Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 4 weeks ago

Which surname would be better for my story?

Garcia or Gallagher? 

The character is a strong, loyal, kind girl who has a bit of a temper. Sort of like Darrel Rivers from Malory towers. 

I have a good idea of what her first name will be and it flows well with both Garcia and Gallagher, but if you have any suggestions please let me know! 


I didn’t realise everyone would be so bloody rude. I went on yahoo answers to ask a simple question and not one person has answered it properly. 

11 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago

    Go for Gallagher, it sounds strong.

     I looked it up and it is an Irish surname and means "foreign help"

  • 4 weeks ago

    Garcia suggests kind and loyal, Gallagher suggests she is strong and has a temper. My instinct would be to go with Gallagher. 

  • 4 weeks ago

    Gallagher but it depends on where the atory is set.

  • 4 weeks ago

    A couple people haven given you important advice:  you need to consider where the story is taking place, whether either a hispanic or Irish surname would be common or uncommon, and if either of those ethnic heritages will have any impact on the story.

    Since real people get their names before they develop their personalities, names don't necessarily convey their personality traits, but they can convey their ethnic traits. As a fiction writer, you can use names to try to convey a personality, but I doubt either Garcia or Gallagher convey much other than ethnic heritage. 

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  • Marli
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    I have haunted this category several years. "Which surname would be better for my story?" questions are asked so often that ..., well, Zac said he was answering it for the thirteenth thousand time.

    Because you seem to be offended, I will give you the long winded answer.  Sir Caustic may type "Sceech, Marli!" and stop reading - if he has not already stopped.

    . The cumulative answer - that the choice of a name doesn't matter (unless it matters in the story) - IS the proper answer.  

    Does Ms  Garcia's Spanish or Hispanic upbringing matter in the story?   In Carole Nelson Douglas's "Cat" [Midnight Louie] mysteries, the choice of name did matter.  The police detective's name was shorthand for "opponent of blonde heroine Temple Barr." Latina race and cultural upbringing complicated her interactions with the Caucasian characters. They lived in Las Vegas, but not in the same parts of town. They didn't get what was unspoken,  what was a "given", in each other's neighborhood.

    Your Ms Garcia's Spanish roots or Ms Gallagher's Irish roots would not matter if the story is set in Spain or Ireland, where at least most of the characters are Spanish or Irish.  They might matter a little, a lot, or not at all in England, depending on your storyline.  

    "Harry Potter" is an innocuous name in England. Many English men are named "Harry" or "Potter." Since Hogwarts and the story is in the United Kingdom, Harry's ordinary  name roused no attention. Only the scar is the outward sign that he is not an ordinary boy. "Draco Malfroy" is not so innocuous,  although Malfroy is a real name jn England,  France and New Zealand. "Dragon" and "bad, or unfortunate [mal]" Draco's name makes him destined to be seen by readers as the "bad" boy, the outsider, the "not our sort."

  • 4 weeks ago

    Both those names strongly suggest a specific ethnic background: Garcia - Spanish, Gallagher - Irish.

    Do you intend to use the character's ethnicity in any way in your story? No? Then don't give her a name that makes such a strong suggestion. Give her a neutral name like Smith.

    Yes, people are being rude, but we have good reason. It honestly doesn't matter what a character's name is. Did J K Rowling ask  total strangers on the Internet to suggest a name for "a young wizard with black hair and a scar on his forehead and he's kind and loyal"? No: she just took two extremely common, undistinguished names, and relied on her writing, and on the story, to get her readers excited.

    Nobody's surname depends on whether they are loyal or quick-tempered or a good tennis player or whatever.

    Just pick ANY name that you like and get on with the story. If you find a better name as you go along, well, that's exactly what your "Search and Replace" function is for.

  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Choose whichever one you prefer. It won't matter to anybody else because you won't manage to beg more than a handful of people to read it anyway, and that's IF you ever actually write the tripe to begin with, which is not very likely at all. You'll obsess over silly, trivial nonsense and use that as an excuse not to write, meanwhile you're probably only thinking about writing this because you want to write something that's an exact copy of an existing story. People who can't name their own characters aren't writers. 

  • 4 weeks ago

    No. They're both rubbish. I say you should call her "Darrel Streams". Do you see what I did there? Yes, that's right. It's a clever legal subterfuge so that the lawyers can't touch you, you lucky, anon airhead you. You're so lucky to be getting this kind of quality advice for free.

  • Zac Z
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    For the thirteen thousandth time: a character's name is not connected to their personality. Look around yourself in real life. Is there ANYBODY at all that is characterized by their name?

    If anything the (given) name of a person tells you about their parents' as it is them (generally) who picked the name, but even there the knowledge gained is very limited.

    Here's a secret (well, not very secret, I'm afraid): readers don't care as much about names than you think.

    Would you have guessed that a series about a boy named "Harry" would revolutionize the YA literature industry? Guess you wouldn't have, and yet, Ms Rowling pulled this off.

    And she most likely would've done the same if her main character hadn't been Harry Potter but Lancelot "Lance" Turnip.

    ETA: As bluebellbkk and Marli have pointed out, the family name might have some importance as it may reveal the ethnic background of a character which in turn could be important in the story. This is a legitimate concern for you as a writer.

    However, I gave my response which you apparently perceive to be rude because you obviously do not ask about the surname out of these legitimate reasons but rather link it to character traits that you've listed and whether or not it "flows well" with the given name.

    That is why I stand with my answer.

    As long as the name or the ethnicity which is hinted at by that name plays a role in your story the name is irrelevant.

    There are even stories in which the reader never learns the name or surname of the protagonist - and some readers might not even notice because often it just doesn't matter.

    You say that nobody has given you a proper answer. We have. You just don't like it.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    Her personality traits have nothing to do with her last name and vice versa. Choose a name you like and get back to writing instead of wasting time on this.

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