Behind The Scenes: What's In A Name?

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Behind The Scenes: What's In A Name?

Postby AmbushCat » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:21 pm

Now that my brain has rented out space to my creativity, I think that now's a good time to get some things out of the way. Here's where I'll be talking about how I came up with the names for some of my characters (discounting Ambush Cat and Psycho Kitten), the origins of such and what not. Better grab a snack; you might be here a while.

I'll start things off with Callista. When I was in middle school, I'd read the Star Wars novel "Children of the Jedi". Wasn't one of my favorites by any stretch of the imagination, but the name "Callista" stuck with me. When Spamville shenanigans forced me to create a character on the fly in 2007 (the place was far busier back then, trust me), I wanted a decent-sounding name that started with 'C'. Out of curiosity I looked up the name (Greek for "most beautiful"), and I figured, "What better name could there be for a girl who has the commercial district at her fingertips and abuses her innate cuteness at every opportunity?"

Next up are Aldonza and Zapana. My original names for them---Quickkick and Zipflash, respectively---are the sort of things a 2nd-grader would come up with (and they were; I created them around the time when Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was released for the Genesis). As the years went on, I finally decided that they deserved better than that.

For the former, the problem was easy to solve; I liked "Man of La Mancha's" music and knew of the name 'Aldonza', and (without knowing what the name meant) decided it was a good fit. Having just checked on it now, it's a Spanish name meaning "nice", so that worked out.

For the latter, it took a few years longer before I'd determined that she was from Kittenoa's Japan analogue. 'Zapana', of course, isn't even remotely a Japanese name... if you're only considering Earth's naming conventions. Kittenoa's don't mesh with Earth's all that well, so you get some names that sound weird from our viewpoint but not theirs. Thusly, the in-universe meaning of Zapana's name (as of now, once and for all) is "rebellious heat", which isn't meant to be flattering.

The Harrison kids are much easier to explain: for Amber's children, I wanted names that all began with 'E' (and it wasn't until much later that I found out that Bill Cosby used the same pattern for his children :lol: ). 'Eebon' is a shout-out to the "Static Shock" antagonist Ebon, as well as an in-universe reference to Raleigh's familiar Ebony. Echo's a cat, so his name's self-explanatory, as is the human Ellen's. Elk, being the group's oddball, deserved an oddball name. The fifth child, Ezekiel, was named after a grumpy cat my parents owned in the mid-to-late 1990s.

Saturn Eunice, well... at the time I created him (5th grade or so), I just thought "Saturn" was a cool name. ()^_^ When I introduced him to Spamville in '07-'08, there were already too many Saturns running around (we had people RPing as Sailor Saturn [Comartemis] and a Mistress Nine variant [Metroidvania], and there was also the name of Callista's flagship to consider), so I changed his family name from "Units" to "Eunice" and started calling him that from then on.

Contrary to what you might think, Thunderball Visello is not a reference to James Bond. He was another one of those 2nd-3rd grade creations, made as a counterpart to a guy named Fireball; I didn't even know about "Thunderball" until at some point after I started reading fanfiction. His human name, Thaddea Vincent, was given to him solely for the initials and nothing more.

Claire de Loon... kind of self-explanatory, you think? She was Callista, after all. :D

Beyond the initial, I had nothing special planned for Cynth. Thinking about it now, you could imagine that her name was derived from "synthesis" in reference to her origin as a clone of Callista.

Callous: fitting for a Callista/Circe fusion.

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Now we're getting to the maids. So far, aside from Joni and Dulcinea, all of them are named after cats that my family owned at some point or another. The characteristics of the cats were passed on to the maids more often than not, so we'll be focusing on those here.

Drew was the first of two cats that we owned at the time I started visiting the Villes. She and the second cat, Sabrina, rarely ever got along. She had the face of a doll and was willing to be friendly, but she craved attention; if she thought we were ignoring her, she'd chase after us and bite the back of our feet. She was one of those who was always in the way. Cute and aggressive: the Color choices for this one were obvious. >^_^<

Sabrina was a diluted calico (and yes, I get the joke), incredibly small and lightweight; she was more timid and shy compared to Drew, but she gave her affections freely and didn't force herself on anyone too often (less so the older she got). The Color for this one was a bit harder for me to choose, but I finally picked the one that I felt reflected her intelligence.

Abby Dubious, as I explained at Muffinville recently, was first given the name "Abigail" back when he was assumed to be female. It was a bit of a shocker when my parents found out his real gender, as you can imagine, and they ended up changing his name to fit. :) His Muffinville counterpart was given a balance between Vermillion (apathetic tomboy) and Aquamarine (bishonen) to reflect that same confusion (and for the record, yes; the counterpart is female).

Sassafras and Gingersnap belonged to us in the 1980s, so I have no real memory of their personalities. All I remember about them is that they were calico cats and sisters both, and if the few photographs of them we have were any indication, they were rarely ever seen apart.
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