Inspired by What is the significance of "Jonathan" in Strange and Norrell?

In the book Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, "Strange" immediately strikes the reader as a rather ... well, strange name. Even in Britain, the country which produces such wackily wonderful names as Pogglethorpe, Higginbottom, and so on, I've never seen Strange as a surname except in this book. It stands out from the other names in the novel, which all seem rather more believable.

One might say that Strange is clearly an out-of-the-ordinary person, someone who never fit in. But he's less "strange" than e.g. Childermass or Vinculus, so why was he the one singled out for the strange name? What does it signify in terms of his character and his place in the plot?

Where did the name "Strange" come from, and what is its significance?

  • 2
    Some research by any chance? surnamedb.com/Surname/Strange and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strange_(surname) Doesn't look like it's terribly uncommon in Britain.
    – Catija
    Jun 16, 2017 at 22:33
  • @Catija Hmm, interesting. Still, even if it's commoner than I'd thought, my question still stands. A good writer will put a lot of thought into choosing names, especially of major characters, and there's likely to be some sort of reason why SC chose the name "Strange" for one of her magicians.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jun 16, 2017 at 22:36
  • 2
    I'm not saying the question is totally invalid but a tiny bit of poking around would have shown that it is a surname in (common-ish) use... Heck, we just had a film titled Doctor Strange.
    – Catija
    Jun 16, 2017 at 22:38


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