How To Come Up With Fantasy City Names (A Complete Guide)

Share this post:

How do you come up with a name for your new city? There are many ways to go about it, but how should you choose which one is best for you?

In this blog post, we will explore some approaches and how they can help you create the perfect fantasy city names.

1. Come Up With A List Of Words That Describe The City

You can start by simply brainstorming a list of words that describe the city. Fantasy cities are usually either big, small, modern, or old-fashioned so look for attributes like these.

Think about how each word would sound in your mind when you say it out loud and how they could combine to create names with interesting sounds. You can also try to find a word that has multiple meanings or can be interpreted in different ways.

For example:

  • Big: Metropolis, Colossus, Urbana
  • Small: Hamlet, Bazaar, Mercantile
  • Modern: Futura, Progress, Aspire
  • Old Fashioned: Gotham, Salem, Windsor

When you have a good list of words to work with, it’s time to start coming up with names. You can either use them as they are or mix and match to create something completely new. The possibilities are endless!

Here are some examples based on the words above:

  • Metropolis
  • Futura
  • Progress
  • Aspire
  • Gotham
  • Salem
  • Windsor
  • Hamlet
  • Bazaar
  • Mercantile
  • Urbana
  • Colossus
  • Urbane

If you’re struggling with how to come up with fantasy city names using this method, try searching the web for a list of words related to your book or game world.

You can then use these lists to brainstorm and work out any kinks before moving on to something more advanced like Automatic Fantasy City Name Generators.

2. Think About The History And Culture Of Your City. What Are Some Things That Make It Unique?

When naming your city, it’s important to consider its history and culture. What are some things that make it unique? Are there any famous landmarks or buildings? What kind of architecture is used in the city? What are the local traditions and customs?

You can also use mythology and folklore to come up with names for your city. Think about the gods and goddesses associated with your region or the legends and folktales that have been passed down through the years. Use these as inspiration for creating a rich and vibrant cityscape.

Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative! Sometimes the best city names are ones that you come up with yourself. Just think about what you want your city to represent and go from there.

3. Use Your Imagination To Come Up With A Name For Each Word

Some people like to use their imagination to come up with names for each word. This can be a fun way to come up with a name for your city, but it can also be difficult because you want the name to sound good and fit the meaning of the word.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a good name using this method, try looking online for lists of fantasy city names that other people have come up with. You can also find inspiration in books, movies, and TV shows.

If you want to give your city an ancient feeling, try using Latin or Greek words for your city’s name. Some examples include Athens, Rome, and Sparta.

If you want something more modern sounding, you could use English words like New York, Los Angeles, or London.

No matter what method you choose to come up with a name for your city, the most important thing is to have fun and let your imagination run wild!

4. Combine Them Together And You Have Yourself A New City Name!

When you have done your research around words that best fit the theme of your city, it is time to start combining them together.

This can be a lot of fun and can result in some pretty awesome-sounding city names. Just think about the different sounds that different words create when put together.

For example, you could have a city called Sanctuary that is full of magic and wonder. To come up with this name, you could take the word sanctuary and combine it with another word like magic or wonder. This would give you Sanctmagic or Wonderary as potential new city names.

5. Try Not To Repeat Any Words In Order To Make More Unique City Names!

If you can avoid using duplicate words, your city’s name will be much more unique and interesting to potential residents (and visitors). This can be a bit tricky if you’re looking for inspiration from other places you’ve visited, but it’s definitely worth trying to come up with something new

Another option is to come up with entirely new names that don’t share anything in common with existing places. This can be harder, but it may also give you more creative freedom and allow your city to stand out even more!

Instead of trying to come up with completely new words or phrases (which is very difficult if not impossible), you could still make something sound unique by adding extra letters or syllables. For example, “Londinium” would become the much-more interesting sounding “Londinion”. It’s an easy technique to try!

6. Check Out Online Maps Of Real Cities And Find Ones That Share Similarities With Your Imaginary City

One way to help come up with a good city name is by looking at online maps of real cities. Find ones that share similarities with your imaginary city, and take note of their names.

This can give you some ideas for how to spell out your city’s name, as well as what kind of sounds or associations you might want to include in it.

For example, if your imaginary city is based on Venice, Italy, you might want to consider naming it something like “Venezia” or “Città di Venezia”. Alternatively, if your imaginary city has a more modern feel to it, you could choose a name like “San Francisco” or “New York City”.

By using this method, you can create a name for your city that sounds authentic and has real-world associations. This can help to make your city feel more believable and lifelike, which in turn can make the game or story you’re using it in more enjoyable for your players or readers.

So next time you find yourself struggling to come up with a good name for your fantasy city, try checking out some online maps of real cities. You might be surprised at how helpful this can be!

7. Come Up With A Slogan Or Motto For Your City. This Can Be Used In Place Of Or Alongside The Name

The slogan or motto for a city can be used in place of or alongside its name and adds another dimension to the overall feel of the town/city.

A good slogan will describe what kind of qualities are held within each location, which can help inspire other players when they’re looking for a place to call home.

Here are some examples:

  • “The city that never sleeps!” (New York City)
  • “Been there, done that.” (Los Angeles)
  • “Where the grass is always greener.” (San Diego)
  • “Houston, we have a problem.” (Houston, Texas)
  • “Charm City.” (Baltimore, Maryland)

Make sure your slogan is original and truly represents your city!

Here Are Some Examples Of Words To Use When Coming Up With Names For Cities

  • Industrial – Detroit, Michigan
  • Park – New York City, NY 
  • Boat – Seattle, WA
  • Mountain – Denver, CO
  • Fairy – Orlando, FL
  • Castle – San Francisco, CA
  • Island – Miami, FL
  • River – St. Louis, MO
  • Lighthouse – Boston, MA
  • Lake – Chicago, IL
  • Sunset – Los Angeles, CA

Example Names Of Well Known Cities

Here is a list of some of the more well-known cities and their nicknames:

  • New York City – The Big Apple
  • Los Angeles – Tinseltown
  • Chicago – The Windy City
  • Houston – Bayou City
  • Miami – The Magic City
  • Las Vegas – The Entertainment Capital of the World
  • Seattle – Emerald City
  • Washington D.C. – The Nation’s Capital
  • Boston – The Cradle of Liberty
  • New Orleans – The Big Easy
  • San Francisco – The City by the Bay
  • Atlanta – The Peach State
  • Phoenix – Valley of the Sun
  • Toronto – The Six


In this article, we have given you a few different options for how to come up with fantasy city names. We hope that these tips will help inspire and guide your own creativity in the process of coming up with unique and creative name combinations!

Remember to avoid repeating any words when naming your cities so they are more interesting and stand out from other places in the world. When considering what kind of slogans or mottos would be appropriate for each place, remember that it’s important to describe their qualities accurately – don’t just make something up if you’re not sure about it!

Finally, always try to put yourself into the mindset of players who might want to move there someday: give them an idea of why they should consider moving by describing all the great things your city has to offer.

Feel free to share your ideas in the comments section below!

Related Posts

Share this post:

About the author

Tom Derbyshire

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!