Sunfire Romance Novels
In the 80s, the world was lit by Sunfire!

The Name Game, Part 2

When posting the Kathleen Quick Notes, I meant to mention that David Thornley was the first of many Davids in the series. Which got me wondering: which suitor names WERE used the most?

Now granted, MOST of the names were only used once. But some weren’t just reused, they were overused!

David–5 books
Michael/Mike–5 books
Stephen (various forms)–4 books
John–3 books
James (various forms)–3 books
Philip–2 books
Ben/Benjamin:–2 books
Joshua–2 books
Joseph/Joe–2 books

So which author was the biggest culprit? To my surprise, it wasn’t Schurfranz, although she WAS the one to use “Joshua” twice…in Cassie and Rachel. But Shura was even worse, using “Michael” in both Marilee and Darcy, and “David” in Gabrielle and Diana.

I also had a bone to pick with the writing team known as Jeffie Ross Gordon. One of their characters was a David. Granted, that may have been the first reuse of “David,” but since Jacquelyn is set in fairly modern times, they could have gotten away with so, so many names and variations. A quick look at the top 20 boy names of 1932 showed a wealth of names that were never used for suitors, although they might have been used for minor characters. These include:  Charles, Donald, George, Thomas, Kenneth, Ronald, Harold, and Edward. Many of those names could have been used for any era.

A quick look at top boy names from 1983 to 1985 tells the real story. Michael was the #1 boy name, with David in the top 10. Most other suitor names could be found within the top 20. However, there WERE several timeless names in the top 20 that were never used, including: Christopher, Matthew (used for Marilee’s brother), Jason, Justin, and Anthony.

Finally, I mention the name “Andrew,” which was technically used for a suitor, but we didn’t know that til the last few pages of the book. This was the real name of the Nora character known as “Morgan,” who had amnesia. If character names were going to be repeated anyway, couldn’t authors have reused a name that was barely used at all?

I know, I’ve thought about this way too much. I find it all very interesting, though. After all, the series WAS built on character names!


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