Thursday 13: What is in a name?

Writers struggle over character names. I have seen authors finish half a manuscript with HERO or **NAME** in place because the right name has not come to them. But there are certain names that just should never be used in a romance book for either a heroine or a hero.I know, I know, some authors can get away with almost anything. Look at JR Ward and Wrath, Rhage and the other delicious but weirdly named BDB crew. Forget Celtic/Welsh writers with those terrible unpronounceable names, they march to their own drummer. But for the majority of us, some names just will never inspire romance.

Granted this is my opinion, but seriously, look at these.

13) Dick – I had to do it.

12) Eugene – Again, did you really even consider this? duh!

11) Phlebia – Uhm, phlegm and labia together? Noooo

10) Elmer – It is a glue, not a hero

9) Fannie – It is a body part, not a name

8 ) Nimrod – I don’t care if it is biblical, it sucks

7) Cherry – Do you seriously think this makes your heroine cute???

6) Hymie – Don’t do that to a poor hero or he becomes a zero

5) Ernie – Even if you call him Earnest which is bad enough, Ernie is terrible

4) Enos – See #8 (also rhymes with penis)

3) Cleatus/Cletus – *shudder*

2) Any name where you get kreaytive with the spelling. Like Cely and then try to tell me to pronounce it KELLY. Uhm no, that is Seeley in my head.

1) Hortense – Now who in their right mind would name a heroine Hortense? Whore-tense? What are you sniffing!?



Filed under Humor, Inez

16 responses to “Thursday 13: What is in a name?

  1. Well, I wouldn’t inflict any of these on my characters. I have to decide on a name before I start writing. I can’t write a word without a name. Hero or *name* makes my muse freeze up!

  2. Ewwwwww ….. Those are nasty! LOL πŸ™‚

  3. I have to agree with you on just about all of those – especially the whole “Cely”/Kelly thing. Ugh!

    Fun list, though. πŸ˜‰

    Ciao! Happy TT!

  4. Too funny! Hymie LOL Happy T13!

  5. Um, you could call her horry.

  6. Jen

    LOL!!! I actually know a book with a heroine “Cherry” and I LOVE that book.
    I cringed when the villain in “Taking Command” insisted his name was Donny. Really? Ugh. THEN he went on to be redeemed and get his own book? I had to figure out what Donny was short for. Donald? NOOOOoooo. He was annoyingly silent on the subject.
    You’ll have to read the book, but it ISN’T Donald. (Thank God)

  7. Like Shelley, I can’t write until I know who my characters are including names and faces.

    Love your list. They’re hysterical. πŸ˜€ Phlebia … that one’s going to make me giggle all day!

  8. I agree…on the other hand, the character can redefine the name. I would’ve added Hermione to your list until Jo made it *cool* LOL

  9. But I did name a character Dick. I had to. It was the way he was.

    Imagine living with one of these as your name.

  10. melsmag

    Ugh horrible names. lol. I like weird names but… some are just bad.

  11. Fannie cracked me up. Of course we have a huge mortgage company named Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac. Haha.

  12. That should’ve been “huge mortgage companies…”


  13. aj

    Julie Miller, who’s a huge favorite of mine, has a character with a just terrible name and now I can’t remember what it is. Dwight? Dwayne? Dwight, I think. When I mentioned that it was a singularly unsexy name she told me that he was not meant to be a hero. He was the DA in all the other books and it didn’t matter what he was named. But there was such an outpouring of love for that particular character and his dead wife that she had to write him his own book. So the moral of the story is, be careful what you name even your unimportant characters, know what I’m saying.


  14. What AJ said–never judge a hero by his name. I’ve seen a few of these names used in romances, and one is even a Jane Austen heroine.

  15. Eeeek! Those are bad! LOL!


    My TT is at

  16. Seeley deBorn

    Cely…hm…never considered that spelling…

    I’ll have to keep it in mind. πŸ˜‰

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