Naming Names

Naming is hard.

Naming things can be one of the most difficult tasks for an author. Whether it’s naming people, places or things, the endless work of finding just the right name, one that sounds realistic and fits the circumstances, can be trying work. For me, place names are the hardest to do well. No matter what the setting, naming towns and streets can be challenging. As it turns out, it can be challenging in the so-called “real” world, too. Back in 2013, Gizmodo mentioned a book titled Real Estate Subdivisions by Stanley L. McMichael that, among other things, included a list of more than 750 potential names for your subdivision. The article also included links to a Real Estate Subdivision Name Generator on-line. But, personally, I was fascinated with the idea of that crazy book by McMichael, published in 1949. I chased it down, eventually, and I wasn’t disappointed. Besides the list of names in the appendix, there are also fascinating chapters on everything from planning your future subdivision to setting up a home-owner’s association to deed restrictions, including restrictions along racial lines. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then. But, still, the names of places remain.
Just because I’m a sharing kind of guy, I typed all those names from that appendix into a single text file and I’m giving you all a link to it from my other site, Fantasist.net, here: Subdivision Names Text File.
Some of the names sound a bit odd, but others are actual names of places I’ve been. In fact, several of the “suggested” names in this book are places in the Chicago area where I have or had relatives living!

In any case, I hope you find the file helpful. I might add, too, that if you add “Street”, “Lane”, “Court” or “Avenue” to almost any of the names in that file, they’d make fine street names!
And, if you need more help with any aspect of your world building, check out the other resources available at the Fantasist.net World Building page.
Enjoy!