Please Help Meeeeee

Alright people! You name-gods have helped me before, so let's see what you have for these nameless characters! All of these people are 14 years old, by the way.

1. Girl, brown hair brown eyes. I'm thinking of making her Hispanic, but any name ideas will work

2. Boy, brown hair brown eyes. Twin of the girl. Possibly Hispanic as well

3. Girl, pale, red hair, blue/green eyes. She's a ballerina, if that helps

4. Girl, black hair, dark eyes, African American.

Thank youuuuuu!


January 24, 2016 2:43 PM

I think the best-named characters are ones that fit their families, primarily their parents. So "hispanic" and "African American" is a start, but instead of haircolor, I want to know about Mom and Dad: how old were they when they chose their child's name? Did they already have other children, or is the character their eldest? Are they geeks or jocks? Heck, even Republican and Democrat can be more relevant than their child's complexion...

Laura W. did a "Baby name style timeline" recently ( For current teenagers, the timeline suggests Alexis, Hannah, Austin, and Jacob as particularly characteristic names.

Another blog post that may be of interest was on up-and-coming Latino names ( If the parents of #1 and #2 are from a progressive-naming area and/or have a strong artistic or lyrical bent, I could see something like Adelina and Luciano for their children. Or Catalina and Tadeo. (For the latter, you could even invent a family story of how they called each other Kitten and Tadpole throughout grade school.)

Oh, and another one, not as recent but very relevant: "Names Make the Book" ( I just finished reading the series that's the source of the opening quote.

January 26, 2016 1:13 PM

I love the idea of Catalina and Tadeo calling each other Kitten and Tadpole. If the OP doesn't go with that, I think I might steal it myself... Super adorable!

I have to agree with the others who have posted so far. Knowing about the characters' parents and community would help a lot, as would some examples of names you considered that weren't quite right for one reason or another.

January 24, 2016 10:20 PM

I'm with HungarianNameGeek. We'll need more than ethnicity and basic physical traits to give you decent suggestions.

1. What kind of story are you writing? Not just genre, but tone. Is this a young-adult story? Comedy, fantasy, drama, science fiction (sub-types would also be helpful--urban fantasy, supernatural romance, etc.). When does this happen (time period)? Will the story be surreal, gritty, or something else (because, for certain stories and genre sub-types, certain types of names might be more appropriate)?

2. Who are these characters? What are their goals and fears, and what kind of environment did they grow up in? What kind of impression do you want to convey with their name? Who are their parents, or the people who gave them their name--would they give your characters trendy or unusual names, or are they more traditional, for instance? Do they have any interests that will influence what names they give your characters (are they, for instance, American history fans who'd want to name your characters after American historical figures?)?

January 30, 2016 4:11 PM

Ahhhh sorry! I really needed to put more information! I really haven't thought this far into the story, but...

Time period: present day

The twins: geeky parents, no other children

Red-haired girl: jock-ish parents, one other daughter and two other sons (red-haired girl is the youngest)

Black girl: artistic parents, two little brothers (4 and 6-ish?)

Sorry again!

January 31, 2016 9:06 PM

I think that, to narrow your search, it helps to first have an idea of what kind of story you're writing and what you want to convey with your characters within the context of their background. While you're doing that (or before), you can also look at name lists to give you ideas, but I think it's more helpful to you if you do it yourself. Sometimes, names can "click" that instantly, and that's because you're the one who's writing this story. Even looking at names that seem right but not quite helps--it gives you an idea already of where you're going with the characters. The way I see it, we can always give you suggestions, but it would be more helpful if you do the above yourself first and post here to help us narrow down your options, or give you suggestions based on clearer criteria.

So, for example, if you're writing a whimsical young-adult fantasy novel, to help with the setting and tone you might want more eccentric names. Do the names in The Magicians or Harry Potter fit with what you're writing?

For your twins, their geeky parents might give them fandom names (if so, what are they--the parents' fandoms and the kinds of names their parents might give them?), or they might just generally want unconventional names. Then again, they also might not (as a geek myself, I'd want to name my hypothetical child a conventional name). Same with your artist and jock parents. How are your characters affected by their environments?