This is not an active blog. Comments are welcomed and will be responded to, but there will be no new posts. Original posts began on November 11, 2011 and ended on March 25, 2012. There were 23 original posts, but all the current content has been updated and was posted on 6/7/2013. For a more social and interactive experience, please visit: etoithomas.com.

Friday, June 7, 2013

There’s Meaning in a Name

Many of the characters in this story have names that originally had no specific meaning to me. As I wrote the story, I used whatever name that seemed to fit at the time. I tried several times to change these names, but the story just never felt right unless I used the names I first thought of. After realizing this, I had to go back and learn the significance of the names to see just how they reflected upon the characters I was developing. I was amazed by what I learned.

Victoria- In this story Victoria is often referred to by her pet name of Tori. I originally chose Tori as her full name because I wanted to name her after my sister. After conducting a name research, I had no problem using Victoria as this character’s full name and letting Tori be her common moniker. Tori sounds very sweet and simple, which seems to personify the character she represents throughout most of the story. By the end of the book, however, there is no doubt, why Tori’s full name means victory.

Sheldon- This is a complicated name that has many origins and a strange meaning. The word Sheldon actually means “town in the valley.” This meaning provided me no greater understanding of who this character really is, so I had to dig a little deeper. I broke down the meaning of the words from the previous phrase and learned that “town” means walled in, fenced, or courtyard and that valley means depression, low place, or hollow. From this, I pieced together a significance that better describes the nature of this character. He is a walled in person in a low place.

Jack- Jack can be derived from Jackson, son of Jack, or from John as a pet name. From John, Jack takes on the meaning of gracious gift of God.
 Lilly- Lilies are pretty flowers that have long been symbols of innocence. The pet name Lilly is often shortened from Lillian, which combines the meanings of Lily and Anne. Anne means favor or grace.

Michelangelo- In this story Michelangelo is often referred to by his pet name of Michael. Either version of the name share very similar meanings. Michelangelo means “like the angel Michael” and Michael means “like God, an angel.”

Ivor Cervant- This is the only name I actually used a bit of personal intent on when deciding to use it. I knew I wanted to use the name Ivor, though I had no idea why. Once I figured out its meaning, I felt I needed something to go along with it to make it truly apply to the character I was developing. Ivor means “archer’s bow” or shooting weapon. The last name is simply the spelling of servant with a ‘c’. The meaning of servant is to serve, assist, be of use or help. I put the two words together to create a meaning for this minor, yet critical character, calling him “a weapon to be used” or “a servant to battle.”

Felix- Felix comes from the Latin word meaning lucky. The name itself has quite a history of being applied to the personage of several saints and one brutal leader who died around 79 B.C. This meaning and this history seemed too good to be true after having already developed this pivotal character. This character comes from righteousness and is then consumed with brutality. For the Felix of my story, I would say that his name means, “Luck is unreliable.”

Ester- This name is derived from Esther, which means “star” or heavenly body. I specifically chose the spelling of her name to be different from that of the more famous Esther of biblical tales. I very much like the fact that many may associate the two characters, but didn’t want there to be any confusion. These two characters are not related in any way outside the fact that they are each righteous women.

Iris- Iris is an interesting name because it has a separate meaning of its own, simply as a word, and is also the name of something else. Iris is the part of our eyes that focus light and gives our eyes their color. Iris also means rainbow or bending light. Once I realized the dual meaning of the word iris, I actually went back and rewrote part of the story dealing with this character, adding specific traits to highlight the meaning of his name. 

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Eternal Curse: Battleground copyright 2012 Toinette Thomas