Dear Dragon – Names

Dear Dragon,

In case you didn’t know, I fancy myself a writer. One of the hardest parts of developing a character is choosing a name.

I firmly believe that a character’s name should reflect aspects of their story or personality. Let’s take my first novel, A Study in Aether; there are three main characters and their names reflect who they are.

Elizabeth means “My God is an Oath,” or “My God is Abundance” between the classical definition and the historical, it’s a name for a strong-willed character who is more interested in reaching their goals than anything else.

Jackson (Jackie) means “Son of Jack”. Since he’s Jackson Jr., it shows the strong resemblance (character not physical) to his father. The fact that he shortens it to Jackie instead of Jack shows his stubborn non-conforming streak.

Angela is the female version of Angelus. It’s original meaning being “Messenger” or “Messenger of God”. I’ll be completely honest and tell you I just liked the name. There was a character on Bones, who managed to be both artistic and brilliant with technology. I liked the idea of a character trying to balance two aspects of her life. Balancing two parts of herself is a long running theme with my character Angela.

I almost always name a character based off who they are and what they’ll grow into. That works really well for characters, but not so well for Baby Dragons. (If only I had a time machine.)

We’ve had several names for you chosen for a long time. They’ve changed and moved around, but we never really worried about it. Now that you’re on your way, it feels a little more urgent.

There were a few things we wanted in a name: it needed to sound okay in French and English, it needed to be something that didn’t sound weird for a lawyer, doctor, teacher, judge, prime-minister etc (The Right Honourable Yoda Desmarais wasn’t an option), it needed to be something that wasn’t ridiculously common, and it needed to be something people wouldn’t make fun of.

That’s a high order, but we ended up with five names that we liked. One we sort of lost interest in. Another we told to someone and they reacted so poorly that your Mum didn’t want to use the name anymore. (I’m contrary and almost insisted on the name, but decided that was a bad reason.)

That has left us with three names. Two are relatively traditional but the third is different. It’s still easily pronounceable and follows our guidelines above. I made the mistake of mentioning it to someone (I’m contrary and learn slowly) and they don’t think it’s a good idea because it’s not a traditional name. I’m not sure which we’ll pick. I’m procrastinating by saying we’ll wait to meet you, but that’s just an excuse.

A lot of people, articles, etc. have pushed the importance of picking a name and it’s stressful to think about.

Fortunately, no matter what we name you, you’ll grow into it. It will become you and you’ll become it.

Hopefully we pick well, but worst case scenario you can always change it.

Your Loving Papa

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4 thoughts on “Dear Dragon – Names”

  1. Oh, I don’t know. The Right Honourable Yoda Desmarais has a certain ring to it.

    But seriously, you need to ignore everyone else and decide a name that feels right for you and for baby dragon. These are the people that matter.

    Everyone else can go take their judgemental selves and jump in an icy lake.

  2. Whatever name you choose for her will be perfect! Perhaps though wait unitl she is born and you hold her for the first time and use the first name that comes into your mind as you interact with her 🙂

  3. There is always Yioda or Jioda (the J being silent as is the case in Eastern Europe).

    I was fortunate with my kids that their given names suit them quite well, although if you ask my teenage daughter she won’t agree that she is as beautiful as the definition of her name.

    Friends of mine had a neat approach to giving their two daughters three names each: a name that is only the child’s, a name from family, and an aspirational name. I managed to pull that off with my firstborn but not for the twins, who each have two names. I was probably less tired the first time around. 😉

    Whatever name(s) Dragon is soon to be given are sure to have been carefully chosen. I can’t wait to hear them!

  4. For this exact reason, we told no one what we were naming our kiddo until she was born. I’ve had exactly one person tell me that I gave my daughter an ‘ugly’ name and that I’d regret it, but otherwise everyone’s been pretty charmed by Briar, her name, and how well it suits her. Do what you want to do–there’s a whole generation of kids out and about right now with unusual names, and when they’re all our age, it’ll be unusual to NOT have an unusual name.


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