Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 8 years ago

Character's wife's name?

I am writing a book and I can't think of a name for a character's wife. His name is Zack Köszönöm (Hungarian) and I can't think of a name for his wife. Help!


Zack was born in America, as was his wife. Takes place this year. Zack's great grandparents were Hungarian immigrants, as were his wife's grandparents. Also, yes, I realize köszönöm is a strange surname, but its my favorite hugarian word :P thank you! Köszönöm!

2 Answers

  • Juli
    Lv 5
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    What to call this character's wife depends on her intended background: is she also Hungarian? If yes, is she Hungarian-born, or the child of immigrants?

    If she was born in Hungary, you can check some name statistics on Hungarian Wikipedia:

    Up to 19th century:

    20th century:



    Yes, the pages are all in Hungarian, but they mostly consist of name lists labeled with years, so they should be usable even if you can't read the text. Note that the two most recent pages have four tables of names: the first two are baby names, the second two are name frequency in the population as a whole.

    Note that if your character and his wife live in pre-WWII Hungary, she would not take his surname as her own: officially, her married name would be the equivalent of "Mrs. John Smith", and "Jane Smith" would be a different person -- perhaps their daughter.


    I have some issues with the character name that you've already chosen. If you don't want advice about his name, please feel free to disregard the following.

    Um, "thank you" as a surname? Highly unlikely -- it does not occur in the online phonebooks that I checked. The closest I can get with actual surnames is Kőszegi ("from Kőszeg", a town in western Hungary) and Köszörűs ("grinder", an occupation). There's also Kösze "beardless", but it's very rare, and most people have no idea what the word means -- it's pretty archaic. It does however bear some resemblance to köszi, an informal shortening of "thank you".

    Zack is also pretty unlikely unless your character was born in an English-speaking country. Zachary is a Biblical name, so it has an equivalent in Hungarian (Zakariás), but it's very rarely bestowed on Hungarian children. (Most years there aren't any babies with this name.) The "big 4" of masculine names in Hungary are László, István, József, and János -- just about everyone has family or close acquaintances with each of these names. Zoltán, Sándor, Ferenc, Gábor, Attila, and Péter round out the top 10 in the general population, and would also be good choices for a Hungarian character's given name.


    Edit: OK, for 2nd- and 3rd-generation Hungarian-Americans, whatever was 'current' in the U.S. when the characters were born will work, so Zack is fine -- Zachary was an up-and-coming name starting around the 1960s, peaking in the 1990s and now falling, but still in the top 100.

    For his wife, you can play around with name stats in various ways online, and see if anything appeals. If you have a particular state or area of the country in mind for where she was born, you can use the NameMapper at (note: uses Java), or if you want to see name popularity in a neat visual form, try the NameVoyager on the same site (no Java needed). These both require that you have some idea of the name you're thinking of; for that, you can go straight to the horse's mouth and check the Social Security Administration's baby name stats ( ), which can give you top-10 (or 20 or 100 or whatever) lists for any year or decade. Depending on how you imagine the character's parents to have approached baby names (Individuality-seeking or going with the flow? Innovators or traditionalists?), you can choose a name from the top, middle, or bottom of the charts, and then see how it fared in later years. This can give you some ideas for character development: if she was destined to be one of 5 with her name in every class, she'll have somewhat different experiences with privacy and individuality than if she was named, say, Juniper, decades before "word-names" became popular.

  • 8 years ago

    Maggie or Zoe :)

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.