Last week we talked about naming your characters (TTWT #21). But what if you want something special? What if you want the name to mean something, to show a trait your character is known for or to get ironic and name them something they have nothing to do with? Well, here’s where name generators come into play. These are online sites that provide you with different filters that help you pick the perfect name for your hero or villain. They usually have filters like gender, popularity or origin, and give you some info about the name – what it means, famous bearer of it, etc. Here are two useful ones:
- Behind The Name. This is my favorite and I rarely use anything else. Genre (male/female/unisex), usage (Japanese, Greek, Ancient Celtic, Anglo-Saxon Mythology, etc.), meaning, origin, length, and impression (whether it sounds classic, common, feminine, nerdy, etc.) are only some of the many filters this site offers. I enjoy all the info that shows up when you click on a name: usage, pronunciation (very helpful with foreign names), meaning & history (it sometimes also shows famous bearers here), related names and popularity. This site also has a section for surnames and anagrams (handy when your characters want to get secretive and come up with a fake name that is somehow similar/connected to theirs).
- The Character Name Generator. This place has only three filters: genre (either sex/male/female), character’s ethnicity and decade of character’s birth (this one shows up only after you pick ethnicity and isn’t always available; for example, it shows when the ethnicity is European American, but not when it’s Japanese). The thing about this generator is that it shows you only one result at a time, but also comes up with a character profile that includes things like personality and favorite/unlikely careers. As someone who enjoys coming up with their own characters, this isn’t really the site for me, but if you are stuck not only on a name, but on a personality as well, check this site out.
Do you know any other useful name generators?
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