Tags:
  1. Krisser
    Offline

    Krisser Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0

    Need Help With Some Character Names

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Krisser, May 19, 2008.

    Having a bit of trouble coming up with names for my two MC, so thought I'd open it up for discussion. Any help would be greatly appreciated. :D

    Set during WWII in London

    MC: Female, 21-years-old, English, student, novelist and playwrite, uses sexual and feminist themes in her work, strong-willed, spiky, belligerent, independent.

    Secondary MC: Male, 85-years-old, German, famous poet, cranky, wino, nearly blind, still very independent but can no longer take care of himself.

    :confused:
     
  2. starrynight89
    Offline

    starrynight89 Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    D.C Area
    Hmm, I'm not good with names either but I can give you a website. It's so useful. . .it has a huge list of names but it's the 1990 census so I guess you have to pick out names that were popular back in WWII. . .but, that's not a big issue, a simple google search should do it.

    US Census Names File

    Click on dist.male.first.

    The names are ranked in popularity and I thought that was useful. . . but, hope this helps and good luck name hunting. :)
     
  3. Darkthought
    Offline

    Darkthought Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    Messages:
    824
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    Newport News, Virginia, United States
    Augustus von Plentl

    Its a good German name...one of my ancestors.
     
  4. Vayda
    Offline

    Vayda Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's playwright, so you know :)

    I don't think the MC needs a particularly fancy name, how about something like Anne, or Angela, or Elizabeth, or Ashley? If you want it to ring particularly British, you might consider naming her after a monarch - like Elizabeth, Mary, Jane, Diana, those sorts of things.
     
  5. Cobra517
    Offline

    Cobra517 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    6
    Go to www.babynamesworld.com



    There are lots and lots of names from different countries and cultures.
     
  6. Titania
    Offline

    Titania Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Messages:
    330
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    for the girl... these are US names, but the right time period anyway:
    Most Popular US Names for 1920-1929

    It's hard to find lists for as far back as the when the 85-year old would have been born... but some random popular German first names (from a list for the 1890s):
    1. Carl / Karl
    2. Wilhelm
    3. Otto
    4. Heinrich
    5. Friedrich
    6. Paul
    7. Hans
    8. Gustav
    9. Max
    10. Ernst
    11. Hermann
    12. Johannes
    13. Adolf / Adolph
    14. Fritz
    15. August
    16. Emil
    17. Walter / Walther
    18. Robert
    19. Franz
    20. Hugo
    21. Georg
    22. Ludwig
    23. Johann
    24. Willi / Willy
    25. Rudolf / Rudolph
    26. Oskar / Oscar
    27. Alfred
    28. Richard
    29. Bernhard
    30. Josef / Joseph

    Edit: I completely read that as being World War I for some reason... sorry about that. I replaced the original with the link for 1920s names.
     
  7. Kit
    Offline

    Kit Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    2,001
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Nottinghamshire
    I have to admit that i'm another one who uses this site. Usually i'll search by meaning, using a particular trait that my character has and try and find something. I know when I have the right one because it just jumps out at me.
     
  8. Al B
    Offline

    Al B Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    10
    That's quite a narrow field you've got there for your female character.

    In WW2 being feminist would have been rare, being a playwrite and novelist, as well as a student would have made her almost unique, and probably world famous if she'd done all that. That said, if that's your character, so be it, someone like that would have to be from a priveleged background. In the 1940s women in further education at the age of 21 would have to be from an extremely upper class and well-to-do family to even have a shot at such an education, so we are talking really posh names here: Unity, Amy, Felicity, Hermione, Cassandra etc. Second name would have to be a posh one too, something like Hamilton, Asquith, Fforbes, Pomeroy, Chessington etc.

    For your German dude, at 85 years old and around the same time, he'd be born in the mid-nineteenth century, so I'd imagine names such as Willhelm, Manfred, Oswald and Bruno would be good choices, surname would again probably be a posh one if he'd been a poet in those times, possibly titled too, so Von Hindenburg, Von Bayem, Von Reckendorff, Von Knapfstein. You could drop the Von from any of those too, and they'd still be pretty posh German surnames.

    One thing you ought to be aware of, that might have a bearing on your story, is that a great many theatres in London were closed down during WW2, since it was felt that they risked a massacre if a large gathering of people were hit in one place during the Blitz. This severely limited the number of plays and shows which were actually put on, and it's doubtful that a 21 year-old student would have been top of the list for staging her play at a major venue. The rule was relaxed later in the war to some extent, even though there was still the possibility of a V1 (doodlebug flying bomb), and later a V2 (ballistic missile) landing on London. To give you an idea of the risk, over 1,000 V2 missiles landed on London, and they killed over 8,000 people, so choosing a time setting after the 1940-41 blitz, but before the advent of the V1 and V2, might make sense.

    Al
     
  9. Krisser
    Offline

    Krisser Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you everyone, that really helped. :)

    Al: that was very useful information, I think maybe I'll have to tweak my female character a bit more. I want her work to be very controversial to that day and age but for her not to be, as you said, world famous. She's still a struggling writer with financial difficulties so she goes to work with the the cantankerous German poet. But if she has financial problems then she can't be upper class and therefore not going to a university... unless her parents disowned her... (???)

    Sorry, rambling and brainstorming a bit here.

    Just one more question: for the German dude, if I were to use the name say.... Augustus Von Hindenburg how would I call him formally? Mr. von Hindenburg? Mr. Hindenburg? Does it matter?

    Again, thank ya'll for your help!
     
  10. effielorraine
    Offline

    effielorraine New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Two Character names that may work

    Lady 21 - Dorothy perhaps with the following term of enderment/nickname dotty,

    Gentleman - Konrad - believe it or not this modern sounding name was actually the name of the first german chancellor who was born -1876 and died 1967 so there is no doubt that name was around in the war.



    Do you need help with surnames?

    EL x
     
  11. effielorraine
    Offline

    effielorraine New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you everyone, that really helped. :)

    Al: that was very useful information, I think maybe I'll have to tweak my female character a bit more. I want her work to be very controversial to that day and age but for her not to be, as you said, world famous. She's still a struggling writer with financial difficulties so she goes to work with the the cantankerous German poet. But if she has financial problems then she can't be upper class and therefore not going to a university... unless her parents disowned her... (???)

    Sorry, rambling and brainstorming a bit here.

     
  12. effielorraine
    Offline

    effielorraine New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    The correct way to address the german man would be 'Herr. Von Hindenburg'
     
  13. Al B
    Offline

    Al B Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    10
    Herr would be the typical formal address for a German gentleman. If you want your German dude to be a 'Von', that's typically (but not always) an aristocratic preposition, and if he is an esteemed poet, he may possibly have been elevated to the nobility. So he might very well be a Graf (equivalent to a Count, or Earl), perhaps a Baron or Freiherr (both of these essentially mean free lord, in that they are, or were, the owners of allodial lands, and therefore noblemen). Von is essentially 'from'. So in the case of a famous example, the Red Baron, aka Baron Manfred Freiherr Von Richthofen, his full name is essentially something like: 'Nobleman Manfred the landowner from Richthofen'.

    Al
     
  14. Krisser
    Offline

    Krisser Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    K, so Graf von Hindenburg will probably work, since he's upper class as well. Thanks everyone for your help!
     
  15. Aurora_Black
    Offline

    Aurora_Black Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Messages:
    627
    Likes Received:
    10

    Im thinking Eileen for the woman

    And Luitger for the elder man

    Just seems appropriate to me, a bit random. But decent
     

Share This Page