February 23rd, 2011

Resource for naming characters

I ran across a great name resource (pdf) on a blog and thought it would be useful for people naming characters from countries around the world. 'A Guide to Names and Naming Practices' was published by the United Kingdom/Interpol.

From the introduction: Names are a valuable source of information. They can indicate gender, marital status, birthplace, nationality, ethnicity, religion, and position within a family or even within a society. However, naming practices vary enormously across the globe. The aim of this guide is to identify the knowledge that can be gained from names about their holders and to help overcome difficulties that are commonly encountered with names of foreign origin.

...The sections of the guide are governed by nationality and/or ethnicity, depending on the influencing factor upon the naming practice, such as religion, language or geography.

American teen slang words for "gay"

Every source I've found says that American teens would still use fag or faggot as a deorgatory term for a gay man, including someone their own age. To me, this sounds so dated (and incredibly British!) so I wondered if anyone can confirm or deny that this is still the case? Or if not, what word or phrase would sound more natural coming out of the mouth of a modern North American teen (say seventeen) meaning to be insulting and deorgatory? Thanks!