The Importance of Names
There is a really wide selection of names in this book, and i think there is an important discussion to be had about their significance. For the most part don’t tend to think that names are really random choices by an author, especially in the case of a book like this one.
Now, I have pretty much no background in name meanings at all, and for the most part when I’m looking up names from books I’m reading they have largely Western European origins. The names in this book have a much wider range of backgrounds, so it was quite interesting looking for their meanings.
Our heroine (?) Xanther has a name I myself had never encountered before, though that is going to be the case for the majority of names I come across in this story. A bit of rooting around revealed that it is most likely a Hebrew name with meanings that seem to fit Xanther very well: There is a tendency to assume too heavy a burden of responsibility for others, you have a generous quality to your nature, you love people, family, home, and friends and try to be a parent to the whole human race, any health problems would show as tension in the nervous system brought on by worry. There are certainly some aspects that don’t really fit her character at all, such as “people with problems are drawn to you” and “you have generally stable conditions in your personal life”. So, I wonder if I am simply twisting around and trying to make these name meanings fit?
I definitely find myself doing a bit of twisting when I consider the names of Xanther’s sisters, Shasti and Freya. Shasti was another name that was unknown to me, though the same is not true of Freya. However, they both seem to refer to the same idea: Shasti is a hindu goddess of childbirth and Freya is a Norse fertility goddess. Why are these two names in some way referencing childbirth? Does it have to do with their energetic nature? Or is it that their being twins was a surprise to their parents?
At the very least, there are a great deal of very interesting name meanings to think about in this book. I would definitely recommend looking a few up and seeing where you are lead – and if you do happen to know anything about some of the names in the book please do let me know!