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Friday, 15 April 2016

A continuation of writing by dice; Servants and tradesmen and naming extraneous characters.



I was asked about extending the personality traits from the table for main characters to those who are more 'throwaway' characters, so here they are.
And underneath, a quick table for first names by social class. 


Servants personality traits
Can also be used for labourers and innkeepers


1
2
3
4
5
6
1
loyal
top-lofty
dirty
skilful
vulgar
plain
2
venal
sporting
efficient
inept
pugnacious
attractive
3
snivelling
flirtatious
clever
curious
quiet
reader
4
resentful
helpful
dim
incurious
inoffensive
religious
5
radical
unhelpful
pleasant
nosy
shy
gambler
6
conservative
fastidious
Surly
sly
bold
nervous

Honesty level
Note; someone with the trait ‘loyal’ would be less likely to betray whoever they are loyal to, whatever their level of honesty

  1. thief
  2. pathological liar
  3. tells lies to escape trouble
  4. would keep incorrect change if too much and would take vail to undertake even underhand measures

  1. would only take a vail to do something not likely to harm anyone
  2. as honest as most people, would not cheat a tradesman but would buy smuggled goods
  3. As 7
  4. personally truthful and honest but would not betray a fellow servant who was less scrupulous.
  5. personally honest, and truthful except in the matter of being tactful. 
  6.  honest and sanctimonious about it and likely to rat up others
  7. as honest as the day is long and incorruptible, and likely to tell on anyone who tries corrupting him or her

Tradesmen


1
2
3
4
5
6
1
Greedy
cheerful
miserable
religious
reader
radical
2
nipcheese
surly
skilful
resentful
quiet
conservative
3
honest
pugnacious
inept
satisfied
stroppy
xenophobic
4
generous
ingratiating
pleasant
oleaginous
educated
Open minded
5
kindly
Well-spoken
friendly
Self-satisfied
ignorant
egalitarian
6
unkind
vulgar
unfriendly
Self-made
prejudiced
Flawed

Much is in reading a combination; someone both radical and religious is likely to be a non-conformist, a Methodist or Quaker, both keen reformists and very much religions of the middle class.
Flawed:  see main table for suggestions

Honesty
  1. will engage in sharp practises like adulteration of goods, tax avoidance, and selling short weight
  2. would cheat the government and would not tell a customer that he had overpaid
  3. would probably refund overpayment unless the customer has been rude
  4. honest enough but will use nepotism
  5. honest
  6. blindingly honest and likely to rat up anyone who is not.


Names by social class

Fun as it is to find a name which fits a character like a glove, sometimes a name is needed for a character who is neither important enough to be well defined, or who is waiting to be defined, in which case the name might change.  And not every character deserves to have their shortcomings on display with a name like Meleager Scrimp,  Bessy Filch [a bessy is an instrument for picking locks], Basil Overtop or Scholastica Readmore

This is by no stretch of the imagination a universal list.  I have included in each table the 10 most popular names across social boundaries, as  80% of people named would have been named from those names.  The lower class versions will have children named by pet versions of those names as well, since the better educated would know that, say, Molly was a pet form of Mary, and might call a child by a pet name, but would christen them by the root of it.

Aristocracy/gentry/educated
Male

1
2
3
4
5
6
1
Lionel
Walter
Guy
Miles
Frederick
Stephen
2
Lucius
Julius
Gregory
Virgil
Peregrine
Theodore
3
William
John
Thomas
James
George
Joseph
4
Richard
Henry
Robert
Charles
Peter
Francis
5
Christopher
Ralph
Nicholas
Anthony
Luke
Martin
6
Nathaniel
Arthur
Philip
Laurence
Roger
Jeremy


Female

1
2
3
4
5
6
1
Barbara
Marjorie
Bridget
Grace
Deborah
Cecilia
2
Phyllida
Cassandra
Chloe
Alice
Letitia
Priscilla
3
Mary
Ann[e]
Elizabeth
Sarah
Jane
Hannah
4
Susan
Elinor
Marjorie
Charlotte
Harriet
Helen
5
Sophy
Lucy
Isabel[la]
Emma
Catherine
Amelia
6
Frances
Lydia
Caroline
Phoebe
Esther
Amy

 Surnames: Names the Norman lords used were Baskerville, Darcy, Mandeville, Montgomery, Percy, Neville, Punchard, Talbot.    Place names from an atlas are always in order, including corruptions of French placenames like Bagpuss [Bacquepuiss].

Middle Class, pretentious
[names seen to be higher class which they might well be]
Male

1
2
3
4
5
6
1
Alexander
Hector
Frederick
Augustus
Horatio
Lionel
2
Nathan
Theophilus
Scipio
Hadrian
Maximilien
Ulysses
3
William
John
Thomas
James
George
Joseph
4
Richard
Henry
Robert
Charles
Michael
Julius
5
Cassius
Earle
Percy*
Neville*
Montgomery*
Darcy*
6
Talbot*
Gabriel
Jasper
Jonathon
David
Roger
*some of the more prestigious surnames introduced by the Normans.

Female

1
2
3
4
5
6
1
Priscilla
Fanny
Frances
Cecilia
Jacintha
Camilla
2
Araminta
Leonora
Augusta
Wilhelmina
Charlotte
Caroline
3
Mary
Ann[e]
Elizabeth
Sarah
Jane
Hannah
4
Susan
Martha
Margaret
Charlotte
Harriet
Amelia
5
Henrietta
Cressida
Audrey
Annabella
Marianne
Euphemia
6
Emma
Celia
Sylvia
Everina
Philadelphia
Anastasia


Middle Class, ordinary
Male

1
2
3
4
5
6
1
Samuel
Daniel
Josiah
Amos
Joshua
Adam
2
Nathaniel
Nathan
Jacob
Benjamin
Edward
Isaac
3
William
John
Thomas
James
George
Joseph
4
Richard
Henry
Robert
Charles
David
Stephen
5
Aaron
Moses
Luke
Mark
Matthew
Christopher
6
Simon
Timothy
Gedeliah
Philip
Hugh
Abraham


Female

1
2
3
4
5
6
1
Fanny
Fancy
Frances
Alice
Amy
Emma
2
Rachel
Judith
Dinah
Agnes
Elinor
Ellen
3
Mary
Ann[e]
Elizabeth
Sarah
Jane
Hannah
4
Susan
Martha
Margaret
Charlotte
Harriet
Lucy
5
Isabel
Dorothy
Jenny
Ruth
Rebecca
Jemima
6
Joan
Bridget
Dinah
Joanna
Nancy
Sophy

 Surnames:  artisan surnames like Fletcher,  Gildersleeves, Orbater, Coltard, Angove
or place names [use an atlas], or names from old given names like Baldwin, Anketel, Elmer, Hancock, Jenkins.


Lower Class
Male

1
2
3
4
5
6
1
Jacob
Adam
Joshua
Andrew
Matthew
Matty
2
Edward
Edmund
Ned
Daniel
Benjamin
Abel
3
William
John
Thomas
James
George
Joseph
4
Richard
Henry
Robert
Charles
Jack
Harry
5
Samuel
Amos
Jedediah
Josiah
Billy
Benny
6
Dick
Jake
Tom
Joe
Johnny
Jimmy


Female

1
2
3
4
5
6
1
Betty
Eliza
Nancy
Sukey
Sally
Kitty
2
Molly
Polly
Peggy
Agnes
Mary-ann
Betsy
3
Mary
Ann[e]
Elizabeth
Sarah
Jane
Hannah
4
Susan
Martha
Margaret
Charlotte
Harriet
Catherine
5
Beth
Minney
Kate
Etta
Fanny
Frances
6
Rebecca
Alice
Ellen
Hesther
Dorothy
Joan

 Surnames: likely to be more common occupation names like Smith,  or names from given names like Jones, Johnson, Williamson, Rodgers, Hancock, or place names from an atlas. 

On Surnames generally see also my post on the development of surnames HERE