What’s In A Name?

Across the interwebs, I am remembered by many names. Hadlo from those who knew me from my first guild on my Undead Warlock, maybe just one or two people now. Seithir by most people on Vashj, and during TBC, a little of Wrath in Endure, from my Shadow Priest. Fae from those who know me from Dice and a couple from Supreme. And of course, Jaedia from the general interwebs and Respice.

I find it important to choose a name that not only suits your character, but suits you, and this is not just for the roleplay guys. A name that won’t make you cringe in a few months time to be remembered by. I saw somebody on the forums called ‘Icrapmyself’, he says that no GM will call him by his name, just “Hey <you>” and would you really want to be remembered like that? So, how to choose your name?

One way to name a character is to just throw a jumble of letters together and see if they sound okay. This is how I named a lot of my characters, including Jaedia and Seithir. You have to be fairly sensible with this one because you could end up with a character name that sounds ridiculous, however, there is less likelihood of any name you decide on being taken.

Another direction you can take is to simply google things that are semi related to the game, your class, your race, or maybe even your abilities (i.e. nature, holy, shadow, rage, etc.) and find something to suit you that way. Of course, there is a high chance that a lot of these names will be taken but it’s worth a shot.

There are also some name generators out there you can have a play with, I don’t have any on hand but search for one or two and play around with them, I found my Cow Druid’s name from one of these.

Last but not least, baby naming sites. As stupid as you might feel looking at them to find a name for your fantasy rpg character, they have a very extensive list of names and you will probably find something you like there so long as staring at names beginning with the letter L doesn’t make your eyes go funny after a while.

So long as you find something that suits you, your character, and something that you’re comfortable with, then you have your name. How do you name your characters?

39 thoughts on “What’s In A Name?”

  1. I always wanted to play a retribution paladin the first time I got into wow seeing the starting cinematics of the Draenei Paladin.

    The name Hezekiel came from Pulp Fiction with the classic scene of Samuel L Jackson reciting a passage from the bible (made up, not real) which talks about righteous vengeance etc. I thought this fitting for a pally, and even more so for a Draenei!

    Usually I use Finnish names (as I’m a Finn) to add flavour; my fire mage is called Tulipallo (fireball).

  2. I tend to spend ages trying to find names from mythology that fit my characters. The problem is, other people do this too, so I’ll spend ages deciding that I want to name this character after obscure Mesopotamian deity X, only to find someone else has claimed that name.

    Perhaps I should just go with “sounds right”, but for draenei especially stealing greek names seems to be fitting.

    1. Yeah, in those cases I’d tend to edit the name a little, so that it’s different enough to not be taken, but is still the name I want, and doesn’t look too silly. ^^

  3. I’m quite particular with naming, despite not being an RP’er. It has to sound decent, and feel like I could be known as that name. One thing to take care of, is that most players will never type out your full toon name. It’s usually gonna be just the first syllable. So, Pygaria to you may sound grand, but do you really want to known as ‘Pyg”?

    I’m happy with this name; it’s for a Tauren Druid, short, snappy, strong. But the name I’m most proud of is for my Warlock: Xeranath. It just…. feels like a lock name. Actually, it feels like a villains name, which is most fitting.

    As to the how, I start by throwing down a few letters, and seeing what clicks. Lots of staring down at my keyboard, tbh.

    1. Indeed, that’s exactly how I do it most of the time, though ‘Twylight’ for my mage, in hindsight, wasn’t a brilliant idea, I’m quite happy when it’s shortened to ‘Twy’ because at least I don’t have to be reminded of sparkly vampires. A shame, it’s a beautiful time of day.

  4. Nice article! :) Naming characters is, for me, great fun and something I take a long time to think about. My holy pally is called Mehetabel which means “favoured by God” in old Hebrew. Fitting I thought for a holy healer. For most of my other guilded alts, the names start with “Wolf” followed by something that suits the class … “Song” for the shaman, “Sorrow” for the shadow priest etc. Makes it easy for friends/guildees to recognise my chars and has a slight Native American style which I love :)

  5. I tend to use the same couple of names over and over, some of them I developed phonetically like my usual name, Vrykerion (Which was I came up with because I like the sound of the words Vrykul and Hyperion.) Others I use are modified words from other languages (Einuror: derived from ‘Lone Guardian’ in Norse. Gevynn: from Gewinn, german for profit – good for goblins.).

    And sometimes I can’t pass up a good opportunity or pun. (I had a toon named Exile, really paid off when I could be Exile of the Shattered Sun. :D And I also have a druid named Pokuhmon. I choose you bear form!)
    Vrykerion recently posted..Rock Me- Asmodeus

    1. Haha, I’ve had a couple of ‘comedy’ names in the past. One was Soupdragon, one was Bananafaerie. Luckily, Soupdragon can stay because that one is fairly widely known but Bananafaerie was a bit of a guild injoke that became unfunny after losing touch with the guild and a lot of its’ members, she became Kensa in the end.

  6. Pingback: The Daily Quest: RP edition
  7. I do something a little different (but I still think others do the same as I’ve seen repeats of names I’ve come up with in the Armory). Based on the class or race, I’ll come up with something that is related – for instance I just rolled a new Rogue, and went with “slice” – and then run it through an on-line translator. After a few translations I ended up finding Osuus, which is Finnish and sounded pretty fitting for a Dwarf. Most times this will generate some pretty good options which tend to be completely unique (there are exceptions though; I think just about every instance of “death” has been used as a name by someone).

    1. Lol, being Finnish myself I can safely say “Osuus” does not mean “slice”, it actually means “share of” as in “this is your share of the cake”.

      Indirectly it does mean slice, but not in the way a rogue would do it.. the name you might want to consider is Viilto or cut/slice!

      I suggest you run it by some Finns first next time you do it ;)

  8. I named Anea by trying to find a name that seemed Draenei, that was “pretty” (not only to look at, but also to say), that sounded like it would be soothing since she was going to be a healer, and seemed to convey “white” to me, since that is a clean and pure color (since she was going to be a holy priest.)

    After I made her, I found out that Aneya (a phonetic spelling for Anea) is a Greek varient for Hannah, which is a Hebrew name meaning Grace. Fitting, non?

    More often than not I’ll try to find names (via babynaming sites usually) that convey something that I think a character would have (something strong for a warrior, helpful or nurturing for a healer) or perhaps relates to a race (usually dictated by sounds).
    .-= Anea´s last blog ..Surprise =-.

    1. Hannah’s my name, would have to say that’s fitting, yes ;)

      Yeah that’s what I do. When I was rethinking Fae’s name (with it being taken on the new server but I wanted to keep her identity as Fae) I went over the Draenei NPC list on wow wiki and took the endings of the female names and added them to Fae and decided from there. Still wish ‘Faelysia’ hadn’t bugged out, I still swear that wasn’t taken.

  9. My main’s name was a name I loved plus a colour (nothing more annoying than the name you wanted being used by a lvl 12 gnome rogue that’s not been logged since early TBC)
    Most of the alts have Japanese names, although this has the peril of dual meanings; I named my druid Kawagishi which meant “by the river” but also “fishmarket”
    Also get a lot of “You like FF lol” on my shaman Yuuna, which was not intentional, I had no idea there was a character with that name in the games ^^
    .-= Naora´s last blog ..Blogging Shame? =-.

    1. Oh yeah I had a character name for an early character, my first Priest. It was.. Agh I can’t remember but I kept getting whispers asking if I was Dutch I think, it turned out to be a Dutch word. Might have been a Druid even, hmm.. But I know what you mean!

  10. I like to name mine after real names, and I usually change them slightly because the real name is almost always taken. So at alt creation time I scour the baby names sites :) Usually takes a few different names before I find one that a) isn’t taken and b) I like enough to keep after a few levels.
    .-= Angelya´s last blog ..Tutorial: Tips for Taking Screenshots =-.

  11. I always have problems with names. I try to keep them simple enough so that people know what the name is and can wrap their head around it. A name is easier to remember if it looks like an actual name and not like I had some kind of spasm attack when I was typing on the keyboard. Sometimes I use names of characters from previous games I’d played, sometime I hear a name and think it’s interesting enough that I want to use it. I’ve deleted new characters after ten or twenty levels just because the name didn’t feel like a good fit.
    .-= Herculano´s last blog ..You Make Me Yawn =-.

  12. I spend hours finding good names now. After my last two name mishaps and the fine for name changes I analyze my names to make sure thier perfect.

    I grab my names from a variety of sorces Anslym came from a book I read that mentioned saint Anselm and that where I got my name from. Another way I grab names is I sit and the random name button and keep hitting it till I get something I like and make some changes to it.

    -Anslym

    1. Ha oh God yeah, my Druid was originally called ‘Bananafaerie’ a kind of.. guild joke thing. But after a year or so of that guild being dead and most of the people having quit, it was annoying rather than funny so I renamed her Kensa after much deliberating.

  13. A mix of the above I think! Some were named as soon as I had finished playing with the character creation screenI just had a *lightbulb* moment(kinda like Pilfkin), some took more humming and hawing and thinking and googling. Some started as a RNG and I played around with the syllables until it sounded and felt right. It’s a huge part of the fun for me, I could no more play a character whose name didn’t fit than I could play one I didn’t like… well, playing.
    .-= Pilfkin´s last blog ..Normal services has resumed. =-.

  14. It takes me so long to come up with a name for my characters. Jasyla was my first toon and I think I sat on the character creation screen for a good hour trying to think of a name. In the end, it was just a random combination of letters that sounded nice. Now Jasyla is the name I use for any video game that lets you name your character.
    .-= Jasyla´s last blog ..Old Habits Die Hard =-.

  15. The majority of my characters are named either after mythological characters or flowers. For example I have around 5 hunters scattered across different servers all called Fauna.

    However I find “http://www.20000-names.com/” useful, especially when everything I want to call a new character seems to be taken.
    .-= Erinys´s last blog ..Blog Azeroth – Home sweet home =-.

  16. I probably take longer to decide on a name for a character than I do creating it. Names are important to me, and you would never see me run around with a character called Shortdave (which one of my guildies had cause his main was Somethingelsedave etc.)

    I have another guildie that have all his chars have the same name, just the first letter varies. Like it will start on P on his paladin, S on his shaman and so on.

    Maybe it’s because I’m a writer at heart (just wish someone would publish my damn books! :P) but the names are important to me and have to suit the kind of character they are (even if I don’t RP).

    Saga was the name of my first alliance character – a priest. Sadly since then I’ve transferred servers and the name has never been available again *lol*

    My UD rogue in vanilla was called Saint. And I had a signature that said “There are no saints, only sinners.” I just loved the idea of walking around ganking people on an evil undead named Saint :P

    Again, after server transfers the name is gone. But I have new names that I enjoy, even though I admittedly miss Saint and Saga :)

    1. Ha, I know what you mean. I saved the name ‘Fae’ on Vashj incase I ever wanted it for some reason, I find that a difficult name to keep hold of!

  17. Pindleskin is the most farmed miniboss of all time, the guardian to Nihlathak’s sanctum in Diablo 2. He’s so famous that bots were written purely to just kill him over and over again.
    Probably before your gaming time though :D

    -=Edit=-
    Oops, this was sposed to be in reply to Jaeda’s reply to my comment.
    .-= Pindleskin´s last blog ..Molten Core =-.

    1. Ahhhh I see. Yeah, I’m a bit of a gaming noob still ;) before WoW my gaming highlists consisted of Theme Hospital, Lemmings, The Sims 1 and 2, some Harry Potter game… that’s about it :P

  18. I have spent *hours* agonising over character names in the past, although often the best ones just come to you. I always want my character’s names to have some oblique sense of meaning.

    I also like good appropriate names, no Legolazz or BoomOrxc please. That’s principally why I stay on RP servers, not because I want to RP, but stupid names break my precious immersion.

    On a sidenote, the multiple names on multiple charcters you mention can get rather confusing. And what happens when somebody changes mains? Do you refer to them by their old main name or new main name? Confusing! As a result I’ve been trying to streamline my online aliases, but then you run the risk of losing individuality to the character.
    .-= Wulfy´s last blog ..Spoilers! =-.

    1. Heh, all of Dan’s characters are variants on ‘Ryyu’ near enough, but then it becomes “which Ryyu are you on and how do you spell it?”

      I like each character having some individuality, though on different servers I might recycle names. My Warlock on Vashj is Jaedia, Hunter on Terenas is Jaedia, Rogue on Argent Dawn.. well.. Jaedi but that’s only because Jaedia was taken! When somebody changes mains, I refer to them by their RL name or old main’s name, depends on how I know them, because that’s what I feel comfortable calling them. I’ve noticed some people do then call them by their new name, which I spose is useful for new people in the guild wanting to know who the heck they’re talking about.

  19. Well my main char name is pretty self-explanatory, though not a day goes by that I don’t get someone saying “Hey, I used to farm you like crazy”. My standard response is usually that I’ve been nerfed and drop linen cloth now.
    My other chars are named according to what would suit their character. My tauren druid has a shy and silent name, my rogue’s name means “to do with great sorrow” in Japanese (he RP’s as a unwilling assassin), my tauren hunter has a taurahe sound to it, etc.
    .-= Pindleskin´s last blog ..Molten Core =-.

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