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Character Naming Resources

20,000 Names

African Names

Alfabette Zoope Name Lists
Good lists of names and meanings, including many non-western names.

BabyCenter: Baby Name Search
Searchable by name, type of name, country, or meaning. (Slow.)
"We have over 51,000 names, with meanings, origins, popularity graphs, surveys, and more! Pronunciation, full search functionality, and more are coming in early 2005."
Another extensive collection of names and meanings, from a variety of cultures.

Baby Name Genie
If you're absolutely stuck trying to generate names for your characters, try this "genie," which will come up with a first and middle name based on the last name that you provide. (Great if you think "Layton Chad" would be a good name for a baby... or a character...)

A number of resources, including a random name generator that will give you ideas for first, middle and last name combinations.

Baby Names List
An extensive resource of over 25,000 given names, including their meanings, categorized by origin/culture or by ABC. We also offer an advanced search option, and a name suggestion tool.

Baby Name Network

Baby Names of Asia and the Pacific

Baby Names of Ireland

Lists of names, some with meanings and some without, from around the world. Some of the lists look good; others have some rather dubious entries. Still, a lot of info here!

Behind the Name
History and etymology of first names from around the world, including Biblical names.

Biblical Baby Names

Biblical Names for Baby

Biblical Names, List of
This list is taken from Hitchcock's New and Complete Analysis of the Holy Bible by Roswell D. Hitchcock, New York: A. J. Johnson, 1874, c1869. NOTE: I've reviewed a number of Biblical name lists, and have found that meanings given in this particular work do not always agree with many other lists, so I'd recommend cross-referencing.

Cal Poly Pomona Name Pronunciation Guide
Guide to pronouncing names from a variety of languages; search by language or country, or search the lists for pronunciations.

Chinese Names
This site enables you to generate Chinese names based on desired characteristics, and gives links to other good name and language sites.

Cool Baby Names
This site has a number of interesting categories in which to search, such as Biblical names, Shakespearian names, flowers and plants, colors, animals and birds, etc.

European and Arab first names
Name collection with emphasis on European and Arab first names. Presently offers only an extensive list of names; promises eventually to expand into a database that lists the country and meaning behind each name.

SCA College of Arms - Name Articles
The Society for Creative Anachronism's page on names, naming, names by culture, names by history, and much more.

Indian Baby Names

Indian Baby Names and Their Meanings

Irish Names

Last Names Meanings Dictionary
Nearly two million names and over 45,000 meanings and histories.

Medieval Names Archive: English, Old English, and Anglo-Norman Names
Excellent lists of names and articles on names from a variety of periods; well-researched and definitive.

Medieval Names Archive: Names from Other Countries
Names and articles on names from cultures and periods around the world.

The Name Machine
Ranks the popularity of names over the past 100 years.

Names and their meanings from a variety of cultures; Biblical names; and "most popular" names for boys and girls.

Name Yo Baby
Another baby name database.

Quick Baby Names
20,000 searchable baby names and their meanings, with popularity charts based on US statistics, and "a nifty little name "filter" that makes choosing a baby name a whole lot easier."

Sikh Names and Their Meaning
I like the way this site is set up to let you search by country of origin (first place I've seen with Aztec names!). You have to click on a link to get the meaning for each name, and not all names include meanings (again, see the Aztec list), but very useful overall.

Think! Baby Names
Resource on names for writers. Provides the meaning, origin, history, religious significance, and popularity of first names.
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Recommended Reading

Character Naming Sourcebook

The Oxford Dictionary of English Surnames

The Oxford Dictionary of First Names

The Secret Meaning of Names

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