Fanfiction cheat sheet: A guide to naming your tributes
2014 Edit Alert: So I've recently discovered I can edit chapters without losing reviews so I've finally got around to updating this long loved 'cheat sheet' of mine and adding some more names, from both my own stories and ideas and those given in the reviews. So enjoy.
Disclaimer: Obviously the hunger games isn't mine, but in more important news I'd like to make it clear I'm not picking on anyone with what I say here. Also I'm aware I'm not the most qualified person to say this really, It's just I got a couple of comments on the names I chose for my tributes in my fanfics (check out my profile for that) and wanted to share how I found the names and how you can do the same.
Now I've got that out of the way I'll start with why I feel the need to share this with you. I like you probably have read a lot of hunger games fanfiction, from SYOT to AU's and beyond and the names, I've seen are sometimes a little, let's say dull: Anna, Sarah, Rebecca, Amy, John, Mark, James, Robert. All good names in reality (well in the English speaking world at least) I just I don't see them as Panem names.
So let's start at the beginning;
District one: Luxury.
Cannon names: Gloss, Glimmer, Marvel, Cashmere.
District one I'd personally say is one of the easier districts to name, they are named after luxury products or shiny adjectives. Being close to the capitol ancient Roman and Greek names may also be applicable but only if they sound luxurious enough. Try looking on Google and Wikipedia at skills that you think district one would have and picking out words that sound like names.
Over used names: Diamond (Now I admit, I used Diamond in my fanfic, but I made the narrator comment how common it was, I picture it as being a lower class name of girls born to diamond mining parents) and Silk, I've just seen a lot of Silks.
Some examples for you to use: Clos, Glitter, Gold, Silver, Platinum, Tiger, Satin, Velvet, Vine, Marble, Tilver, Lace, Brilliant, Ruby, Gleam, Sprinkle, Radiance, Valour, Daria, Hermes, Paris, Calix, Brandi, Hale, Shimma, Blaze, Price, Iunia, Sapphire, Maia, Midas, Bastion, Lucretius, Glitta, Mace, Victoria.
District 2: Masonry (and defence/peacekeepers)
Cannon names: Cato, Clove, Brutus, Enobaria, Lyme. (Peacekeepers: Cray, Darius, Romulus, Purnia.)
District two is often cited as being the lapdog of the capitol. Therefore their names will often be similar to the names you use for the capitol but with a more vicious sounding edge. Also look for names that have meanings that link to the official stonemason job of the district as a portion of the district still have this job.
Examples you can use: Nolan, Ryker, Bedford, Alana, Mason, Slate, Ashlar, Lewis, Remus, Styx, Alexis, Hero, Jason, Terra, Thor, Alexis, Valerie, Victor, Amelia, Domitia, Alexis, Odius, Cob, Crag, Roland, Invictus, Titus, Oreta, Blaze, Quartz, Butte, Valda, Bulla, Dax, Nero, Boaz, Lenna, Lana.
District 3: Technology
Cannon names: Beetee, Wiress.
District three two cannon names are twists of technology components and are to me some of the most futuristic feeling names of the series. Here I'd look at articles on computers or other technical jobs picking out words that can either work straight as names or can be twisted to make names.
Examples you can use: Techa, Cable, Dayta, Telle, Binary, Bug, Boolean, Technik, Bolt, Huxley, Futura, Cordin, Gadge, Lumen, Flux, Digit, Ryam, Fuse, Pexey, Rakesh, Dem, Satis, Magnet, Lanni, Flash.
District 4: Fishing
Cannon names: Annie, Finnick, Mags.
I once read a rant about hunger games names on tumblr that said that a lot of people use gods and goddesses of the sea here; I agree that those names are the wrong way to go. In a way district fours names are relatively normal, but still have connotations with the sea. The simplest way to find sea based names is to look at baby naming websites.
Examples you can use: Ula, Ermin, Dylan, Coral, Dory, Maria, Kai, Molly, Zale, Marlin, Sedna, Brooke, Urchin, Cress, Talisa, Penelope, Sirena, Shad, Troy, Monique, Finbar, Roman, Nemo, Marena, Rika, Salton.
District 5: Power
There are no district 5 cannon names (I'm not counting Foxface because that's a nickname - Jacqueline Emerson's name for Foxface was apparently Finch and I like that though it's maybe a bit too natural for D5)
So for this district I personally think it will be similar to three using names related to the industry which is 'science and research' (lionsgate production notes) or simply Power if you believe what the capitol tells us. And due to Foxface's cleverness I see this as a very smart district so maybe name some of your tributes after famous scientists too.
Examples you can use: Brites, Watt, Spark, Atom, Vida, Bina, Albert, Isaac, Dina, Heller, Deena, Isaak, Genera, Wyatt, Foster, Edison, Zippina, Nina.
District 6: Transport
Cannon names: Titus.
I'd forgotten about Titus the cannibalistic tribute when I first started writing my fanfiction so like district 1,2 and 3 linked my tributes names to the industry of the district (Aston and Ford) both names after makes of car. Taking Titus into account (it means defender, if you were wondering) I think capitol type names can also apply here.
Examples you can use: Martin, Cooper, Apollo, Aranrhod, Aran, Byke, Kiva, Brunel, Arun, Kyva, Cara Casey, Demica, Savera, Kirk, Remus, Turbo, Carter.
District 7: Lumber.
Cannon names: Blight, Johanna.
Another tricky district; it's all too easy to name your tributes, Oak, Ash and Birch after various trees and this is fine but the cannon names aren't exactly tree related Johanna means 'grace of God' and Blight is apparently a tree disease. My advice would be go for tree names if you can make them interesting enough or just look for interesting names relating to Lumber.
Examples you can use: Ava, Lindell, Amber, Barker, Jack, Linda, Grover, Rowan, Maple, Cedara, Wilda, Tomer, Aspen, Amur, Leaf, Ivy, Nairn, Rowan.
District 8: Textiles
Cannon names: Bonnie, Cecelia, Woof, Twill, Paylor.
Again like many of the other districts district 8's names are directly linked to their industry. Being types of weaving techniques or other textile related words. Again Wikipedia is your friend here, search through relevant articles until you find names you like.
Examples you can use: Lea, Rollag, Calico, Burton, Lacey, Yarnn, Weave, Flax, Weft, Paige, Sash, Lisle, Bobbin, Penny, Thread, Dressal, Angora, Twyla, Velvet, Jute.
District 9: Grain.
Like district 5, 9 had no cannon names so again we have to start from the beginning, grain. Again Wikipedia is your friend, take your time reading it, find key words and throw them into baby name websites. Natural names will be your friend here.
Examples you can use: Mazie, Gwenith, Omri, Zea, Aluma, Rye, Barric, Ceres, Barley, Harvest, Harvey, Sunnoria, Bran, Ayra, Farro, Arley, Miller, Kasha, Milo.
District 10: Livestock
Cannon names: Dalton
Ah Dalton the cattle breeder Katniss meets in district 13 how come people always forget you? Dalton in case you were wondering means 'from the valley town' which straight away gives clues as to the terrain (Edit, I'm thinking Wales not Texas here so ignore me) of ten but more importantly means the names of district ten are not simply linked to occupations.
Examples you can use: Merona, Orford, Keld, Sable, Mink, Eve, Gael, Angus, Nox, Fora, Buck, Falco, Bulla, Belinda, Circe, Talon.
District 11: Agriculture.
Cannon names: Rue, Thresh, Chaff, Martin, Seeder.
Ah district eleven and your names that are more suited to district nine you confuse me so much. Feel free to use the ones I've suggested for district nine here as well as ones with a basis in other agriculture types.
Examples you can use: Willow, Apple, Spud, Caritta, Soya, Bean, Pepper, Till, Peara, Koring, Trail, Briony, Durian, Sirco, Whent, Thorn, Cane.
District 12: Coal
Cannon names: Katniss, Peeta, Primrose, Haymitch, Gale, Bristel, Delly, Greasy Sae, Hazelle, Leevy, Madge, Maysilee, Rooba, Rory, Thom, Vick, Ripper, Posy.
My that is a lot of names, not to be difficult here I'm going to say that although it may be tempting to simply use plant and natural names for this district you shouldn't really. Look again baring the Everdeens and the Hawthornes other characters aren't necessarily named after plants. Leevy is a extended version of Levy which means joined, Thom mean twin and Delly means noble. Therefore my advice would be go for natural names if you like the idea otherwise look for names with meanings that link to their personality or their job.
Over used names: Cole (we get it its like coal! *casually doesn't mention that I've used Cole*)
Examples you can use: Brooke, Nelly, Collis, Ash, Kolton, Hilt, Burnet, Mist, Hopper, Slatia, Pickan Raab, Troy, Chock, Charity.
Last but not least The Capitol:
Cannon names: Effie, Cinna, Atala, Caesar, Claudius, Cressida, Coriolanus, Castor, Flavius, Fulvia, Messalla, Octavia, Plutarch, Pollux, Portia, Seneca, Tax, Tigris, Venia.
Capitol names are Roman and Greek names, simple as. Look on Google and search through lists until you find ones that will suit your character or are easiest to spell. Another trend I've spotted that I like is that of Victorian values names e.g. Prudence or Chastity, so feel free to litter a few of these around too.
Examples you can use: Octavia, Ajax, Hero, Leto, Hestia, Pan, Daphne, Lilith, Sabrina, Ammon, Clio, Syrio, Veridie, Justice, Albus, Maximus, Idum, Tatiana, Roman, Caligula.
- Don't use the over used names unless you're making a point of it.
- Wikipedia and baby name websites are your friend, personally I've been using .com to compile this list.
- If all else fails look towards Greek and Roman names, there's always some parents out there trying to sound more like a capitolite especially in the career districts.
- Switch letters around on names or add y's and z's where they don't belong for a more futuristic sound.
- Some names will work in more than one District – I've used Bulla for 2 and 10.
- Keep your mind on the district occupation as you choose them, No self respecting district one citizen would name their child after a plant.
- And finally, there are always exceptions to the rules: See Vine in district one.
I hope you like my little guide; feel free to tell me if this sucks or send your own suggestions for names that I can add to the list.
Surprise Extra section!
Surnames to me are both easier and ten times more difficult than first names; I tend to look for surnames that are common in certain areas today eg Detroit surnames for D6, Canada for D7, Texas for D10 or California or Florida for D4 etc. Failing this I pick surnames relevant to occupations of Districts such as Miller (D9) or Mason (D2) – Surnames I'd guess would remain the same throughout the end of the word which led to the formation of Panem for the ordinary people in the Districts, however in the Capitol I see them being more of a status symbol, something that they can and often do change.
So for the Capitol I'd start by doing the same as the Districts but for the Rockies region or I'll sometimes just pick random make names for the toiletries on my desk e.g Lush, Ricci, Blush or just posh sounding names, double barreled, adding the odd 'Le' to make it sound french that kind of thing.
Finally some shameless self promotion, if you head over to my profile you can see a load of stories that may give you more ideas and I also have a blogspot blog called 'Postrebellionvictors' if you want to look there.