Top Ten Unusual Character Names and Ones I Love

October 22, 2013

Names are such important things, aren't they? Sometimes, I think a name can make or break a character. For instance, how uncool would it be if a character had name that was totally in contradiction with his/her personality. Like, the name John for the villian? Blah. But then there are those names that are so in sync with the characters that they just take the entire reading experience to a whole new level.

In no particular order... (the images link to the Goodreads page)
Top Ten Unusual Character Names & Ones I Love
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I love the idea behind these two names! According to Cath, their mother couldn't think up of two names, and she really liked the name Catherine, so she split it in two and gave them to her daughters. That little bit of info is shown in an unfavourable light in the book, but somehow, I kinda like it. I mean, really, how cool is it? It's basically one name, but two different people. Who also happen to be twins! 

Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke
This was actually the first 'full-fledged' fantasy book I read after Harry Potter, and I enjoyed every minute of it. It did get a bit dark in the following books, though. Dustfinger is a fire dancer, and well, he's always playing around with fire. Naturally, his hands will be sooty most of the time, and hence, Funke gave him this name. This is my own theory, but if that really is the reason, then its freaking genius!

Matched trilogy by Ally Condie
I've honestly never heard this name ever before, though it sounds familiar. I remember reading somewhere that Condie went looking for names that sounded botanical, but also not one that you'd hear often today. I think she's succeeded, dont you?

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Okay, I'm kind of cheating and choosing the title of a book. If you've read the book, then you know how to name came to be. And if you haven't (seriously, what have you been doing? Go read it!), Hope + Leslie = Hopeless. Get it? And I love the different connotations this single word has throughout the book. With Hope and Lesslie, with Holder, with the entire premise of the book. 

The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
The entire series is about dragons. Eragon is a dragon rider. Eragon is 'dragon' without the 'd'. Need I say more?

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
Okay, this book is here because I really, really loved it, and it's one of the few books that are so wholesome and completely wonderful, that it just leaves you speechless. It also makes you want to add it in almost every bookish list you make. And it just so happens that 'Alibrandi' is a name I had never heard before reading Looking for Alibrandi, and I've never read since.

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Confession: For the first few chapters, although I honestly loved Nastya's character (and really, I did), I thought the name 'Nastya' was so apt for her because, well, she's really rude and stuff with everyone she meets, and um, there's the word 'Nasty' in the name, so... 
But she is NOT nasty. And I really do love her character. It was just something I noticed, and thought pretty cool.

Wonder by R J Palacio, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
One of my current favourite character names! Augustus! Auggie! Gus! Seriously, even the mention of the name brings a huge grin to my face. Why? Both the Augustus's from both the books, are written so, so beautifully, that you cant help but fall in love with them. And so, you forever associate the name 'Augustus' with these wonderful characters, and so you come to love the name itself. 

The Host by Stephanie Meyer
Okay, if I ever have a book boyfriend, or a book boy crush, it'll be on Ian. The way he refused to see Wanda as a harmful creature on the basis of what she was, how he gently gained her trust, and then fell in love with her, was ready to do just about anything for her, protected her from Kyle and the rest of them... *sigh* Really, can there be anyone more perfect (in YA books)?

Yeah, that's right. Every character name that J K Rowling has ever written.  Simply genius! They have the distinction of being both unusual, and my favourites. I dont know how she does it, but it's almost like she infuses a bit of the character's personality into the name. Bathilda Bagshot, Minerva McGonagall, Regulus Artctucus Black, Luna Lovegood, Rubeus Hagrid, Victor Krum... Do you feel it too? 
And speaking of names... Cornelius Fudge and Cornelia Funke sound so very similar, dont they? I wonder if JKR realised that when she made it up.
And now... let's talk! Any in common? Did you notice the totally cool things about some of these names too? Or do you have any in your list that aren't on mine, but are equally cool? I want to know! :)


  1. Yeah I pretty much love all of the Potter names too!
    My Top Ten

  2. Haha I had to refrain from adding multiple characters from the Harry Potter series on my list. I love that you have Cath and Wren on your list.
    Isa @ Chasing Quills

  3. All of the Harry Potter names are so unique and fantastic!

  4. I have Cath and Wren in my list as well. I couldn't pass that up because the back story is unique and a little heartbreaking in the context of the book. Here's my top ten:

  5. the name Cassia is nice.

    I have a couple of Potter names on my list too.

  6. Your graphics are really cool. Love how you did this. I must admit I have yet to read Hopeless, but I like the meaning behind the name though. That's kind of cool. And as much as I love the name Wren I couldn't add it. It has been in like 5 YA books I have read recently(well when I made my list anyway) so I let it go for this one.

    My TTT List

  7. I am reading Fangirl now and definitely think Cath - Wren is a great choice. I included Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. I considered a few other HP names as well. Great list!!

    Here is my TTT:

  8. Harry Potter names, you have to love them. I am embarrassed that it did not click in my head that Eragon is dragon with en E instead of a D, now I feel stupid! My TTT

  9. Nastya is actually my sister's name but it's really pretty!
    Great picks!

    My Top Ten Post!

  10. Wow, love some of the names :) great choices!

    My Top Ten Tuesday

  11. YAY for Augustus! It's nice to have a guy with a full, old-fashioned name rather than just Adam or Josh etc.

    (And J.K. is the queen of awesomely weird names)

    Here's my TTT :)

    - Allie @ Little Birdie Books

  12. This week was hard for all of us over at the blog, so many amazing names to choose from! Looks like you had no trouble at all. ;) Great picks!

    Our List
    Andy @ Owl Always Be Reading

  13. Yessssss, JKR picked the best character names! Ula mentioned Alecto Carrow in her list, and I remembered that I adore it. I also love Hermione, Ginny (the name, not the character), Draco... ALL THE NAMES.


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