C is for Caoilfhinnn

smedley soup

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
– Shakespeare

Well sure, Will, but if you’re writing a medieval murder mystery, and all you can come up with for your villain is Gawain Pendragon, that’s really just not going to fly. Or if you are laboring away on your noir pulp whodunit, sooner or later you will have to give hapless secretary Ethel Bumpcake a name upgrade. Steampunk cooking comedy? Chief Inspector Ambrose Wakewaddle just isn’t going to cut it. (See what I did there?)

I myself have struggled mightily with character names. At one point I thought I had them all set, until my daughter informed me that the names I had chosen were boring and stupid.

Back to the drawing board. The naming board. Whatever.

And then I found this cool website. It has all the information you might want for your naming needs. Looking for a first name that embodies, say, strength and fortitude? Enter your desired characteristic, and boom – names! Cool names, boring names, stupid names, interesting names, names you have never heard of before. Names like Bree, and Solveig, and Yolanda and Kirek. It’s pretty cool.

(Caoilfhinnn, by the way, is a Celtic name that means slender and comely, which makes it completely worth the trouble involved in spelling it correctly.)


(Posted today as my Day 3 entry in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge)

(Illustrative Smedley’s Soup picture by James Morley via Flickr.)

This entry was posted in Challenges, Images I love and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to C is for Caoilfhinnn

  1. Bookmarked that one. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. DMGbyrnes says:

    I’m seriously obsessed with names of my characters. I *love* names, probably too much. My characters will and do often have unique and interesting names, and I collect them, haha. I have lists and lists of names that I’ve liked and kept just in case. That is one really great site, but there are a lot more out there too. I have a bunch of bookmarks saved somewheres. Some sites will show the you the pronunciation too, which is always good. Sometimes I just use them to jog my creativity to come up with “new” ones to fit a different world or story. Great post. There are a few authors I wish paid at least a little more attention to their names, even if they don’t to use one with a particular meaning, I wish there weren’t so many overly common names starting with the same letter in some stories, makes it hard to place them if their character isn’t ground well. Thanks for sharing, good luck on the rest of the challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for visiting! I know the feeling of obsessing over a name – names are like keys, and you definitely want to get them exactly right. This site came to me at just the right time, when I needed new names (thanks to my daughter, the ruthless critic) and the name list sites weren’t helping any more. I really like the way it lets you reverse engineer a name to a set of characteristics, and I would love to know about others that do similar things.


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