segunda-feira, 9 de setembro de 2013

Summer Movies 2013: Interesting Character Names

Summer 2013 might be almost over, but it brought us some great flicks. As usual, I payed extra attention to the names of characters in hope of finding some interesting ones. Thankfully there were quite a few ones that caught my eye, and so I'm gonna present you the ones I thought were the most appealing and unique.

Male character names:

Harley (Iron Man 3) - A popular name for boys in the UK, but quite underused in the US, which is quite surprising for me because it's one of those names that has all the ingredients of a trendy sounding name, but isn't. I think its full potential has yet to be achieved in America, and I'd like to think it will eventually hit its stride.

Yancy (Pacific Rim) - Not one of the main characters of this movie since he dies early on, but his scenes at the start of the film were enough for me to remember his name. I don't think I've met or read about anyone with this name, although I'm not terribly surprised because I feel this one is for the brave namers only (right now). I believe this one might be quite a polarizing name if it ever pops up in a discussion, you'll either love it or hate it, a bit like Clancy.

Kruger (Elysium) - This is one of those names that unfortunately most people will connect it to one person, in this case one character, Freddie Krueger, even if the spelling is different. So unless you want people telling you "oh you named your son after Freddie Krueger", you'll probably be better off using a different name. However, if you love the character, why not? Still, it's definitely an intriguing name.

Cypher (After Earth) - Modern. Daring. Futuristic. This one is perfect for parents that love sci-fi, and want to give their kid a name that embraces their love for the genre. Although it's definitely futuristic sounding, I feel that this would be quite wearable today, especially with the trendy -er ending that's so popular for boys nowadays. One to consider for sure.

Etienne (Now You See Me) - I absolutely adore this name, yet it's so underrated, even amongst the many baby names communities around the web. It's the french version of Stephen, and I think it would be a wonderful choice for someone who wants to pay tribute to a relative or a friend named Stephen or Steven without being too obvious in the connection.

Raleigh (Pacific Rim) - Already been made my "Name In Spotlight" back in August, it's no secret that I love this name. Again, this is one of those names that sounds so current, that you're amazed its so uncommon. If you want a name that sounds great, current, with history, then this is one for you to consider. It's probably the only name ending in -leigh that I like, full of charm and swag, perfect for boy.

Aya (Wolverine) - This name caught my eye because it's only one letter away from one of my favorite biblical boy names, Asa. Aya is a unisex name, so it can be bestowed upon little girls too, even though in the Old Testament, Aya was a man. As someone that has a fascination with male names ending in "a" (and contrary to popular belief there are many, even dominant in some cultures), this had to be one of my picks. There are 2 possible pronunciations, I read it like "hi-ya", without the "h", I think it sounds better personally.

Basil (The World's End) - This is one of those old boy names that I feel deserves a comeback. It was slightly popular in the early 20th century, but has since faded away. It is also the name of a herb, so if you enjoy your nature names, why not go for this friendly sounding name? If Kale is used, I don't see why this one can't be. I think it sounds fresh again in 2013.

Wylie (Grown Ups 2) - Another one of those names that has been long forgotten, yet retains immense appeal today. It sounds like other popular choices like Riley and Wyatt, so why hasn't this one reemerged? It puzzles me. I feel it's a great alternative for parents that like Riley or Wyatt for a boy, but are held back by their popularity in recent years. Personally this name gives me a cowboy vibe, is it the same for you? A big thumbs up from me, I don't see a single downside to this it.

Grover (Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters) - Quite a rugged sounding name, while at the same time possessing some delicate characteristics, resulting in a perfect balance between hard and soft. Names starting with Gr- are gaining some ground for boys, with popular choices like Grayson, Grey, Grady, Grant, Graham being screamed in every playground these days, so this one blends in perfectly.

Kitai (After Earth) - A futuristic spin on Kai perhaps? This one could definitely work today, and I'm curious to see if the movie will have any effect when the new list comes out next year. This name also comes with several possible nicknames, from Kit, to Kai, to Ty/Tai for example, which is always a plus if want some variety to choose from. A brave, spunky, modern choice.

Female character names:

Frey (Elysium) - With the name Grey picking up some steam for both genders, can Frey ride on its tail? I doubt it, but it does make a nice alternative. It also sounds like a classic, maybe because its so close to the name Faye. So I guess you get the best of both worlds, modern, with an old school vibe.

Thalia (Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters) - This name first registered with me back in the early 2000s, when a latina singer with this name had a couple of popular hits. She rapidly disappeared from the scene, at least in the US, but the name has since been stuck in the back of my mind. I think it's a beautiful name, very feminine, and deserves more attention.

Mako (Pacific Rim) - The name of the female protagonist, this was an obvious choice for this post. Completely underused in the US, but in this case I think it's quite obvious why - it's very japanese sounding and many parents feel they are unable to use a name from that country without having some sort of japanese heritage. In my opinion, I think those barriers need to be broken, if we adopt names from Italy or France, then why not Japan? Unless the name is completely unpronounceable in english, I don't see any reason not to use a name from another country or culture.

Pepper (Iron Man 3) - You might be thinking, "Pepper? Are you crazy?", but this name is not that outrageous to me. I've actually heard about a few people named Pepper, and it's even been used by a celeb recently. While the first impact upon hearing it might be of shock, you soon get used to it - it's not that far off from Piper if you think about it, and that one has taken off lately. But I agree it's reserved for a brave namer only.

Katja (Red 2) - Sick of Kate and Katie? Then try Katja. If you think the spelling might throw people off, then you could always use Katia or Catia, both legitimate spellings. Do not pronounce it like the names Kate or Katie, the pronunciation is slightly different - say "cat" then "ya". The spelling is really the only downside I can see, but then, most people do know how to pronounce Sonja, so it might not be that big of an obstacle. You can always try an easier route, and go with Katherine, nicknamed Katja.

Estelle (Scenic Route) - Back in 2008 there was a british R&B singer named Estelle that had a big hit in the charts, but her name went kinda unnoticed and had little impact in the SSA list. I feel like Estelle is being outshined by Stella these days, rather than being boosted by it. And while I prefer Stella, I think this cousin is ready for stardom soon, but if you enjoy your names relatively underused, this is plus (at least for now).

Faora (Man Of Steel) - A relatively well known name in the comics universe, but completely unheard of in the real word. Pronounced "fay-ora", this name has several things working for it. The "ay" sound is everywhere these days, let's be honest, and girl names ending in -ora are hot right now, think Nora, Aurora and Cora for example. So it's easy for anyone to picture a little baby Faora. The only negative side I can see is that this is the name of several villains in the Superman universe, but if you don't care about stuff like that, then the light is bright green imo.

Matilda (Elysium) - Enjoying some major popularity in the UK, I feel it's only a matter of time before this name starts charming parents in the US too. The only question in my mind is when that boost will happen. There is also variant Mathilde, which I find quite endearing, but Matilda is even more appealing and has a certain spunkiness to it.

Dorothea (The Mortal Instrument: City Of Bones) - Dorothy is one of those old lady names that's resting in limbo waiting for a comeback. Personally, I feel it still sounds old ladyish, but that's just me. However, Dorothea gives it such an awesome update, especially because I love the name Thea. If you feel Thea is great but lacking a little extra something, then Dorothea gives you a more complete, fuller name. It also comes with several nickname options, which can be fun to play around with.

Margo (Despicable Me 2) - One of the most brought up names when you discuss girl names ending in "o", but is still flying under the radar when talking about names in general. I prefer the spelling Margot, I think it has an extra elegance, but Margo works great too. My gut feeling is this name will explode in the next 10 years perhaps, like a storm looming ahead. Or maybe it's just wishful thinking, but it has so much potential, don't you think? It's also a great name to pay tribute to someone named Margaret, or if you like that name but feel it's too heavy sounding. One to watch.

So these are my choices, do you like any of them? Do you feel we'll be hearing them more in the future? If you liked any interesting character names this summer, that I haven't listed here, then feel free to share them with me in the comments here, or on facebook.

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