List of Last Names

Surnames Character Development

Last names are just as important as first names when it comes to naming your characters. It gives your character a sense of identity.

Yet, you don’t want to just pick any old surname for your character. You want to make sure the last name matches with the first name.

Does your character have an Hispanic first name? You might want to give them an Hispanic last name as well.

That is, if your character is Hispanic. Maybe your character’s parents just liked that specific name, but they’re not Hispanic. Or maybe your character is adopted.

See? A last name can tell a lot of things.

You also want the surname to flow with the first name. You want the first and last name to roll right off the tongue together.

I think that has a lot to do with the syllables in both the first and the last names.

I always found that if one name is going to be longer than the other, it should be the last name. For example, Lee Anderson flows nicely. Elizabeth Smith, does not.

Yet, Elizabeth and Smith both sound alike because of the “TH.” Elizabeth Brown sounds much better.

I basically just contradicted myself, but this is all a matter of opinion.

I wanted to sound somewhat intelligent, but my main reason for writing this post was to give you guys this awesome website:

Names by Mongabay

This is the ultimate list of surnames by rank, race, and in alphabetical order. There’s also lists for male and female first names as well.

So, if you’re ever stuck on what to name your character, this is a fun place to do it.

Did you like this post? You can also read about First Names here!

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How to Name Your Characters

Naming Your Characters: First Names

Your name is part of what makes you you. That’s no different from the characters in your story.

Some people say that names aren’t important. It’s the description and development throughout the story that creates loveable, relateable characters.

I think names are pretty important as well. Plus, they’re a lot of fun.

There are two ways I come up with names for my characters:

1. I check the meanings behind them.

I love to look up various names and check their meanings. It makes the character feel more one with the story, if that makes any sense.

I think it shows that you put thought into the name of your character. It shows that your character is important to the plot somehow. It’s like the Story Gods have chosen that name for your character because they have a big destiny to fulfill–which is your plot.

For example, in the very first novel I wrote, Diary of a Lover, I named the protagonist Venus. Venus is love-struck by a boy in her class. She comes on too strong. She doesn’t know how to take no for an answer.

Knowing that little bout of information about her, I chose the name Venus for a few reasons.

One, Venus is also known as the Goddess of Love. The meaning of her name is literally “love.” Right off the bat, that tells you something about Venus.

Two, Venus is a unique name that you don’t hear very often. This makes her stand out as a character. It tells you she is someone important. Plus, because it’s not a common name, you’ll always think of her when you think of Venus.

2. I do the complete opposite of checking the meaning–I come up a random name on my own.

This kind of contradicts everything I just said, but there are no right or wrong ways to name your characters.

If you create a character and a name suddenly pops into your head… Use it. There was probably a reason that name was your first instinct.

For example, I came up with the name George for my George Florence series because I was trying to think of a “goofy” name. At first, George was a goofy detective, but George Constanza from Seinfeld popped into my head. Thus, George was born. I don’t know what made me think of Seinfeld, but the name stuck.

George’s personality has changed drastically since then, but I’ve written George for a few years now that he has just become one with his name. He’s grown into it and it suits him.

Names can have a lot of meaning behind the characters. Choose wisely.

I have a baby name book that I tend to use a lot, but here are some of my favorite websites to find names:

Baby Names
Baby Name Genie
Behind the Name
Fantasy Name Generator

Did you like this post? You can read about Last Names here!