Sunday, 2 August 2009

The name's the thing.

Discovering Axel Rose's real name was Bill Bailey made me wonder what I would have chosen as a Rock name. Wanting something that would make me cool I hunted around for inspiration and came up with...nothing. I can't do cool. Not even slightly tepid.

However the internet claimed it could do better. Just type in your first name here and whether you're male of female then away it goes. So details went in and it came up with...Ellyn Sixx. What? A rock star called Ellyn? I could believe the lack of spelling ability but purlease. Even the website reckons I am a chill free zone. It gives me the name of an android or a murder victim. Great.

But there was hope. Maybe I could be a street-wise, angst ridden rapper. Hold on. Do they do angst-ridden or is it just a revamp of "You think you've got it hard kid? In my day we had to use go-carts for driveby shootings." So I put my info in again and I got Femme Rose. Cheers. Now I'm a ribbon wrapped, glitter covered perfume bottle. More glam rock than rapper. Think I'll bin this internet search.

I do have a big problem with names. Tell me yours and guaranteed it will go in one ear and out the other. Not because I mean to be rude but my brain holds that kind of information like a herring net holds a midge.

I've stated vociferously (now there's a lovely word) to phonecallers at the office that Methuselah Bates* does not and has never worked here until Methuselah taps me on the shoulder. Is it my fault I've know him as boy* for past ten years?

The problem doesn't stop there. I have to think of names for my characters. I call them A, B and C for as long as I can but eventually it gets awkward. And names are important as Daniel Gritten guest posted on Danny Stack's site in his write up of the William Ackers talk.

It would be nice to say I can just pull names out of the air but every time I try I just get two syllable names that end in eeeee. Like a register being read out at a chav convention.

So instead I try to find names that mean who they are. I have a couple of baby name books and I hit the internet again. Once I've applied my rule that no two names should have the same first letter I end up with a very short list. Too short. So off I go again for another dig. I can send a few evenings doing this.

I wish I could put aside the suspicion that it is all just another form of procrastination. Maybe I should go down the Prisoner route and bin the names all together.

So how do you handle naming?

* Name changed so he won't thump me.


Elinor said...

Ooh, me likey the rockstar thing. I got Venus Strong.

Talking of rockstar names, I once knew a lead singer who always said he wanted to be called Roxy McKilwain. I've used that name loads of times and review films with it too. Roxy lives!

Rach said...

Ah but you got a decent name. Mine sucked. Used to be called Gypsy so maybe I could be Gypsy O'Horror. What do you thing Roxy?