When I wrote The Key I wanted everything to hold significance. The tower’s location in Ireland helped with the names. I knew what I wanted the names to mean so I chose based on that.
Let me share the scene whenthe kids discover what there names mean.
The history teacher, Mr. Stanley, sat atop his desk and drummed his fingers on the sides. “Today we’re going to discuss names and their meanings. Let’s start with you, Felicity. Do you know the meaning of your name?”
“Nope,” she said, smacking at a large wad of gum.
Mr. Stanley drummed again, leaned forward, and opened his hand, palm up. Felicity spit out the glob and shot him a goofy grin. He deposited it in the trashcan and retrieved a cleansing wipe from his desk. Wiping his hands and ignoring the class’s verbal disgust, he said, “Your name comes from the English. It means happy or happiness.”
He rolled his eyes. “Yes, of course, cool.” He shifted target and pointed. “Now, Marley, your name is also from the English vernacular and it means pleasant wood.”
Light laughter filled the room and Mr. Stanley cleared his throat. Everyone hushed.
“Stephanie, your name is from the Greek.”
Preening, Stephanie faced the class. “You hear that, guys? I’m Greek. I wear long togas and golden leaves on my head.”
Comments were made under students’ breath — Chase privately agreed with them but refused to listen too closely — and Mr. Stanley shook his head in agitation. “Your name means…” he paused and grimaced, “…crown.”
“I always knew I was a queen,” said Stephanie, primping her hair.
Working his way around the room, Mr. Stanley revealed each student’s name, its meaning, and where it hailed from. When he reached the last row, Dougal leaned back and crossed his legs at the ankles.
“Dougal Lachlan. A rich Irish name. Dougal means black stranger and Lachlan means lord of the lochs.”
Mr. Stanley arched a brow as if he expected a comeback. When none was given, he adjusted his wire-rimmed glasses, straightened his bow tie, and moved on. “Well, then, I guess you youngsters don’t find that interesting. What about this one? Chase, your three names are English, French, and Irish. I guess you couldn’t have one origin.”
He snickered, but the meaning was lost on Chase, and he lifted his eyebrows.
Mr. Stanley straightened his face and cleared his throat. “Anyway, your first name is Alexander, which means defender of mankind. Chase means huntsman, and Donovan means dark chieftain. A dark hunting chieftain that defends mankind. You’re a paradox, aren’t you?”
Stephanie and her crew snickered and Mr. Stanley finally relaxed; hey, someone listened. Emboldened, he clapped his hands and drummed again. “And last but not least, Maddie. Your name is also Irish in origin. Madelyn means high tower and Clevenger means keeper of the keys. I guess that would mean you are the key keeper for a high tower.” The class erupted in laughter.
Next week join me for the final reveal.