I’ve got a fantastic book recommendation for you today, one I consider to be a must-have writing resource: The Baby Name Wizard by Laura Wattenberg

The Baby Name Wizard: A Magical Method for Finding the Perfect Name for Your BabyFrom Goodreads: Yes, your baby’s perfect name is out there. The trick is finding it. The perfect baby name will speak to your heart, give your child a great start in life—and maybe even satisfy your relatives. But you can’t expect to just stumble on a name like that in an A to Z dictionary or on a trendy list. That’s why you need The Baby Name Wizard. Created by a name-searching mom, it uses groundbreaking research and computer generated models to pinpoint each name’s image, examine its usage and popularity over the last 100 years, and suggest other promising ideas. A perfect guide to the modern world of names, The Baby Name Wizard will engage you from the first name you look up and keep you enchanted through your journey to the just-right name for your baby.

I used The Baby Name Wizard to name my daughter almost five (!) years ago, and I’ve used it to name each and every one of my main characters since. This is no run-of-the-mill baby name book. In The Baby Name Wizard, every name has a “snapshot,” or a brief overview of its popularity, style, alternatives, and ideas for sibling names. For example:

Popularity: #4
Style: Antique Charm, Biblical,
Variants: Hanna, Hana
Sisters: Abigail, Olivia, Chloe, Ava, Emily
Brothers: Caleb, Noah, Austin, Ethan, Jacob
Looking for a warm, old-fashioned bibilical name? Male choices abound, but for girls’ names it’s slim pickings. Hannah is one that hits the bulls-eye. It’s simple and sweet and sounds great with almost any type of surname. Hugely popular, especially in cold-climate states where warmth is always in fashion.


Popularity: #111
Style: Country & Western, Nickname-Proof
Sisters: Faith, Carolina, Scarlett, Sierra, Mariah
Brothers: Zane, Colton, Bryce, Jonah, Caleb
Wyatt is rawhide tough, but polished enough for the big city. One of the strongest and most versatile of the retro-cowboy names.

There are more examples HERE. As well as the snapshots, The Baby Name Wizard is full of easy-to-read graphs and charts detailing when names were most popular and how they’ve trended over time. Plus, there are lists of names that share a certain feel (Country & Western, Biblical, Celtic, Lacy and Lissome, etc…). All in all, it’s an incredibly helpful resource (and, simply, an interesting book) especially if you’re struggling to come up with a character name that has a specific ring to it, or a name from a certain time period.


Have you used The Baby Name Wizard? What are your favorite character naming resources?