This is a post at Book Riot: THE BABY NAMES AUTHORS CHOSE FOR THEIR OWN CHILDREN
I’m actually curious! I do not have children, but I always thought that if I DID, I would name a girl Elizabeth. That’s because a girl can do practically anything with that name.
Regal – Elizabeth
Gentle – Beth
Hoydenish – Lizzie
Crisp – Liz or Bet
And on and on. Bee, Bess, Ela, Eliza, Liza, Zibby, there’s practically no end to the possibilities, and that’s why I like this name.
I never picked one out for a boy. I’m not sure there is such an ultimately flexible boy’s name. Is there? Anybody got a candidate?
I used to prefer unusual names for my dogs. Lotka and Volterra were my Papillons. Feel free to laugh if you recognize those names. I was in grad school at the time. I had an instructor who taught Population and Community Ecology and named his dog Poco. I mean, it’s pretty typical to name your pets things like that in that environment.
My spaniels have been Kerah, Pippa, Adora = Dora, Effie (this was way before The Hunger Games), Bree, a lot of others, of course, but I seem to have accidentally shifted to more normal names, such as Kimmie (Kimberlyn Rose) and Conner (Konstantine). My youngest are Naamah and Morgan (Le Fey). “Naamah” is possibly a little less like a typical person name. Goggling it now, the first hit is Naamah — mother of demons. That sort of funny and nt at all appropriate. Alas. I do wish Naamah were going to be the mother of puppies, but pyometra = not the mother of anything, unfortunately.
It actually means “beautiful” and “agreeable” and “pleasant” in Hebrew. That’s where that name came from. At least all that still fits her.
Anyway, sure, what DO authors name their own children?
Most authors create more books than offspring (Tolstoy is the only exception I know of, with 13 children). And each book has dozens of characters to name. So I’m assuming many writers save their favorite names for their children. Or in some cases their children share names with some of their most iconic characters. I suppose their spouses probably had some say in the matter too!
This curiosity led me down a deep research rabbit hole. One that many probably find boring, but I got more and more interested in with each Wikipedia article I clicked on. Without further babbling from me, here are the names over 60 authors chose for their own children. …
William Shakespeare’s three children were named Hamnet, Judith, and Susan.
I knew that because of an Ngaio Marsh mystery featuring a play about Hamnet. I mean, that’s the one I knew about. I didn’t even know Shakespeare had daughters; they didn’t come up in the book, as far as I can remember.
“Ngaio” is certainly an unusual name. I always wondered about it. Seems like a good time to look it up. Okay, here: The name Ngaio is girl’s name of Maori origin meaning “reflections on the water”. New Zealand writer Ngaio (born Edith Ngaio) Marsh is the best-known bearer of this Maori nature name, properly pronounced ng (like the end of sing) -EYE-oh.
Well, I’m glad to know that.
Meanwhile: Just scanning down the very extensive list of authors … looks like essentially all of them resisted the urge to be overly creative. Well, most, anyway. There are a few about whom one might wonder. Perhaps A A Milne’s son didn’t mind being named Christopher Robin, though it seems a potentially hazardous choice.