Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Creature, I name you…

What the internet can tell us about the names of Dr Who’s friends.

  • Rose
    Well, duh, it’s after the pretty flower. But it might also come from the Germanic “hros” – or horse. No, really.
  • Adam
    The Hebrew word for man; there’s maybe some Biblical punnery on similar Hebrew words meaning “red” (the colour, apparently, of human skin), “making” and “earth”. But the Biblical Adam was also tempted by new knowledge. Was that Nurse called Eve?
  • Jack
    Shorter form of Iohannes (also the source of John), derived from the Hebrew for “God is gracious”. Which goes with him being brought back to life by shiny-eyed goddess Rose. (But then it’s not his real name anyway, is it? Considering his brother, I think Jack’s really called Pinkish.)
  • Mickey
    Michael is Hebrew for “like God”; in the Book of Revelation he’s the leader of Heaven’s armies and the patron saint of soldiers.
  • Martha
    Aramaic for “lady” or “mistress”. But not in the sense of being the other woman.
  • Donna
    Means “lady” in Italian. And as a feminine version of the old Celtic “Donald”, it means “ruler of the world”.

3 comments:

Le Mc said...

A rather frightening fact I've come across is that a lot of fan fictions spontaneously and without consulting each other give the Doctor and Rose a daughter named Lily. Be very afraid.

Mark Wyman said...

Hurrah for your accidental helpfulness with names - I was musing on the links between Oliver / Olivier and the little oil-giving fruit earlier today, and forgot to check them out. Until now!

On 'Donna' being Italian, linguistically: in Inferno, doesn't JP's Doctor sing 'La Donna e mobile', from Rigoletto? Maybe there was an in-joke about that last Sat which I missed among all the tumult...

Anonymous said...

Mark´s musing "on the links between Oliver / Olivier"

Blimey, talk about long distance burning ears...

O