Beyond ‘Fred’: Sumerian Names

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Sumerian necklaces and headgear discovered in ...

Sumerian necklaces and headgear discovered in the royal (and individual) graves, showing the way they may have been worn. British Museum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Finding a character’s name can sometimes be the hardest part of building a character. If you’re looking for something different from the usual fantasy sources and more pronounceable that a random name generator, you may find something here you like.

Beyond ‘Fred’ is an occasional series that provides lists of names from real-world cultures, both past and present. In other posts, I’ve covered everything from Italian to Ancient Egyptian. This time, we’re covering names from ancient Sumer. Some of these names are names of gods and goddesses, some are names of kings, and some are names of ordinary people. A few lists didn’t even have names broken down by gender or seemed to be used for either gender. For that reason, I’m including a third category I don’t normally use: unknown gender or gender-neutral names.

An important note: I’m listing names that I think sound cool for rpg game purposes. I’m not worrying about historical accuracy. If you’re looking for a name for historical re-enactment, please check out my list of sources at the end of this post. I also don’t usually cover name meanings, but again, most of my sources list those. Finally, I tend to stay away from names that are currently in common usage. I figure if you were interested in those, you wouldn’t be looking at this list. ;)

Male Sumerian Names

  • Aradegi
  • Aradlugal
  • Babum
  • Balih
  • Dadazig
  • Dumuzid
  • Entana
  • Enki
  • Gilgamesh
  • Gudea
  • Hablum
  • Hadanish
  • Ibranum
  • Iltasadum
  • Kalbum
  • Ludari
  • Luninni
  • Mageshgetil
  • Nanni
  • Puzur-Suen
  • Tuge
  • Undalulu
  • Yarlangab
  • Zizi

Female Sumerian Names

  • Aea
  • Anunit
  • Bau
  • Elutil
  • Ereshkigal
  • Gemekala
  • Gesthinanna
  • Inanna
  • Ishtar
  • Kishar
  • Lahamu
  • Mesh-he
  • Nammu
  • Nigbau
  • Puzur-Nirah
  • Uttu

Sumerian names of unknown gender (or gender-neutral)

  • Bauninsheg
  • Meania
  • Sheshkala
  • Urusilim
  • Zimu


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2 responses to “Beyond ‘Fred’: Sumerian Names

  1. lol. I actually did have a Frank the shopkeeper one game since I drew a complete blank when my players asked him his name. Of course that launched into a ten minute discussion with Frank about the origins of his name and his family history as I had to sing and dance to defend piercing the veil of the mood with a lousy improvised name choice.

    While I don’t exactly need a list of Sumerian names right now, they are exotic enough to my American ears to stand in as fantasy names. The next time I DM a game I absolutely will have a list of names on hand, just in case…
    Nick Von Cover´s last blog post ..Battlefront Panzerknackers Special Order (GSO111)

    • @Nick That’s okay. In the game I’m currently playing in, we have fighter hireling named Frank.

      Keep checking back here. I periodically list names from other sources. Stand-in for fantasy names is actually the main point of my lists. That and names that sound historic enough to pass.

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