You may be familiar with the tv-show Pretty Little Liars which first aired back in 2010. The series, currently airing its fifth season and 100+ episodes, is based on the book series written by Sara Shepard. The story revolves around a group of five friends who start receiving anonymous messages containing some of their deepest secrets and leading them to dangerous situations after one of the the girls (Alison) disappears. I am a fan of the show because of the story, the suspense that always brings me to the edge of my seat. I am amazed at how they always find new plot twists and are able to surprise the viewers, I love the wardrobe and I am totally obsessed with the names featured! I decided to feature the main characters (and some of their friends and family when it proves a pattern or are especially intriguing) and not only to analyze the name but do a little personality psychology.
- Aria Montgomery: The word name “aria” means “song” or “melody” in Italian. An aria is an elaborate vocal solo, usually performed in operas. It is sometimes assimilated to Ariel which means lioness or Ariana, the daughter of Minos in Greek mythology. I absolutely love Aria’s name, it conveys an airy (the litteral meaning of Italian’s aria…), musical, almost fairy-like feel. It’s an underused name and suits the character perfectly because she’s imaginative, creative, into arts and crafts (she knits and she’s daring with her clothes) and a sensitive human being. She’s also a vegetarian so she’s considered the “alternative” one. The petite brunette loves her classics, black and white movies and English literature, she’s a vintage/hipster babe and I love her.
- Spencer Hastings: Spencer means “keeper/dispenser of provisions” in Middle English. It’s a unisex name that is still on the boys’ side. This name is spot on for Spencer, she comes from a wealthy family and has an older sister, Melissa. I sense that, being the second child, maybe her parents hoped for a boy to carry on the legacy which made Spencer inherit her name. Anyway, I think it suits her perfectly because she can be girly and preppy and dress for cricket and tough and determined, too. She is an overachiever, an incredibly clever individual and she can be boyish in the sense that she takes care of business, is really stubborn and fiercely independent (even though, today, girls can do it on their own just fine!). She’s very confident, doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her and could come across as bossy and merciless but it’s only because she cares and wants to protect her friends, taking things into her own hands.
- Hanna Marin: Hanna is a less common spelling than Hannah or Anna but means “grace” just as much. The meaning is bittersweet because Hanna has evolved quite much since her younger self days, which she refers to as “Hefty Hanna” days, she’s transformed into a beautiful (and popular) flower outside but she was already great inside! The more I watch the show, the more I see that she’s very motherly and intuitive. In fact, that’s a characteristic of Hannas in general. She might not be the “brightest” of the group but she senses when something isn’t right, outspoken, she isn’t afraid to burst snarky comments without a filter and she’s really loving and caring. Hanna’s just a sweet and loveable character.
- Emily Fields: Emily means “rival”. Actually, to me Emily is the most “girl-next-door” name out of the four. Emily is just “chill” to me, she really goes with the flow, she has her personality but is quiet and sensitive so she won’t ever be the one who starts a fight. I feel that because she’s gay, the author chose that name to “tone it down”, she was an all-American girl (with a go-to name, it was the #1 girls’ name for over a decade, in the books she has strawberry blond hair, etc.), almost unnoticed but her love of sports (she’s a swimmer and the “jock” of the group) and her sexuality make her stand out. She is a bit naïve but incredibly loyal, truly loving and her compassionate and empathic nature makes her forgive easily. Her name is an understandable choice but the meaning doesn’t please me because of her kind personality.
Family and Friends:
Alison DiLaurentis: Alison is a variant of Alice and, even though the Allison spelling is more popular, this one isn’t unknown by any means. It means “noble”, it suits the (really full of herself) former queen bee of the group.
Mona Vanderwaal: Mona means “noble good” but is a diminutive of either Monica (“advisor”) or Ramona (“wise protector”). Mona was Hanna’s best friend but they “fell out of friendship” because of Mona’s betrayal. Her name is quite ironic because she lies to achieve her goals but Monica also comes from “mono”, only one, alone…
Ezra Fitz: Ezra means “help”, he’s also a Bible character and a scribe. He’s Aria’s longtime on-and-off boyfriend (in the tv-show). They really hit it off due to their multiple common interests like literature despite their age difference and love to spend time together cuddled while watching an old movie, debating or eating vegetarian food. Ezra is a teacher and a writer and this uncommon (but so handsome) Biblical name with an edge is perfect for the young and hot professor.
Toby Cavanaugh : Toby is a short form for Tobias, meaning “God is good”. He’s Spencer longtime boyfriend. Tobias is, among other things, the name of a dog in the Bible (no other animal is named in the Bible) which explains the fact that many dogs bear the name. Toby is loyal and understanding, even though he joined the –A team, it was in order to protect Spencer and her friends.
Caleb Rivers: Caleb means “devotion to God”. He’s Hanna’s longtime boyfriend and is clearly devoted to his relationship. He’s kind and loves to help with his knowledge with technology.
Maya St. Germain and Paige McCullers: Both were Emily’s girlfriends, Maya means “water” and Paige is a word name for “page to a lord” (similar to Taylor, “tailor”). The meaning of Maya’s name is nice because Emily’s a swimmer.
Byron, Ella and Mike Montgomery: I wondered if Mike was short for Michael but I thought it was too simple and “common”, actually it stands for Michelangelo! It’s a whole lot of name and I understand him going by Mike. Byron is literary tied with Lord Byron, an English poet. Ella is, like Aria, a romantic name. This is a really nicely named bunch!
Wren Kingston: (Just because his bird name has always intrigued me). Wren is more of a girls’ name but it doesn’t seem shocking on him, a daring nature name choice as cute as Lark.
I hope you enjoyed my post. I had fun writing about my tv-show crush and especially my little Liars! What are your PLL favorite characters and names?
What should I write about next?
See you soon,