Creating names


Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2007
I really stink at making evil names... sometimes making regular names is a hard task.

what are some pointers for evil names?
I rememebr reading once that the letter V and F are usually found in evil names...

lord Farquad, Voldemort, Vernon Dursley.....

but those names are taken!!! And I found this horrible name generator which gave me cheesy names like lord darkshadow.... come on!! that name!

I need names!! but alas.. none come... it takes me a long time to finally come up with one name..

so, anyone have any pointers?
I think the use of V, and even X and Z, being associated with evil names comes down to how frequently we use them in our own language. Being less often used, and giving a particularly harsh set of sounds creates within the human mind a sort of discomfort with the sound of the name. For example, when I work on creating a language for some of my Dark creatures, I focus on hisses and clicks. Clipped sounds, words that sound cut off and half formed, as with "'Nith vech noch til,' 'Tor vech ech ternith,' 'Arak go til neth,'" and "'gorthil.' So if your goal is to make them feel that the name itself is evil, go for sounds that create a sense of discomfort.

For me, I prefer my evil characters to have mostly conventional names, unless they cross into a different area of evil wherein they give themselves a new name. Redefining themselves, they become the name they've decided on. But I go less for the straight-forward "good vs. evil" where good is good because it's good, and evil is evil because it's evil and good needs something to fight that's worth fighting. So my evil characters aren't evil for the sake of being so, there's some progression of events that have brought them to a point in their lives where their actions seem entirely evil to everyone else around them.

So those would be my two cents. Work off of what sounds you personally dislike, or what combination of sounds you'd see as being off-putting, or "evil", and make a list of potential names to work from. Heck, visit those baby name sites, pick names that look interesting, or have some of the sounds you're looking for, and then start rearranging the letters and sounds, or combine them with other names similarly to tailor make yours.
and yeah... my bad guys have regular names, but when they go bad that have chosen names for themselves. except for one bad guy... he has a regular name... it just sounds evil to me to begin with.
Vernon Dursley?

"Flee! The dark horde is upon us! And led by none other than that foul necromancer, Vernon Dursley!"

My advice, if you want a memorable evil name, it should mean something, or at least have some resonance. Voldemort contains mort=death, Darth Vader = Dark Father, etc. And Malloriel is right in that names that come from languages alien to our own can have an "other" quality that lends them to evil (because let's face it, deep inside we're all as civilised as wolverines and otherness=bad). Plundering a few syllables from Russian, German, Finnish, Arabic etc names might get you somewhere.
When it comes to "dark" names, Anne Bishop takes the cake in her "The Black Jewels". But then it's her protagonists that have the best names. Now how can you come up with a better name than Saetan Daemon SaDiablo, High Lord of Hell, Prince of Darkness, High Priest of the Hourglass?

You could try mashups; choosing words from different languages and running them together. For example Mortriel. Morte, the French word for death and -iel for angel--since many believe most angel names end in it. They don't but many believe that. So Mortriel means death angel.
I use normal names, but sometimes just randomly make them up XD

My villain is Lord Carlisle...
A few years ago I read this article on name creation (in general, not specifically evil names) which had a great formula for creating names that have a common theme/sound. At the moment I can't remember where I found it, but I'm going to go on a hunt for it now - it may be of some use to you shamguy.
I read somewhere that baddies sound best when their names contain 3 syllables - Vol-de-mort, Sar-u-man, Drac-u-la etc.

I think harsh sounds help with evil names, it seems to make them sound better with pauses.
oooh Ill try that...

I know! Lord Big-dark-shadow... lol.
No seriously it actually sounds right, i'll think abut 3 syllable names and see if it helps. thanks.
@ culhwch
lol sure go ahead and use it... its not my cup of tea...
Uhmm.. you don't need the 'big' in front. Dark-sha-dow is already three syllables :p.

But two syllables aren't too bad, either; i.e. Sau-ron, Mor-goth/Mel-kor, To-rak, Mael-grim, etc.

I also agree that having the names actually mean something (like in an 'ancient tongue' or some such) helps. But then again I like to create languages or at least little snippets of them with some vague rules, so it depends if it's something you'd enjoy.

- Dreir -
I find names difficult too. Most of mine are German/Russian, but I still spend ages trawling through lists to find ones that sound right.

For made up names I tend to either go syllable by syllable, making things that sound ok and trying to meld them together, or for the old foreign language route (Latin being especially good).

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