Monday, February 7, 2011

Top Ten Characters I'd Name a Kid After

The Broke and the Bookish want to know (they're always so curious): what characters might you name children after?

1. Tobias (Animorphs, K.A. Applegate)
Unknown model as Tobias; Christopher Ralph as Tobias in the television show.

I don't know that I'd heard the name Tobias before reading this series, but I immediately developed a liking for it. I supposed it helped that I identified with the character of Tobias so much, and now I pay extra attention to a character when they have the name (like Tobias Fornell, of NCIS). 

2. Maria (West Side Story, Arthur Laurents.)

(Hey, the movie is based on a play!) Maria has been one of my favorite female names ever since watching West Side Story obsessively during spring break 2004. It's a beautiful name, and I don't say that just because there's an entire song about it in the musical. Natalie Wood's acting may be influencing my judgment as well. 

3. Isabel(la) (Roswell High, Melinda Metz)
Unknown model as Isabel (Roswell High), Katherine Heigl as Isabel (Roswell). The books receive new covers once the show hit the air, and The Intruder was the last book to feature the original, and in my view superior, models. Heigl excepting, of course. You might recognize TV-Michael as a lab grunt in CSI Miami, but the fellow who plays Miami's Eric Delco also stars in the third season of Roswell, as Isabel's husband Jesse.

I am not particularly fond of Isabel in either version of Roswell High, as she is snobbish and aggressively hostile to prevent anyone from getting too close to her. She can't have people realizing she's the child of a pair of scientists who died in 1947 when their survey ship did a nosedive into the New Mexican desert.  (Or that she's secretly the clone of a traitorous alien princess. The television series changed the characters and their backstories considerably, to the point that I regard them as different people altogether) She's not quite so mean to her brother and close friends. I do like her name, though!  

4. Marco (Animorphs
Unknown model and Boris Cabrera, who looks dubious at the prospect of having to morph into a poodle.

When I read Animorphs back in middle- and early high school,  a close friend who read the series along with me liked to call me Marco, because both the character and I were joke-cracking wiseasses  who never seemed to take anything seriously. Today, my niece and nephew call me Marco (to the bafflement of my sister) because when I play video games with them on rainy babysitting days, I use the player name 'Marco'.  My middle name is similar, so I'm fond of names like Marco and Marcus.  The following picture may be cut off for you, so if you want to see it click here

Another hobby of mine, other than reading and photography, is PC gaming -- and The Sims 2 is a favorite. When I first received the game, I made a 'sim' version of myself and named him Tobias. His wife was Isabel, and their children were Maria and Marco. In this picture, Tobias is old and puttering around, while his two adult children have come for a dinner and a visit. The teenager is Thomas, Maria's son. Marco's wife, by the way, was named...

5. Amalia (California Diaries, Ann M. Martin)

As is the case with Isabel, this is more me liking the name than the character. Amalia is nothing like Isabel, aside from being female, but her story arc didn't have a lot of intersections with the California books I was most interested in, the diaries of Sunny and Ducky.  

6. Klaus (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Daniel Handler)
Liam Aiken as Klaus, Emily Browning as Violet.

Maybe it's my German language studies or the fact that Klaus is a fellow bookworm, but I like both the character and his name. 

7. Horatio (Horatio Hornblower, C.S. Forester)
Ioan Gruffud as Lieutenant Hornblower; unknown model/artist as featured in a 'portrait' of Sir Horatio Hornblower as portrayed in The Life and Times of Horatio Hornblower, by C. Northcote Parkinson.

Like Klaus, Horatio is a name that I'm fond of but don't imagine actually being able to name a child after. It conveys to me a sense of class and bravado. 

8. Anne (The Diary of a Young Girl)

My first exposure to Anne Frank was reading a play based on her journal. one that ended with stormtroopers   kicking down the door and hauling everyone away. I remember becoming angry and sad and shaking my little eighth-grade fist at the heavens.  Later I bought and read her diary and found Anne to be a source of surprising inspiration. In a time of hate and despair, she held on to what little beauty that remained and managed to find happiness in the darkest of places.

9. Elizabeth (The Lady Elizabeth, Alison Weir)

Elizabeth is an old favorite, though I don't know if I like the name for its grand beauty or for the magnificent woman who made it most famous. 

10. Christopher (California Diaries, Ann M. Martin)
I've mentioned a 'Ducky' in a couple of these lists: Christopher is his real name.Curiously, no hint of his physical appearance is ever given by the covers: while the other characters have covers that show some of their features (Dawn's long blonde hair, for instance, or Amalia's whole person), Ducky gets a pair of sneaker-boots, a purple shirt, and his hand.  He's described at one point as wearing a bowling shirt and shoes dyed green. 

11. And of course, Albus Severus. How can you not name a kid Albus Severus?  And if your last name is Potter, all the first-years can tell him he's making an ASP of himself. 

For the record, I've named Sims after virtually everyone in the Animorphs, Roswell, and California Diaries series over the years.  I thought about making a collage of them, but realized that might be a bit much.


  1. We are BOOK SOUL MATES!!!! I never imagined someone else would have picked Tobias for their list, nevertheless because of the Animorphs series. This is so epic.

  2. Tobias seems to be a popular name I see.

    Here is our Top ten Tues

  3. I like the Isbella name. I actually liked the show. I didn't know there were books.

  4. I love the name Tobias , I forgot all about Animorphs , gosh i used to read them about 12-13 years ago :) Im a new follower

  5. Great list. It's pretty neat you guys both picked Tobias.

  6. Nice list!
    Maria is a beautiful name- I think I mostly like it because of the song from West Side Story (my FAVORITE musical). Luckily, pretty much any 3-syllable name with emphasis on the second syllable fits there. I used to substitute Athena and sing it to my dog. And, of course, my name fits too. :)
    The Animorphs had some good names, eh? I like both Tobias and Marco, though the TV show Arrested Development kinda ruined Tobias for me.

  7. @ Christina: WSS is probably my favorite movie, and easily my favorite musical. :) I like Athena as a name, too, though I've only ever seen it in 'Minerva' form (Harry Potter).

    I looked up "Tobias Funke" on Wikipedia. Seems like an odd character, but I don't think I'll be watching him anytime soon. ;-)

  8. Yay for Klaus and Violet!

    Great list


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