Cool Name of the Week: Pippa
I’m always intrigued by the names authors select for their characters. It’s pretty clear when an author really has fun naming her characters—think J.K. Rowling with Harry Potter, or Suzanne Collins with the Hunger Games. But some of those offbeat names (a la Severus and Glimmer) aren’t exactly wearable in the real world, so you need to look to other lit for inspiration.
I just finished Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, which was chosen as one of the top novels of the year. (She also wrote the amazing The Secret History, which I loved.) With The Goldfinch, Donna shares a story of a decades-long (and possibly unrequited) love, of art theft—and lots and lots of crime. I couldn’t put it down.
Protagonist Theo Decker has a pretty standard name, but Donna Tartt came up with some other intriguing characters and names—from tatty Vegas cocktail waitress Xandra to eccentric best bud Boris. But name wise I loved Pippa, for whom Theo bears a torch, most of all.
Pippa is generally considered a nickname of Philippa, a name that means “lover of horses,” and hit the limelight first a few years ago, when Kate Middleton first became engaged to Prince William—and her sister Pippa Middleton a bit of a British style icon. But more people are intrigued by the shortened Pippa than the longer name now—and I’m imagining that this character, a lively and beautiful young musician whose life has been touched by tragedy, may help bring it into the top 1000.
What do you think of Pippa? Would you pick it for your daughter?
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