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I was pondering writing a genderswap fic for the Genderswap Ficathon hosted by [info]verbosemofo  and got caught up for about two hours researching the names of the main characters and what they mean. Mostly for my reference (but also for any other fic writers who are interested) I've decided to type up my findings and thoughts for future fics. Mostly to adhere to the K.I.S.S. principle, I've chosen the female form of the original name - exceptions get a star with their explanation. Starts with cannon name on the left hand side, right hand is the gender swapped form.


*Nyota/Kijani Uhura

  • "Nyota" - meaning warrior, star. origin: african, swahili
  • There was no masculine form, so I researched another swahili name that meant the same thing, but was a male name. I liked Kijani best, but I'm sure someone smarter can find something better.
  • "Kijani" - meaning warrior. origin: swahili
  • "Uhura" - freedom
Christine/Christopher Chapel
  • "Christine" - meaning anointed of Christ, greek translation from hebrew
  • "Christopher" - Christ-bearer, hebrew
  • "Chapel" - place of public worship
Janice/John or Jack Rand
  • "Janice" - form of "Jane" meaning god is gracious
  • "Jack" - form of "John" meaning god is gracious
  • "Rand" - meaning brink, edge, margin, or shore
*Hikaru Sulu
  • "Hikaru" - meaning light or radiance depending on the kanji chosen for the name. I've decided that the kanji chosen is different for boy Hikaru v. girl Hikaru; from what I gather, its more likely for females to spell their name out with hiragana and for boys to use kanji, but I'm not 100% on that. If anyone knows otherwise/ for sure, comment and I'll edit!
  • "Sulu" - This was tricky, as Sulu isn't an actual surname (that I could find). It's an island in the Phillipines, and Roddenberry chose it based on the Sulu Sea - saying that water from that sea touched all shores. Its kind of lovely if you think about it :)
Pavel/Pavlina Chekhov
  • "Pavel" - meaning small, russian form of "Paul"
  • "Pavelina" - russian form of "Paula" which is the feminine of "Paul" which is latin, meaning small.
  • "Chekhov" - Apparently, "Chekhov" is not an authentic Russian surname, but is recognizable due to the popularity of the playwright Anton Chekhov. Riddle me this, google - how can something not be authenticaly Russian, but be the last names of one of the most famous Russian writers? I could not find the answer, dear flist.
  • Dude, I do not have the nerd cred to search out the rules about Vulcan names, given v. surname, female v. male. So if you wanna go with T'Spock, all the power to you, but I'm just going to handwave it that Spock is a unisex vulcan name.
James/Jamie Kirk
  • "James" - from the hebrew "Jacob" meaning supplanter.
  • The name James is considered bad luck by the british royal family, as many of the rulers with the name James have met untimely ends.
  • "Jamie" - deminuative of "James" became a female name in the 1950's, meaning supplanter
  • (I totally laughed at the thought that technically, Kirk 'supplanted' Spock in the Captincy. Yes, I am a nerd, why do you ask?)
  • "Kirk" - meaning Church, particularly Church of Scotland
*Montgomery Scott
  • "Montgomery" - "Mont" french, meaning hill, "Gommery" from the french Gomeric meaning "power of man"
  • I couldn't find a female name anywhere in the world that equated to "the hill from the power of man", although there are many English and Irish names meaning hill. So... yeah. I'm calling in the "just call her Scotty" card.
  • "Scott" - meaning Gaels, used by the Irish to label the people of the northern isles.
Leonard/Leonarda McCoy
  • "Leonard" - from germanic leo meaning lion, and nard/hart meaning strength or core, so "lion strength"
  • "Leonarda" - uncommon female version of "Leonard" also "Lenna" meaning "lion strength"
  • "McCoy" - form of "Magee" anglicization of the Gaelic "Mac Aoidh" meaning son of "Aoidh" or the Celtic deity for fire.
  • "Gaila" - from "Abigail" or "Gail" hebrew for father of exhaltation
  • "Gail" - hebrew meaning father of exhaltation, or happy foreigner
  • I think the happy foreigner translation is interesting, but I only found that in one entry off google, so use cautiously.
  • "Nero" - name used by a Roman Emperor as a regnal name, reputed to have 'fiddled as Rome burned'. Also used by subsequent Emperors, and as a given name in modern use.
  • I couldn't really think of a female equivalent - "Nera" is a hebrew name meaning light, unrelated to Nero, so there goes that idea. There was only one female ruler of Rome, and her name was Ulpia Severina, so you could use Severina if you wanted to I suppose - it just loses the slightly manic resonance that comes with Nero and it's history as a name. 

Well, I hope somebody out there on the internets finds this useful - it's given me a broader sense of the characters and their personalities as they relate to their names. I haven't quite made the deadline for the ficathon, but seeing as I only found out about it on monday, I hope I can be excused. I'm off to go write some more, time to hang up my nerd hat. :D
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