Monday, 1 February 2016

What's in a (storm) name?

I am somewhat obsessed by names so I can’t believe I’ve written almost 90 blog posts without discussing them.

I love choosing my characters' names for stories. I wonder about how some surnames came about. I always ask my teacher friends what children in their class are called. Etc. The subject could have a blog all of its own.

But as the wind howls around the house, I'll start with storm names.


From November 2015 storms in the UK began to be christened, starting with a girl’s name, Abigail. Abigail sounds far too nice and gentle to be a storm.

November had three storms – Abigail was followed by Barney and Clodagh. They’re from the Irish branch of the family maybe.

There were three in December – Desmond, Eva and Frank.

Doesn't Desmond have a barrow in the market place? What’s he doing thundering and blowing? Hasn't he got work to do?

Eva’s Abigail’s little sister – desperate to keep up.

I won’t forget Frank because I was in a plane that couldn’t land first time round because of him. Stupid boy.

Thankfully, only Gertrude showed up in January. In school stories, Gertrude was always the horrid girl – the sneak thief, the tale-teller, the one who’d trip you up in the corridor. I’m not surprised she grew up to cause havoc in the skies.

Bracing ourselves here in Scotland for Henry on 1 February. A king-sized storm is on its way by all accounts.

Off to hide under the bed.


  1. Well said Kate! Names are powerful and should be in keeping. Like colours! You can't paint a storm in a soft fresh green :-)
    (Cousin Christine - NZ)

  2. Thank you for reading the post, Christine. Katie and Mary on the list of storm names coming up; don't know whether they're appropriate or not!