Name a Character in Cyndere’s Midnight!

So, there’s this monster in Cyndere’s Midnight, the sequel to Auralia’s Colors

She’s a nasty piece of work, like something that crawled out of The Dark Crystal or Pan’s Labyrinth: eight arms, a parrot-like beak, and eyes like clusters of eggs. She stands at a cauldron, and dispenses bowls of the worst kind of stew to creatures empowered by an addicting substance there.

I can’t call her “the Dispenser.” People will think of Pez.

She needs a name, or rather, a title.

What should I call her? The contest is simple: If you come up with the name I end up using in the book, you’ll get a free copy of the book when it’s published. You can post your ideas in the comments or just email me.

Contest ends on February 1st.

Be sure you’ve provided me with at least an email address, so I can contact you if you win!

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.

  • yankeh

    When do we find out who the winner is? That is, if there is one.

  • cptcasualt

    Aunt Maud
    The Wretch

  • leatherwing

    Some interesting greek words with the meaning of dispenser:
    kreanomos – one who distributes the flesh of victims

    tamias – has a duel meaning 1)one who carves and distributes, a dispenser
    and the feminine form tamia means 2) a housekeeper, housewife

    daitros – one that carves and portions out

    Also like the name Dark Mother

    leatherwing

  • sildah

    The Brewer or the Brewmistress

  • http://hjstaff.wordpress.com/ Greg Wright

    The Shaddewegh.

    And I’m serious.

  • danny69

    This character sound like the anti-Ale Boy to me.

    How about something like the Crone.

    Or even…

    The Spider Crone
    Widow Crone
    Sop Crone

  • tcanny

    Taking inspiration from Dickens and Oliver Twist’s workhouse experience with unsavory characters dispensing unsavory foodstuffs you could call her either The Bumble, The Beadle, or The Corney.

  • David

    She should just be called “Your Highness”. Or “Her Highness” in her absence.

  • http://www.evenielsen.blogspot.com Eve

    Black Widow…as in the spider. Since she dishes out a poisonous brew.

  • simpleasfire

    Euryale Ferox

  • yankeh

    The Apothecary

  • genebranaman

    I’ve been thinking about this since you posted this thread. I love name games.

    Like others, I thought of names that go with pusher, dealer, grandma, nanny, etc, so I won’t repeat anything. I thought of The Giver, too & thought that was interesting considering the book of that name.

    A few interesting Babel Fished translations of some of these names led me to Vendra, Grava, Gravi, & Verka. Dealer in German is handelaar which lead me to The Handler. Pusher in Portuguese is “empurrador” which made me think if The Empress. Given your description of this character, I liked that one. There’s a double entendre there, too, sorta.

    After going through a number of names I remembered the Russian witch Baba Yaga, who was an enslaver in some legends. “Baba” means grandmother or old woman. Her name in Czech is “Jezibaba,” & I like it shortened to Jeziba but it’s a bit to close to Jezibel, maybe.

    That’s it for now. These are fun!

  • mitchland

    Hmmm…how about “Pendere”. It’s the original root of dispense and means weight. It also has resonance in opposition to Cyndere.

  • 27plussunday

    Okay… something German. That always sounds dark and
    ugly. How about The Zuckerstreuer ‚Äì (German for Sugar Dispenser ) or…The Giftmorderin ‚Äì (German for Poisoner)? I do like mrmando’s Glaxo suggestion, though.

  • http://lookingcloser.org Jeffrey Overstreet

    This is turning into one of the most entertaining Comments threads ever.

    Keep ‘em coming! (I’m probably more inclined to go with something like a Title than some invented name, but hey, I’ll consider *anything*.)

    I suppose I could consider any of Fletch’s aliases: Dr. Rosen-rosen, or John Coctosten, for example.

    How about… … … Tim?

  • mrmando

    Glaxo Smithkline?
    Schering Plough?

  • http://b-moviecat.blogspot.com/ eegahinc

    How about Toffana the Provider

    From the BBC – “In an age when the White Look was fashionable, a 17th-Century Neapolitan woman named Toffana invented an arsenic-based face paint called Acqua Toffana, supposedly a miraculous substance oozing from the tomb of St Nicholas di Bari. While the potion was marketed as a cosmetic, female customers were advised to pay Toffana a visit to learn the proper uses of the makeup. Many women became considerably rich widows after wearing the cosmetic on their cheeks when their spouses were around. Because of her dread of being found out, Toffana had taken to continually changing her name and residence and seeking ecclesiastical protection, which enabled her to continue her ways for years. Unfortunately for Toffana, the authorities eventually discovered her after about 600 dead husbands, and adroitly smeared her reputation by spreading rumours of her poisoning the city’s wells and fountains, causing the populace to turn against her. She was arrested, tortured and strangled in prison in 1709.”

  • jbjanknegt

    Gretchen the Dispensinator

  • metaphrast

    My suggestion is ‚ÄúCaliga,‚Äù which is Latin for darkness, gloom, and mist (and the opposite of Auralia, which would be ‚Äúanother heaven‚Äù if you squint hard enough). It is also reminiscent of Caligula, the Roman emperor who married and killed his sister and made his horse a general. A proper title doesn’t seem to be needed, but given her role, I suggest “The Urge.”

    Note- if, in the book, you describe her eyes the same way, use “clutch” instead of “cluster”.

  • tcanny

    Initially I thought the creature’s name should be Budgie and have a title like The Haight or The Wurm however with some more thought I came up with the following:

    It’s name should be Lusus after “lusus naturae” which basically means a deformed person or creature or a “jest of nature”. (It’s friends call it Lusy!;)

    Another name I liked is Megrim which has multiple meanings that combine into an interesting portrait. A megrim (or more usually the plural, megrims) is (are) 1. a caprice or fancy 2. low spirits, depression; and 3. (not plural) a synonym for migraine, as in the headache.

    It’s title should be The Giver.

    Some of my also ran titles include:

    The Monger
    The Source
    The Vendor

    Thanks for the fun contest!

  • mrmando

    Shelob … oh darn it, that one’s taken. Shalhoub?

  • schwanica

    I suppose it depends on what kind of impression you want to create in peoples minds about this character, but here is my humble attempt:

    Name: Cerulean
    Title: Pusher, Rewarder, Chandler, Relinquisher, Disemboguer

    I also thought about Disseminator, but it sounds a little like the “Terminator,” among other things :)

  • solishu

    The Grouse

    The Steward

  • yankeh

    The first thing that came to mind when I read your contest was drug dealers in general and then more specifically the main supplier in Trainspotting: Mother Superior. That title works in so many ways in the movie. And while the religious irony (or ‘Superior’) may not be as appropriate here, I think the perversion of motherhood could give just the right dose of revulsion.

    My favorite:

    Mother Mete

    The Matriarch

    Mother

    The Source

    Materna (like maternal)

    Umbilica

    Of the previous suggestions, I like The Toxicary best.

  • http://www.besidethequeue.wordpress.com besidethequeue

    rostroctovum = for the latin inclined. Though really, a much better combination of the latin words alluded to here could be created than this butchering, I should think.

    Also, I have always thought, especially as a kid reading fantasy stories and fairy tales and other tales of adventure, that the really creepy evil characters and creature were ones with short names: Smaug, Grendel, Gollum, Sauron, etc. Even Snape from Harry Potter. There is something eery and sinister about such names. Almost like understatement. They don’t necessarily mean much etymologically (that i know of anyway) but they are creepy.

    Good luck on the book. Look forward to more adventures in The Expanse!

  • karenee

    Grama – a pollution of “grandma” – because sometimes the nastiest people get pseudo-sweet nicknames to highlight what they’re not
    Veracrator – because it sounds like someone who would dispense nasty junk

  • http://www.wholeheart.org ckclarkson

    Name: Cauldrona

    Title: “The Keeper”

  • http://www.danbuck.blogspot.com/ danbuck

    1. Stewella DeVille?

    2. Mrs. McNabb

    3. The Stew Nazi

    But seriously…

    Ladela

    or

    Octarias

  • chrisfilmmaker

    The Bestower?

    The Distributor?

  • kevinshaw

    The Disburser

    The Toxicary

  • aravis72

    Fuguborscha the Craven

  • firestoneiv

    The Meter

  • i4detail

    Bob?

    Sorry. Title. Um.

    The Bob?


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