Saturday, February 14, 2009
The name Jill has a very long history dating so far back that researchers are unable to pinpoint it's exact emersion into the world. It is believed to have started however as a form of currency. Back in the B.C. days a form of currency in circulation was called a 'gil.' It was kinda like our small change is today. Larger currency was known as a 'jack.' The story goes that the popular children's nursery rhyme, Jack and Jill, originated when a king and his economy were doing very well, the values of the jacks and gils were rising (Jack and Jill went up the hill). Unfortunately the people were struck by a plague that left everyone short of drinkable water (to fetch a pail of water) with the death of thousands the economy suffered (Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.)
I have a reason for blathering on about my own name, when we're supposed to be focusing on characters. Since no favorite characters immediately popped into my mind, I decided to use a couple of the characters from my current favorite author, Charles de Lint. Last week I read Dreams Underfoot, and this week I bought Tapping the Dream Tree. Two of the recurring characters in de Lint's stories are Jilly and Geordie. So see, I wasn't being all self-absorbed. I was really talking about a character. (Okay, so I was talking about myself, too.)
Jilly is definitely youthful in de Lint's stories. Although she is mature and has seen a lot, her appearance is somewhat childlike and I think her open-mindedness keeps her young.
As for Geordie (and hallelujah that de Lint didn't name him Jack), it's derived from George, which means farmer. Since that doesn't exactly work for Geordie the character, we can stretch it and think of St. George, the patron saint of England, who fought the dragon. Hmmm, okay, so that works a bit better for our Geordie.
Finally, going back to the name Jilly. Or more particularly, characters that you share a name with. I honestly never thought about the fact that Jilly and I shared a name until I started to think about this post. I think because I read so much I've started to disassociate character's names from people I know with the same name. How about you...do you think about this when you're reading a book with a character who has the same name as yourself, or your significant other, or your mom/dad/brother/sister, or your best friend, or even that kid from high school that you thought was a total jerk?