Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week’s theme is:
May 22nd: Best Character Names
Sometimes, character names come off as mundane or boring. Sometimes, they sound way too over the top. But, every now and then, an author gets it spot on. Below are a few examples of striking names, that are just right for their character.
Dimple Shah // I saw a lot of xenophobic and racist remarks on Twitter from people who either didn’t think Dimple was a real name, or thought it was an odd/silly name. And honest, those people can leave. Vacate the room. Dimple is a great name and, as Sandhya Menon explained, it’s common name in India and other south Asian countries. The fact that people don’t think it’s real shows their lack of cultural awareness. To me, it’s a lovely name and seems to fit her character so well. It’s also complemented by her surname, Shah, which one of my friends shares, so I was thrilled to see it in the book.
Victor Vale // Perhaps the most striking name of them all. There’s something about Victor Vale that is just perfect for his character and perfect for the story. Must be the alliteration and the general image it conjures of someone all in black, ready to save the world. Or destroy it. Who knows with Victor.
Kaz Brekker // Similar to Victor, Kaz’s name just suits him so well. I’ve only ever heard of Kaz as a female name before, so I was kind of thrilled to see it used for a male character. ‘Kaz’ is such a smooth, sharp word and Brekker sounds so much like ‘breaker’ that it can’t be a coincidence. (Can it?) It’s perfect for him.
Sabriel Abhorsen // I love Sabriel’s full name, it makes her sound part-angel, part-demon. (Which she sort of is.) ‘The Abhorsen’ is the one who can go beyond death in the book series, and since this ability runs in Sabriel’s family, it makes sense that it’s her surname.
Meliodas // I’d never come across this name before watching Nanatsu no Taizai (Seven Deadly Sins), but it actually dates back to Arthurian legend, where Meliodas was the King of Lyonesse, and the father of Tristan from Tristan and Isolde.
Cadis etrama di Raizel // In the manhwa Noblesse, Cadis etrama di Raizel is hundreds of years old and the most powerful of all the Nobles so his regal name befits his status. He does, however, get nicknamed ‘Rai’ for short, by Shinwu, who can’t remember his full name, and it kind of sticks.
Ichigo Kurosaki // As with many Japanese names, Ichigo’s has an inherent meaning. ‘Ichigo’ means ‘strawberry’ in Japanese, and is a reference by the creator to his red/orange hair. But ‘ichi’ also means ‘number one’, which is equally relevant to his storyline, as it becomes his goal to be the strongest shingami (soul reaper/death god) so he can protect those around him. ‘Kuro’ means ‘black’ in Japanese, which is fitting, as a lot of Ichigo’s powers are themed around this colour, and most shinigami wear black.
Bathsheba Everdene // This is such an extravagant name, but I kind of love it. (Also what did we all expect from Thomas Hardy?) Bathsheba is actually a biblical name, reminiscent of Bathsheba who was summoned by King David and ended up becoming Queen Mother. Its regal connotations are probably part of what makes it so striking.
Lyra Belacqua // Honestly, part of me wants this to me my name, it’s so lyrical. Lyra is such an indomitable, no-nonsense character, that her whimsical, tuneful name seems quite at odds with her personality. But it also suits her so much that I couldn’t imagine her having another name (which is why I wasn’t a fan when she became Lyra ‘Silvertongue’.
Seneca Crane // Although he was a pretty terrible person until he became a martyr in The Hunger Games, Seneca Crane has a good name. A strong name. Similar to Lyra, there’s just something so melodious about it, and his surname reminds me of the Japanese legend of 1000 cranes.
What are your favourite character names? Are there any characters whose names don’t seem to match their personalities?