Naming fictional characters.


She's taking shape ever-so-slowly in my head and it's time to name her. This should be simple, but it might be worth mentioning that my husband and I took six weeks to name our daughter.  We actually received a letter from the council saying that if we didn't register our baby, they'd assign her an official name.  An official name?  What on earth could that be? Armani? Jazelle? TreyC?

I've since heard that unnamed abandonned babies are traditionally named after the King (or Queen) -- so perhaps she'd have ended up Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth I was nicknamed Gloriana, however, which is not very far from Gloria.

For naming characters, I haunt the more eccentric end of the baby name website spectrum. There are websites for old English, Norse, and Shakespearean names, and I get a lot of use out of the most popular names of various decades from the last two centuries, courtesy of the US census. John and Mary topped the lists in 1900. Seraphina, Violet and Isla can all be found in the US top ten girls for 2010. Asher, Atticus and Finn make this year's top ten for boys.  Weird.

I'm thinking of naming my fictional girl Mila. But the internet tells me it's a (slightly skewed) acronym of My Life Is Average. And hers will be anything but. Guess I'll just have to wait and see if it sticks.

P.s. Leon Uris' Mila 18, is, as I'm sure you know, the reason that Heller's Catch 22 got its title.  Heller's book was originally Catch 18, but Uris got in first.