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Gothic architecture, culture, and naming conventions are a favorite of many people.
That being the case, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that a gothic fantasy setting is very popular and fun to build.
But coming up with names for the various locations in such a world can be a little difficult when inspiration fails to strike.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of awesome naming ideas for gothic town names of all sorts, from small villages to dreary strongholds high in the mountains.
Whether you are writing a book, making a game, or setting up a D;D campaign to enjoy with your friends, you are sure to find something suitable for your needs here.
Let’s dive in.
Interesting Gothic Town Names
- Stagcross – Gothic names thrive on hard syllables and sounds. They evoke images of imposing places, even if the name itself might be about a deer crossing, such as this name.
- Gorkazur – Perfect for a town belonging to a tribe or race of warriors or the like. Names like this often evoke images of orcs and goblins.
- Domadun – You don’t want any Gothic towns to sound like fun, exciting places. Strong “D’s” in a town name often make a place sound more intimidating or unapproachable, especially if you double down!
- Baki-Da – Don’t underestimate the power of a good hyphen! The inclusion of a hyphen or an apostrophe can completely change how a name feels: Baki-Da sounds more mysterious than Bakida.
- Culorn – When it comes to vowels, A’s and E’s tend to sound a little nicer than U’s and O’s, especially coming off of certain consonants. Try exchanging vowels in any name you think of to see how it feels.
- Skjallgrim – Norse is a great language to look to for Gothic town names. Not because they match the time period, but because they sound like fierce, foreboding locations to most people.
- Griefvale – Subtlety isn’t always required. Don’t be afraid to use obvious words and references in a Gothic town name. Throw in some grief, sorrow, tears, rage, or whatever other dark feelings you can.
- Bashkor – Town names that end in vowels can sound scary sometimes, but names that end with consonants often sound “harder” when pronounced. Start and end a name with consonants.
- Grafburg – A Gothic town name should sound like it belongs in a Gothic setting as soon as you pronounce it. Ask yourself, “does this name sound like it could be a real place in Europe?”
Unique Gothic Town Names
- Crewe – Short and to the point can make an impact when it comes to a town name. Just make sure it sounds a little rough around the edges!
- Mutiger – Gothic names are by their very nature quite European sounding since that is where they came from. But feel free to mix it up with any aspect of language, to get small town names like this one.
- Moorholm – End a town’s name with “holm” to add a bit of Gothic aesthetic to it. Seriously, just try adding it to a word, and see how well it works most of the time!
- Stenjern – This is another example of Germanic languages being pretty good for Gothic town names. Play around with German, Dutch, Norweigan, Icelandic, and similar languages to get fitting names.
- Sowhorn – This town doesn’t sound like a very appealing place. Remember, a Gothic town shouldn’t sound like a place you would want to go for a vacation. Sowhorn definitely fits that bill.
- Kassel – If you really wanted to go the way of the pun, the main feature of this town could be a Gothic-style castle.
- Gotha – This town’s name might be on the nose, but the word “Gothic” originated from somewhere, right? A town such as this could be known specifically for its Gothic architecture.
- Notrent – The key to good naming schemes is all in the syllables. For Gothic names, ensuring that all syllables start with consonants is a good way to come up with a fitting name.
Stylish Gothic Town Names
- Pitney – If the Gothic town in question is the pits, you could get away with a not-so-subtle name like this one. It could also just be a pitstop on the way to a larger, more notable town.
- Carmarthen – The bigger the town, the bigger and fancier the name should be. A name such as this, which sounds fitting for an important place, should be reserved for major locations.
- Krieger – “Krieg” means “war” in German, so a name like this one would be fantastic for a fortress or a stronghold.
- Mountbank – Even Gothic towns might have names that simply describe the terrain around them. Near a mountain and the bank of a river? This name fits perfectly.
- Nebeus – An exotic-sounding name such as this one would be ideal for a town associated with sorcery or the dark arts.
- Quintus – Throwing an odd letter such as Q into a town name can make it very memorable in the minds of an audience.
- Mooneve – This name would be perfect for a town heavily associated with the moon, be it for a festival, or due to some tie with werewolves or the harvest.
- Purstmarch – Try to find ways to inject unpleasant-sounding words and syllables into your Gothic town names. We don’t know what a “purst” is, but it doesn’t sound all that great.
- Luxor – Sounds a lot like Luxembourg, a small country in Europe that is home to a lot of Gothic architecture.
Strange Gothic Town Names
- Hackney – Hackney just doesn’t sound like a particularly great place to visit, which is kind of the point when it comes to certain town names.
- Padserae – Not all names need to have special meaning or a deep explanation. Sounding cool is more than enough if you tell an interesting story along with the town’s name.
- Nas Laed – Many people feel that town names need to be one word, but splitting the name into two can give it a more unique identity.
- Elmbow – A town famous for its trees, or for the bows that are made from their trees? It’s up to you!
- Greyridge – Generally speaking, gray/grey is a pretty good color to include in the name of a Gothic town. Black is also a pretty solid contender.
Town Name Inspiration
What does the word “Gothic” really mean, anyway?
It used to refer solely to a style of medieval architecture, but with many novels taking place in Gothic-style castles, cathedrals, monasteries, etc., the term soon become associated with mystery and horror, a la Dracula.
So, Gothic town names should evoke such imagery and feelings!
When looking for inspiration, take a glance at famous literature from the time period in which Gothic architecture was popular.
You can also look at really, existing cities with lots of Gothic architecture and play around with alternatives to their names.
You can also look to other fictional worlds that exist already.
Of course, you don’t want to copy them since that could lead to some trouble, but you could take inspiration from the names other people have come up with.
Help Choosing The Perfect Name
The whole point of Gothic atmosphere by the modern definition is to be dark and mysterious.
But there are many ways to do that, and “dark” doesn’t necessarily have to mean horror, gore, or something of that nature.
There are many ways to do “dark:” foreboding, dreary, unpleasant, horrific, decrepit… a town name that evokes any of these images can be considered “Gothic.”
So, when trying to choose the perfect name for your Gothic town, take into consideration what kind of atmosphere you want that town to have, and what kind of name gives that sort of feeling.
Is the town supposed to be a scary, horrific place? Maybe it’s not scary, but just unpleasant and unfriendly? Perhaps a great mystery surrounds this town?
One way or another, pinning down what kind of atmosphere you want the town to have is the most important step to determining what name will be most fitting for it.
Picking a good name for a Gothic town can be difficult if you are lacking inspiration, but there are many options out there.
Hopefully, the lists provided here were able to give you some neat ideas for a town name, regardless of what type of town or world you are interested in putting together!