In this ever changing and ever expanding ebook market it is difficult to be totally original with anything, especially when picking names!
I don’t quite know how I came up with the name Warspite, but maybe it was done subconsciously… or maybe it was just coincidence…
I use to be in the Royal Navy and although I can’t ever recall seeing the name, It seems logical that I must have absorbed it somehow, as eight ships have carried that name and it would have appeared on plaques or allocated to a building somewhere – like all the other names throughout the navies long history.
The strange thing is when I came up with the name (some 5 years ago) I thought I was being totally original. I wanted a name that suggested power, greatness and ferocity. I started with words like “fire” and “battle” and “war” then I started thinking about names which suggest actions like “Spitfire” (to spit fire) from “spit” I went to “spite”. To spite someone – good word I thought!
Then I took “war” from my epic list of names… and so… “war-spite” was born…. well born again at least!
I started using the name without doing any research for at least a year or two, then when things started getting serious I started to Google all the names that appeared in the book. I wasn’t worried about being 100% original at this point, just that the key names hadn’t been prominent in anything similar. Plus I started to think about it in online search terms – if you pick something too popular as your book name no one is ever going to find it in a quick google search if all they can remember is the title.
So imagine my surprise when I typed in warspite and it came back as the name of eight Royal Navy warships. By the time I did the research I had fallen in love with the name anyway so I was never going to change it. Plus without getting too romantic about it – it is perhaps fitting that I went for a Royal Navy name even if I had no idea that I had at the time. I doubt the name will be used much more in the navy for various reasons so perhaps I can keep it going in a small way.
For the actual meaning of the word “Warspite” it is unknown,
Wikipedia says the following:
Eight ships of the Royal Navy have been named Warspite. The origins of the name are unclear, although it is likely a pun on the word ‘spite’, in part embodying contempt for the Navy’s enemies, but also the common name for the green woodpecker, suggesting the ‘Warspite’ would poke holes in enemy ship’s (wooden) hulls. Until 1919 a woodpecker was used as the ships’s crest; the official badge was a cannon, although the woodpecker continued to be used on the ship’s tompions.
Before researching I wrote my own definition, as I do for most key names in the series:
A person who, with superior skills, spites (opposes) those who would bring the act of war upon the defenceless and innocent. The fictional emblem of the Warspite is the red lion.
Recently I learnt that Warspite has also been used in Star Wars as the name of an imperial ship! so I am not the first to apply it to the world of fiction…