Tag Archives: Day 24

Day 24 #NaNoWriMo ‘X’ for Xanthippe choose your character’s name wisely

Day 24 and the letter ‘X’ for Xanthippe

Pick a name for your character that will give them a subtext overflowing with information or use that name as a metaphor; comparing your character with that old name.

A name like Xanthippe or  Xantippe 

The name Xanthippe was used as a suggestive meaning of a cruel, nasty woman. But, to be politically correct, {{SMILE}} you can use the name-Xanthippe or Xantippe to describe a man, or a thing, or an alien from the planet ‘Pickled Beets’ its meaning will still be clear. You are writing about  a  ruthless person.

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When picking your character’s names, try and muse over their personalities, then do a search on a baby-naming site. I like to search through census reports such as:
USA census.gov 

London census.co.uk

The United Nations Statistics Division

Google  to find  names for your little darlings. 

The name Xanthippe in literature:

“By this Xanthippe” (so was the wife of Socrates called, said Partridge)—“by this Xanthippe, he had two sons, of which I was the younger. He designed to give us both good education; but my elder brother, who, unhappily for him, was the favourite of my mother, utterly neglected his learning; insomuch that, after having been five or six years at school with little or no improvement, my father, being told by his master that it would be to no purpose to keep him longer there, at last, complied with my mother in taking him home from the hands of that tyrant, as she called his master; though indeed he gave the lad much less correction than his idleness deserved, but much more, it seems, than the young gentleman liked, who constantly complained to his mother of his severe treatment, and she as constantly gave him a hearing.” ~Chapter xi. — In which the Man of the Hill begins to relate his history. ‘Tom Jones’

Xanthippe, Xantippe [wife of Socrates. Xanthippe.] A scolding or ill-tempered wife; a shrewish woman: as, “An arrant vixen of a wife scoured his domestic quiet…by the Xanthippe, he has two sons” [Fielding’s “Tom Jones” viii.11)”~ The New Century Dictionary, volume three, 1927.

Using names of characters, fictional and nonfictional, using the meanings of the names in a subtle way to describe a character. Or like Edgar Allan Poe, his poem called “An Acrostic” Acrostic poem is written with the first letter in each line spelling out a word. In Poe’s poem, Elizabeth, is the first word starting the poem, while each line’s first letter spells out ‘Elizabeth’  He changed the first letter, ‘X’ to ‘Z’ and yet, he still gave the reader a picture of the woman’s personality when he wrote:

“Zantippe’s talents had enforced so well” Read the full poem at~ eapoe.org

Xanthippos is Masculine from ancient Greek, [from Greek elements (Xanthos) “yellow” and (hippos) “horse. Name of a 5th century BC Athenian general.

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Feminine version of Xanthippe: ancient Greek; the name of Socrates wife, who was very argumentative, Ill-tempered woman.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.” ~ Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.

There are plenty of  articles on how a name shapes a person’s image to the world. So think long and hard when you name your children, your novel, your stories. Because, If you want your reader’s to feel the love, then don’t name or refer to your children as Xanthippe.

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