Have you ever wondered where Ian Fleming chose the name of his characters? Specifically, the origin of James Bond’s name. James Bond is perhaps one of the world’s most profitable and successful movie franchises in history. Just the mere mention of his name is instantly recognizable. Nearly everyone knows who he is and what he does. Simply put, he is a British secret agent with MI6 who is suave, rarely shaken and cool under pressure. But why specifically James Bond? Surely a much more dashing and debonair name could have been chosen for the title character.
Over the years there have been several theories to the origin of James Bond’s name. One of the strongest, most popular and favored of them was he got his name from a 15th century knight. To support this theory, in the books, 007 once said that he was possibly related to Sir Thomas Bond, a wealthy land owner. But this and all other theories were to be blown out of the water not long before Ian Fleming’s death.
Just prior to his death, Ian Fleming, the creator of the super spy revealed the origin of James Bond’s name. It was far simpler than most would have liked. In 1952 while on his estate in Jamaica, Fleming was still looking for a name for his character, and he wanted a boring and mundane one. That’s when he turned to a bird watching book he had on hand.
The author of the bird watching book was an American by the name of Dr. James Bond. It struck Fleming well and met his criteria for being mundane. Had he not had that particular book on hand, who known what James Bond’s name could have been.
When I wrote the first one in 1953, I wanted Bond to be an extremely dull, uninteresting man to whom things happened; I wanted him to be a blunt instrument … when I was casting around for a name for my protagonist I thought by God, [James Bond] is the dullest name I ever heard.
~Ian Fleming, April 21, 1952