What's in a Name?

Ok, if you're an aspiring writer, or a published author (or even a wanna-be, like me), you have to love names, right?
Ancient names, mythical/legendary names, new names, weird names, out-of-the-blue names... Whether you are in the process of writing a masterpiece of a medieval novel or currently strolling through a modern city with your fictitious friends, your characters need names, correct?

I know I'm right, I just want to make sure you're still with me.  Still with me?

Off subject for a minute:
You've heard of coin collectors, card collectors, and other kind of collectors, etc., right?

Well, have you heard of a name collector?  There's a possibility others exist, I don't know.  But I admit, I am one.  I love names, I enjoy finding new ones, even bizarre ones, and discovering their meanings.  I have pages upon pages of just NAMES listed with their meanings and origin.  I hadn't thought of it until now, but it's a very interesting hobby.

One of my favorite websites is called Behind the Name.  Type in a name and the site will find the meaning and background, be it English or Ancient Greek, fictional or modern.  There's a good chance you will find what you're looking for, unless it's something uniquely different like "Delani" or "Myrander," both fictional characters of my own, by the way.

Because of my love for names in general, I thought I'd share some of my collection and post a random one every now and then...

Emporer Marcus Aurelius
Gender:  Masculine
Origin:  Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin, English, Scandinavian
Pronunciation:  MAHR-koos (Ancient Roman, Biblical Latin), MAHR-kes (English)

Meaning & History: 
Given name of Roman origin, which was probably derived from the Roman god, Mars.  Famous bearers of this name were Marcus Tullius Cicero (known as Cicero), Marcus Antonius (known as Mark Antony), and Marcus Aurelius, a 2nd-century emporer.

Jane Austen
Gender:  Feminine
Origin:  English
Pronunciation:  JAYN

Meaning & History:
Medieval English form of Jehanne, an old French feminine form of Iohannes (a form of John).  This became the most common, feminine form of John in the 17th century.  Well-known bearers of this name were the uncrowned English queen Lady Jane Grey (1536-1554, she ruled for only 9 days), the British authoress Jane Austen (1775-1817, Pride & Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility), and British primatologist Jane Goodall (1935-).  Charlotte Brontë used this name for her main character in the novel Jane Eyre (1847).

So, what's in a name?

Well, as a wise man once said, "... I learned a long time ago that a name is only what a person makes it."
(Louis L'Amour, Lonely on the Mountain)

"Besides, what does a name mean?  Nothing, until a man makes it mean something."
(Louis L'Amour, Passin' Through)


Name definitions and history via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.


  1. I am a name collector too, though not so avidly as I used to be. I've got a name book that I read for fun and lists of names in several different notebooks. so please, post lots of names =].
    (And I'm sure it would be interesting to read about some of the people behind your characters names)

  2. Yes! hello, fellow collector! This is great! I hope to post a good many more names, stay tuned =D
    And maybe, once in a while, I'll post about one of my characters... thanks for reading!


To each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass, and a book of rules,
And each must make, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block or a stepping stone.