DISCLAIMER: This probably not the ideal StackExchange site for this question, but it was the closest one I found

I have been using this name, "MikePendragonXD" online for a few years now. It represents three things, my love of writing (Pen), My fascination of dragons (Dragon) and my obsession with Arthurian legend. Now, I've grown up more and that name has no relation to me. I've been brainstorming, trying to come up with a new name, but all my interests are too broad, and I equally enjoy them. This means I cannot pick a favorite to base the name on, and because the interests are so broad and different from each other I cannot blend them. I've tried learning about my name, which I found a lot of information about, But the information is not relevant. I want a name with meaning, that when asked about it could branch into a large and complex story. Here are the factors I have so far: My name is Michael(Mike) James Fleitz, My first name is a rhetorical question in Hebrew "Who is like God?", James is derived from Jacob, and Fleitz is derived from the German word for stream. I'm aiming for a fantasy name, possibly Latin based. I hope this the best site for this, I hope this goes well.

  • Pen names are definitely a part of writing, and an on-line username is similar to a pen name, so I think you have found the right site for the question. You might also get some good advice from the community building or freelancing SE sites as this is also a "branding" question. I will give your question some thought and post back later. Apr 4, 2018 at 13:49
  • 4
    How to come up with a name (either a pen name, or an online pseudonym) seems close enough to an issue that writers would regularly encounter that it'd likely be on topic on Writing SE. (Particularly fiction writers need to come up with names for characters all the time, and some like for those names to have a meaning within the story being told as well.) However, towards the end of your question, you start to delve into what might be a good one for you specifically, which makes the question resemble a "what to write?" question, which is off topic here as per our Help center.
    – user
    Apr 4, 2018 at 17:48
  • I'm fond of the name Orion. August has a Roman flair; Alexander has Greek.
    – Stu W
    Apr 7, 2018 at 1:43
  • Agreed that this question isn't a good one in its current form. I cast the final vote to put this on hold, but please feel free to edit or suggest edits along the lines of what @MichaelKjörling suggested and we'd be happy to consider reopening. Apr 8, 2018 at 23:02

1 Answer 1


In writing, if an author wants a name that conveys a certain meaning to the reader, usually that name must speak to the reader without an explanation by thy author.

For example, most readers will not be aware of the Hebrew etymology of the name Michael. It might remind some readers of the archangel, but most readers will simply think of other people named Michael that they know or not think of anything at all. It will convey a certain culture (Western, Christian), gender (male), age (whenever that name was popular), and so on.

But these meanings are vague and not definite, and for that reason some writers, if they want a "speaking name", they choose words as names, such as "Sirius Black", which could signify the characters appearance (dark hair) or character (not clearly "good").

You seem to want the opposite. Not a name with a meaning that is immediately apparent, but a name that only has a meaning to you, and which you can then explain to anyone who asks.

In that case, you are not limited to "speaking names". To find a personally meaningful name:

  1. write down the story that you want that name to signify
  2. list the basic elements of the story (this is similar to finding a title, logline, blurb, or synopsis to a story)
  3. use the words for these elements either directly or
  4. find names, words, objects, fictional character, etc. that can stand in for what those words mean
  5. and combine them into a name

You have apparently already begun to do just that, and the problem you seem to have is that you want one name so stand for everything that you are. That is not possible, because no single word or short phrase has such a complex meaning. The only name that has this meaning is your own real name. So what you need to do is focus on the most relevant aspects of your story.

For that effect, the name you have already chosen seems to work nice. Or in other words: You have already found the name and answered your own question, the only thing you need to do now is stop wanting to find the perfect name and be content with the one you have ;-)

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