Category: Names

5 Best Tips for Creating Memorable Names for Your Fictional Characters

As a writer, one of the most crucial parts of creating a successful and memorable story is crafting unique and unforgettable characters. One of the first steps in bringing your characters to life is giving them names that will stick with readers long after they’ve finished your book. But coming up with the perfect name can be a daunting task. Here are the five best tips for creating memorable names for your fictional characters: 

Research and Consider the Time Period and Setting 

The time period and setting of your story can have a significant impact on the type of names that will be appropriate for your characters. If you’re writing a historical novel set in medieval times, for example, you’ll want to research authentic names from that era. On the other hand, if you’re writing a science fiction novel set in the future, you might want to create more futuristic-sounding names that reflect advances in technology or changes in language. Consider the cultural and linguistic norms of the time period and setting in which your story takes place. 

Avoid Common Names 

While there’s nothing wrong with using common names like John or Sarah, choosing more unique names can help your characters stand out and be more memorable. Try looking up uncommon baby names or using name generators online to find inspiration. It’s important to keep in mind that unique names should still be easily pronounceable and not so complicated that readers struggle to remember them. 

Match Names to Personalities 

Your character’s name should reflect their personality and traits. For example, a tough-as-nails detective might have a strong, no-nonsense name like Max or Jack, while a whimsical fairy might have a delicate name like Luna or Aurora. Consider the personality and background of each character and how their name could complement or contrast their traits. 

Think About Pronunciation and Spelling 

Make sure your character’s name is easy to pronounce and remember. You don’t want readers stumbling over difficult or confusing names every time they encounter your character. Be mindful of spelling as well, as complicated or unusual spellings can make it difficult for readers to remember or even pronounce a name. 

Keep It Simple and Memorable 

While it may be tempting to come up with elaborate and complex names for your characters, keeping it simple can often be the best approach. Shorter names are often easier to remember and can still pack a punch when it comes to making an impression on readers. Additionally, a memorable name can be a useful tool for building your character’s brand and making them stand out in the crowded world of fiction. 

In conclusion, naming your characters is an important step in creating a memorable story. By researching and considering the time period and setting, avoiding common names, matching names to personalities, thinking about pronunciation and spelling, and keeping it simple and memorable, you can create names that will stick with readers long after they’ve finished your book. Remember, the right name can help make your character come alive and stand out in a crowded literary world, so take your time, do your research, and have fun coming up with unique and unforgettable names for your characters.

Most Popular American Names Over the 20th Century

As years go on, the list of top 10 names in North America seem to change more frequently. This is a digital-based world that we live in, and a trendy name can catch on a lot faster than it used to. Throughout the 20th century, though, there were many names that remained constant in both the boys’ and girls’ categories. Things would change up toward the later part of the century, but many of the popular names remained.

What were those names, though? It might be hard to remember since it seems we’re so far removed from the 20th century now, but we still see many people walking around with names from the previous century. Let’s take a look at a few of those names that seemed like they would withstand the test of time due to their popularity from 1900 to 1999.


Mary wasn’t just the most popular name for girls during the 20th century, it was the runaway winner. It was the most popular girl’s name for every decade from the 1900s to the 1950s until it was finally surpassed in the 1960s. Even then, it remained the second-most popular name before almost completely falling off a cliff during the 1970s when it didn’t crack the top 10 at all.

Mary has not really seen a resurgence since it vanished from the top of the rankings, but that doesn’t mean that it’s gone forever. It still typically ranks from anywhere in the 100 to 150 range for most popular names of the year, sitting alongside the likes of Molly and Emilia as sort of a tribute to a bygone era of baby names. Overall, there were more than double the amount of Marys born in the 20th century than any other girl’s name.


While Mary is a biblical name that pays tribute to the Virgin Mary, there are several other Biblical names that have been able to maintain their popular status into the 21st century. The first among those is James, which was the most popular name in the 20th century by a narrow margin and still cracks the top 10 in most years to this day.


The next of the biblical names is John, which is one of the more versatile names out there and gets criticized by some as not being unique, but it’s a tried and true name that still sounds good all these years later. John was battling with James for the top spot in the 20th century, though it doesn’t quite get the same type of love today as James does. John is usually around the 25th most popular name compared to the top 10.


Continuing with names in the ‘J’ category, Jennifer is one that was a bit of a late bloomer and remained popular for multiple decades before finally losing its status as a top name. Almost out of nowhere, Jennifer surpassed the likes of Mary, Susan, and Lisa to claim the top name of the 1970s, which melted into the 1980s. Jennifer remained popular into the 1990s and finished as one of the top three girl names of the 20th century. As for these days, you might not meet a Jennifer that was born after 2010.


Robert is one of those fascinating names because it appears in the Bible, but doesn’t have a Biblical meaning, really. Despite that, it’s considered an ‘old-timey’ name, though you’d be surprised at just how common it still is today. Robert was the second-most popular name throughout the 20th century, and remains part of the yearly top 75. Robert means ‘bright flame’ and millions of people liked it enough to make it one of the most popular names of all time.


Like Jay-Z said, from Jackson, Tyson, and Jordan, you can name a famous Michael off the top of your head, take your pick. Michael is another one of those names like Jacob that has had immense popularity in just about every year imaginable. It’s a Biblical name that appears multiple times throughout, and it sat as one of the four most common names of the 20th century. In almost every decade’s top 10 list, Michael would be right there, and that’s still true into the 2020s and beyond.

5 Names That Only Old People Seem To Have

There are certain names that come to mind when you think of someone that’s incredibly young, particularly in Generations Z or Alpha. Names like Aiden, Aurora, and Grayson come to mind with the younger generation, but what about the Baby Boomers and the generations before that? There are some names that were incredibly common in the early 20th century and before, but have, for the most part, gone away.

Some of these names have staged a comeback over the years, while others are associated with older people and are considered to be incredibly rare. While there are dozens of names that make you think of someone on the elderly side, there is a handful that really stands out. Here are our picks for five names that you almost immediately think of when talking about older people, and how those names came to be.


Do you know anyone named Béatrice? Are they old? Probably. That’s because the name Beatrice dates back hundreds of years ago, gaining popularity between the 1920s and 1930s. Beatrice is a female given name, of Latin, French, and Italian origin. It means “she who brings happiness”. It was derived from the Latin name Beatrix, which is thought to be a variation of the name Viatrix, the feminine version of the Latin name Viator, meaning voyager, or traveler. The name Béatrice has been rising in popularity since 2010.


Hershel Is a Hebrew name, often possessed by the sturdy and hardworking generation of older men. The name simply means “deer” and has similarities to the strong Jewish names Herman and Menashe. The name Hershel can alternately be spelled “Herschel” and gained popularity between the early 1900s and 1940s. A well-known Hershel in pop culture, the Walking Dead character Hershel Greene, coincidentally an old man who lived on a farm. Another famous Herschel is everyone’s favorite Herschel Krustofski, better known as Krusty The Clown in the Simpsons television series.   


A name most often associated with nerds, or old men, Eugene is actually a noble name. It’s derived from the Greek name eugenēs, which means “well-born” and “noble”. It’s sometimes shortened to Gene and there are a ton of variations of the name throughout different cultures. The popular female variations are Eugenia and Eugenie. Some popular characters that share this same name include Gene Belcher from the Bob’s Burger adult animated series, Eugene Fitzherbert, or Flynn Rider from the Disney movie “Tangled”, Eugene H. Krabs from the SpongeBob cartoon, and the dorky Eugene Horowitz from the Hey Arnold cartoon. 


When you think of the name Eleanor, your mind probably goes somewhere before the 1970s. Of course, there was former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as the hit song “Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles. As a name, Eleanor maintained its popularity for a very long time since it was associated with royalty throughout Europe. During the turn of the 20th century, Eleanor picked up steam and became one of the most common female names in the United States. Variations such as Ella or Ellie started to take off during the 1970s, knocking Eleanor far down the list before it started to have a bit of a resurgence in recent years.


Edith is another one of those names you can’t help but picture belonging to a cute little old lady. The name Edith gained popularity in the early 1900s. It comes from the Old English word Eadgyð. The first half, ead, means “blessed” and the second half, gyð, means “war”. The two combined create a name that stands for being prosperous in times of struggle, a very strong and stoic name indeed. Some women in history who’ve shared the name include Edith Wilson, wife of Woodrow Wilson, and Edith Roosevelt, second wife of Theodore Roosevelt. 

10 Arabic Girls Names That Are Popular In The United States

Arabic names are among the most common in the world, and even those that don’t have ties to the Arabic region find the names to be beautiful and are giving their children these names. In the United States, there are some very popular Arabic girls names, with these 10 being among the most popular in the country:


Famous Aaliyahs: Aaliyah (singer), Aaliyah Ei (model)

One of the most popular Arabic names for girls in the US is Aaliyah. It’s the feminine version of the masculine name, Aali. Aaliyah became a more popular name in the US with the introduction of the famous R&B singer. The meaning of the name refers to someone who is ascending, highborn, and sublime. A name with a strong connection to the Muslim faith and spirituality. 


Famous Fatimas: Fatima Placek (voice actress), Fatima de Tetuan (TikTok star)

Another popularly given name with Arabic origins is Fátima. It refers to a girl who is motherly, abstains and is captivating. It has a particularly special meaning to those practicing the Muslim faith because it’s a name shared by one of Muhammad’s daughters. 


Famous Laylas: Layla Ali (boxer), Layla El (professional wrestler)

The name Layla shares Arabic and Hebrew origins and can be spelled in many variations. It’s derived from the ancient Semitic word “layl”, meaning night. It is typically given to girls who have been born at night, or who are dark beauties. The earliest use of the name was in the Arabian story of Quays and Layla. Another popular use of the name, which is most likely responsible for its rise in popularity in the US, is the song “Layla” by the band Derek and the Dominos, formed by the legendary Eric Clapton.  


Famous Kaylas: Kayla Blake (actress), Kayla Reeves (musician)

With ties to Yiddish, Hebrew, and Arabic origins, the name Kayla means the crown of laurels. A laurel crown is made from bay laurel leaves and represents triumph and status. I’m Yiddish the name Kayla means slim and fair. 


Famous Aisha: Aisha Tyler (actress), Aisha Dee (actress)

Another popular Arabic name in the US is Aisha. Aisha was the wife of Muhammad and has special meaning to people of the Muslim faith. The name means “life”, “alive”, “she who lives”, or “womanly” and can be spelled in many different variations. 


Famous Imanis: Imani (rapper), Imani Hakim (actress)

Imani is a strong and traditional Arabic name. It means “belief”, or “faith”. Imani is a unisex name, but most often given to girls. It is sometimes shortened to Iman, as well. 


Famous Zaras: Zara Larsson (singer), Zara Phillips (princess)

The name Zara is a highly popular variation of the Arabic-derived name Zahrah. Zara stands for “radiance” and describes those given the name as a “blooming flower”. 


Famous Mariams: Mariam Musa (reality star), Mariam Olivera (Instagram star)

With Arabic and Hebrew origins, the name Mariam means “drop of the sea”, “star of the sea”, “bitterness”, or “beloved”. Mariam is another traditional name strong in faith, making it popular among the Muslim religion. 


Famous Amiras: Amira Harvey (actress), Amira Shiwraj (TikTok star)

The name Amira, sometimes spelled Emira, Ameera, or Amirah, has Arabic, Hindi, and Hebrew origins. The Arabic derivative means “Princess” and is a recently popular name for girls in the US.  


Famous Inayas: Inaya Day (singer), Inaya Ashanti (TikTok star)

Inaya, occasionally spelled Anaya, is the feminine version of the name Inayat and is a Quranic word. It stands for “care”, “concern”, and “solicitude”. It is also said to mean “gift from god”.