civil servant 25 years her junior, in Seville, months after she divvied up chunks of her fortune to assuage her six children’s concerns over her marriage. (Oct. 7.11-News Briefs, AD-G)
“Always end the name of your child with a vowel so that when you yell, the name will carry.” – Bill Cosby (AD-G cryptoquote 9.27.11)
Mike Lawn is a former White House executive groundskeeper. [Surely not!] Charles Lutwidge Dodgson is known as Lewis Carroll. Ron Artist changed his name to Metta World Peace. [4.24.’12]
Here’s a Billy Joe Gordon. [Grandson named Billy Joe; son named Gordon.] [4.24. ‘12]
Transcribed into website, February 16, 2014 from a document compiled from 2011-2014. PL