No-one looks for meaning much in manga character names, at least insofar as they relate to foreigners. By long standing tradition, as long as it sounds about right, it'll do. Which is why the Death Note universe brings us such corkers as Ill Ratt, Backyard Bottomslash and any number of others.
So looking for the meaning behind the name Quillsh Wammy, Watari or any other moniker linked with Death Note's L handler would, on the surface, seem futile. But maybe not, and since when has that ever stopped us anyway.
Let's start with the easy one - the name meaning of Watari.
Wandering Across the Watari Bridge to L
Watari is a pseudonym taken by Mr Wammy whenever he represents L publicly: acting as his spokesperson or point of contact generally; else wise conveying a laptop in order that L might communicate with the rest of the world.
Watari is a Japanese word. There's even a town called it (Watari-Cho), within a district of the same name (Watari-Gun) in Miyagi. Not to mention the phenomenon of omi-watari, breaking up and carrying sharp-edged ice floats across a nearby lake and away along its river. Plus the Japanese bird Watari Dori, literally 'bird of passage' and the words for tight-rope walker - tsuna watari.
By now, a few common denominators should be presenting themselves.
In the case of Death Note's Watari, the name symbolism seems obvious. Watari is the point whereby information flows towards L and outwards again back to the world. He bridges the gap between the detective and all else. Wandering about liaising with personnel, enacting logistics as directed, negotiating as needed, then disappearing into the ether for the next case with L.
In short, a narrow and migratory access point to reach L.
Cherry Blossom: Manga and Anime's Pathos Petal in Tragedy and Romance
Fine, delicate and highly beautiful leaves form and fall like a cloud in April, inspiring Japanese picnickers everywhere to spread a blanket underneath and celebrate hanami. Basically a feast in appreciation of the sheer transitory beauty of the petals all about them, fluttering down to carpet the ground en masse.
To mangaka and anime makers, this is romance at its finest, erupting in the flower of youth, but soon gone. No doubt due to some tragic element in the story about to be inserted by its author.
The theme continues, as a knock on effect within the genre, into a touch of poignancy at the graveside. Those pale pink petals cascading gently down to cover our heroes final resting place, turning red as they land upon such grief-laden ground. Pathos thus induced so ubiquitously, that it's now become an anime trope. Therefore defeating the purpose entirely.
So what has this got to do with Death Note? To our recollection, there's no scenes of canoodling under cherry blossom trees for Misa and Light, nor a drifting red petal alighting upon L's secret tomb.
Cherry Blossom Symbolism in Death Note - Sakura
Cherry blossom in Japan is called sakura. A common enough name for Japanese women, and one about to take its place in the pantheon of Death Note owners and serial mass murderers in the persona of Sakura Aoi.
A character in the forthcoming movie Death Note: Light Up the New World (2016), Ms Aoi is advertised as being the most deranged and deadly Kira ever to have scribbled monikers in a shinigami's notebook.
She has no ideological standpoint, just to kill, kill, kill, which means that her victims can't even console themselves with the fact that they're improving a rotten world, as per Light Yagami's justice ridden Kira. Not that any of them were probably thinking that anyway. They were just getting on with the dying in agony of a sudden onset heart attack.
There's nothing romantic nor symbolic of the doomed lover/tragic hero killed too soon in Sakura Aoi's terror reign of indiscriminate slaughter.
Previously, the main showing for the name Sakura was the TV station of the same name, wherein support for Kira was swift from the start, and Kira's Kingdom was founded.
Moreover, Sakura TV's mob rallying nearly got Near killed and did indirectly cause the death of police officer Ukita.
Death Note Pen-Name for Quillsh Wammy... from the Fandom
However, it's also not the name given to L's handler by his creator.
Tsugumi Ohba named the old man キルシュ・ワイミー, and there was never an explanation in text about how the fandom should translate it into Romanji.
Somewhere along the way, some bright spark probably looked at it and noticed that 'quills' (an implement for writing) could be made out of most of the first part. It seemed appropriate for Death Note, so they ran with it. It turned into one of those avalanching fanon things which overtakes the canon to become set as fact.
A process helped enormously when foreign language translations - particularly in English - picked it up and printed it as interpreted canon.
But more precisely, the kanji reads Kirsch (or Kirushu) Waimi (or Wye Me).
Sakura Kirushu Waimi: Cherry Picked Wammy House Teacher
Kirsch and Kirushu are easy to translate. They both mean 'cherry', or more precisely the dark cherry brandy that you get from double distilling the Morello cherry. It turns up in Japan as Kirushu Sake.
Known throughout its homeland of Germany and Switzerland as Kirschwasser (Cherry Water), and often used in Swiss fondue or German Black Forest Gateaux to give them that tart cherry taste.
When we embarked upon our dead end quest to find the origin of Quillsh Wammy's name, the closest we came to the surname was its match for a family living in 19th century Prussia (modern day Germany).
With a fan-fiction writers penchant for free association, that pretty much confirms Quillsh Wammy's origin as German, or his ethnicity at least.
What is Wammy? The Origin of Quillsh Wammy's Surname
Despite the fact that Waimea is also home to an annual Cherry Blossom festival honouring Japan, it's unlikely to be the surname source for Mr Wammy.
Waimi is a Japanese word too. It can be a personal name - usually for girls - translated awkwardly as 'ties feathers to ideas'. Let's smooth that out as 'one who gives flight to ideas' or 'one who turns the idea into reality'. Even more simply, 'the one who deals with logistics', which describes L's handler perfectly.
However, there was another intriguing entry in a Japanese-English dictionary, whereby Waimi was listed as 'to be' within the context of entering a garden. Unfortunately, the digital formatting was so messed up as to be nonsensical, hence the full definition couldn't be extracted. A quick asking around produced only the vague notion that 'waimi' could be 'something Zen' to do with 'niwaki'. That is the pruning of trees to enhance their general essence.
Again very nicely Wammy House related, though the fullest translation would be more useful here in properly pinning it down.
However, Wai seems to be a word with connotations with flow; air; wind; breath; speak; inspiration; the fact of being; part of; better; above; external; changing; and, of course, an ancient name for Japan itself. While 'mei' means a first name. Could Waimi simply be 'speak the first name'? As in Kirushu - cherry blossom.
Sakura Quillsh Wammy Kamikaze Maestro
Which brings us to the other cherry blossom inured individuals out fighting a war to the death - just as the Wammy kids were raised to do - namely the kamikaze pilots of World War Two.
Japanese fighter planes often had cherry blossom painted on the outside, while setting off to sacrifice themselves in suicide missions sometimes carried cherry branches abloom in the cockpit with them.
n addition to evoking a sense of national spirit - cherry blossom as the kana of a nation - there was plenty of propaganda (political speeches; popular songs etc) which likened the valiant war dead to that intensely flowering, swiftly falling bloom.
An early sub-unit of kamikaze bombers was actually called Yamazakura - wild cherry blossom.
Yama... Waime... it's difficult not to think of the Wammy Foundation as sharing something of the ethos involved in those suicide missions. When you consider the number of Wammy letters dead in the name of whatever almighty cause concerned them at the time, they do seem very much akin to the Yamazukura, flying their planes into targets in honour of their Emperor.
Indoctrinated with the notion that it was right and inevitable to do so.
Or perhaps we should return to kirsch as a double distilled cherry brandy, or a nice kirushu sake? Then drink a toast to the Wammy dead - who fell like sakura killed by Kira and L.