Saturday, February 14, 2009

Weekly Geeks - what is the name?


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?

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.


I have three names (all three of them are female names) that I absolutely adore.


1. Cosette - a name from my all time favorite Les Miserables. Cosette's given name is Euphrasie.
Cosette is a petname of uncertain origin. When I was looking for the meaning of it, I had major troubles finding it. The closest I came to explaining it was that it may be related to the French word 'causette' meaning "chat", reflecting the quality of being talkative. Cosette's real name Euphrasie, is derived from the Greek for "good talker", the preffix 'eu' suggesting abundance. The meaning, however vague it might be, does not fit the character. Cosette is a rather shy child in my opinion and grows up to be a beautiful and intriguing woman but still isn't somebody who is overly talkative. I think that Hugo meant it as an irony or what she could have grown up to be, had her childhood been different.


2. Arya - this is a name of a character from George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books. I liked this name for the somewhat mystical sound of it. The original meaning of the name is derived from Indian and Sanskrit and it means "noble, great, truthful". I think that it actually is a very well chosen and appropriate name for this girl. Even though she is only 10 or 11, she is a warrior in the making, she is noble, knows and remembers who her friends and enemies are, she never gives up in her quest to find out the truth.


3. Sansa - this also is a name from A Song of Ice and Fire. I loved it from the moment I saw it in the book. It represents for me a mysterious yet of royal origins woman. However, the reality is, there is no exact meaning for it, the closest to Sansa is Sansana, which in Hebrew means "the inner structure of the palm leaf". I thought long and hard about how it reflects who Sansa is and I came up with delicate, naturally beautiful, something that can only be created by Higher Power, not humans. Sansa is Arya's older sister and a complete opposite of her. She is extremely beautiful but very, very fragile and delicate. She is naive and gullible and that's what makes her so fragile and prone to depending on others. It's also a major source of her misery.


And now it's time for my name. Since I am Polish, I have actually been called three different variations of my name: Liliana, Lila and Lilly. Most of my life I've been called Lila and this is the one I mostly identify with. Liliana is the name that sounds the nicest but that also makes me feel somehow older than I am so I usually reserve it for professional purposes. Lilly is a nickname that somehow attached itself to me when I came to the U.S. and I adopted it eagerly as well. Mainly because it is easy to pronounce and to remember.


Liliana - Italian people think it's Italian, Spanish people think it's Spanish and Polish people think it's Polish. The truth is Liliana is a Latin name. It is derived from the word "lilium", meaning "lily." It also means "white, clean and innocent", all qualities one might associate with the flower.


Lilly - means exactly the same thing as Liliana as it is a nickname deriving from it.


Lila - (Hebrew: לִילָה, Hindi: लीला, Arabic & Persian: ليلی):

Hebrew name meaning "she is mine."

Persian name meaning "lilac flower."

Variant spelling of Arabic Leila, meaning "night."

Variant spelling of Hindi Leela, meaning "play."


Lilac flower happens to be the most favorite flower of mine because it signifies spring, on the verge of summer with sunny days and warm, beautiful smelling nights. This time of the year always gives me hope and happiness.

I also enjoy night more than day. It gives me much needed calm and respite from worries and stress. I very often go outside to look at the night sky sparkly with stars. It's almost like a meditation for me.


Okay, there it is. I really enjoyed doing research for this week's installment.