I never knew the words to this song until my son was about three. Somehow he learned it from a cd we had and sang it all the time. It was all fine and well until he decided to sing about my father-in-law who everyone calls Buck.
Buck Buck, Bo Buck, Banana fana fo …
Well, you can see where that went. Yeah, my son dropped the f-bomb (to a room full of laughing adults) at three. All because of a name.
When I’m writing stories, I spend a ridiculous amount of time researching the meaning of names. The novel I’m querying right now has a mom who dreams of exploring outer space. The main character is named Marten because when he was born, the Mom was researching Mars as she worked on her Ph.D. Marten is a variation of Martin (Latin) and means, “dedicated to Mars.”
NONE of the information I just told you about his name shows up in the novel. Even though it’s cool and it ties in with the story, giving the reader that information doesn’t move the action forward. So it ends up being a useless piece of trivia filed in my brain. I just happen to be anal about incorporating meaning into the names I choose for each and every character.
I actually have a hard time writing if I don’t know why a character has a certain name. Does it make a difference? Probably not. Do readers care? Definitely not. And yet, it’s a piece of backstory that, for me, is vitally important.
How do you choose names for your characters? Does the meaning of the names matter?
BTW, Buck (Old English) is used for a male deer or goat. When used as a name or nickname, it means, “a robust and spirited young man.” Now I understand why my father-in-law earned that moniker 🙂
You have one more day to enter for a chance to win a book From Me to You. I’ll be selecting winners for The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen or an ARC of Crossing Over by Anna Kendall at midnight PST on Thursday, November 11.
New Words since NaNo began: 3972
Total Words written & kept on WiP: 10,041