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Fifty Surnames with Supernatural Meanings

If you are anything like me, naming your characters is your absolute Achilles’ Heel. I’m not joking: will I spend the next hour writing 1000 words, or researching one name for a side character who’s in the book for three pages?

If you guess option B, you’ve more or less figured out what I spent the last hour doing.

For those of you who, like me, have an obsession with name meanings that borders on unhealthy (I can and will identify the meaning of both first and last name of every single person I meet), here’s a list of surnames to give characters in an urban fantasy novel. Handpicked and organised according to meaning, I’ve included names in various European languages. If you want to see another one for other regions/languages, do drop me a comment.

And for a little bonus, read all the way to the bottom.

Let’s jump right in.


(This is a thing. Germanic cultures in Europe used to have a minor obsession with elves. Here are a small selection of names they crop up in.)







And, for that promised little bonus, here’s what my penname means!

How do you choose the names for your characters? Are you as obsessed with picking the perfect name as I am? Let me know in the comments!


Further reading:

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