I Name Thee - writercize #101

Before I continue - did you know there's a contest going on here at writercize?  Depending on where you live, a pizza meal or a cup of coffee is on the line - enter here: It's a Pizza - writercize (for a prize) #100.  Contest closes Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Ok, onto a fun little game, in honor of parents, children, simple word inspired games and the Group Blogging Experience.  

One of the most important things a parent will give a child, beyond the normal love, attention, food, shelter bit, is a name.  Expectant parents often put weeks, even months, into finding just the right name for their bun in the oven.  

My mom's parents and siblings squabbled for such a long time that she was born without a name and referred to exclusively as my Grandpa's nickname for her "Tuni" (from petunia) for most of her life.  After she was born, she was named "RoseAnne" but hates the name and never introduces herself as such.

My husband and I were luckier.  We chose family names for our twins - one is named after his favorite grandma, the other after mine.  We didn't tell a soul what their names would be until their birth; we just kept up with the doctor's "A" and "B" designation and never had to hear a word of dissent over their monikers.  It was a pretty good way to go about it, I think.

My parents gave me the unique name "Alana" and the ubiquitous middle name "Marie" so I have the simple with the rare which works for me.  They had some hurdles.  As two teachers, inevitably each name they considered came with an association of a previous student, whether they were an overachiever, troublemaker, lazy, bright, etc.  Makes things rough!

It's always amazing to me how many people compliment others on their name as if they had something to do with it.  I often get, "wow, that's a cool name" or "I really like your name."  I generally say, "Thanks, I like it too!" or "Yep, I'm lucky my parents picked a good one."

It's always fun to find out how people chose names - after mythological characters, family members, because their names are simple and they want something unique for their kids or vice versa, from name books, etc.  So, today you get to name an entire family however you like.  

In The Pocket Muse, a fun little book for writers, the author Monica Wood suggests that when a writer is totally stuck for inspiration, they should take advantage of their job which allows them to make up names all the time.  She points at that most people only get the chance when getting a new pet or a new baby, but writers can do it all the time!  You may even come up with a name you love so much it inspires a whole new story.  I like her train of thought and wanted to take it to the next level.

writercize:  Name a family of two parents and at least two children - any combination of sexes.  

Take into account who they are and what they are into.  Family history?  Pirates?  Literature?  Movies?  Geography?  Horoscopes?  Foreign languages?  Syllables, rhyming or first letters?  Run with it ...

Click "read more" for writercizer sample response about a family of nature lovers on the hippy side.
writercizer sample response:

the baynors
live near the coast in central california
(as egalitarians, they use only lower case for all names - looks like auther e.e. cummings)
mom: aurora rose
dad: john mitchell 
(dad comes from a staunch family background of proper names, 
but attended Reed and transformed to laid-back)
daughter #1: shasta sol
son: cloud hawk
daughter #2: willow reed


  1. Great post!

    I had some ideas of my own but ultimately I let my daughter's father name her. After I gave birth her nickname is "Mini Me" because she's practically my twin! And she's into wrestling like her Mom and Dad are which is awesome.

  2. I love this exercise! Let me think on it and get back to you.

    By the way, Brianna was a very unusual name when I was growing up. I pronounce it Bree - ana [pronounce the 'a' like you do when you say 'and'] Teachers from kindergarten through college always mis-pronounced it. At first they said it like Brian + anna and then it became Bree-onna. I always dreamed of having a short simple name like 'Amy.' :D

  3. Hello fellow campaigner! As a member of the nonfiction group (otherwise known as #53), I wanted you to know I will be featuring you on my blog during the campaign period. Every Friday from 9/23 through 10/28, I will feature several of the writers from our group. This will include a link to your site (the same link you used when joining the campaign) as well as an excerpt from your About Me page. Be sure to check my blog to see when you are featured. I will be going through the list in order.

    You can visit my blog at http://thewriterrevived.com

    I look forward to getting to know you and your work, and helping others get to know you as well!

    Happy Campaigning!
    Elizabeth Flora Ross


  4. In this family the husband being "the head of the house" feels entitled to come up with the names of their children. His wife merely approves her husband's choices.

    Husband's name: Victor (works in the computer field and, stereotypically, is a bit of nerd.

    Wife's name: Martha (is a stay-at-home wife and mother of four)

    child 1: Girl, Ana Samantha
    child 2: Girl, Sandra
    child 3: Boy, Daniel
    child 4: Girl, Francesca

    His "algorithm" is as follows: each of his kids' names start with the letters on the keyboard in sequence starting with the letter "A". Thus far he as 4 -- "ASDF" if they have a fifth child, the baby's name will definitely start with the letter "G". Yes, it's nerdy but he loves his algorithm.


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