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02 April 2011 @ 03:23 pm
Surnames  
I was browsing some online journal articles for uni today and it struck me again how interesting and varied most of the surnames are. I've always struggled with surnames for my characters, trying to find a balance between suiting the character and their other names, not using the really common ones to much, finding one of the right nationality/culture/heritage, and not using one which just seems made up. So I thought I'd share with you a long list of surnames which I've found through university study. These are the surnames of real people, even though some of them may look made-up. I have no data on age, nationality, heritage, or pronounciation, but here is handy site which should be able to help with that in a lot of cases: http://www.surnamedb.com/


Aabo
Abbot
Aharony
Algenio
Amaratunga
Anderson
Antonacopoulou
Armstrong
Arndt
Arranz
Audunson
Balas
Baldry
Bass
Bedord
Bell
Bergen
Berney
Bethel
Birdsal
Blummer
Bodner
Bond
Booth
Breitbach
Broderick
Bromberg
Brophy
Buckland
Bugg
Bunkell
Burke
Buzzetto-More
Cahill
Callicott
Carlson
Carr
Casey
Cassidy
Cawley
Chamberlain
Chimato
Clayton
Clem
Cleveland
Condron
Connor
Coyle
Cummings
Danforth
Davidson
Davis
Dietering
DiPadova
Demars
Dougherty
Donohue
Drejer
Duncan
Dunn
Duntemann
Dyas-Correia
Elmore
Elobaid
Erdman
Ernst
Fayol
Feldman
Fennewald
Fisher
Fitzpatrick
Fong
Foote
Foust
Funk
Gall
Gernand
Ginanni
Glassman
Godfrey
Goodrich
Gordon
Grant
Grathwohl
Gronemyer
Grudzien
Guy
Hamilton
Harmeyer
Harper
Harris
Hazen
Heet
Heijne
Heinritz
Herring
Hinsch
Hodges
Holt
Hooker
Hunter
Imholz
Ireland
Ives
Jackson
Jerabek
Johnson
Jones
Kayongo
Kern
Kimball
King
Kniffel
Korah
Kwanya
Lamoureux
Lapidus
Latsky
Leykam
Line
Long
Lor
Lux
Ly
Macicak
Maloney
Martin
Maxeiner
McCulley
Meiman
Méric
Mikkelsen
Miller
Millet
Minkel
Mitchell
Morasis
Mujtaba
Murphy
Neal
Needleman
Nilson
Norris
Odrum
O'Flaherty
O'Gorman
Pan
Parry
Pawlowski
Pellé
Perkins
Peterson
Philbrick
Phipps
Pomerantz
Porter
Posner
Preston
Proscia
Purpur
Pymm
Ralph
Rasner
Reinauer
Rethlefsen
Reynolds
Rodriguez
Rogers
Ross
Rowley
Richardson
Rosy
Safly
Sampson
Schell
Schmidt
Schofield
Schwartz
Sedgwick
Sharp
Shelburne
Sherman
Sibthorpe
Siess
Singer
Soules
Spatig
Sprague
Stahl
Stanley
Stilwell
Stodgill
Sweat
Szentirmay
Taylor
Tenopir
Thibodeau
Thompson
Trott
Underwood
van Buren
van der Sar
van der Velde
van Gisbergen
van Vuren
Vårheim
Vassiliou
Vaughn
Vines
von Isenburg
Voth
Walton
Weinstein
Wiessburg
Wolverton
Woods
Wray
Wu
Young 
Živković



--edited because I found about ten names I hadn't put in--
 
 
Current Mood: curiouscurious
 
 
 
Laurathemongers on April 2nd, 2011 05:50 am (UTC)
I was just thinking about this, today! Thanks :)
cloned_fiction: kaylee dimple / satisfied grincloned_fiction on April 2nd, 2011 05:59 am (UTC)
No problem :) I was always coming across interesting names so I thought it'd be good to share them with some other writers.
Katekatemacetak on April 2nd, 2011 04:10 pm (UTC)
Totally bookmarking this for future use. =D
cloned_fiction: jayne smilecloned_fiction on April 3rd, 2011 12:51 am (UTC)
Glad it helped :)
Solacetheformofstars on April 2nd, 2011 04:58 pm (UTC)
This was very neat, thank you so much!
PaintedTeacherLadydivinitus on April 2nd, 2011 09:38 pm (UTC)
Choosing surnames and even first names can be quite a daunting task - unless you happen to have one kicking around your head.

Honestly, I've written short stories where I know the protagonist is female, but I didn't name her until after the whole story was through the revision stages!

I've talked to some of my students and they happen to use names of people they know, or names that they would like - often using the phonetic spelling for 'creativity'.

One of my students was in over her head trying to figure out a name for her male character - trying to use babyname websites, looking into various meanings of the names, and their origins... it was quite the process for her. However, the name that she chose to use was so far out there, and so unique that it just didn't jive with the story!!!

tl;dr - choosing a first and surname are difficult; many people go overboard with weirdness.
Solacetheformofstars on April 2nd, 2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
I usually have to poke and prod my characters when it comes to names. Sometimes i need to go searching through websites but that's a rarity, as I tend to stumble upon them while doing other things entirely or it comes to me while I'm doing something else with the character. I guess I'm just lucky, names have never been *that* hard for me.
cloned_fiction: sexyful zoecloned_fiction on April 3rd, 2011 01:06 am (UTC)
I plan before writing rather than the other way around so I find it hard to write too much of a story without at least a first name for my characters. Sometimes I'll give them a proxy name though, to tide them over till I can think of a real one. But once when I did that it got to the point where I couldn't think of the character with any other name, but I hated the name.
cloned_fiction: mal + jayne celebrationcloned_fiction on April 3rd, 2011 12:59 am (UTC)
I've written whole chapters of a long story with a character named something I just pulled off the top of my head at the time, then went back and changed it after. First names aren't as hard for me, but last names are horrid!

I'd never use the name of someone I knew unless it was supposed to be them, I'd just get all worried they'd think it was them, so I wouldn't want to put that character through certain plot points.

I've come up with some pretty out there names before. Once, though, I went on a two day long search for a name for one of my male characters. In the end, the perfect name was James. Though another male character from the same story was named Fineus, which I got from a list of unique/uncommon baby names for a reason that fits with his character. To me it's all about finding a name that fits perfectly with the character, the other names, and the world around the character. Not one that just sounds cool.
(Deleted comment)
cloned_fiction: wash inqisitive foreheadcloned_fiction on April 3rd, 2011 01:07 am (UTC)
Thanks :) It's good to know it's helpful.
(posion laced lies)neurochemics on April 3rd, 2011 06:50 am (UTC)
http://www.20000-names.com/index.htm

This has some really good names if you feel like giving it a look c:
cloned_fiction: Kaylee big smilecloned_fiction on April 3rd, 2011 09:47 am (UTC)
Thanks :) I'll add it to my bookmarks.
tiloineutytiloineuty on July 21st, 2012 11:12 pm (UTC)
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