The Top 10 TV Character Names I Came to Love

Last week for Top Ten Tuesday I explored the Top 10 Book Character Names I Came to Love. Because I enjoyed creating the list so much, I decided to do it again for TV characters!

1. Peter, Fringe

peter-fringeBecause it’s similar to Peeta, but more legit? Or because of Joshua Jackson’s portrayal of his character Peter on Fringe? All of the above.

2. Olivia, Fringe

olivia-fringeOlivia is a nice classic and feminine name, but I used to think it sounded a little old. It has seemed to gain some popularity lately though, and Olivia from Fringe really made me appreciate it more.

3. Lincoln, Fringe

lincoln-lee2I was already kind of liking the name Lincoln, and even came up with the name for a character in a story. I also had a friend name her son Lincoln (and he’s totally adorable). Then Lincoln Lee came along on Fringe and made me like it more! I like that it’s unique without being strange.

4. Julian, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

bashirIs Julian a girly name for a guy? I don’t know, I can’t decide! But I love Dr. Bashir and he kind of made me like the name Julian.

5. Tucker (from Charles “Trip” Tucker), Star Trek: Enterprise

tripTrip Tucker is my favorite character from Enterprise – a Southern(ish) boy with a lot of personality. I think his last name works well as a first name.

6. Jadzia, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

jadzia2No, I would not name my child Jadzia. But I really want someone else to, and I will give them much kudos. It’s just a fun name for a fun character.

7. Kate, Castle

kate-beckettFor some reason, I don’t really care for nicknames. Maybe it’s because the name Amy isn’t conducive for nicknames, who knows. I’ve always liked the name Kathryn, which is Kate’s actual name, but Kate made me like Kate.

8. Ryan (from Kevin Ryan), Castle

ryanWait, this was on your list last week! Wait! You said you already loved the name Ryan! All true, but it’s my list, so I do what I want to. Besides, Ryan’s a fun character.

9. Kaylee, Firefly

kayleeI already like the named Kaylee pretty well before watching Firefly, but Kaylee from Firefly just made me love it more.

10. Jayne (but NOT for a guy), Firefly

Jayne_With_HatBetween Jane Austen stories and Firefly, I came to appreciate the “plain” name Jane more, particularly with the spelling Jayne. But Jayne in Firefly is a bitter guy, and I definitely would not do that to my son.

What about you? What are your favorite TV character names?

The Top 10 Book Character Names I Came to Love

Top Ten Tuesday topic is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is Top Ten Character Names I Love or Top Ten Unusual Character Names, so I’m going to focus on the top 10 character names that I might not have been a favorite going into the story, but I came to like. This week’s list is no particular order.

1. Peeta, The Hunger Games

Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson, Entertainment Weekly, August 5, 2011I’ve talked about this before… No I wouldn’t name my kid Peeta, but somehow the character was able to get me to believe that this was a completely acceptable and even a good name.

2. Catherine, Northanger Abbey

I already liked the name Catherine, but this was never my favorite spelling for the name. Well, it still isn’t, but I did come to like it more after reading Northanger Abbey.

3. Elizabeth, Pride and Prejudice

elizabeth-p&p

OK, the movie more so than the book but still, the movie wouldn’t exist without the book, and Elizabeth is the same person in both. Elizabeth is a strong yet feminine and classic name, and it was given to a character who fits the same bill.

4. Ryan, What’s Left of Me

Who am I kidding, I’ve loved the name Ryan for a long time. But liking the character Ryan in What’s Left of Me sort of revived it for me.

5. Elliot (for a girl), For Darkness Shows the Stars

fordarknessshowsSometimes, taking a guy name and using it for a girl works. This is one of those times. Elliot was the perfect name for this character and I think it could work for some other girls too. Now Maxwell on the other hand, maybe not so much… looking at you, Jessica Simpson…

6. Kai, Cinder and For Darkness Shows the Stars

TWO great guys with the same name?! How could I not grow to appreciate it?!

7 & 8. Chloe and Cameron, Left Behind

left-behind

When I read this book way back (like sixth grade I think?), I loved the characters Chloe and Cameron (AKA Buck, a name I also grew to love at the time) and I found myself really liking their names as well. As time has passed, I still like them both, though the nickname Buck doesn’t have quite the same appeal anymore. (Side note to explain picture: Cassi Thomson is playing Chloe Steele in Nic Cage’s reboot of Left Behind (after Ashley Tisdale dropped out), and Chad Michael Murray will be playing Cameron “Buck” Williams. I really hope the movie turns out OK…)

9. Gibson, Double Minds

This is from a book about a girl who is getting into the music business, and she and her brothers are all named after guitars, one of them being Gibson. Maybe it’s the fact that I live in the Nashville area, drive by Gibson headquarters almost daily, and love the look of their hollow-body guitars, but I like the name Gibson for a guy. So much so, in fact, I’m using it as a character name for my NaNoWriMo story!

10. Scout, To Kill A Mockingbird

scout-tokillI don’t know if this hit me quite the same way in high school as it does (even though I haven’t read the book in over ten years), but it’s such an interesting and fun name for a girl.

What character names from books do you love? Since I had so much fun with this list, next week I’ll do a Top 10 list dedicated to my favorite TV show character names! 

Names in Fiction vs. Real Life

I mentioned recently that my husband and I have been watching the TV show Fringe on DVD. I have noticed that in the last couple of weeks, I have found myself growing more fond of the names Peter and Olivia, both of which are names of main characters on the show. I never really disliked these names before, but I didn’t particularly love them either. They were just fine for me. But now I find myself liking them more as I come to like the characters.

But I think I have to be predisposed to like the name somewhat first in order for this phenomena to happen. When I read The Hunger Games, I found myself liking the name Peeta as I liked the character. I have never known a Peeta in my life, but of course it does resemble Peter. But on the other hand, I didn’t find myself growing to like the name Katniss. I think it’s the right fit for Katniss and I went from thinking it was a stupid name at first to an appropriate name for a character, but let’s just say it didn’t hold quite the same charm for me. And it wasn’t like I was going to name a baby Peeta but…  let’s just say there was a period of time where if someone else decided to do it, I wouldn’t have judged them too harshly for it.

peeta-katniss

It’s interesting to me how our perceptions of names can change due to fictional characters with these names. There are some names that seem type-casted to fit a certain kind of character. I remember my senior year of high school when my yearbook/journalism teacher, whose first name was Chip, lamented that characters named Chip are always some lame sidekick. I have found with my name, Amy, the character is generally pretty self-centered and weak-willed, which makes me sad.

amy-littlewomen

I’m going to throw your writing in the fire and then steal the guy you should have ended up with… (OK, I don’t actually hate Amy in Little Women, but she’s no Jo.)

As someone who is constantly creating new characters in my head, I think about names fairly frequently. Sometimes the idea of a story hits me first, and then I seek out the characters and the names of the characters that seem to fit best. But sometimes, seemingly out of nowhere, a character name just pops into my head that won’t go away and I know I have to write out that character. Their name is sometimes something I might have considered strange just yesterday, but today it is perfect for my character. Sometimes I think of traditional names (Catherine), trendier names (Harper), and sometimes names that I just have no idea where they came from (Noa, for a girl, like Noah without a H… this one happened recently). When I think of the name of a character first, it always feels like a perfect fit when I base everything else around that, even if it’s something I would never name a real-life baby. But I also can’t help but wonder how people reading the story will respond to it. I know I have read books where I felt the character never fit their name. But I suppose we all look at names differently… there’s no way to really control how someone feels about a name.

All this to say… what’s in a name? Does your perception of a name change if you read/watch about a fictional character with that name? Has a fictional character made you like a name more or less than you did before?