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  1. jacklondonsghost
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    jacklondonsghost Contributing Member

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    Non-stereotypical name needed

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by jacklondonsghost, Jan 25, 2010.

    Hi everyone :)

    In my WIP, one of my protagonists, Jay (a high school hockey player), has a girlfriend. She serves the purpose of helping Jay to conform at school, and also as a way for Jay to eventually discover his lack of interest in girls and develop feelings for his male friend, Matt.

    The story is set in the present, in a small town in Ontario near Thunder Bay.

    In any case: the girlfriend is not the stereotypical "cheerleader." She is captain of the lacrosse team, and a smart student. She is the kind of girl who goes hunting with her father and follows hockey.

    She needs a name other than her current one, however, which is "Annoying Girlfriend," AG for short. Her last name is Hart. Any suggestions? I've searched some sites and the phone book but nothing is sounding quite right.
     
  2. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not sure what you mean by stereotypical. I've done research on populations and how diversity is spread out throughout the province. Most of the diversity is in the GTA and Ottawa, which you probably knew, and the cultural background of a character is one of the factors you need to take into account when chosing a name. I mean, you're probably not going to be naming her Shaitsa, which I believe is an Arabic name. Then again, I knew a girl named Claya once.
     
  3. jacklondonsghost
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    jacklondonsghost Contributing Member

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    Ah, I guess what I mean by stereotypical is like, the stereotypical "teenage girl" names that are so popular now. As in, no Kaitlyns, Jessicas or Tiffanys or the like.

    What I'm trying to do with all my characters is make them clearly individual and not rely on stereotypes, and a name like Karissa is just not going to cut it.

    But I'm at a loss on my own; the only ones I've come up with so far are Chloe or Maddie. I don't really care for either.
     
  4. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Chloe and Maddie are good names. And I have never met a Tiffany.
     
  5. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's difficult for me to suggest a name as I don't know what would be usual in that area, but may I suggest that it has 2 syllables because the other names are all 1-syllable. It gets like a hammer banging to have everyone with 1-syllable names. Also I think it would be better if it starts with a different letter from J (Jay). M (Matt) and H (Hart).

    Also, if you want her to seem intelligent, perhaps you could have her go by her full name and not a short form, to make her seem slightly more serious, e.g. Diane and not 'Di' or Helen, not 'Lena'. Maybe these were family names, so they are not the typical names popular now?
     
  6. jacklondonsghost
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    jacklondonsghost Contributing Member

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    Thanks :) Those are good suggestions. Maybe I'll be able to come up with something now.
     
  7. Natacha Jensen
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    Natacha Jensen New Member

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    Hayden.
    I'm having a good feeling about that name right now.
     
  8. Anders Backlund
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    Anders Backlund Contributing Member

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    Whenever I need a name, I load up a random name generator, pick out the ones I like the most, and then I then single one out.

    Or, I go to 20000-names.com and/or behindthename.com and hit the lists until I find something that fits.

    Or, if I feel really random, I go to imbd.com, look up a recent movie I liked and check full cast and crew to see if there's anything I like.

    Really, finding names isn't hard.
     
  9. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    Andy. It can be a girl's name, too. And it kinda sounds good when put together with "Hart".

    Other than that, "Chloe" sounds good.

    By the way, I would totally read your story and buy the book if you publish it.
     
  10. InkDream
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    InkDream Senior Member

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    Kiley
    Sofia
    Jessa
    Peyton
    Lilliana

    There are just so many possibilities. Check out baby naming sites for inspiration.
     
  11. Evil Spock Pinyata
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    Evil Spock Pinyata New Member

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    You can look up names on the internet. There are plenty of name dictionaries out there. For example, you can do a web search for African Names if you want to have the female be an African American.
     
  12. jacklondonsghost
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    jacklondonsghost Contributing Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions; I'll do some checking around :)
     
  13. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    If the girl hunts with her dad and watches hockey, there is the distinct possibility she was raised that way. Personal interests often reflect upbringing. Which reminds me of a good friend who has four daughters...always wanted a son. After the fourth girl, he gave up, but when his last daughter was born, he succumbed to the idea of giving her a quasi-masculine name. Hoped she would share his love for hunting and fishing.

    Her name is Roberta and the family calls her "Bobbi". Yep, she enjoyed hunting, fishing, liked pick up trucks, hated dresses, and in warm months, that girl would not wear shoes. Her older sisters tried, unsuccessfully, to convince her to wear makeup. Then, puberty imposed its unkind realities and she finally allowed her sisters to "play dress up" with her. What a stunner! Still loved outdoor trips with dad, but she could clean a fish for breakfast, play tag football in the afternoon, yet go on a dinner date at a fancy restaurant that night and look beautiful. It's real tough on guys. They have to be at least 4 inches taller than her (she's 5' 7 and a little vain), play one or more sports, hunt, fish and have a sensitive side when it comes to children. She's 25 now, single, college grad and still looking for Mr. Right.

    For me, Bobbi is the perfect name for her. Pretty, and tough. There are lots of semi-masculine girl names that are nicknames for more feminine versions. And for some unexplainable reason, many seem to fit the slightly masculine profile. Marti for Martha. Andi for Andrea. Charlie for Charlene. Jo for Josephine. Danny for Danielle...you get the picture.
     
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  14. SilverRam
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    SilverRam Member

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    I don't think names are a big issue when it comes to having 'individual' characters. A girl named Jessica could be just as much of a individual as a girl named Ashton. It depends on the writer's ability to create rounded characters. I do hope no Tiffanys are angry at you for calling their names stereotypical and implying that it's not good enough to name a individual character.
    I know a Brittney who cuts her hair short, doesn't shop at hollister, and is on the track team.
    You can turn most names into a androgynous nickname by shortening it. 'Brit' for example.

    That's just my two cents.
     
  15. Trezzy_Sometimes
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    Trezzy_Sometimes Member

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    I like NacL's idea. Also, when I want my characters to have more out-of-the-ordinary names, I give them foreign names. I know her last name is Hart, but the first name is the given one, so it shouldn't make a difference if her first name is Russian and her last name is English. Maybe her parents just thought it was a cool name, haha. I'd give her a name like Lucia (Lu-CHI-a, Italian) and perhaps her friends subconsciously make her "one of the guys" by nicknaming her Luc (pronounced like "Luke"). I like your story idea. Good luck!
     
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  16. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    Alex. Yeah, it can be a girl name, too.
     
  17. jacklondonsghost
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    jacklondonsghost Contributing Member

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    I didn't mean to offend by saying Tiffany is a stereotypical name. What I meant by that is that it is a very popular name and for a lot of people calls to mind a certain kind of person. That doesn't mean that EVERY Tiffany will be that way, of course. But all names carry with them some sort of image for most people, and names such as Tiffany and Brittany carry the general impression of a certain type of girl. Of course not all of them are that way, probably not even most of them, but the names still have a certain sound to them.

    Not to mention, in real life people are given names before they develop their own personality. When I'm writing I like to take advantage of the fact that my characters already exist and I can give them a name that suits them much better than given names can in real life.

    That said, the name is certainly not the most important part of this character by any means; I am just trying to brainstorm names that seem to fit for me. Plus an out of the ordinary name would be a nice change, since the two protagonists have more common names (Matt, Jay). All of these suggestions are very helpful :) I'll figure one out. I really like some of your suggestions, NaCl, they fit pretty well.
     
  18. EvilFairy
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    EvilFairy Member

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    Amanda. I don't know why, I just think Amanda Hart goes well =]
     
  19. Operaghost
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    Operaghost Contributing Member

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    I think Aimee its not the traditional spelling and sounds right with the surname hart.
     
  20. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sorry but, as soon as you said her 'current name is "Annoying Girlfriend" (AG for short) the first name that popped into my head was --- AGATHA! or Aggie.
    (Sorry, probably could help it but just didn't want to!)

    Maybe Matt and Jay need to go play for the Leafs. They could use some fresh blood ;-)
     
  21. jacklondonsghost
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    jacklondonsghost Contributing Member

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    Hahaha Agatha... Has a nice crazy cat lady ring to it ;)

    And no way, they'd get drafted to the Sabres. Theyre my characters, so I'd be able to send them wherever I want haha
     
  22. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    I usually enjoy using ironic names for my characters. But I also use names that fit the character's appearance. Like, I wouldn't use Bronwyn for a blonde pixie-ish character, since it's a more robust, warm name. What does your character look like?
     
  23. SilverRam
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    SilverRam Member

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    I know you didn't mean to offend anyone. I'm not really offended, I just think you should know how it might have come off to someone else.

    Perhaps you should try the syllable approach. Start with a sound that makes you think of the type of character she is, see where it takes you from there.
     
  24. Anonym
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    Anonym Contributing Member

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    you've probably long since solved this, but i'd recommend not using any vaguely masculine girl names, seeing how as your character is already a bit of a tomboy. also, not related to the OP, i suggest you develop her beyond the point of only being a mechanism thru which the MC realizes his bi/homosexuality, but that should go w/o saying.
     
  25. jacklondonsghost
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    jacklondonsghost Contributing Member

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    Haha absolutely. It was only for the purpose of originally plotting the novel that my friend who I was bouncing ideas off of and I referred to her as AG. She is now evolving into a very real character, as are the other minor characters in the work. It's pretty exciting haha.

    Her name is (for now) Adrianne Green. Still AG, in a way ;) Thanks for everyone's help.
     

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