BehindtheName.com is one of my favorite tools. What it offers is simple: random names.
You can generate a first name, last name and up to three middle names sorted by gender and category. These categories are what makes BehindtheName so interesting. There is a huge list of languages your names can be randomized in, there are the categories Mythology (and sub-categories), Ancient (and sub-categories), Biblical, History, Literature and Theology. Additionally, there are the categories Witch, Fairy, Goth, Hippy, Rapper, Wrestler, Hillbilly, Kreatyve and Transformer, which are all a little more specific than the rest.
A masculine Arabic name: Ali Ikram Albaf
A feminine Chinese name: Hui Xiang Chu
You can also combine the backgrounds, for instance, I selected both Dutch and Japanese (masculine), and this was the result: Maarten (a Dutch first name) and Yoshiru (the Japanese last name).
A feminine Fairy name: Twinkleeyes Flittermist Sungleam
A masculine Celtic myth name: Ailill Áed
When you use the generator and you don’t like the name it prompted, simply press F5 to refresh the page, and it will give you another option.
I usually have a lot of international characters in my stories, and this random name generator helps me find fitting names for them. I have been complimented on the names I give my characters a few times (“they fit so well” and “they’re realistic so they make the character feel more real”, etc.) – it’s all thanks to this random name generator. Because in all honesty, I suck at thinking of names for characters myself.
There is a near unlimited amount of names in this database, and it will most certainly help you find the perfect names for your characters.
What I should also add is that BehindtheName.com offers a lot more than just this random name generator. If you go to the main page, it will offer you information about nearly every name you can think of. For instance, look at this page about my name, Manon. Or the name translator. Or a list of anagram names. Or check out the name themes. Basically, it has everything you ever wanted to know about names. This is one handy website for writers, that’s for sure.
Have you ever worked with BehindtheName? Do you like it?
If you haven’t yet worked with it, will you try it out?
P.S. Elizabeth Craig published an interesting post on her blog about naming characters two days ago. Read it – it has a lot of useful do’s and don’ts.