I’ve been stalking some Tumblr roleplay groups that have Indian face claims and I’ve noticed that the name choices for Indian character are generally quite bad. Sometimes they’re given names that I would associate with grandparents - like the Indian equivalents of Gertrude, Bertha or Mildred. And other times, the admin just gives up and names them Kareena or Raj. So, I’ve come up with a few ways to help you name Indian characters.
Note that I am a Gujarati-Indian from London. Some of the names that I suggest may be more popular in London than anywhere else and also, may be specific to Gujarati’s but I will look on the Internet for other names.
With girls names I’ve noticed that names ending in ‘a’ are the most popular at the moment. And they are also getting shorter. This is mainly so that they are easier for English people to pronounce without changing them too much, so they are more common in the UK and US. So names like Riya, Reena and Jaya come up a lot.
Also, the names of Hindu goddesses and the female versions of gods names are still very popular, here are some:
- Krishna - A god, unisex name
- Lakshmi - Goddess Lakshmi
- Parvati - Goddess Parvati
- Radha - wife of Krishna
- Shivani - Female of Lord Shiva, a god
- Yamuna - Holy River
If you’re thinking about using one of these names or any other religious name for a character, I would be careful with the personality because it could offend people.
A lot of modern Indian names are also adapted from western countries and normally end in ‘ie’ such as Dia.
Any names ending in the vowels ‘a’ or ‘i’ and are reasonably short (on average 5 letters) should sound good. Avoid long names with 8 letters or more because they sound old fashioned now.
Like girls names, male names have also gotten shorter. Names beginning with the letter ‘a’ have become very popular with Indian boys and names such as Aarav, Aditya, Arjun and Ayush were in the top 20 boys names in India in 2011. Also, names ending in ‘v’ such as ‘Dhruv’ are quite popular.
These are some names of Hindu male gods that can be used as names, obviously there are a lot more but these are the most common.
As with the females, be careful how you use these names.
Boys names are less likely to go out of fashion and traditional/religious names are used a lot. Just avoid very long names (8+ letters) and names that end in the letters ‘n’ or ‘j’.
SURNAMES (last names)
According to THIS website, the most popular name given to Indian baby boys in the US was Arjun and girls was Maya. These are both short names which are easy to pronounce. Some other boys names that came up were: Aditya, Pranav, Nikhil, Arnav, Rishi and Rahu. Some other girls names were Tara and Shreya.
Some of my information came from THIS site, which shows the most popular girls and boys names of 2011 in India and describes the trends in more detail.
THIS is a very good site for Hindu names. However, some of the names are very traditional so you may need to ask around for opinions on the name and my ask box is always open.
If you’re not sure whether a name sounds good or suits a FC you can always ask me and I’ll happily help you.
I hope this somewhat helps you!