What’s in a name?


Day 3 of NaNoWriMo and it is still hard – I’m pretty behind on my word count and the story is all over the place.

But it has got me thinking about unusual names. I love unique names, probably because I have an incredibly boring name. My main character will have an unusual name, which I haven’t actually picked yet, because he is loosely based on a relative of mine with a fairly unusual name. Of course, I don’t want to use the actual name, because that would be weird. The relative was named after another boy with the name that died as a baby, or in childhood, I never could keep the story straight.

(I was also able to incorporate another unique name related tale into the story – another relative of mine was given a singular name while still in the womb, after a friend of the family that had been killed in a car accident. She came out with a hair color and texture which looked nothing like the rest of the family – but was that of the deceased friend. They explain it away by saying a distant relative had that hair color…)

Anyway, since I don’t know what the actual name is that I’ll be using for the main character, I’ve procrastinated a bit by researching (and by researching, I mean Googling) the relative’s name. I’ve found that it is the last name of a rather well known Trappist monk (OK, I knew this already), and is the name of a dozen or so towns in English speaking countries around the world. A shortened version of the name, by which the relative usually goes by, is actually a Turkish male name meaning trustworthy, hero, and brave.

I also once searched some historical archives at the library, and found that his name, to my surprise, was a not uncommon first name for boys at the turn of the [19th] century. But I don’t think anybody in our family has ever met another person who has this first name.

And now, since this is starting to sound like a trivia question, it has become one! What is this relative’s name? No fair if you already know my family.


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