hapter 30 in my edition of King Harald's Saga
introduces us to Einar Paunch-Shaker, and a footnote to Chapter 37 tells us that Jon the Powerful was the father of Erlend the Flabby. What would your name have been in an Old Norse or Icelandic saga?
Medieval Norsemen didn't have family names, just patronymics and epithets, so their authors didn't have to go far for colorfully significant monikers. But even contemporary writers, burdened with the necessity of conventional first and family names, can sneak attributes into character names, too.
Walter Mosley has created protagonists named Ezekiel (Rawlins) and Socrates (Fortlow). Michael Dibdin gave us Aurelio Zen. And Declan Hughes' series character, Ed Loy, is surnamed for an implement made for digging deep into hard, stony land — a kind of spade
, in other words, and that's auspicious for a fictional private eye.
What are your favorite significant crime-fiction names?
(This old post and its comments offer more examples of significant names.)
© Peter Rozovsky 2011
Labels: Icelandic sagas, miscellaneous, Norway