Character Naming

As an Author naming your Character is an important step right after coming up with the plot. I am here to help you choose the right character name for you and your story.

Make sure your character name is Genre Appropriate. Make sure if it's a Historical Fiction novel or takes place in a real time period that the name was used then. Or if it's a fictionalized place then you can be as creative as you wish.

Just have fun with naming your character. It is after all your story.

Friday, December 28, 2012


Meaning: (Juniper Bush, Taken from the name of a small evergreen shrub bearing berries used in flavoring gin. Either in reference to the English common name for the juniper tree or berry, or in reference to a derivation of the Welsh name Guinevere. Juniper has historically been used as both a boys' name and a girls' name. The Juniper tree's name is derived from the Latin word juniperus. In Latin, juniperus is combination of the word junio, which means young, and parere, to produce, hence youth producing, or evergreen. Ginepro (Italian for Juniper), Ginevra (Italian variant form of Juniper), and Ginny are other names that also refer to the Juniper tree. During the Renaissance era, Junipers were  used symbolically in art to represent chastity.)

Origin:  (Latin, Welsh, English (Rare), English Nature Name)

Pronunciation: (JOO-ni-per, JOON-ə-pər, JHUW-Nay-P-er)   

Gender: Female

I was thinking about adding this the other day. I have added Geneva which has a root in Juniper. I think Juniper is a super cute name. It’s a nature name that I really like that isn’t used too often.

Franklin / Frankeleyn

Meaning: (Freeman, Free Landowner, Transferred use of the surname, which is from the Middle English Frankeleyn (a freeman, a landowner of free but not noble birth). The word is derived from the French, franc (free). A famous bearer of the surname was Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), an American statesman, inventor, scientist and philosopher. The name has commonly been given in his honour in the United States. It also received a boost during the term of American president Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945). This interesting old status name has its origins in the feudal system of medieval England. It derives from the Middle English "frankelin", from the Anglo-Norman French "franc" meaning free, in the sense of liberal and generous, plus the Germanic suffix "ling". The status of the Franklin varied somewhat according to time and place in medieval England; in general, he was a free man and a holder of fairly extensive areas of land, a gentleman ranked above the main body of minor freeholders, but below a knight or a member of the nobility. The surname dates back to the late 12th Century, (see below). One, Luke le Franckeleyn is registered in the Cambridgeshire Feet of Fines (1234). In the modern idiom the name has six spelling variations, Frankling, Francklyn, Francklin, Franklen, Franklyn and Franklin. On February 11th 1560, George Franklin married Agnes Hills, at St. Dionis Backchurch, London. The American statesman and scientist Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), was of British descent. His father, a maker of soap and candles, had emigrated in about 1682, from Ecton, Northamptonshire, to Boston, where his son was born. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Frankelein, which was dated 1195, in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.)

Origin: (English, Middle English, French)

Pronunciation: (FRANGK-lin, FRANK-lin, FRANK-luhn)  

Gender: Male

I use to love that kids show Franklin when I was a little kid. The other day I heard of someone named Franklin. It’s an old name and I really don’t hear this often. I mean I hear of Frank’s but not Franklin too much. It has nice meanings and is easily pronounced. It has a nice long history and would do nice in a Historical Fiction Novel. 


Meaning: (Descendent of the Hound, Small Dog Milos, Little Dog, Recorded as Madain, Madden, Maddin, Madigan and MacAvaddy, this is a famous Irish surname. It derives from the pre 10th century Olde Gaelic name O'Madain, translating as the descendant of the son of the hound. The hound is famous in Gaelic heraldry having the virtues of speed, endurance, and loyalty. Most Irish surnames originate from a chief's nickname. O'Kennedy, for instance means the male descendant of the ugly headed one! The O'Madain's originated from lands on the River Shannon in County Galway, at one time holding over 25,000 acres. Even today nameholders are still numerous in that part of Ireland. The Madigan branch of the clan are regarded as almost exclusively a Clare-Limerick family, although a branch are to be found in Counties Antrim and Derry in Ulster. Richard Madden, (1798 - 1886) was the author of the book 'The United Irishman', whilst many name holders emigrated to either America or England during the infamous 'Potato Famine' of 1846. Walter Madden, his wife Mary and their children Richard aged five and Alice, a baby sailed from Galway, bound for New York on the ship 'Junius ' on May 1st 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Dermot O'Madadhain. This was dated circa 1100 a.d. He was chief of the Ui Maine, Connacht, during the reign of King Henry Ist of England, known as 'The Just", 1100 - 1135. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.1135.)

Origin: (Irish)

Pronunciation: (MA-duhn)

Gender: Uni-Sex

I saw a commercial the other day advertising Madden Boots. I like the spelling and pronunciation of this name. The meanings are decent. It sounds like a really cute name. I love the history of this name as well.


Meaning: (Optimistic, Judge, Recorded in several spellings including Richter, Richters, and Richteering (German), Rickers (English), de Rechter (Flemish), Rigter (Danish), Rychter (Polish), Rychtar (Czech), and others, this is a surname of pre 7th century origins. It derives from the ancient German word 'rihtoere' meaning 'to make right', and hence this was an occupational or status name for a part time judge or chief. It is said that in the Middle Ages the term was used to mean an amateur settler of disputes, perhaps a village wiseman or somebody so considered, and certainly one held in high esteem by the local community. In some areas there was later a role reversal in that the word and hence the surname, came to mean a full time headman or chief. With this type of name it is always difficult to say after the passage or seven centuries or more, what the actual meaning was at the moment when the name was 'bestowed'. It is always possible that it was a nickname, and might even mean the literally reverse meaning of what it seems to mean. The first known recording in any spelling anywhere is believed to be that of Hugo Richters of Eblingen, Germany in the charters of that town in 1279. Occupational name or status name for an arbiter or judge, Middle High German rihtaere (from rihten ‘to make right’). The term was used in the Middle Ages mostly to denote a part-time legal official. Such communal conciliators held a position of considerable esteem in rural communities; in eastern Germany the term came to denote a village headman, which was often a hereditary office. It is in this region that the surname is most frequent.)

Origin: (Germanic)

Pronunciation:  (RIHKTer, rikh-ter, RIK-tur)

Gender: Male

I can’t remember where I heard this but I kind of like it as a first name. It has good meanings and seems a strong name. It has a good long history. It would work well as a last name for a historical fiction character or as a first name of a character in a sci-fi / fantasy novel. It seems to be a name that would fit in different and varied genres.


Meaning: (Type of small Falcon, From the name of the bird of prey, Ultimately derived from Old French Crecelle “Rattle”, which refers to it’s cry)

Origin: (Old French, English (Rare))

Pronunciation: (KES-truhl, KES-trəl, KES-trel, KEHSTRahL)

Gender: Female, Possibly Uni-Sex

When looking up the name Kestra I saw it was a variant of Kestrel. So I decided to add Kestrel. It has a good strong meaning and is unique and rare. This name has been used quite a few times in books and movies but still remains a not over used name. It has been used more in sci-fi / fantasy novels.

Daelyn / Daylin

Meaning: (Valley, Small Valley, Variant of Dale, Transferred use of the surname, which is from the Old English dael (dale, hollow, valley). The name originated as en la Dale or de la Dale and was indicative of a person who lived “in the dale.”)

Origin: (Old English, English)

Pronunciation: (DEYEHLahN, DAY-lin)

Gender: Uni-Sex

I was looking up the name Kestra *see on list of posts* and this person was asking about middle names to go with Kestra. They asked about Daelyn. I really came to like the name Daelyn. I have added names to the blog that have similar meanings. This is a nice name with decent meanings.


Meaning: (Kes: Falcon, Variant of Kestrel, Name of a character on Star Trek: The Next Generation)

Origin: (English)

Pronunciation: (Kes-truh)

Gender: Female

I was watching Star Trek: The Next Generation the other day. Counselor Deanna Troi had a sister that she never knew she had. When her mother Lwaxana’s psyche was collapsing in on itself Deanna went in with the help of another telepath. She found out her sister died when Deanna was just a baby by an accident. Her sister was named Kestra. I think Kestra is the cutest, unique name I have seen and heard in a while. The only meaning I have found is for the first part Kes. I think the meaning I found is strong. A commenter once said on one of the names I put on the blog that it sounded like a Star Trek name well this one really is. But this name can be used I think for other characters because it is not a name made just for the Star Trek universe. I think this can be used because it is a name that comes from another name.


Meaning: (Not Causing Sorrow, Sorrow Less, One Without Sorrow, Without Sadness, A form of Ashoka, Ashoka the Great, a 3rd Century BC Emperor of India, Ashoka Diamond, a 41.37 carat D flawless named after the Buddhist Warrior-Emperor Ashoka Maurya.)

Origin: (Hindu, Indian, Sanskrit)

Pronunciation: (aa-SHaaK, ah-shock)

Gender: Male, Possibly Uni-Sex

I was watching Law and Order: Special Victims Unit one day and this guy was some sort of investigator. His name was Ashok Ramsey. I love names that have Ash in them. It’s a very foreign sounding yet handsome name. I love the lovely meanings. It has a nice long history of use. I don’t see this often but I would love to see it in novels. It might be used just not much among English speakers.

Irisa / Iris

Meaning: (Rainbow, A name of two distinct derivations in use throughout Europe and the British Isles. In England, Iris is one of the flower names and is derived from the genus Iris. Elsewhere in Europe, it is generally taken from Iris, the mythical Greek Goddess of the Rainbow.)

Origin: (Russian, Old Greek, English Nature Name)

Pronunciation: (Irisa: iy-RIY-Saa-, -ay-RIHS-ah- or -ay-RIY-Saa Iris: EYE-riss, I-ris, EE-ris, IE-ris, I-riss)

Gender: Female

I can’t quite remember where I first saw Irisa but when I heard and saw it I really came to like it a lot. I have used Iris before in one of my novels. I used it because it was an older fashioned name and was a nature name because nature names particularly flower names were popular around the year my character was born. Both Iris and Irisa have beautiful meanings and are quite sophisticated names. They are short yet carry a dignified air to them. I’ve seen Iris in novels before but I would love to see Irisa.

Medley / Medlee

Meaning: (Recorded in a number of spellings including Madeley, Medley, Medlay, Meadley and Midley, this is a surname of English origins. It has several possible originations. Firstly and most probably it is locational and originates from Medley, a place in Oxfordshire on the River Thames. This name is composed of the old English elements "middel-eg", meaning the island in the middle of the river, or it may be from the village of "Madeley", with two villages in the counties of Shropshire and Staffordshire, or Madley in Gloucestershire. These are all named after the old personal name of the pre 7th century "Mada" meaning good, and "leah", a wood or clearing in a wood. Finally it is possible that the name may derive from the old French word "medlee", meaning combat or conflict, and one which became a nickname and hence a surname for an aggressive person! Early examples of the surname recording include: Thomas Medlay in the Post Mortem lists of the year 1419, whilst the rax records known as the "Feet of Fines" of Warwickshire mention Benedict Medley in 1496, and Christopher Medelay was listed in the Coroners Rolls of Nottinghamshire in 1504. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Simon atte Middele. This was dated 1273, in the historical record known as Kirby's Quest for the county of Somerset, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling. )

Origin: (Middle English, French)

Pronunciation: (med-lee, Med-uh-lee, Go to this site and run your cursor over the name Medley to hear how it is said:

Gender: Female, Possibly Uni-Sex

This is another name I saw in my old year book I was flipping through. I knew a girl named Medlee. When I was in school I thought it was a weird name. Of course back then I wasn’t into names especially unique ones as much as I am now. When I saw this in my old year book I thought to add this on my blog. It has decent meanings and has a unique look and pronunciation.

I try to have the most accurate Meanings, Origin and Pronunciations for the names on this blog. It is best though to do research into the names you decide to use for your characters as there can be errors on my blog. Or meanings, origins, and pronunciations I have not seen thus not been able to add to this blog.

Try some of the leading Baby Name Sites and Baby Name or Character Naming books as well.

The baby name sites below are where I collect many of the Names, Origins, and Pronunciations I use on this blog.

Baby Names Sites: