Research Tool: Random name generators and lists

Pencil Question - istockSometimes coming up with the right character name can be the hardest part.  Whether working in secondary worlds or the real world, we have some research tools to make picking that perfect name a little easier.

Behind the Name.com is searchable by nationality, first letter, gender, or meaning.  Make sure you check out their Surname area as well.

Surnames from Old English – Useful for historical fiction, but also because it translates the names, offering structure ideas for names in secondary worlds.

List of most common surnames – Exactly what it sounds like. This is handy if you want to strongly identify someone as being from a particular place or if you want to avoid the obvious choices.

Random Name Generator – The random name generator will create a list of male or female names from the U.S. Census. You can set the obscurity level you’d like the list to be.

Everchanging Book of Names – This shareware program creates names based on naming patterns, for instance if you wanted a name that sounds Icelandic, but isn’t a real name.  You can also create your own “chapters” and define the parameters for alien names.

Your Spam Box – Why not do something useful with all that spam?  Random combinations ranging from Raymondo Zuniga to Rosemary Hart are just waiting for you.

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