Most of us are familiar with the German fairy tale, Rumpelstiltskin. If you’re unfamiliar with it, you can read up on him here, here, or even here.
Fast-forwarding to the end of the fairy tale, the once upon a time peasant Queen is triumphant because discovering his titular name is what seals his fate. The mother Queen is able to keep her child, ensuring a Happily Ever After.
As a mother, once I knew what I wanted to name my children the names just seemed to fit so beautifully. So perfectly.
When I look at my sons and call them by name, I consider the “loser names” we did not consider and to have called them by any other name than their given one would have been strange. Almost . . . wrong actually.
For example, my mother wanted to call me Nicolette. I don’t think I look like a Nicolette. I think Monique suits me. But what if it had been the other way around?
Anyway, since that’s neither here nor there. I wonder if I just grew into my name . . . or . . . who cares? Lol. I love my name! I didn’t always. I was teased about it. A lot. But . . . look at this!
Let’s consider what ShMoop (Gawd, I love that name — ShMoop, shmoop, sh-sh-sh MOOP) has to say about Shakespeare’s character Juliet and the great importance of names:
This phenomenon can be applied to writers naming their characters. Names have power. Names have background. Names are like seeds with the potential to sprout and grow into giant oaks. Notice I didn’t mention the word tree. You didn’t need me to because most of us associate the word or name “oak” with trees. And come to think of it, I can’t think of any characters in movies, comics, books, etc. that had names that didn’t seem to match who they were, what they stood for, etc. Unless it was done on purpose. Likewise, that’s why it’s so important to research names and choose them wisely. Before the Internet, I used Baby Book of Names and currently I’m using websites like BehindTheName.com.
I have come across people in real life that possess names that don’t seem to match them upon first meeting them. It’s interesting. If you have come across any situations like this, share them in the comments.
In between working, I realized that I wanted to change one of my characters’ names. And this is the first time that I’m fine with it. I’m at ease and I’m loving his new name!
What’s your experience with your name, other people’s names, or characters you have come across? Perfect match? Not so perfect? Pleased or displeased with your own name?