I was talking with my friend Nichole about possible topics for Bookish Discussions and we got on the subject of strange names. We've noticed that fictitious names keep getting stranger and stranger. Names you never seen in real life are cropping up at alarming rates in novels. While I like interesting names, if all characters are named something unique is the name really unique or has it lost the quality that once made it special?
Heroine NamesI'm like a bird, my name is Wren (The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine), or maybe Kestrel (The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski), or just plain Birdie (Crux by Julie Reece). YA Romantics talked about this topic of girls with bird names in January and since then I have been noticing it more and more. Initially, it didn't really bother me but now the Nelly Fertado song "I'm like a bird" gets stuck in my head every time I see a bird named character. I'm just waiting for a heroine to be named, Seagull. I have a feeling she'll be my favorite.
- Dank (Predestined by Abbie Glines)
- Four (Divergent by Veronica Roth)
- Jackal (The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa)
- Ringer (Summer series by CJ Duggan)
- The Darkling (Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo)*
- Morpheus (Splintered by AG Howard)
- Ink (Indelible by Dawn Metcalf)
...and that's just the tip of the iceberg
What happened to sexy guys named Tyler or Jake? This isn't across the board, but in most novels I read nowadays the male character has a very normal name but goes by very not normal nickname (i.e. Jackal is really named James and Four is really named Tobias). Either that or they just have a weird name in general.
*In all fairness this is High Fantasy and most names in High Fantasy are out there.
Last ThoughtsI know it sounds like I've bee complaining about weird names but in all honestly I kind of like them. I enjoy seeing main and supporting character's with names that I have no preconceived notions about. For example, when I meet a new person and her name happens to be Hannah, then new Hannah has to work to overcome all the bad Hannah's I've met prior to meeting her (sorry if your name is Hannah). When character's have a different, or out of the ordinary name, I don't have assumptions and the author can create the character from the ground up.
Let me know in the comments your thoughts on original or just plain out of the ordinary names!