Tuesday, 9 December 2008


I use a babyname book for my characters. Some characters' names stay the same from the start, some change over time, some more than once. I confuse myself sometimes. I try not to use names of people close to me.

Barry, John and Mike are different characters to Justin, Quentin and Ralph so make sure the name fits.

Emma, Daisy and Hannah are different to Charlene, Kylie and Kelly.

Apple, Pixiebell, Chelsea and River have a different upbringing to John, Reginald, Thelma and Valerie.

Gladys, Gloria, Daphne and Sylvia are older than Tara, Shannon and Megan. Apparently Ruby has come back into fashion though. (Kaiser Chiefs influence perhaps?)

Hint: If you are writing children's books, using a very popular name for the main character will actually sell more books!

Check the most popular Irish names here and in the UK here. The US do it by year, which is a glimpse into social history.

I get surnames from the phone book or castlists at the end of films/ TV programmes or old censuses.

Or you could try this. What would you be called if your mother was Sarah Palin? I am Dust.
Hers in reality are Track, Trig, Bristol, Willow, and Piper.


Totalfeckineejit said...

Maybe Sarah Palin was doing the Posh and Becks thing of naming the children after where they were conceived:
Track- could be a disused railway,
Trig- a stable.
Bristol- South west England or Dolly Parton's theme park.
Willow-under a tree,
and Piper- Burns night in Scotland.
It's just a hypothesis.

Emerging Writer said...


Track could be a delightful forest path
Trig the back of the maths class
Bristol um yes, a cream sherry?
Willow up a tree
Piper an oil rig

bfs said...

I'm so glad you posted this! A few days ago, I posted that we are on a search for Scottish male names (I don't know how to link you to that post) and the website you shared may give a clever Celtic idea or two!

KAREN said...

Very useful. I look at tv/film credits for surnames too, also authors in the library when I'm shelving :o)

Women Rule Writer said...

Stockyard Mudslide Palin. That's me.