At first, I believed these names were temporary points of references when Bell brings up the stillborn child and the living son, however since those seem to be more permanent designations, I became curious as to why Bell chose these words exactly. In my search for the definition of fingerling, the most common definition I could find described fingerling as a young or small fish, especially a trout or salmon. I did find one definition that described fingerling as a small or petite creature or object, which does make a little more sense when focusing on the newborn, however with the man’s connection with the lake and the apparent “burial” of the children in the lake, the fish definition is not that abstract.
A foundling, on the other hand, can be defined as an orphan, or an abandoned infant who is found and cared for by people other than his/her parents. This draws some interesting speculation about the living child in this novel: there seems to be some hint of infidelity on the woman’s part, but is there any evidence that this child is hers at all? If not, where did he come from, and does his origin address the mystery of the presence of other people or a civilization in this novel?