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alpha_leonis May 7 2013 05:06 PM

How characters received their names
 
For some reason, I find the following stories fascinating:
  • Montgomery Scott was named after James Doohan's grandfather.
  • Khan Noonien Singh and Noonien Soong were both named after an Indian gentleman that Gene Roddenberry had met in some context (during his military service?), and he used the character names as a way to try to reconnect with that man.
  • Christine Chapel's name is a pun on the Sistine Chapel.
  • Geordi LaForge was named after George LaForge, a quadriplegic fan of TOS who died in 1975.
  • Odo's name was deliberately created as a palindrome, as a reflection on the character's mysterious origins and personality. (The in-universe "adapted Cardassian/Bajoran" story was tacked on later.)
  • Jonathan Archer was originally supposed to be named Jackson Archer, but the name was changed when the producers discovered there is already exactly one *real* Jackson Archer in the United States, and they didn't want the legal liability of "naming a character after a real person", even unintentionally.
Any other stories like these that anybody's aware of?

Christopher May 7 2013 05:19 PM

Re: How characters received their names
 
Quote:

alpha_leonis wrote: (Post 8054113)
Khan Noonien Singh and Noonien Soong were both named after an Indian gentleman that Gene Roddenberry had met in some context (during his military service?), and he used the character names as a way to try to reconnect with that man.

Actually, according to recent research by John and Maria Tenuto, it was a Chinese man named Noonien Wang. Which clears up a lot for me, because "Noonien" is very much not an Indian name. (It's weird that Roddenberry would give a Chinese name to a Sikh character, but back then, Americans seemed to treat all of Asia as one interchangeable mass. I recently watched a 1965 Man from UNCLE episode in which a line from the Rubaiyat, a Persian poem, is used as a code name for a boy lama from a Himalayan country!)


Quote:

Any other stories like these that anybody's aware of?
Well, we already have a thread on how Sulu was named for the Sulu Sea in the Philippines to represent his "pan-Asian" heritage, and "Uhura" is the Swahili word for freedom, uhuru, with a Latin feminine suffix grafted on.

Commodore Robert Wesley was named after a pseudonym Roddenberry had used early in his writing career. Wesley was his middle name, and was also the source of Wesley Crusher's name.

Jean-Luc Picard was originally called Julien Picard. His surname was in honor of the Piccard family of scientists and balloonists. Will Riker was going to be Bill Ryker. "Data" was supposed to be pronounced with a short A, according to the original writers' bible. Julian Bashir was going to be Julian Amoros. Janeway's first name was originally Elizabeth, then Nicole during Genevieve Bujold's brief tenure in the role, finally becoming Kathryn after the Hepburnesque Kate Mulgrew was cast.

ZapBrannigan May 8 2013 01:19 AM

Re: How characters received their names
 
In "What are Little Girls Made Of?", Helen Noel must have been named for the fact that Kirk met her at a Christmas party.

And Lethe, the zombie-like inmate, is named for the river of forgetfulness in Hades.

Third Nacelle May 8 2013 01:56 AM

Re: How characters received their names
 
http://imageshack.us/a/img703/4320/c...thesistine.png

How is it I never realized this before?

Flying Spaghetti Monster May 8 2013 02:44 AM

Re: How characters received their names
 
Guinan was named after Texas Guinan, a famous bartender

JemHadar I hear was an Indian name meaning Warrior. Now I'm reading it was Hindi. I'll try to get confirmation.

Locutus means "one who speaks"

Though not a name, April 5 was chosen because it was the writer's son's birthday.

Butler was named after Shatner's dog that had recently died. He was originally going to be named Jake, after a dog that belonged to a writer that had died. Overruled on the set by the Shat!

CorporalCaptain May 8 2013 02:54 AM

Re: How characters received their names
 
Quote:

ZapBrannigan wrote: (Post 8056240)
In "What are Little Girls Made Of?", Helen Noel must have been named for the fact that Kirk met her at a Christmas party.

And Lethe, the zombie-like inmate, is named for the river of forgetfulness in Hades.

Ahem, that's Dagger of the Mind.

Christopher May 8 2013 04:18 AM

Re: How characters received their names
 
Quote:

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: (Post 8056573)
JemHadar I hear was an Indian name meaning Warrior. Now I'm reading it was Hindi. I'll try to get confirmation.

Umm, Hindi is the main language spoken in India. No contradiction there. Although jemadar is actually from Urdu, another Indian language, and is in turn derived from Persian and Arabic. It was a historic term for generals serving the nobility, although it had various other meanings and was adopted in the British Indian Army as an equivalent to lieutenant's rank.

Along similar lines, "Ferengi" is derived from the Arabic or Persian word for a European (derived from "Frank," i.e. a Frenchman). Why, I have no idea.


Quote:

Though not a name, April 5 was chosen because it was the writer's son's birthday.
Took me some digging to figure out that was the date of First Contact. You could also mention that Brannon Braga chose his hometown of Bozeman, Montana as the site of that event (and also named Captain Bateson's ship after it).

Harvey May 8 2013 05:09 AM

Re: How characters received their names
 
A couple of more obscure, but interesting ones, from my research...

For "The Savage Curtain," de Forest Research made this naming contribution on December 3, 1968:

Quote:

Lvak – No conflicts, however, during three seasons, the precedent has been established of giving male Vulcans names beginning with the letter “S.” E.G.s: Spock, Sarek, Stonn, etc. To conform, suggest: Savak, Solak, Surak...
For "Whom Gods Destroy," de Forest Research made this contribution on September 10, 1967:

Quote:

Garth of Titan – Titan is the name of Saturn’s largest moon. By Star Trek time, 200 years in future, our solar system will be suburbia. Is this meant to indicate that Garth comes from Titan? If meant to indicate an exploit, suggest: Garth of Izar.

JirinPanthosa May 8 2013 05:22 AM

Re: How characters received their names
 
TV shows can't name a character after anybody out of the 300 million people in the United States?

How do any TV characters have common names?!

Third Nacelle May 8 2013 05:39 AM

Re: How characters received their names
 
^It's fine to give a character a name that 10,000 people have. They just don't use a name that only one person has.

Enterprise is Great May 8 2013 06:00 AM

Re: How characters received their names
 
I've heard that's why they changed Archer's first name from Jackson to Jonathan. Can anyone confirm?

R. Star May 8 2013 06:17 AM

Re: How characters received their names
 
I heard the Romulans were inspired by the Romans. :p

Third Nacelle May 8 2013 06:32 AM

Re: How characters received their names
 
Romulus and Remus were named after the mythical twins that founded Rome.

scotpens May 8 2013 07:03 AM

Re: How characters received their names
 
Quote:

R. Star wrote: (Post 8057182)
I heard the Romulans were inspired by the Romans. :p

Even to the point of having a character named Decius and being ruled by a Praetor in "Balance of Terror."

As for the Klingons, the story is that they were named after Lt. Wilbur Clingan, a colleague of Gene Roddenberry's when he was an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department.

ZapBrannigan May 8 2013 10:50 AM

Re: How characters received their names
 
Quote:

CorporalCaptain wrote: (Post 8056615)
Quote:

ZapBrannigan wrote: (Post 8056240)
In "What are Little Girls Made Of?", Helen Noel must have been named for the fact that Kirk met her at a Christmas party.

And Lethe, the zombie-like inmate, is named for the river of forgetfulness in Hades.

Ahem, that's Dagger of the Mind.

Right. What the hell was I thinking? I somehow conflated the two episodes in a train of thought about two of the hottest women ever to guest on the show.

Anyway, WALGMO had Andrea the Android. And Ruk might have been a corruption of R.U.R.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.U.R.

...which also inspired the surname of Rayna Capek.


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