Weekly Geeks # 6 – What’s in a Name?

Here is a new, thoughtful book-related game to play.  Weekly Geeks offers up each week a theme to muse on and share with other “geeks” – “One week might be ‘catch up on your library books week’  and the next might be ‘redecorate your blog week’ or ‘organize your challenges’ week or ‘catch up on your reviews week’ –  It’ll be fairly bookblogocentric, but not exclusively.” 

Some past “weekly geeks” have been what are your passions other that books, how do you feel about “classic” literature?,  and judging a book by its cover – go to the Weekly Geek website to learn about participating.  This week’s theme is about characters:

For this week’s edition of Weekly Geeks, we’re going to take a closer look at character names. What are some of your favorite character names?

Go to Google or a baby name site like this one or this one, and look up a favorite character’s name. What does their name mean? Do you think the meaning fits the character? Why or why not?

If you’d like, look up your own name as well and share the meaning.


 One of my favorite names from a novel was Eustacia from Hardy’s Return of the Native ~ such a sad, forlorn figure, her name conveying such an ethereal nature, always out of ones reach, aloof, never at rest, haunting. 

I thought as a teenager that I would name my daughter Eustacia, but ended up dating a guy in college who had a sister with this name, so it never felt right after that ~ I do have a daughter, named her Jessica [after my grandmother and my middle name], but she also so loved the book and name she called her pet rabbit Eustacia!…so life comes full circle!

The “Tuttle Dictionary of First Names” [Tuttle 1992] says this:

[Eustace: Eustacia, feminine form; uncommon except for the derivative “Stacy”]  This comes from the Greek meaning “good harvest” and was the name of a saint who was popular in the Middle Ages but who was probably fictional.  His legend had many connections with that of St. Hubert; it involves the loss of possessions, wife and children and their miraculous recovery, in a form found elsewhere in medieval romance.

Other baby name sites refer to its Greek meaning as “bountiful grapes,” “fruitful,” yet another site says it is from the Latin and means “tranquil” [Eustacia Vye is not tranquil!]

Hardy obviously chose this name for its classical and tragic allusions – and how you interpret his meaning depends upon whether you sympathize with Clym or Eustacia in the novel (and that’s a whole other post, maybe a whole other BLOG!]



As for my name, Deborah:

a Hebrew name meaning “bee”.  From the account of the original Deborah in the Old Testament book of Judges, she must have been a formidable woman, for at a time when the role of women was very much that of a subordinate, she was a prophetess, a judge of the people, and even a leader of the army.

[and so alas! that is a hard act to follow…]

I welcome your comments – what is your favorite character name?  and if you have your own blog, check out Weekly Geeks and participate with other online book-lovers…

[for instance, why does Austen name Knightley “George”?  did you know that “George” is derived from the Greek word for “farmer” ~ literally “earth-worker” and is also the name of the patron saint of England?]

Have fun with this…

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