Names names names

 Authors think about names a lot. Does the name best represent the character? Does the character bend toward the name or does the name follow from the character?  Names signify gender, ethnicity, social and economic class. A name may suggest background without having to say it – is the character a Russian woman living in the US, or were her parents Russian, or did they simply love a Russian name?   My last name means ‘of Rooster.’ The blend of de with Hahn indicates that at some point a German name was given a French veneer (de in place of von). It would likely be impossible for anyone to realize that the German name is really from the Baltic States. In fact the name tells a story of a Baltic German who had a son born in a French speaking country. In the 20th century you might intuit the impact of a world war. And you’d be right. The Dublin airport currently has an exhibit of portraits blended with elements representing the person’s name. It reminds me how literally a name reflects a person.   What does your name say about you? And what about the names of favorite fictional characters?   


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