It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme originally created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Every week there is a new topic or theme to base your top ten list on. I only take part every other week, alternating with Teaser Tuesday. You can find more details about it and see the list of topics here.
Today’s theme is character names. I’ve always liked names that are slightly unusual or have interesting meanings. You’ll find quite a few Harry Potter characters on my list because J K Rowling tends to name her characters after Latin words and constellations, which I love. I couldn’t choose just ten, so I’ve done two lists-one for male characters and one for female characters.
Top Ten Female Character Names
- Karou-This is the main character from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor and I love how unusual it is!
- Elphaba-Gregory Maguire named the Wicked Witch of the West in Wicked after the writer of the original Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum. The name sounds like his initials (El-Fa-Ba) and is a great tribute to him as well as being a pretty cool sounding name.
- Danaerys-This is the real name of the popular Khaleesi (Queen) from A Song of Ice and Fire. I think it’s really pretty and I like how she shortens it to Dany.
- Rue-This cute name really suits the sweet little girl from The Hunger Games, although it comes from a bitter medicinal herb.
- Luna Lovegood-This quirky name fits J K Rowling’s character so perfectly. She’s named after the Roman goddess of the moon, which has long been associated with being crazy (loony).
- Blue-This character from The Raven Boys is named after my favourite colour. I don’t care if it sounds like the name of a sheepdog, I like it. I’m now noticing a bit of a pattern (Karou, Rue, Blue). I guess I like ‘ooh’ sounds in names.
- Hermione-When Harry Potter came out, no one knew how to pronounce it, but now it’s pretty popular! I actually know someone who named her daughter Hermione and I think it’s really pretty. J K Rowling got the name from Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale.
- Rhine-The main character from the Chemical Garden series is named after the famous river which flows through Germany, its name meaning “that which flows”.
- Mildred Hubble-Is there any name better suited to a witch? Mildred Hubble was from The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy, a fantastic children’s series that came out a long time before Harry Potter. Her last name always reminds me of the witches’ speech in Macbeth that begins “Double, double toil and trouble”.
- George-I’ve always liked this name for a girl, ever since I read The Famous Five series (a long, long time ago). Her real name was Georgina but she was a tomboy and I really related to her.
Top Ten Male Character Names
- Atticus Finch-This name, from To Kill a Mockingbird, is just perfection. Atticus is a Roman name meaning ‘from Attica’, which is the region surrounding Athens in Greece and a finch is, of course, a type of bird. The whole name sounds both distinguished and eccentric.
- Albus Dumbledore-Albus is based on the Latin word ‘alba’ meaning white, which is very fitting for an aged wizard. ‘Dumbledore’ comes from an Old English word meaning ‘bumblebee’ and J K Rowling said she picked it because she could picture him absent-mindedly humming to himself. His full name is Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.
- Lazlo Strange-This is almost like the male equivalent of Luna Lovegood. Lazlo from Strange the Dreamer is a misfit with something special about him, as his name suggests.
- Newt-Another odd name that I probably wouldn’t call my child but I still love for its uniqueness. It’s the name of one of my favourite characters from The Maze Runner and also the protagonist of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, making it doubly awesome.
- Horatio-I have always loved the sound of this name, which is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
- Sirius Black-Yes, it’s no coincidence that he’s named after the dog star (the brightest star in the sky) and his alter-ego happens to be a big, black dog. A little obvious perhaps, but I still love this name and it has great meme potential.
- Aslan-This name really suits the mysterious and majestic lion from The Chronicles of Narnia. It means “lion” in Turkic and was a title borne by several medieval Turkic rulers.
- Elder-I really like this name, from Across the Universe by Beth Revis. It sounds very strong and wise.
- Pip-This is the nickname of the main character from Great Expectations, so called because he couldn’t pronounce his real name (Philip Pirrip) properly when he was little.
- Gale-This is the masculine form of Gail and I hadn’t heard of it before The Hunger Games. I like the spelling and the association with the weather. It suggests that the character can be a force to be reckoned with!
Before you go…
What are your favourite character names?
I never knew that Elphaba was named after L. Frank Baum. How clever!!
You’re right, these are all really interesting and pretty names! Lol about your love of -ooh names 😛 When I read HP as a kid, I somehow mixed the o and i, so I pronounced her name as Her-moyne for the entire series. Oops!
I did exactly the same thing! It was only when the films came out that I realised my grave error.