Character Naming

As an Author naming your Character is an important step right after coming up with the plot. I am here to help you choose the right character name for you and your story.

Make sure your character name is Genre Appropriate. Make sure if it's a Historical Fiction novel or takes place in a real time period that the name was used then. Or if it's a fictionalized place then you can be as creative as you wish.

Just have fun with naming your character. It is after all your story.

Monday, February 24, 2014


Meaning: (From the Shady Grove, Wood, Woodland, Hawk-like, Wolf, Place Name.
Origins of the clan- The Shaw family found themselves constantly beset by their larger neighbor the Clan Cumming. They sought support by becoming allies with the powerful Clan Donald through marriage. Later they also became part of the Chattan Confederation as a sept of the Clan Mackintosh and then later they became a clan of their own.

14th century- Farquhart Shaw, Shaw ‘Mor’, was leader of a sept of the Mackintosh from the Rothiemurchus area. It is believed that the lands and stronghold of Rothiemurchus were bestowed upon Shaw ‘Mor’ in 1396 for leading the Chattan Confederation to battle on the North Inch Perth. It is possible, however, that these lands were received as early as 1226
The Shaws are an ancient Scottish clan, which played a considerable role in Highland history, and which traces its ancestry to the old Earls of Fife and thus the royal line of the Scottish kings. Initially, prior to the general adoption of surnames and, specifically, the use of the name Shaw for that purpose, the Shaws were the first Chiefs of Clan Mackintosh. The Clan name derives from Shaw “Mor” “Coriaclich”, great-grandson of Angus (6th Chief of Mackintosh) and Eva (heiress of Clan Chattan (a large confederation of Highland clans)). By tradition, he led the Clan Chattan contingent to victory at the famed Clan Battle of the North Inch at Perth in 1396 and was, as a reward, given the lands of Rothiemurchus, which became the first “seat” of the Clan. He is numbered as the third Chief of Clan Shaw. The lands of Rothiemurchus (site of the well-known castle Loch-an-Eilean), were sold and lost to the Clan in 1539.
Jacobite Uprisings- By the time of the 1715 Jacobite Rising, the Shaws had lost Rothiemurchus to Clan Grant. Shortly after, the lands were forfeit by the Crown following the murder of the Chief’s stepfather, at the hands of the Chief. Shaw and the Chattan Confederation tried to have the lands restored, but were unsuccessful.
This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and may be either a topographical or a locational surname. As a topographical name, Shaw was used for someone who lived by a copse, wood, or thicket, derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "sceaga", copse, small wood. As a locational surname, Shaw is derived from any one of the numerous small places names Shaw, from the Old English "sceaga", such as those in Berkshire, Lancashire, and Wiltshire. Shaw in Berkshire is recorded as "Essages" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and in Lancashire as "Shaghe" in 1555, and a place in Wiltshire as "schaga" in the 1167 Pipe Rolls of the county. The development of the surname includes Richard de la Schawe (1275, Worcestershire), John ate Shaw (1295, Essex), and William Bithe Shaghe (1333, Somerset), and the modern forms of the surname range from Shaw(e), Shay and Shay(e)s to Shave(s) and Shafe. One of the most notable bearers of the name was George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), who was born in Dublin into a Protestant family established in Ireland by William Shaw a captain in William lll's army, who went there in circa 1689. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Simon de Schage, which was dated 1191, in the Berkshire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Richard l, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Shaw is most commonly a surname and rarely a given name. The name is of English and Scottish origin. In some cases the surname is an Americanization of a similar sounding Ashkenazic Jewish surname. In England and Scotland the name is a topographic name for someone who lived by a copse or thicket.)
Origin: (Old English, Scottish, Irish, Gaelic)
Pronunciation: (Shaw)
Gender: Uni-Sex
The meanings are good and the name would do well as a surname or given name. The history of the clan name is very interesting. A bit about is above but anyone wishing to use this name should do more research as it is very interesting. Another clan name of interesting that I see fitting with this one is Cameron *see on list of posts*. I think together as surnames or given names it would be a cool way for an author to bring history of the Scottish clan names to their characters and story.

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I try to have the most accurate Meanings, Origin and Pronunciations for the names on this blog. It is best though to do research into the names you decide to use for your characters as there can be errors on my blog. Or meanings, origins, and pronunciations I have not seen thus not been able to add to this blog.

Try some of the leading Baby Name Sites and Baby Name or Character Naming books as well.

The baby name sites below are where I collect many of the Names, Origins, and Pronunciations I use on this blog.

Baby Names Sites: