Name Tools

I’m blatantly stealing this from the comment section.

There are various online tools that give frequencies of names in, particular countries. Two are https://uknames.gbgplc.com (UK names) and http://howmanyofme.com (US names). Given that stories need names, these look like a fun resource.

A game I’ve been playing with both is attempting to come up with plausible sounding names that are actually unique.

For example Jason Harpman. I think that sounds innocuous (apologies to any actual people called “Harpman”) and not made-up but both tools indicate that the name is unique. The trick is to pick a surname that uses syllables that occur in English/Anglo names and/or are one-syllable common words in English. Obviously ‘man’ is a plausible end syllable for an English-sounding name, as is ‘smith’. So something like “Helen Oaksmith” might work. (Again – apologies to any actual people called ‘Oaksmith’).

Some possible end syllables (some nonsense, some words, some stolen from place names):

  • er/ter/ster
  • idge/ridge/didge/bridge
    (you may need to play with an inital consonant to make it work)
  • ver/over
  • man
  • smith
  • tham
  • ford
  • don
  • den

Start syllables – short English words. You should get some actual names as well as fake names when you pair them up:

  • Cat
  • Dog
  • Fish
  • Harp
  • Oak
  • Tree
  • Grey
  • Black
  • Wood
  • Stone
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8 thoughts on “Name Tools

  1. I am pretty sure I’ve seen something similar on the Statistics Sweden website for those who are interested in Swedish names (on my phone or I might be more motivated to dig out the actual link).

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    1. There’s one for Norway too, based on the civil registry and thus precise. Although as a privacy measure it will only say “3 or less” for uncommon names.

      I suspect most international tools like this are based on Facebook profiles or similar, and not very precise.

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    1. It’s Gaelic, innit? (At least the second part) So you’re unpronounceable outwith Ireland and a bit of western Scotland.

      Most of us can manage the Michael part, tho.

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