Naming an orphan—

Okay, so this character: a girl, American, somewhere in the 18-23 age range. She was abandoned in [name_m]New[/name_m] [name_m]York[/name_m] state as a baby, and no one knew where she came from — from what I can tell, there’s no set practice in the US for naming orphans, but I’ve read as many accounts as I could find. Apparently it’s common for the babies be named by caretakers after they go into the system, and frequently the surname is the name of the street where they’re found. I hate surnames, I hate them, I am awful at picking them, so I Googled “[name_m]New[/name_m] [name_m]York[/name_m] City street names” because, well, there are a lot. Gerritsen, [name_m]Henry[/name_m], [name_m]Solomon[/name_m], and Coventry were my favorite contenders (though hey, obviously if you have a lot of feelings about addresses, you’re free to suggest more).

As for a first name, I’m at a total loss! My first instinct was to just go with something popular, but nineties baby names for girls are… not my favorites, to say the least. [name_u]Alexis[/name_u] or [name_u]Ashley[/name_u] or [name_f]Brianna[/name_f] or [name_f]Brittany[/name_f] or [name_u]Courtney[/name_u] or [name_f]Jessica[/name_f] or [name_f]Kayla[/name_f] or [name_f]Lauren[/name_f] or [name_f]Megan[/name_f] or [name_u]Taylor[/name_u]? Not gonna work for me. I do like [name_f]Samantha[/name_f], and staring at a list here, I could see [name_u]Shelby[/name_u] working (I’m not exactly a fan of the name, but hey, as writers we sometimes have to make sacrifices).

About her: the first word that comes to mind is “scrappy”. Both as in pugnacious and as in disorganized. Most of the time she’s a huge extrovert stereotype, but in an endearing way — she’s not pursuing it in the career sense but she’s a born entertainer, always trying to make people laugh. She’s a realist, not like “secretly a pessimist” but in that she’s very good at evaluating and predicting situations. Grounded, I guess? She’s been through a lot so she isn’t the shiniest or the happiest, but she never stops moving forward.

I don’t really have any specifics about a first name, other than that it can’t be any of those on that obnoxiously long list (sorry!) before [name_f]Samantha[/name_f]. It doesn’t need to be something common, either, that just seemed like the most logical starting point. You don’t have to pair anything with a surname, but I figured a lot of you would want to, so there they are :smiley:

Oh! On the Name Nerds test, my highest score was a tie (25%) between Classic Conservative and Classic Eccentric, if that means anything to you. Next was Classic Unusual at 20%, and after that (at 15%) was Modern Conservative. So I guess basically, I like a bit of everything, but nothing that sounds super current. Thanks in advance for any help!

I think that [name_u]Shelby[/name_u] would fit nicely! The one girl who I knew with that name was very extroverted and down to earth, I suppose you could say.

Here are a few more suggestions:

[name_f]Liberty[/name_f] (Like The Statue of [name_f]Liberty[/name_f]? Too cheesy??)

Thanks for your help, vestiges! I love [name_f]Marissa[/name_f] and [name_f]Lorelei[/name_f], I think they’d both work really well. I like the feel of [name_u]Cassidy[/name_u], too.
Still interested to see if anyone else has suggestions, though, of course :slight_smile: