Back in March, Beck discussed naming characters. Giving names has been on my mind a great deal lately since I’m brewing up kid #2. My hubby is impossible to pick girl names with, so despite being on the countdown, this little girl is still nameless. Because of a hubby who thinks no name is good enough for his little girls, (Yes, we had problems naming our first daughter too. When they revealed this second girl’s gender, my first thought was; great, I have to pick a name with my hubby! Kill me now) I find naming my characters a million times easier than naming my own children.

With that, I’m going to share with you how I named the fictional characters in Kiya.

In Kiya, we see how many of the Egyptian characters are named and their meanings, like Tut and Horemheb. The Egyptian historical figures all have pretty well known names and origins, but for the fictional characters I had to find names to suit them. So, here are some!

Abimbala: A Nubian name in origin, also spelled “Abimbola”, this means “Rich child.” Since Abi grew up a princess in a culture arguably as rich and powerful as Egypt, she needed a name to reflect her nobility. Nubian queens were highly revered, and treated equally to kings. Abi would have been no exception to this.

Adina: Hebrew name meaning “lean and subtle.” Since Adina was to be pretty and far more gentle than Naomi, this seemed fitting. Although Adina did prove to have a fiery side.

Eliora: Hebrew name meaning “the Lord is my light.” As the youngest and loveliest of the sisters, Eliora needed something sweet with some kind of praise, especially since their mother died giving birth to her.

Gerlind: Ancient Germanic name meaning Ger “Spear” and Lind “soft, tender.” This is perfect for the Gerlind I wanted to portray as she is small, quiet and hardly noticed, but she secretly has this strength and burning loyalty.

Hepsati: Egyptian name. I can’t find my notes on the meaning of this unfortunately. But I did swap her name with Jendaji because I thought Hepsati would be better suited to Mordad’s daughter for whatever reason.

Mordad: Persian name meaning “immortality.” If you’ve read the story, you’ll understand why this is so perfect. It’s also the fifth month of the Iranian calendar. Random, huh? So it’s kind of like I called her May.

Rena: Hebrew name meaning “joyous melody.” Rena is my favorite of Naomi’s sisters, which shows more and more through each book. She was named first, and brings a special joy to Naomi her whole life.

And Naomi? Well, she was always Naomi. She picked her own name. But Naomi does mean “pleasantness.”

So when picking names, I had to search according to the character’s lineage, a meaning to fit them, and what I thought sounded nice. And yes, the combination of the three is easier than picking a baby girl name with my hubby! Ha ha!

Do you have a story of how you came to pick your character’s names? Oh, and girl name suggestions are more than welcome!


  1. Congratulations on your expected little bundle. I hear you on the difficulty naming children, my first was easy because his father named him but I have just (10 days ago) had my second and he spent the first 48 hours of his life outside the womb nameless. Until I settled on Royce. It was toss up between Royce and Henry in the end, his father preferred Henry but it was my turn to choose the name and Royce was the winner for me by a very slight smidgen. If he had been a girl he was going to be either Edith or Iris.

    As for characters most of mine name themselves but if I am stuck for a name I do something similar to you and look at origin and meanings. I love sites like Behind the Name for this purpose. I find surnames much harder to come up with than given names, actually surnames are very close to the bane of my existence.



    1. I usually look up the most common surnames in the region my MS is set. It’s a bit lazy, but it works.
      My MIL wants Iris, but I’m not sold on it. With my first having a flower name, a lot of people are suggestion another flower name, but none are working for me.



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