The Daily Post Challenge – Power of Names

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First Names

To try and strengthen my writing, and get a little more experience outside of analytical writing I am going to start doing some of the challenges posted by The Daily Post. And today’s appealed to me, names!

Names are so complex, your name, how you feel about it, choosing names for others, names of characters in books, etc. I think the names of characters is especially important, In Harry Potter so many names have links to mythology and give you additional insight into the characters traits and personalities. Then you have books like The Hunger Games (after the release of Catching Fire on DVD I found myself sucked back into re-reading the trilogy), where most of the names are things you would never think of, I know Katniss and Prim are named after plants and have family meanings, but ultimately I think it’s just really creative to come up with names like that, and they become such a part of the books followings.

For myself, who is trying to become an aspiring author, I have run into a lot of trouble with names. I love my own name so I obviously want to integrate it somehow, but I think more for a supporting character. I like names that give you a look into the characters personality or the journey they will face. Personally, I am drawn to names from my heritage, so Irish and Czech names. So, though not much writing has happened with my developing story, I have names picked out. One Irish, one Czech, which have meanings that signify their characters journeys and are unique enough to be remembered.

I have always loved name selections; my husband and I have the names of our future children, even though we don’t even know if we want children! The art of a name is something so significant to an individual, I don’t think my name, Caroline, which means “little womanly one” really unveils anything deep about me, I’m by no means the standard homemaker, and besides my enjoyment of cooking and shoes I don’t think I’m overly girly. Anyway, I have usually been the only Caroline in my schools, which is something I always took great pride in, even my middle name, Olivia, is still generally unique. Obviously, my parents were very good name givers. However, it has always driven me crazy when people try to give me a nickname or shorten my name. I lived in England for a year when I was in middle school and having a three syllable name was just too much for them with their slang and shortening of every word in the English language. People calling me Carol, has always been my most hated nickname and I refuse to respond to it, so after my English friends explained that it was just too challenging to use my whole name in conversations, I had to settle to being called Caro. As it has been my only nickname though, and one given in a unique and special time in my life, and one used only by those people who knew me then, I have grown a bit fond of it; though no one outside of the UK is allowed to use it.

So while I revolt against nicknames, and my name’s classic meaning, I love how unique and special my name makes me feel. I also love the meanings behind my favorite characters names, as well as the research for my own characters. Names can reveal things about others, and ourselves, and our chosen names reflect who we want to be seen as, which is a powerful element we have to present ourselves to the world.

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