It turns out
that people named Elwood are, per capita, disproportionately farmers. Also, Mavis. If you're Mavis, you're probably drawn to the field, relative to if you were, say, Mitzi, in which case long rows of numbers might appeal. Stuntmen are disproportionately named Alex.
I love having my prejudices confirmed.
(Of course, farmers and stuntment are more likely to be named Mike, or John, than Elwood or Alex. It's just that Elwoods tend in the farmerly direction.)
Careful about using this in a screenplay -- these names are, after all, stereotypical. You can, of course, use it to subtly play against type. Elwood could turn out to be a blues musician. There is a fairly well known Adele who is not an accountant.
But you can name someone Mitzi, knowing that the name will carry a certain amount of baggage. I like to use ethnic names to suggest that minor characters are ethnic without having to say they're ethnic. If I name someone Dr. Takata, I don't have to say he's Japanese. (Nor does the casting director have to cast someone Japanese. On Charlie Jade, "Karl Lubinsky" was a Black actor, Tyrone Benskin.) So along those lines, if I name someone Mitzi, it puts some nuances in the reader's head without my having to say she's an accountant, or from New York, or has probably been to some bar mitzvahs in her life.
Good writing is about packing details into a few words, so any website that helps you do that is useful.
There was a time in the 70's when every character named Eddie was a short, deviant, psychopath. Who didn't get many dates. And looked like he smelled. I was in my teens and using movies to find my identity.
A great little tool to get interesting character names -- and lots of fun. I've bookmarked it for future reference. Thanks, Alex.
I once named a character 'Erin' and received the note that she was kind of ballsy, "for someone with so many vowels in her name." Never figured out whether that was a good thing or a bad thing, but I have obsessed over character names ever since - only to realise how many people say 'the [actor] character" and have no idea what the character's name ever was... sigh ;-)
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