35

No, except yes TL;DR: ‘Wormtongue’ is a deliberately negative name given by his enemies, so it can’t be faulted for being pejorative, even if it’s not as unflattering as it might seem to modern ears. But ‘Gríma’ itself isn’t much better! As Mary points out, ‘Wormtongue’ is a nickname applied to Gríma by his opponents (which, Gandalf implies, is everyone but ...


31

It’s noted in The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth (which I highly recommend to any fan- it's a really lovely book) published by Knopf/Random House in 2011; on page 106, annotation 10 reads: “I’m Alec Bings” According to the author, this character’s curious name has no special significance apart from the fact that it rhymes with the remark spoken ...


21

Room 101 is named after a conference room at Broadcasting House. Orwell used to sit through boring meetings there. When it was to be demolished at the BBC, Rachel Whiteread made a plaster cast and it was displayed in the Victoria and Albert Museum, from November 2003 to June 2004. Sources - Wikipedia, BBC, Public Art Online, The Times (You'll need an ...


19

Grima calls Gandalf "Lathspell" -- Ill News -- because he hated him and wanted Theoden to mistrust him. Likewise, "Wormtongue" is what people who already hate him call him. It is true that Gandalf says to Theoden "him that all but you call Wormtongue," but that was probably a slow development. People call him that to urge ...


17

Albus As you state, Albus translates to "white", which was a nod to alchemy: Colours also played their part in the naming of Hagrid and Dumbledore, whose first names are Rubeus (red) and Albus (white) respectively. The choice was a nod to alchemy, which is so important in the first Harry Potter book, where 'the red' and 'the white' are essential ...


16

Denner resin comes from the sap of denner trees, and addicts ('sweet-eaters') will go to great lengths to eat it. It usually turns their teeth white, as it does for a girl whom Kvothe sees dance naked on the snow as part of a deal she made to get some. It is addictive and triggers euphoria for a time, but it has nasty side effects like numbness, delirium, ...


16

You might be overthinking it. According to Brian Jacques himself, it seems he didn't go into the depths of exactly what traits the mythological/biblical character Asmodeus represents; he just found it among a list of names of Satan and thought it'd be a fitting one to choose for a snake. I found this information in what seems to be an author commentary on a ...


15

1) According to When We Were Very Young By A. A. Milne, Pooh was a swan that Christopher Robin named Pooh, so that if he didn't come Christopher could pretend he was just saying that he hadn't wanted the swan to come anyways (or something to that effect). This was before the establishment of Winnie the Pooh proper, so it may be considered invalid. 2) As ...


14

Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia are all named for their geographical features. The best description we have of the three superpowers and their geography comes from Chapter III (War is Peace) of Emmanuel Goldstein's magnum opus: Oceania comprises the Americas, the Atlantic islands including the British Isles, Australasia, and the southern portion of Africa. ...


13

With regards to Calvin and Hobbes: Later, when Watterson was creating names for the characters in his comic strip, he decided upon Calvin (after the Protestant reformer John Calvin) and Hobbes (after the social philosopher Thomas Hobbes), allegedly as a "tip of the hat" to the political science department at Kenyon. In The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, ...


13

Firstly, why there are Greek names in Russia. Russia, being a Christian Orthodox country, had strong historical and cultural connections with Greece. So, many Russian names are of Greek origin. Most of them are archaic nowadays, but some are very common. Secondly, in the XIX century, there was a somewhat strong distinction between "noble" names and "plebs'" ...


12

Warning: major spoilers follow. Coin ~ money There are a few ways in which the District 13 leader could be symbolised by the idea of money. Power. Money can be used to buy power, or as a representation of power, and one of the most important things about this character is that she seeks power. Lack of personality. Money has no use value; it's faceless (...


12

The last name is actually not that fancy. As this old interview with Rowling states: How did you decide what to name your characters and places? I collect unusual names. I have notebooks full of them. Some of the names I made up, like Quidditch, Malfoy. Other names mean something -- Dumbledore, which means "bumblebee" in Old English...seemed to ...


11

This analysis website claims that: In Latin, Atticus is an adjective meaning “belonging to Attica”, the region in which Athens is located, or more simply, “Athenian”. As a name, it had connotations of literary sophistication and culture. ... Atticus was a suave and charming wheeler-dealer who deliberately eschewed political office. He preferred to exert ...


9

I have not been able to source a quote from the author, but there is an interview which offers some circumstantial evidence that Crowley is indeed named after the famous Occultist. Actor Mark Sheppard played a character called Crowley in the TV series Supernatural. There is a common presumption among fans of that show that the character was inspired by ...


9

Thanks to @rand-althor for finding the citation! This article, an interview with the author includes a brief explanation of the choices: Siegfried was taken from the heroic character of German legend who had inspired composer Richard Wagner. The strong personality traits of his associate had not been lost on Herriot. "After I decided on Siegfried for ...


8

This answer is primarily based on Ignace Feuerlicht, "Omissions and Contradictions in Kafka's Trial", The German Quarterly 1967, 40(3), pp. 339-350 - available here if you have Jstor access. All quotes below are from this article. Josef K.'s last name is not the only, though perhaps it is the most prominent, piece of information which is carefully not ...


8

I always assumed it was because it touched every single ocean in the world: Pacific (US), Atlantic (US), Indian (Australia), Southern/Antarctic (Australia), and Arctic Oceans (Canada). You can also think of it as covering every ocean (but missing all the largest seas!), although Eurasia and Eastasia would dispute the Pacific and Eurasia would dispute the ...


8

Spoilers involved! TL;DR at the bottom. In an interview (1,2,3), the author says the following about the name Narcissa (emphasis mine): queenmarion: I noticed in the Black Family tree that everyone is named after a constellation. Is this intentional? Does this have any bearing on the plot? JK Rowling: It's just one of those family traditions, although ...


7

This is a community-wiki answer where we can compile a list of names and their meanings. Tai-kun, Japanese. This name has a double meaning: "Tai-kun," as written, is applying the "-kun" suffix for "boy" or "young man" to the name or nickname "Tai." This is consistent with the book's description: Like Sniper, Ando used the Japanese nickname 'Tai-kun,' an ...


7

Scout is her nickname, it is less symbolic than descriptive First of all, I could not find any actual words from the author/book. There is no "official" word of why, so I sought out the definition of a scout. According to a quick search for the google definition of "scout" a soldier or other person sent out ahead of a main force so as to gather ...


7

"There is only one catch" refers to that particular situation. The previous lines describe a character Orr, who should be grounded (prevented from flying). Which he's entitled to be, on the grounds that it would be crazy to continue flying. All he has to do is ask... but that would imply that he was sane, and thus sane enough to fly. "Catch-22" is the name ...


7

I'm going to attempt an answer with the caveats that the materialists often find my etymological ideas on names to be poetic as opposed to scientific, and that I'd want to know what Graves thought but don't have access to his Greek Myths at the moment. Gallifreyan posted an excellent link to a scholar who pondered this question. My take on the essay is ...


7

I don't have much evidence to support this, but I think this might be a reference to Robert Jordan, the main character of Ernest Hemingway's celebrated For Whom the Bell Tolls. Both are soldiers, to start. (I don't know anything else about either though.) Also, there's this snippet from an interview with Crumley in The Austin Chronicle in 2001, about 40 ...


7

Blackberry had black tips to his ears. It is possible that, especially when he was a kit those tips reminded people of two blackberries. There may also be an aspect of being tenacious and difficult to eradicate. My thinking is less that as an individual Blackberry singularly embodies tenacity as a quality, but that there are a group of rabbits many of whose ...


6

There is a town named Vardaman in Mississippi, about 40 miles southeast of Oxford. Faulkner could have borrowed the name because he liked the sound of it. What's more likely, however, is that he used the name of James K. Vardaman (1861-1930), who was governor of Mississippi from 1904 to 1908. They called him "Great White Chief," because like other Southern ...


6

In the original, it's B and K, not B and C. You can see this in the German Wikipedia page (emphasis mine): Bastian Balthasar Bux ist ein zehn oder elf Jahre alter, in sich gekehrter Junge. Sein Vater hat den Tod seiner Frau, Bastians Mutter, nie verkraftet, flüchtet sich in seine Arbeit und beachtet seinen Sohn kaum noch. In der Schule ist der Junge ein ...


6

The simplest explanation, in-universe so to speak, would be that you need a new unique name to see the Childlike Empress, and "Mondenkind" isn't really a word that existed before in the German language (certainly not in common parlance). Even the more correct compound noun "Mondkind" would be unusual. "Monden" ist dative plural, ...


5

The Three Witches appear multiple times in the Sandman series, often showing a penchant for trickery and subtle jokes. Here, they are giving Dream a hard time about their names, comparing several Triple Goddesses and throwing in some pop culture references for fun. This implies that they consider themselves to embody aspects of the Triple Goddess, across ...


5

I was doing a little research on the etymology of John recently. (I suspect that Riordan's "Jackson" is a reference to John, where "Jack" is a form of John, and Percy Jackson is likely meant to be "Perseus Son-of-the-Grace-of-God", which is a reflection both of his parentage and his deliverance as an infant cast out to sea.) ...


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