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Friday, November 16, 2012

Name Inspirations and Intentions

Take a second look - this is not the same post that was up a day or two ago. Its a new post about something very closely related to namesakes and intentions. There is a whole realm of ways to choose names that are not really "namesakes" but still are tied to something. I would call these name inspirations. The difference between a namesake and a name inspiration is that when you use something as a naming inspiration it does not necessarily mean you are trying to honor or remember that something.

 I often use books or movies or celebrities to brainstorm names.  I will start going through one of my favorite books and pull all the names out to see if there is anything worth thinking about. Just because I first see a name in a work of fiction, however, such as Dori, does not mean if I used it that I would be naming my baby after that character. That is just where I happened upon the name. Here is where the intention part comes in. If I read Hunger Games, and am absolutely obsessed with it and love its message, and want to name by baby Katniss because the book has so much meaning for me, that is something entirely different from if I see Katniss in the book and think "wow, that is a really cool name, I think it might be my favorite" and end up using it, regardless of the book. I would consider neither of these namesakes, and both of these various levels of name inspirations.

Allow me to give you an example. Last weekend I met a little girl named Kairi (almost rhymes with Riley). Unless you are an avid video gamer you probably have never heard it before. The mother and father got it out of a video games called Kingdom of Hearts. Some sites list it as Japanese, but it appears it actually has no use there, despite the Japanese root word "Kai" meaning ocean. The video game pegs its meaning as "ocean princess". It is a pretty name, quirky, unique. I doubt the parents consider Kairi to be a namesake for her fictional counterpart.They don't want to honor the character. More likely, they were inspired by the video game, like the name, and like that they found it from somewhere they love. 

You probably noticed this leaves a LOT of grey area, and is not a clear classification, but that is how naming is in general. Even lists of "rules" are not really rules. Its pretty much all gray area and opinion.

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