• Grace A. Johnson

Name of the Week: Elliot

So, last week I scheduled my name of the week post for 8 AM instead of 8 PM, so we'll be doing this every morning from now on, all right?

There are times when a name is just there. Before the story, before the plot, sometimes before even the character himself. You don't need to scour the internet or naming guides. You don't need to debate over the usage or origin or meaning. It's already perfect. Elliot is one of them.

I've mentioned before that Elliot was part of "The Lady Pirate" world from the very moment of its conception. He was the Scottish first mate and, yes, I always thought Elliot sounded a little Scottish. (I know better now, but it still works.) Though I researched Rina and Xavier's names before writing Held Captive and, at times, even sat down to rethink my choices, Elliot was constant.

As a twelve-year-old, the most I knew about pirates was Dora the Explorer and The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything--so, of course, Jack and Hook were not my first options. Elliot was. Elliot's the name of Larry the Cucumber's (Veggietales) piratical character in Jonah and The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. It was also the only name from the movie I actually remembered (the other characters were George and Sedgewick, Alexander and Eloise), so it was automatically a pirate's name.

And so Elliot (Browne originally) Fulton was born.

When I finally searched the origin and meaning, I discovered that Elliot is a medieval diminutive of Elias (think Mariot or Annot or Emmot or Wilmot; those medieval folks loved their ots and ets.). The name Ellis and several others are variants of Elias, the Latin form of Elijah, as well. Tracing all the steps back, from the English to the Latin down to the Hebrew components, you find that Elliot means "my God is Yahweh," and of course that is a lovely meaning.

William fell into place as his father's name and then Elliot's middle name--all, simply, because of its commonness.

Fulton came about when I was searching for surnames for Charlie, Billy, and a full name for Roger--all of which I discovered here: https://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/english-renaissance-names.php

This is a great generator that I've used for multiple characters in probably every story I've ever come up with, although I do suggest looking up the names on Behind the Name before using, just for insurance.

Even though it took Elliot a moment--or twenty-nine years, to be exact--to realize that his God is Yahweh and vice versa, I cannot imagine any other name on my character. It has a happy, carefree sound, is uncommon yet not unknown, and fits him to a T. Plus, it made a great name for his son, Elliot William Fulton Jr, whom I later nicknamed Leo. (I have no idea where I found Leo as a nickname for Elliot, but it works much better than Ellie, doesn't it?) Elliot's initials also gave me a basis for the names of his other children (spoiler alert, he does have more kids 😉), Erik Wilde and Evalina Willow (who goes by Eva).

Elliot Fulton. What a name. What a guy.

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