Tuesday, June 1, 2010

An Abundance of Jonahs

In the last month or so, I've read three YA books featuring a lead character named Jonah:
1. "Jellicoe Road" by Melina Marchetta
2. "How to Say Goodbye in Robot" by Natalie Standiford
3. "The Black Book Diaries" by Jonah Black  (a fictional narrator)

This isn't a trend for anyone but me. It's completely random that I happened to read these books in a cluster.

Still, I'm curious why the name was chosen. Although most famous for the Biblical figure who was swallowed by a whale,  Jonah also means "dove," according to www.behindthename.com

None of the characters in the above-mentioned books are particularly peaceful or dove like. In fact, the first two are pretty antisocial and give the main female character angst.

How do you pick your characters' names? Do you ever study the etymology first, or do you just go with what feels and sounds right?

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