The naming gymnastics I went through for Adonis

In Adonis, there’s a name scheme going on that’s even more complicated than what I usually do. Adonis is not the name of any character in the story; rather, it’s kind of a title, perhaps most analagous to a stage name, for one of my two leads. I chose it for two reasons, as I mentioned yesterday— it’s a cultural touchstone for a beautiful young man, and because I always felt what happened to him in “Venus and Adonis” was a depiction of rape.

I named my female lead Diana first. I chose it because of the obvious connotations, the Roman name of the goddess of the hunt, alluding to her martial nature. Also I like the sound of it; the sound of names is often even more important to me than the meaning, as people will have to say them over and over.

My male lead– the titular “Adonis” –I knew needed a Celtic name because of the background I gave him, so I looked up some options online. There are a number of Celtic names I have a fondness for and briefly considered; Taran was a frontrunner, or possibly Galen, until in my searching I came upon Aidan. Not only was its meaning referring to a sun personification a nice counterpart to the moon connections of Diana, the spellings are anagrams of each other. That moon-sun dichotomy also tied in nicely to the secondary epithets Aidan is assigned, "Apollo" and "golden god" in reference to his beauty and his blond hair.

A lot of this just worked out this way, but I did do even more work than usual to keep the themes unified in the naming.

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