Shakespeare said a rose by any name would smell as sweet, but I wonder about that. If we called roses skunk cabbage would it affect our perception of them? I choose my characters’ names with great care simply because in my mind, certain names are associated with certain characteristics. For example, Phaedra sounds like a girl on an adventure while Jane is the heroine of a cozy mystery.
In my new mainstream romance Blue 52 my hero’s name is Richard Henry Lovinggood III, and they call him Hank because his father is called Richard and his grandfather is called Henry. Let’s take a look at the meaning of these names.
Richard is derived from German and means powerful ruler. Have there been any powerful rulers by that name? You betcha. Think King Richard the Lionheart of England. It fits my story perfectly because Hank’s father was the president of the United States. Currently, Richard is the 124th most popular boy’s name in America.
Henry is my hero’s middle name. This name too is of German origin. It means power and ruler. Again, the name is appropriate because Hank’s grandfather is a powerful senator. There have been a lot of famous Henrys too. King Henry II who established common law in England is one. Currently Henry is the 43rd most popular name for a boy.
Do these names fit Richard Henry Lovinggood III? They sure fit his father and grandfather. Truthfully, at the beginning of the book they don’t, but by the end…. Well, that’s a story for another time.