So here is the next post in my Week of Freaky Name Coincidences. This one is originally from January, 2012. Also, I should point out that I absolutely love sexually ambiguous names. I have no idea why. I'll probably give them to any children I have, but for now I'll settle for my characters...
What's in a Sexually Ambiguous Name?
Let me preface this by saying that the “What’s in a Name” blog was not supposed to be a two-parter. But as usual, things are beyond my control. Believe me, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.
I had a new character to name. Since she was only going to appear in one chapter (and in a quick cameo near the end of the book), she wasn’t all that important on the grand scale of things. But in the chapter itself, she was very important. I call her the “Last Straight Temptation of Jordan Palmer,” since he almost has sex with her before deciding that he’d rather lose his virginity to a guy.
Within this chapter, she’s a very striking character. Almost like the female counterpart to Jordan, an adversary even. She shows up suddenly, challenges his attitudes, his beliefs, and serves as a temporary temptation. Basically, she doesn’t put up with his bullshit, which he finds incredibly sexy, and her desire for him may or may not be completely based on getting revenge on another girl, so he finds that intriguing. So at least for this scene, this girl was important, and to give her some dignity, I had to name her.
Since I started writing my novel in early 2011, I have it stuck in my head that this is when it takes place, so I figured this 15-year-old girl was born in 1995. So I cruised the internet to my favorite name site, behindthename.com, and found the list of popular names in 1995. I scrolled past the typical names—Jessica, Ashley, Emily, Brittany, and my own name, which was #5—in search of a name that spoke to me.
My eyes stopped on #29: Madison. I liked it instantly. And not just because it was different than all of those stereotypical girl names, but because, like Jordan, the name could be either a boy’s or a girl’s. It seemed kind of perfect, to put both characters on the same level and watch them butt heads.
That would have been the end of it—the decision had already been made—but curiosity got the better of me. To the left of the list of girls’ names were the top 100 boys’ names for that year as well. I’m not sure what made me look at it at all. Some force of nature, it seemed, because then I just happened to see #29 on the boys’ side. It was Jordan. Those two names had been standing side by side the entire time, and I hadn’t even noticed. Madison was even more perfect than I had thought.
I can’t really explain why these things keep happening to me. I just kind of go with it. I’m sure someday I’ll be writing Part Three…
Like on Friday! Come back to check out the strange coincidence with my main characters’ middle names…