Opinions on Faye Xanthe?

Hi everybody!

So I'm writing a story about a twelve-year-old girl, who is currently named Faye Xanthe Casson. Faye and Casson I want to keep, there's a reason she's called Faye, and Casson just fits her family (Faye, her sister Alexandra (Alex) and dad Daniel) perfectly, but suddenly I feel like Xanthe is unrealistic for a number of reasons.

The thing is, Faye was born because of a deal between Daniel Casson and a group of people. The deal was that he had to have a child with a woman of their choice and give them the result (Faye) when she hit twelve. In return he got a whole load of money. So, therefore, Faye was never wanted and thus I don't reckon that she would have got a fancy middle name like Xanthe. I want her to have a middle name, but something a little less "my precious angel must have a fancy Greek name"-ey. Something that speaks of an unwanted child, of a shady deal made in a cheap hotel room. So, yeah. It's a mix of fantasy and a bit of sci-fi (not really).

Any ideas? I'm open to all suggestions!


August 4, 2014 7:05 PM

I can think of a few routes you could take.

First, there's something like Mildred or Gertrude, or heck, even Bertha: something that's considered ugly by most modern parents, but is plausible as the name of Dad's well-despised great-aunt or some such -- a back-handed honor name.

Second, there's the "filler" middle route: Ann (no 'e'), Jane, Marie, maybe Elizabeth, Catherine. Bonus points if the flow with the rest of the name is awful: Faye May Casson.

Or you could use a name that references the deal in some way: the name of the motel or town, the (fake) name of one of the group members, or the model of car Dad or one of the deal-makers was driving at the time: Royal, Sahara, Middy (from Midland); Lexi, Tiffany, Jo; Camry, Mia (from Miata).

And finally, you could use a name like Precious or Desiree: something that blatantly declares the exact opposite of the truth. (I don't really think there are any established names with the meaning of "unwanted", because nobody admits to that in the Western world.)

Edited to add: I thought of a way to justify keeping Xanthe: what if that's Mom's name, or the name that Dad knew her by?

August 4, 2014 8:04 PM

Another thought: see Laura W.'s blog post about girls named "unwanted" in India (http://www.babynamewizard.com/archives/2011/10/named-unwanted-baby-names-societies-and-soul-searching). Faye Nakusa Casson would require a bit of explanation for anyone to really get it, but it would certainly be an exotic-seeming name with the right meaning.

August 5, 2014 3:37 PM

Thanks so much for replying! Your theory for Xanthe is very plausible, but it was really just a job. Sick, I know, but these are the antagonists in the story. I personally love Mildred, so maybe I'll use that.

August 5, 2014 8:17 PM

Other options with the same reasoning behind them:








On the other hand, many people, if they needed to name a baby in a hurry, and didn't really care all that much, would probably pick a very common name, like Katherine, Elizabeth, Mary, or Margaret; a very popular name, like Ashley, Emily, Alyssa, Olivia, or Katelyn; or just a filler name, like Ann, Rose, May, Marie, or Grace. (As someone else already mentioned) On the other hand, if he was going to go with something like that, he would have probably have done the same thing with her first name.

August 6, 2014 9:48 AM

I know you say you want her to have a middle name, but reading through your comments about her circumstances, I would say it makes the most sense for her not to have a middle name at all. Nobody cared about naming her--she is a commodity, not a person in their eyes, and she needed a first and last name because convention requires them, but why bother with a middle name?

August 7, 2014 3:42 PM

One other possibility would be to name her after the payment--e.g. Faye Cash, or Faye Money. Going along with the previous suggestion to make it flow really badly, possibly Faye Pay. Maybe the amount of the payment (Faye Million) or what he plans to buy with it (Faye Yacht)?

I also like the suggestions to name her after the cheap motel (Faye DewDrop?) or just omit the middle name (an awful lot of books never reveal the protagonist's middle name, anyway).

By EVie
August 8, 2014 10:52 PM

I really like the motel name idea, too. If you're creative with the motel name, you could actually come up with something quite beautiful. It makes me think of the sketchy motel that features prominently in Veronica Mars, the Camelot--something like Faye Camelot would be very striking. 

August 12, 2014 5:46 PM

I really like the motel name idea, the filler middle name is not as interesting but still good.

But, if he really had an "I don't care" attitude, what sort of effort did he put into naming her Faye? Did he choose a name he liked? (Because if he did, he might as well choose a decent middle name, too, while he's at it.) 

Was Faye someone he despised? A name he chose on a whim? Something to do with the deal? Knowing how Faye's first name was chosen could help have an idea on how her dad might choose her middle name.


September 3, 2014 4:29 PM

Well, her being called Faye was actually a sadistic joke on his part. It's a major plot point as to why, though, so I'm not revealing it. 

September 25, 2014 10:01 AM

As other people mentioned, "filler" middle names like Marie, Ann, Grace, Catherine, Elizabeth, etc. But I also love the idea of naming her after the hotel. Willow Tree Inn (Faye Willow), Dalton Motel (Faye Dalton), Camelot Inn (previously mentioned, Faye Camelot). I personally think, however, that no middle name would be great. Or something like, he just looked out the window, saw a Maple Tree, and went with Faye Maple, or was walking a noticed some dandelions, and thought of Faye Dandelion. This could also be symbolic of who Faye is; a dandelion, considered a weed, unwanted, stealing sunlight from the grass that was planted there, but an unknowing little kid who sees this dandelion and thinks it's beautiful, who appoints it their favorite flower, who blows the fuzz of of the dandelion and squeals with excitement. Where her dad meant it to be annoying, embarrasing, humiliating, even, but she loves it. So yeah, my vote is for Faye Dandelion.