It’s a simple and often overlooked process of naming a character. Some look for hidden meanings in their names, others find inspiration from real life people while others still simply pick the first name that sounds interesting. There’s really no fixed strategy to this, which can cause a great deal of stress to a writer looking for direction. What better way to learn than from the iconic character names we already know and love? How did they get their names?
Scooby-Doo – In one of Frank Sinatra’s famous songs “Strangers in the Night,” he closes on some random sounds that go something like this: Doo-bee-doo-bee-doo. Sound familiar? That’s because this song inspired Scooby’s name as well as his famous catch phrase: Scooby-doo-bee-doo!
Winnie the Pooh – During WWI, a man in the Canadian Army Veterinary named Harry Colebourn took in a bear he found in the wilderness and affectionately named her Winnipeg. She was later placed in the London Zoo, where one of the frequent visitors liked her so much that he named his teddy bear after her. Can you guess who the boy’s name was?
Red – In Stephen King’s novella “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” Red was a white Irishman, who got his name because of the mop of red hair on top of his head.
Porky Pig – The credit here goes to Friz Freleng, best known for directing and producing over three hundred animated shorts including Daffy Duck and Pink Panther slapstick. Apparently he had two friends growing up nicknamed “Porky” and “Piggy”. Did they like the nicknames, or was Friz just mean to his childhood friends? Who could know for sure?
Indiana Jones – This is a popular one, and rightfully so. In the 1970’s, George Lucas owned an Alaskan malamute named Indiana. You may recognize this same breed of dog found in the Jones’ household in The Last Crusade—also named Indiana.