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.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Hilary / Hillary

Meaning: (Hillary is a given and family name, derived from the Latin Hilarius meaning "Cheerful", from Hilaris, "Cheerful, Merry" which comes from the Greek ἱλαρός (Hilaros), "Cheerful, Merry", which in turn comes from ἵλαος (Hilaos), "Propitious, Gracious". Medieval English form of Hilarious or Hilaria. During the Middle Ages it was primarily a masculine name. It was revived in Britain at the beginning of the 20th Century as a predominantly feminine name. In America, this name and the variant Hillary seemed to drop in popularity after Hillary Clinton (1947- ) became the first lady.)

Origin: (English, Medieval English)

Pronunciation: (HIL-ə-ree)

Gender: Uni-Sex

This is a name that is on everyone’s mind and lips right now what with Hillary Clinton running for president and all. This name has really pleasant meanings and is easily pronounced and recognizable. It has a decent look but it’s not a name I really love or anything but it is a decent name. It to me has a prep school look which isn't all bad; it's just a very prestigious looking name and that can put a specific aura to a character which might be sorta of type casting which a lot of people type cast a name or character anyway.

I’ve always wanted two brothers to be named Ashley “Ash” *see on list of posts* and Hilary or Hillary “Hill” in the modern era as that would be fun to have them be mortified by their now common female names and they being boys, lol! But more than that Ashley and Hillary have long histories of use and interesting people have been named this in past years.

Ashley / Ashlee / Ashlea / Ashleigh/ Ashlie

Meaning: (Ash Tree Meadow, Lives in the Ash Tree Grove. Derived from a surname and place name based on the Old English word for Ash Wood. Until the 1960s it was more commonly given to boys in the United States, but it is now most often used on girls. Famous bearer: Ashley, the male character in Margaret Mitchell's popular 'Gone with the Wind'.)

Origin: (Old English)
Pronunciation: (ASH-lee)

Gender: Uni-Sex

I can’t believe I haven’t added this very common name before. It has great meanings and great variant spellings but it’s a bit too common for me and my characters but if I ever did use it I would use it on a male character because I always think of this name as being the name of the character Ashley from “Gone with the Wind”.

I’ve always wanted two brothers to be named Ashley “Ash” and Hillary “Hill” *see on list of posts* in the modern era as that would be fun to have them be mortified by their now common female names and they being boys, lol! But more than that Ashley and Hillary have long histories of use and interesting people have been named this in past years.

I like the spelling Ashlie and I do like the nickname Ash so this name at least has me there but I have just never had a character come along that I saw as being named any variant spelling of Ashley but that may change in the future. Of course I didn’t create this blog just for me so if a common name like Ashley is what an author is looking for then I hope they enjoy this post and continue to find Ashley to be the perfect name for their character. Or if they never thought of this name but need one for their characters then I hope they find this post and find this name to be perfect for their character, whether male or female.


Meaning: (Deer Place, Deer Field, a Stag, Place of the Stag, Place of Gazelles, A Chain, Strength, Place of the Hind)

Origin: (Hebrew, Biblical)

Pronunciation: (EYE-juh-lon, I-juh-lon, ay-JAH-lon, AY-juh
-lon, AY-juh-lahn)

Gender: Male, Possibly Uni-Sex

So the other day I was doing some bible reading and one of the hundreds of Hebrew biblical names I read in the book of Joshua was this name Aijalon. This wound up being one of the only ones I could properly pronounce and one of the only ones I really liked the look of. The meanings are really great and the name itself looks modern but is also ancient so it’s a plus for different genres and eras.

However because of the look I am sure many people would think it was a made up name rather than an old biblical name. I’ve showed an old name like this and asked about it on Yahoo Answers many years ago and a few people said it was a white trash made up name by some teenage mother, which was so stupid given the long varied use of that particular name. So many people reason that they know everything about names and none of us do. Names are so varied between cultures that a name we think is made up could very well be thousands of years old. So I often get upset when people down a name they have no idea about. Sorry I’ve gotten off on a bit of a rant, lol!

Anyway this seems a nice strong older name that I like a great deal.


Meaning: (Lark, Bird name. Familiar from the children's song, "Alouette, gentille alouette, je te plumerai", which is actually a threat to pluck all the feathers from the poor bird. )

Origin: (French, Middle English)

Pronunciation: (Ah-low-ett-ah, ah-loo-ett, ah-loo-ett-tuh, al-oo-et-uh (English), ah-loo-et-uh (English))

Gender: Female

When I was looking at the blog Blog of Characters run by Apolla 13 she had added this name to her blog, a lot of the names on her blog are ones on mine but some I’ve never heard of before and so if I love them I add them to my blog. If you care to look at her blog it is

Alouette is a lovely beautiful name with a lovely meaning. I had never heard this name before nor did I know it was a popular older children’s song. I looked it up and found the Wikipedia page link I added above to be of interest as it gives the lyrics in French and English and then the lyrical meanings to the song. I only found the pronunciations on Yahoo Answers and a dictionary site.

My mom grew up in the time where this song was popular and so she knows the pronunciation really well and knows how to sing the song in the original French. When she was a little girl her dad was stationed in Paris, France for a while and so she knows French. So I wish I could record her saying it and put it here but that would take too long.

Olaf / Olav / Olof

Meaning: (Relic; Ancestral Heritage. From the Old Norse name Áleifr meaning "Ancestor's Descendant", derived from the elements Anu "Ancestor" and Leifr "Descendant". St. Olaf is the patron saint of Norway, and there were many kings in Scandinavia named Olaf. The name has long been used in Scandinavian countries. It was introduced into England by the Vikings before the Norman Conquest, and later saw a revival in the 19th century from Scandinavian immigrants in the USA.)

Origin: (Norwegian, Old Norse, Scandinavian, Danish, German, Dutch, Polish)

Pronunciation: (O-lahf (German, Dutch), OW-LaeF (English), OW-LaaF (Dutch, German))

Gender: Male

When I was looking at the blog Blog of Characters run by Apolla 13 she had added this name to her blog as part of adding names from Lemony Snickets A Series of Unfortunate Events novels. If you care to look at her blog it is .When I see and hear this name I think of the fun loving snow man from the movie Frozen. The meanings I like a lot and it’s a nice older foreign looking name. It seems like the name Otto *see on list of posts* to me, short, easily pronounced and has a sexy appeal to it. Like I can see a handsome buff guy with a hot accent and rock hard abs when I see this name, lol, way too specific there but I am a writer so I think all out, lol! ;~) I prefer the spelling Olaf or Olav whereas Olof seems off putting to me.


Meaning: (Home, Distant, Coffee Infused Beverage)

Origin: (Indonesian, American)

Pronunciation: (JAH-vuh, To know how to pronounce this name go to this link and run your cursor over the word: )

Gender: Female, Possible Uni-Sex

I used to watch a show many years ago when I was teenager that was called The Tribe, which was about teenagers in a post-apocalyptic world where adults were killed by a virus which left kids alone to band together in tribes. One of the characters names was Java; her sisters were Siva and Ebony. So I’ve had this name on my list for a while but I had a hard time finding a meaning. The meanings are decent, most people would think of this name as a nickname for coffee or the computer program though.


Meaning: (Little Dog, Son of the Hound, High Tower, This is a famous Irish clan surname recorded as Madden, Madigan, and MacAvaddy. It derives from the pre 10th century Olde Gaelic O'Madain, translating as 'The descendant of the son of the hound'. Most Irish surnames originate from a chief's nickname, O'Kennedy, for instance means 'The 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. Early surname holders included the Rev. Samuel Madden (1680 - 1760), a famed philanthropist, whilst Richard Madden, (1798 - 1886) was the author of the book 'The United Irishman'. During the infamous 'Potato Famine' of 1846, many name holders emigrated to both England and America. Amongst these were Walter Madden and his wife Mary, and their children Richard aged five and Alice, a baby. They sailed from Galway, bound for New York on the ship 'Junius ' on May 1st 1846. Another recording is that of Hannah Madigan aged twenty two, who left Belfast on the ship 'Howard' for New York, on July 23rd 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Dermot O'Madadhain, which was dated circa 1100. 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, Celtic, Greek)

Pronunciation: (MA-di-gehn, MAEDihGAHN)

Gender: Uni-Sex

I’ve posted about Madden *see on list of posts* before and Madigan can come from that but is its own name as well so I decided to add it as such. The meanings are decent and the name is pretty cool looking to me. It seems a name that could replace much more common Irish names like Mackenzie Kenzie / Kinzie *see on list of posts*. It’s a great older name as well so it could potentially fit in different eras but maybe not as much as a first name as more of a last name if used in the past but more of a first name use in the current era and future. A cute nickname though could be Mad which could be an ironic play on a crazy acting character. If you want a much more normal nickname then Maddie / Maddy or Adi / Addi / Addie could work.


Meaning: (Group of Three, A Set of Three, a sled or carriage drawn by three horses harnessed side-by-side, iconic symbol of Russia, a Russian folk dance)

Origin: (Russian)

Pronunciation: (TROY-kah)

Gender: Uni-Sex

I was looking at a young adult novel a few weeks back and one of the groups in the story was called Troika and I thought it was the coolest looking word / name. I kind of liked the novel details but when I did further research on the novel I found some of the material wasn’t my cup of tea and not exactly appropriate to what I read and don’t read but I loved the name Troika enough to add it to my list. I intend to have a secondary character be named this in a future novel and then a main character will be named this in another novel. I don’t mind using it twice in two different novels. I love the nickname Troi like Troy which if on a feminine character it gives it a slightly tom boyishness to it.

This name is much like other three meaning words like Triad. The meanings are pretty great and could be used in a novel to mean something to do with a group of three as I intend to use it as in one of my novels.


Meaning: (Merchant, Trader, or That Humbles and Subdues, Merchant Land, Land of the Tradesman, Land of Reeds, Clergyman, The fourth-listed son of Ham and grandson of Noah. (Ge 9:18; 10:6; 1Ch 1:8) He was the progenitor of 11 tribes who eventually inhabited the region along the eastern Mediterranean between Egypt and Syria, thereby giving it the name “the land of Canaan.”—Ge 10:15-19; 1Ch 16:18.)

Origin: (Biblical, Hebrew, English)

Pronunciation: (KAY-nən, Kaa-NAA-N)

Gender: Male

I was listening to a country music channel on TV the other day and one of the artist’s first names was Canaan which I had not heard of it being used on anyone before. I knew of it only from the bible but didn’t know people actually named their kids this. The meanings are pretty good and it of course is a nice older name what with it being biblical, the grandson of Noah, so of course it could be used in many different genres and eras.


Meaning: (Mother, Island, it is often written with characters used phonetically. The word does not necessarily denote an island surrounded by water, but can also mean a field separated from its village and surrounded by someone else's property.)

Origin: (Japanese, Native American, Native American- Navajo)

Pronunciation: (SHIYMAH)

Gender: Uni-Sex

I think I heard this when watching The Hunt with John Walsh show. That episode was where a man of either a Hindu or Buddhist community molested several young girls and the girl’s parents said if the contact was seen as bad to the girls then there was something perverse in their thinking. I think this was a name of one of the girls that was showed on the show just like Shyama *see on list of posts* but I am not sure as I’ve moved some names around and so I am not 100% sure.

Shima is a beautiful name that reminds me of many different names I’ve used for my character before like Shika *see on list of posts* and Shamar. The meanings are great and lovely and I love the meanings of Japanese names and one of the origins for this name is Japanese. The name is short and easily pronounced. I think this looks like a girl name from an Anime or something.


Meaning: (Dark, Black, Blue, Black Beauty)

Origin: (Indian, Hindi, Sanskrit)

Pronunciation: (SHayaa-Maa or SHayaa-Mah, Shee-ar-mah)

Gender: Uni-Sex

I heard this name and saw it spelled out on the TV screen when watching The Hunt with John Walsh show. That episode was where a man of either a Hindu or Buddhist community molested several young girls and the girls’ parents said if the contact was seen as bad to the girls then there was something perverse in their thinking. When the girls grew up they left and years later reported it. Two of the women were within the statute of limitations but ones statute of limitations had just run out. The man was found guilty but while out on bond he fled to Mexico and then from there to India before sentencing. They are still hunting him down and I do hope they get him so he can go to jail for his crimes and stop running and hurting people like a coward. Anyway one of girls name was this.

This is a unique name that is also very foreign and beautiful looking. The meanings are lovely and exotic and this is a name I could see on a definitely foreign beauty in a foreign maybe Arabic desert setting.

The only problem I have is with the pronunciation as it looks like Shy should to me be pronounced like the word Shy or how you would start the name Cheyenne *see on list of posts*. Then the last part Ama should to me be ah-muh, so SHY-ah-muh but that’s probably because certain foreign names just don’t want to compute with my English speaking brain, lol.

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: