Sunday, May 8, 2011

What's In A Name?

by S Fenwick
I have a challenge in front of me. I may have to change name of the house in THE CORNISH HOUSE...

Currently the name is Carnew which I had changed slightly from Carnewyth meaning 'new camp'. I wanted to keep it simple and easy to pronounce.

Many have heard the phrase...

'By Tre, Ros, Pol, Lan, Car and Pen,
Ye shall know the most of Cornishmen'

So I'm looking for a new's the hitch. In AUGUST ROCK the house is Trevenen and PENDEROWN is the title and the name of the that leaves me with Ros, Pol, Lan or Car...

When my mother-in-law passed away I was lucky enough to inherit her books on Cornwall and have spent many a happy hour or ten stuck in the pages and I'm back there again. The one that is missing from the rhyme above is Bos (or bot or bo which means house and in view of the name of book maybe this is where I should head...however I was thinking of Bosworgy (home above the water) for the cottage in the book brewing ENEMY.

Bosnowyth (new house)
Bosventinew (home at the head of the springs)
Boswarthan (shelter)

Now their are other beginnings that mean house... Ti, Ty, Chy....
Chyfenton (house by a spring)
Chy-an-gwel (house by a field)

I could go on...the name of the house is important because it is a character in the story and like naming my heroine or any other character is has to have meaning and resonance not just to me but to my reader.

Do you have a favourite house from a book? What was its name? Have you had to name a house? I haven't found the meaning for Manderley yet...and then there's Nancherrow in the Rosamund Pilcher books...

Happy Mothers' Day to those in the US, Canada and Australia....

Come back on Thursday to see what Biddy is up...


  1. Carnew seems a good name - why do you need to change it? If you have to make it different, can't you put the -yth on the end? It would still be easy to pronounce.

    I sympathise with you - choosing the right name is so difficult, and once the name's been chosen and used, it is extremely difficult to change it in your mind.

    Liz X

  2. What a wonderful book cover! Congratulations to the artist - I'm sure the author will treasure it forever

  3. I like Carnew as well, but I guess you must have a good reason for needing to change it? You're right, house names are very important, but sometimes the simplest approach might work - in my second novel I had a white castle, so I just called it "Shiroi" which means white in Japanese. Could you call yours after the family who built it perhaps? (First part of their surname, plus the Cornish for house?) Or some feature in the landscape - nearby trees, flowers, etc. Whatever you choose, I'm sure it will be lovely!

  4. I'd suggest leaving it to your subconcious to come up with the perfect name - a little bit of time and quiet reflection and it will pop into your head - and you'll just know it's right. Do take a pen and notepad everywhere you go though, Liz, especially to bed as it's likely to be just as your dropping off to sleep!

  5. I'm with Janice. Or just drink... wine should help!

    Love the cover. :) Happy Mothers' Day!

  6. Liz - thanks, I'll keep you posted.

    Katie - she is clever indeed.

    Christina - yes simple is better and easier :-)

    Janice and Talli - I like the combination... subconscious and wine. Perfect!