In an article entitled It’s a Secret to Everybody, Drew Mackie brings up some highly possible origins of several video game characters, including several from the Zelda franchise. For instance, on the name of our hero, Link, he says:
“His name isn’t unheard of outside of video games; there’s actually a character with that name and with that spelling in To Kill a Mockingbird, though, more often, you see the name as Linc, an abbreviation for Lincoln. Nintendo itself has had some fun with Link’s name. The title of the third Zelda game, Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past makes a pun on his name. And in any game, Link, as the game’s stand-in for the player, also serves as a link between the video game and the human world on the other side.
Finally, links is German for “left,” which would mean nothing if the guy wasn’t traditionally depicted as holding his sword in his left hand.”