A couple of days ago I wrote about watching a film or TV programme in another language with subtitles; however good the subtitles are, they can’t always convey the subtleties of speech, those accents and dialects which would convey so much to a viewer who spoke the language.
It is the same with names… I’ve been watching Forbrydelsen, The Killing, which is in Danish. Do the names of the characters subtly convey something to the viewer? I’m sure different surnames are associated with different regions in Denmark, just as they are in the British Isles. Names carry a powerful message, in real life as well as in fiction hence the care with which most parents choose their children’s first names.
The detectives in The Killing, Lund, Brix, Meyer, Strange, Borch… do their names the writers chose signify anything about the characters? There is a political theme running through the three series so the politicians and their associates, Hartman, Skovgaard, Weber, Bremer, Buch…
So the names in the title of my post… Smith, the most common English surname, Sidebottom, a northern name, most often Yorkshire, and McTavish, a Scottish name- and there are a lot of McTavishes in Argyll. if these names were in a British TV programme they may have been chosen to suggest certain things about the character…. Oh and sometimes, some people called Sidebottom pronounce it Siddybotham…!!