Surnames for characters?

If you have a character from another time period, and their time period doesn’t have surnames or names work differently than the modern times, and they end up in the modern era, where everyone has a surname, do they break their given name into two, invent a surname (to adapt to modern society) or call themselves only the given name? Or can they do any of these three things?

Just curious to know what people would do, that’s all thanks.


You could just have the surname be the name if their father/mother


I’ve got multiple methods.

  1. Look up surnames of the era. (Tang dynasty for the Constellation’s name in Kindergarten Constellation.)
  2. Understand the origin of surnames in general. (To Make a Kinder Children’s Tale: ML: Althalos Thirdborn, cousin Rileus Firstborn: in relation to the birthing order of their ancestors under the King?)
  3. Treat it like titles in a manga that tends towards insanity. Have someone called The Fistful Monk
  4. Don’t give them surnames at all. (To make a Kinder Children’s Tale: MC has no last name.)

Maybe I will do that, or just have his full given name (first and second first name) as the surname and the christian name. Just something that modern society can identify him with.

Or I could always use a name like Cedric the Entertainer (I know it’s a stage name) as his given name in his profession. :stuck_out_tongue:


That’s reasonable. Think of all the weird bits in names:

Bar–Hebrew for “son of”
Née–should be French for “maiden name”
Mac/Mc–Scottish for “son of”

So a lot of names could have
By, in, son of, 2nd hairdresser to the King of Stumpy…


Most of my Meiste characters would swap the order of their names since their surnames come first.

In Iziser > Iziser In


Yes, true. I can think of that as well.

That’s interesting. Is it inspired by any earthly culture in particular, or something you came up with, or a mix of elements?

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You can think of King of Stumpy? That’s going back to bad nicknames.

It’s a little bit of both. In China and Japan, their surnames come first also. But it’s also justified by Zispoel word order.


I say a mixture of all the above depending on their culture.

My story takes place in the far, far future (year 4000s) and the humans still have surnames that slightly derive from their ancestry. My main characters have ancestors from various parts Africa (Nigeria, Algeria, and Egypt for example) so they take surnames that were common from those areas like Eissa, Hakimi, Kasim, Saidi, Raheem, Ayadi, and Hassani.

The sirens don’t have last names except for the queen because she’s royalty (because she’s special lol) and hers is Anawai, and it’s the same with the alien princess of Koeleg—she’s the only one with a last name and it’s Nikitaray.

The witches who are also alien beings don’t have surnames because their queen doesn’t remember her own. And I have another alien species who only call themselves by the name of their species name (Uzànae) because they aren’t a gendered species.

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I knew it. I saw it and thought, huh, so like Japan where I live :wink: That’s cool.

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If they come from another era, they might invent one. See a name in the newspaper and take it. Or admit they never had one. After all, there are countries where people have no last name.

Immortal assassin Richard does not have a last name. He takes names of people if he absolutely needs one.

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