Clown Character Name Ideas?

I'm in the process of creating a character who, every night on stage, transforms from a shy girl into a proud clown.  She enjoys her clown performances so much that the role eventually consumes her, and she lives out a clown life against the wishes of her well-meaning friends who don't understand that she has found her calling.  By the end, the girl she once was no longer exists.  

For her last name, I'm set on Stevenson, as a one of a few little homages to my inspiration, Robert Louis Stevenson, who wrote the fantastic "The Curious Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."  I hope he would be proud to see that up to which his work has led. 

For her first name, I want something which reflects her character.  Something like Irina, with the soft sounds at the beginning, though I want more harsh sounds at the end than the one 'n' in Irina.  Additionally, I think the parallel between my character to Anton Chekhov's Irina from his "Three Sisters" is a little too heavy-handed handed for my subtle book. 

That being said, does anyone have any suggestions for her first name?  

She won't have a middle name, because her parents are traditionalists, who expect her to marry and take her husbands name.  Much of the tension in the novel comes from her struggle with the knowledge that her parents will never accept her as a clown (The time commitment prevents her from dating).


P.S. Another little dab of tribute that I'm considering including is the main character's final line, "The world has no room for cowards," a direct Stevenson quote.  Possibly I'll even include some of his less famous quotes, such as: "I shut my eyes to world, trying to escape that which I feared.  But I feared darkness most of all."  Any thoughts?


October 21, 2017 9:41 PM

To me, Ivanka fits the similiar to Irina, but ending in harsher sounds.  That said, in 2017, that name comes with many connotations that may distract from your character.

(Pleading in advance to keep the politics off this page; just the name.)

October 21, 2017 10:25 PM

The 'k' in Ivanka makes me think of Anouk, a name probably too foreign-sounding to fit with Stevenson without an appropriate back story. Other ideas: Arlene, Colette, Charlotte, Gwendolen, Janet/Janice, Meredith (or Edith). It seems like the name ought to end in a consonant or with a consonant cluster.

October 22, 2017 1:15 PM

Hmm, I think Anouk Stevenson would sound a bit off (though I personally like it).  The consonant ending is a good idea, particularly with the sharp, plosive 't's in a few of your suggestions.  I particularly like Charlotte because of the softer first sound.  Thanks for the names; you've truly made some namazing suggestions.

October 22, 2017 1:11 PM

I do like Ivanka, but I am worried about the political ramifications.  Thanks for the suggestion, and be sure to have a lit day!

October 22, 2017 12:08 PM

The first name that comes to mind as similar to Irina but with a harsher ending is Annika.

You mentioned that her parents are traditionalists, though, and since they chose her name, you may want to look at name statistics for around the year your character was born and think about what names her traditionally-minded parents likely would have picked.

October 22, 2017 1:20 PM

I like Annika, and, in fact, I know someone with that name who in some ways embodies the character.   

Also, what a cool beans idea!  I hadn't even thought of how the parents would name her.  I guess I have something new to consider.  Thank you, and be sure to stay swaggy.

October 22, 2017 1:36 PM

RosieLea mentioned that I might want to take into account her traditionalist parents' naming tendencies, and I whole-heartedly agree.  That being said, in my working draft, the story takes place in early 20th century Southern USA, though that is potentially subject to change.  Therefore, I think names that were popular in that era and had been popular for long enough to feel firmly grounded in the culture would be especially apt.  Maybe even Christian Biblical names?  Y'all are the goat, so thank you.

October 23, 2017 10:56 PM

Anouk and Anika would have been very unusual choices in the early 1900s, but Annette and Anita are both plausible. Also Loretta, Berta, Rebecca, Juliet(te), and Frederica. You could probably get away with Erica if she was named for an older male relative: Erica didn't chart until 1945, but Eric was in steady, low-level use from at least 1880 so it's plausible that there were a handful of Ericas around by the early twentieth century. There was also already an established Southern tradition of using family surnames as given or middle names (Scarlett O'Hara's parents got Scarlett from her grandmother's last name), so you could look for a quirky surname to use.

October 28, 2017 7:05 PM

I like your ideas, but preferably her name wouldn't end in a vowel.  Do you have any suggestions that fit that criterion?  The surname idea sounds perfect!  I'll definetly use it.  Thanks for the platinum input!

October 29, 2017 11:14 PM

Hmm, well, Juliet ends in a consonant, and Annette at least ends in a consonant sound. Harriet might be an option, too, if the H sound isn't too harsh for your purposes. If the sound is all that matters, there are a few more French options, like Laurette and Henriette. Garnet or Garnett would be an era-appropriate name, if you're OK with word-names, and could double as a surname-name.

On the surname theme, you could lop off the G in Garnett for another surname option, Arnett. Merritt would fit your soft-to-hard pattern, and so would the similar-sounding Merrick. There are a few different spellings of the latter, so you could play around with how you want it to look (Marrok, Meyrick, etc.). Honeycutt would be a very literal interpretation of "starts out sweet, ends up sharp". There's a Behind the Names surname site that might give you more ideas; be sure to check out all the different browsing options.