Friday, June 21, 2013

Dorky names

Well, little North West has arrived to steal the Dumb Baby Name Crown from the Apples, Suris, Bronx Mowglis, and Moxie Crimefighters of the world.

And I have to say ... I don't hate the name.

North West. Sure, it's dorky. It's so dorky, in fact, I can't even say it without chuckling a little -- which I think is actually a good thing. Little North has got a lot stacked up against her (have you heard who her parents are?) and if she can make people smile when they hear her name, she's got a leg up on the world.

As anyone who has read one of my manuscripts knows, I love a slightly weird name. In fact, my sister Echo's primary complaint EVERY TIME is, "I hate his/her name." Mary K, Lulu, Jayma -- I'm sorry my sister disparaged you so, but dang if I still don't love your names.

Sometimes a name is just so wrong it's right.

The first three Harry Potter books I read mentally pronouncing Hermione "Herm-y-own." It wasn't until Hermione taught Viktor Krum to say her name in Goblet of Fire that I went, "Ohhhhhhh." And I'm sure I wasn't the only one.

I recently read Mind Games by Kiersten White. When I'd first heard of this book about two girls named Annie and Fia, I initially resisted. Why? Because of the naming disparity, a phenomenon I despise. Why would parents name one daughter "Annie" but the other daughter "Fia"? Don't people know that the first child sets the tone, be it whimsical, old fashioned, sturdy, or completely imaginary (as is the case of every child in Utah born south of the 45th exit on I-15)?

And then I read the book and realized there wasn't a naming disparity -- the Rosen parents named their daughters Annabelle and Sofia, and then each took a nickname that reflected her personality (Annie steady and solid, Fia fractured). Dissonance resolved!

Chev Chelios, I watched the trailer for Crank just for you. Stephanie Perkins, you sold me on Cricket Bell. I mean -- the romantic lead's name was Cricket Bell. And it worked.

What about you all? Do wacky names make you roll your eyes, or do they make you smile? And if you also have a fondness for the Cindy Lightballoons out there, what are some of your favorite wacky character names?

PS: Don't forget to enter the giveaway!


  1. I like some wacky names. Others, I just find so annoying that it's hard to enjoy a book.

  2. I couldn't believe the character of Margo in Gone Girl was nicknamed " 'Go." What the hell kind of nickname is that? I never got used to it in the entire book. Most of the time I don't notice, but this one drove me absolutely crazy.

    1. Oh man, that one was bad. It felt seriously forced.