Tea With Sarah: Let’s Talk About Names…

Good afternoon, it’s time for tea!

Today, you’ll have to “join” me at the lighthouse because it’s volunteer day. It would be a lovely location for tea, but you’ll have to bring your own food, drink, and tea cup since using the historic museum pieces would probably be frowned upon.

At this imaginary tea, we could have Wild Berry Tea and donuts, a nod to some of the foods mentioned or researched for the historic novel, Lighthouse Loyalty.

CWRT Member: What’s the meaning of Gazette665?

Ah, this goes back to branding and choosing a name for the blog and my business. Here’s the meaning:

Gazette: (noun) a newspaper; a sheet or half-sheet of paper containing an account of transactions which are deemed important and interesting.  (Noah Webster Dictionary, 1828)

Psalm 66:5 – “Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men.”

Gazette is just that wonderful historic word and using the number sequence reflects my faith!

How do you choose names for characters in your historical novels?

Spontaneously and carefully. Let me explain. When I’ve found a name I think I like – usually after weeks of thinking about it – I do a little research.

  • Is there another book similar to the one I want to write that has the same named character?
  • What does the name mean?
  • Does the name’s meaning reflect something about the character or does it clash with their beliefs and actions?
  • Was the name prevalent in the time period of the story?
  • Was the name relatively common in the regional setting of the story?

Choosing names is usually hard for me because by the time I get around to naming a character, I usually already have part of the story outlined and some names just don’t fit the character!

Do you have a special way of choosing names for characters (or kids! or pets!)?

Did you ever want a different name?

No, not really. I wasn’t like Anne Shirley who always wanted to be called “Cordelia” (Anne of Green Gables). I think I always liked the name my parents chose. I did decide to use my complete middle name (not just first and last) since there is another Sarah Bierle somewhere out there! And “Kay” (my middle name) is special since it’s a name in honor of both my grandmothers.

I do find it slightly odd when I’m at a living history event or see friends from the living history community and they address me as “Miss McGuire.” So I guess I do have a name from the history books that I occasionally borrow! And that’s okay – Margaretta McGuire is a lovely name too!

What about you? Did you ever want a different name?

Chat in the comments and have a lovely weekend…

Your Historian,

Miss Sarah

About Sarah Kay Bierle

I’m Sarah Kay Bierle, historian, editor, and historical fiction writer. When sharing history, I try to keep the facts interesting and understandable. History is about real people, real actions, real effects and it should inspire us today.
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One Response to Tea With Sarah: Let’s Talk About Names…

  1. Meg Groeling says:

    I always wanted another name–never satisfied, I guess. Luckily my “real” name is Margaret Susan, so there is a lot to work with. I have been several version of Margaret, but finally decided–and plan on keeping–“Meg.” My family by blood–which is now limited to one sister & her husband–calls me Susan, as did my parents. It wasn’t until I went to school and found out that there were two or three “Susan” in every class. The school asked if they might refer to me as “Margaret.” I am thinking no one asked me! So, “Meg” it is, and “Meg” I am.

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