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But first, some disclaimers. I pick names because I think they're pretty. I do not pick a name because I admire the character. (Though, obviously, if I despise a character I won't like the name.) I also probably am not brave enough to actually use some of these names, but a girl can dream, right?
First, the girl names, in no particular order:
10. Seneca. I know next to nothing about Seneca beyond what I've googled in preparation for this list. For the curious, he's a long-dead Roman writer. Or maybe the other Seneca, the son of the first Seneca, who's another long-dead Roman guy who happens to be a playwright. I just really like the name Seneca, though I think Seneca Crane from Hunger Games ruined my chance.
9. Jane. Often used as a stand-in name ("Jane Doe" or "See Jane run") or in a derogatory fashion ("plain Jane"), Jane is a relatively rare name in today's culture. But thanks to pop culture, it's started to get a bit more attention. Pick a Jane. There's Jane Austen, Jane Bennet, or Jane Porter (Tarzan). To me, it's a very simple, traditional, classic name. If a name could feel like a single strand of pearls, it would be Jane.
8. Eowyn/Aowyn. Yes, that Eowyn, she of the epic "I am no man!" scene that I gushed about last week. Of all the names, this one is the least likely, so rest easy, Mom. I just like the way it sounds, and I especially love the way it looks spelled with an A instead of an E.
7. Anne. Ah, the Anne-girl. Like Jane, Anne is often an overlooked name, used most often as a placeholder middle name. But I think of Anne Shirley, the precocious, unstoppable redhead. I'd love to have a daughter like Anne.
6. Irene. Another one that I'm not sure I'm brave enough to use. Still, I'd love to show my love for The Queen's Thief series, and I just can't swing naming a kid Eugenides or Moira. Also, Irene is pretty stinkin' awesome. The only negative is it's also the name of Mandie's evil stepsister in Mandie and the Secret Tunnel.
And now the boys, still in no particular order:
5. Tristan. I personally dislike the Tristan and Isolde myth, but I'm rather taken with the name.
4. Beowulf. Middle name only, I promise! I think strong, offbeat names like Beowulf are just made to be middle names. They give the group a bit of zing. Also, Beowulf is cool.
3. Arthur. All hail the once and future king! Arthur is another underappreciated name that I just adore, and I'm such an Arthurian legend nut.
2. Jem. Yes, another Anne of Green Gables reference. Jem is her eldest son and one of my favorites. (Note: My favorite of all is Walter, but I just can't bring myself to use that name.)
1. Auden. Down, Sarah Dessen fanatics. Along for the Ride may have brought the name to my attention, but as I'd use it for a male, I prefer to think of it as inspired by the poet W.H. Auden. Not that I've ever read his poetry, but still.
Your turn! What do you think of my names, and what names would you put on YOUR list?