Names and Naming in Young Adult Literature. by Alleen Pace Nilsen and Don L. F. Nilsen. Historically, surnames in England and Europe told stories about their owners because they were based on: . ATTRIBUTES, e.g. Black, Brown, Longfellow, Powers, Short, Truman, White
by Alleen Pace Nilsen and
Don L. F. Nilsen
Sherman Alexie is a master as shown in his book Confessions of a Part-Time Indian, and in his film Smoke Signals, which was based on his collection of short stories, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.
Tribal chairman David WalksAlong got his name from the fact that he walked along with BIA policy so willingly that he called his wife a “savage in polyester pants.”
- Junior Falls Down, or
- Bloody Nose, or
- Steal-His-Lunch, or
…even though none of us had ever seen a white boy cry.
Itis a series of vignettes about a young girl growing up in the Latino section of Chicago.Common surnames are Cordero, Guerrero, Ortiz, and Vargas. Given names include:
Marvel, Cato, Brutus & Thresh
She writes, “In English my name means hope.
In Spanish it means too many letters.
It means sadness, it means waiting.
It is like the number nine. A muddy color.
It is the Mexican records my father plays on Sunday mornings when he is shaving, songs like sobbing.”
Esmeralda wants to baptize herself with a new name: “Lisandra or Maritza or Zeze the X. Yes. Something like Zeze the X will do.”
“Since I was little. It’s what my sister called me.”
“Not a bad name here. Ender. Finisher. Hey.”
Ender’s sister is named Valentine, and she too plays a crucial part in the story.
Andrew Wiggin is also known as Bastard, Fart Eater, Pinbrain, Pin Prick and Scrunchface. Bernard called him Maladroit.
“Val, we can say the words that everyone else will be saying two weeks later. We can do that. We don’t have to wait until we’re grown up and safely put away in some career.”
Valentine responds, “Peter, you’re twelve.”
“Not on the nets I’m not,” he responds, and then adds, “On the nets I can name myself anything I want, and so can you.”
The story begins realistically in India, where Pi’s father manages the city zoo, so fortunately Pi grows up learning about training animals. Another piece of good luck is that from an early age, Pi was trained as a swimmer by his father’s best friend who had swum in the Olympics in the Piscine Molitor pool in Paris.
It was this friend who had convinced the Patels to name their son after the swimming pool, which he described as a pool that would have delighted the gods.
The book opens with the Patels moving to Canada with the most valuable zoo animals.
Pi’s classmates called him Pissing Patel, and they would ask “Where’s Pissing? I’ve got to go,” or they would say, “You’re facing the wall. Are you Pissing?”
After these taunts, “the sound would disappear, but the hurt would linger, like the smell of piss long after it has evaporated.”
Even the teachers would forget to use his full name and would call on him with “Yes, Pissing?”
But on the first day at Petit Séminaire (high school), when it came time for each student to announce his name, Piscine went to the chalkboard and wrote:
MY NAME IS
PISCINE MOLITOR PATEL,
KNOWN TO ALL AS
π = 3.14
and drew a large circle, and sliced it in two “with a diameter to evoke the basic lesson of geometry.”
He is a kleptomaniac dwarf who has been convicted many times for “digging and entering.”
He loves to unbutton his bum flap and destroy whatever is behind him with a blast of stinky air.
In The Eternity Code, he uses this technique, with a whole variety of complications thrown in for laughs, to destroy a surveillance camera.
Nobody Owens is prophesied to kill the Jacks of all trades—the men who murdered his parents.
There is Jack Tar, Jack Dandy, Jack Be Nimble, Jack Ketch, and “the man Jack, whose real name is Jack Frost.”
And they are all trying to kill Nobody Owens.
The Queequeg Submarine, the Herman Melville Team and the Ahab Memorial Hospital all allude to Herman Melville and Moby Dick.
The Herman Melville Team is much superior to the opposing Edgar A. Guest Team.
Patients in The Heimlich Hospital include Emma Bovary, Clarissa Dalloway, Orlando, and Sappho.
Also in the Lemony Snicket books, there is a Mr. Poe, a Nevermore Tree, and a Murder of Crows.
Dante dedicated his Divine Comedy to Beatrice, who in the novel served as his guide through Paradise.
Baking Soda Beanstalks Brussel Sprout Caterpillar
Centipede Chewing Gum Cough Medicine Dirt
Earwax Egg Yolk Horse Radish Ink
Liver Mud Onion Paint
Paprika Parsnips Rotten Egg Sardines
Soap Sulphur Tripe Vomit
Lemony Snicket in 120 Seconds: