Need a name (first and last for a male)

Need a name (first and last for a male)

Normally I come up with my own names for stories through researching names, but thought I’d try something different this time. Give me suggestions for first and last names of a male character in my short story I’m working on.

A little about the character, if it helps

He’s just being released from prison after serving 22 years of a life sentence for a murder he didn’t commit. He’s pretty low, and uncertain what to do in life, because he had given up on life and was prepared to live out his life in prison until new DNA evidence exonerated him.



35 thoughts on “Need a name (first and last for a male)

  1. Pablo T. Ortega – because, y’know, he has to.

    Fabius Denning – it is silly and I like it.

    Chester Harris – I like the name.

    Added advantages – all of the above names could be from pretty much any English speaking ethnicity or tradition. So, as you provide no cultural background, provide a means of avoiding any cultural background in particular whilst being open to any interpretation from your readers – which is to say, any reader could find a linguistic hook in the name to hang their perception of culture onto. At least, in my own white-middle-class-patriarchal way, that’s what I think.


  2. Yes MJ Bush it’s a contemporary story… but I do love old names, so don’t shy if it’s a bit older.

    The only character I’ve named thus far is his lawyer, who is young enough to be his daughter. Her name is Lauren McKinley.

    Keep the suggestions coming, I’m reading through them and thinking about it. And Murphy Jacobs I do love it when there is history associated with a name. The historian in me gets excited.


  3. My list from my Scrivener name generator! ( I know it’s cheating but I’m editing on a deadline!)

    Demond Mamone

    Skeat DiRocco

    Berlyn Collins

    Kilián Leubusch

    Irvin Strohmaier

    Vick Loster

    Fagin Newth

    Rewer Semann

    Dela Eden Federman

    Varialus Knightly

    Good luck! Let us know what you choose!


  4. Nathan Weaver  oops, way to read, kat.

    David Scott

    Cary Worthing

    Benjamin Pulsifer (actually this is one of my characters, I just love the name). Totally different genre, so if you love it to I don’t see why you can’t use it. 😉


  5. Elena Dillon, what an odd assortment of names it generated.

    kat Folland that’s fine. I understand that others are prone to misreading things, though I myself have never committed such an act of atrocity.

    I’m currently leaning on: Morgan Kelly. That’s Murphy Jacobs’s Daniel Morgan (the real-life inspiration for Mel Gibson’s character in The Patriot, awesome movie) and kat Folland’s John Kelly (because I’m using last names in the narrative, and Kelly as a guy’s name is always fun–especially because of the character Kelly in I, Spy).

    I’m realizing now I should’ve mentioned that I’m using the last name in the narrative. So, that means the last name needs to sound good on its own. Whoops….


  6. Nathan Weaver Just double checking. I generally figure out surnames on a case-by-case basis, and I write fantasy so the names I collect generally aren’t so much archaic as foreign. But here are a few.














  7. Rafe Preston are you just trolling me? It’s because I’m the only person you know who uses Google+ isn’t it? Hahaha… how’s it out west on the lake, in the desert, whatever you’re doing now…..

    MJ Bush : those are some great names. Booker always makes me laugh a little inside, though I like it. It makes me laugh, because I went to a private school for like a year when I was a kid and it used these materials that cartoon kids in them. One of them was the token black guy whose name was Booker. Terrible, terrible.


  8. I’ve only known one Booker, he was black. I’m not trolling. I’ve given you some legitimate names, some of which happen to be real names. and yes, you are the only one I know who uses Google+ and apparently I still haven’t turned off notifications.


  9. Just some thoughts … I like Freeman as a surname, if you’re not against heavy-handedness. 🙂  I was thinking either Justice or Equity as a first name (kind of like Equity, tbh) but Justin is close enough.  So perhaps Justin Freeman?  Or Freimann … or some odd spelling like that.


  10. Why not just research the most common first names given to baby boys about 50-55 years ago, and pick one out of the top 5? Also pick one of the most common last names to go with it. It makes the name very authentic, and as generic as possible for readers to identify with, as Peter Atkinson  said.


  11. …How dare you? I had this idea first :P. No, seriously, I’m writing the same thing (except he got out after 6 years for a murder he didn’t do). Please don’t tell me a reporter is going to get her cop friend to help solve the case, and don’t tell me you’re stealing this idea :P.

    I’m not good with names. I’ve been planning this story for months, and I still don’t know if I like his name. So, good luck :).


  12. Sarah Brown : No, I’m not stealing your idea. Totally not that story that you have. I’m actually torn on where to go for sure, but I’ve been leaning towards an unexpected science fiction turn.


  13. Nathan Weaver Haha, I was kidding of course :P. You go the science fiction route, I’ll just stick to realistic fiction ;). I like your idea though.

    What you could do is figure out what kind of personality traits he has, and figure out what kind of ancestors he could have, then find out what last names go with the ancestors (Brown for Scotish, Ewald for German, etc.). As far as first names, I figure out what kind of person my character is, and pick a main word or adjective, and come up with a name that means that word or adjective. I do a lot of research into names for my characters (sometimes, I take too much time…like 3 months :P).


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