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Information about “WRITER’S NAMEBASE”

Looking for a first name that suggests wealth and beauty for that great
novel you're writing?  How about a name that suggests intelligence and
honesty for that newborn.  WRITER'S NAMEBASE has hundreds of great

Either specify a first name or select the qualities that you want in a
first name and NAMEBASE will make suggestions.  It will also list out
nicknames and related names -- some in other languages.  If you are a
writer, NAMEBASE allows you to change the existing database of names and
add names of your own.  The registered version includes names for
different nationalities and science fiction characters.

Also included is a companion program called HEROINE.  This program takes
a male name and creates a tongue-in-cheek female name for use in romance
novels.  For the name "George" it returns:  Georgette, Georgetta,
Georgeen, Georgeanne, Georgina, and Georgia.


Disk No: 2467                                                           
Disk Title: Writer's Namebase                                           
PC-SIG Version: S1                                                      
Program Title: Writer's Namebase                                        
Author Version: 1.0                                                     
Author Registration: $20.00                                             
Special Requirements: CGA.                                              
Looking for a first name that suggests wealth and beauty for that great 
novel you're writing?  How about a name that suggests intelligence and  
honesty for that newborn.  WRITER'S NAMEBASE has hundreds of great      
Either specify a first name or select the qualities that you want in a  
first name and NAMEBASE will make suggestions.  It will also list out   
nicknames and related names -- some in other languages.  If you are a   
writer, NAMEBASE allows you to change the existing database of names and
add names of your own.  The registered version includes names for       
different nationalities and science fiction characters.                 
Also included is a companion program called HEROINE.  This program takes
a male name and creates a tongue-in-cheek female name for use in romance
novels.  For the name "George" it returns:  Georgette, Georgetta,       
Georgeen, Georgeanne, Georgina, and Georgia.                            
1030D East Duane Avenue                                                 
Sunnyvale  Ca. 94086                                                    
(408) 730-9291                                                          
(c) Copyright 1989 PC-SIG, Inc.                                         


║           <<<<  PC-SIG Disk #2467  WRITER'S NAMEBASE   >>>>             ║
║ To print documentation, type:  COPY NAMEBASE.DOC PRN (press Enter)      ║
║                                                                         ║
║ To begin the program, type:  NAMEBASE (press Enter)                     ║
║                                                                         ║
║                                                                         ║
║                                           Copyright 1990, PC-SIG, Inc.  ║


                       WRITER'S NAMEBASE

                          Written by
                       Robin C. Johnson
                        Copywrite 1990


    This system was originally written for writers of fiction, but 
will no doubt benefit others as well.  Since it is based on some of 
the same sources as the vast parade of baby name books,  perhaps 
someone will even find a newborn's name among these offerings.  

    This project began with my frustration over characters' names.  I 
used to spend hours trying to think of just the right name before I
had made it even a couple paragraphs into a novel; and then, of
course, the name changed halfway through.  Well, we all know how easy 
the task of changing a character's name has become with the use of 
computers, but landing on the right names is still a matter of 
imagination and sometimes hours of research into phone books, 
tombstones, newspapers, or the TV Guide.  

    So I set out to simplify my life by computerizing my name 
selection as much as possible.  This project took me away from my 
novel, as you might guess.  Writers are notorious for finding long, 
tedious projects which are related to writing, but which must be done 
instead of writing.  After months of research and programming, this is
what I've come up with.  I hope you can use it.  I'm distributing this
program as shareware, and ask that you respect my efforts by not
distributing it for profit or changing it, except to add your own
favorite names.  I also ask that you register (for $20) your copy if
you like the program (to replace the lost royalties on that novel).
    Send check to:  Robin C. Johnson
                    3445 Windham Circle
                    Stockton, CA  95209

    For $20 you will become a registered owner and will receive
the registered version, which contains additional name databases for
the categories you now see listed, but aren't available.  In the
unregistered version, a database of English names is included, and
an empty file for your own custom name database.
     I will continue to add names to the databases, so registered
users will receive incremental upgrades when appropriate.
     Included with the all versions is a program called HEROINE,
a tongue-in-cheek utility to aid in generating the oddball names used
in romance novels for the female character.  It appends suffixes to
short names to come up with a list of romantic-sounding? female names.
Many female names originated this way, of course (ALBERTA, EUGENIA,
JAUNITA, JACQUELINE), but maybe you want something a little different.
So look up a man's name which has the characteristics you desire, then
run the HEROINE program against it and see what you get--(BOBETTE,
GEORGINE, RONNA), or something even stranger.
     Registered users will receive a similar program for generating
names of science fiction characters.


    Writer's Namebase is menu-driven and very easy to use.  It allows
options for searching for a name, adding and deleting names, and
customizing names.  Unfortunately, nomenclature is not a hard science,
and so some of the characteristics of names will be based on
connotation.  In most cases, the traits ascribed to a particular name
have been arrived at through a combination of the linguistic derivation
of the name and its general usage.  You too will have personal reactions
to certain names which will influence your choices, but I have tried
to keep my personal likes and dislikes out of it.

    The database contains names to be used as first names, but since
many first names were originally surnames, and surnames are a popular
choice still, many of the names in the database are surnames which can
be used as first names, such as Dallas, Washington, or Kendall.  You
may, then, find the program useful for finding a character's last name
as well, especially since first names can also be used as last names--
Gordon, Rose, Kelly.

    There are several different databases, providing thousands of names
from many different parts of the world.  Each name may have several
nicknames as well, which can be used independently.  Names in these
files are not necessarily popular or unpopular.  They may in fact be

    Each database contains names related to a particular region of
the world or a particular language group.  For instance, the English
database contains names used in English-speaking countries.  Within
this database, the names are grouped by nationality--American, Welsh,
Irish, etc.  The group called ENGLISH is the largest, including names
used in all English-speaking countries.  Names in the group WELSH are
those used primarily in Wales.  The other categories follow suit.
Please note that a name may appear in the English database even though
it was borrowed from a non-English speaking country.  What determines
the inclusion of a foreign name is its frequency of use, not origin.
In the non-English categories, however, borrowed names will be rare.

     For each name, the information available is as follows:
          1. Sex - Male or Female only.  If a name is used for both
               males and females, code it for the most common gender.
          2. Characteristics which include beauty, wealth, intelligence,
               youth, and honesty.  For each of these, the entry is
               either Y or N.  This is the part of the system that
               is inprecise.  Base your answers on suggestiveness.
               For instance, a name like "BERTHA" suggests to most
               people an unbeautiful woman (sorry to the Berthas).
               The connotations of a name may even be in conflict with
               the derivation of it, which is not particularly surprising.
               This categorization technique is used primarily to allow a
               method for narrowing the database down to smaller groups
               of names.  Since an author wants the name to suit the
               character, I devised this type of selection criteria.
               If your image of a name doesn't fit the one in the
               database, you can change it.
          3. Nicknames - names people familiar with the character might
               call him or her.  Notice that the connotations of nicknames
               is usually different that those of the original name.
               For example, "MAX" certainly gives me a different image
               than "MAXIMILIAN."
          4. Related names - these are names which are historically
               related to the name in question.  They are provided to
               offer a context for a name and to suggest other possible
               names you might want to consider.
          5. Meaning - the original meaning of the name, according to
               the language of the database it appears in or a language
               from which is was borrowed.  For instance, "DARREN" is
               from the Anglo-Saxon for "dear" or "darling."  It is also
               a Persian name meaning "wealthy."  In the English database,
               the Anglo-Saxon meaning is used.  This is not always so
               clear-cut, as sometimes different languages which
               contributed to English have different meanings for
               names.  Also, different sources show different meanings.
               I have used several sources for this information and have
               had to make my own decisions.  Keep in mind that the
               25-character field here for the name's meaning cannot
               possibly give an entymology.  If you are interested in
               obtaining further information on the history of names,
               some books are suggested below.


     There are many baby name books available which usually give a brief
history of names and sometimes list famous people who have the names.
One of the more interesting of these is Connie Lockhart Ellefson's The
Melting Pot Book of Baby Names, published by Betterway Publications,
1987, which gives names from around the world.
     Among scholarly works on nomenclature, I am aware of two which
will provide more extensive historical reference for English names:

     The Penguin Dictionary of Surnames, Basil Cottle, Penguin Books,
     The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names, E.G. Withycombe,
Oxford University Press, 1985.


     As already mentioned, the characteristics describing the names
are based partly on connotations, partly on derivation.  There are
other ways of assigning the characteristics, an important part of this
program, since the goal of using it is to provide you with a manageable
list of names for a particular type of character.

    These traits are ascribed also through evaluation against some 
fairly reliable "rules" about names, fictional or not.  To gain some 
insight into the guidelines used in this program, please read the 
following information:

    1.  Different cultures have different naming conventions.  If you 
are naming foreigners, you need to be aware of these.  For instance, 
in Arabic nations, it is considered wise and desirable to name at 
least one boy in an extended family Mohammed, and the most popular 
names for girls are Mohammed's wives' and daughters' names.  In these 
countries, there is great repetition of names.  Not so in China, where 
almost everyone has a unique name.  Italian first-born boys will often
be named after the father, and Italian first-born girls are often given
a female version of the father's name.

    2.  Some countries have laws governing the naming of children, 
though most of these laws are not strictly enforced.  However, they do 
represent national sentiments.  For instance, in France, the law says 
that no baby can be named a name that cannot be proven to have existed 
before.  Quite a different situation exists in the United States and

    3.  Trends in names come and go.  Following trends is especially 
common among middle classes.  These may be rooted in television or 
movies, history, or novels.  There are, for instance, a plethora of
Stephanies, Erics, Brians, Hayleys, and Jasons now in U.S. middle
schools.  Preparing to enter Kindergarten are the Tiffanys, Brittanys,
Ashleys, and Tylers.  Many names used in England originated in

    4.  Class consciousness is a strong factor in choosing names.  
Upper classes tend to be traditional and familial, choosing names 
which will associate them with their patronage.  It is in this class 
that hyphenated surnames occur in English.  Also, some girls are given 
their mother's surname as a given name or middle name to preserve the 
maternal heritage.  Generally speaking, the upper classes tend to 
prefer long names, and reject most nicknames as vulgar.  Lower 
class children have often been given names which were originally 
nicknames for longer names, such as Tom, Dick, or Harry.

    5.  Unisex names are interesting in that they can easily work two 
ways.  For "A Boy Named Sue," the gift of a girl's name was a 
tremendous hardship, a source of ridicule.  However, a name such as 
Leslie seems to be acceptable to either sex.  Boys with predominantly 
girls' names will usually be the brunt of jokes.  This might explain
why a character is exceptionally timid or, alternately, brash.  
However, girls with male names don't usually suffer this hardship, and 
many female names are shortened to male names voluntarily, especially 
in the United States.  Jo, Bobbie, Alex, and Sam are examples of this.  
Because female names are often derived from male names, many nicknames 
of girls will be equivalent to boys' names.  

    6.  Regional differences in names are sometimes so significant as 
to immediately place a character.  For instance, a woman named Rebecca 
Sue is from the South.  It is the noticeable trend of using both first 
and middle names as the familiar name that distinguishes this region's 
natives from others.  Many such regional characteristics have been 
diminished by world communication, but a writer can quickly establish 
certain impressions about a character through the careful choice of 
such a name.  There are also significant variations between British 
and U.S. names.  In the list of English names, certain ones will be
identified as almost exclusively American (AME).

    7.  Religious influences have a tremendous bearing on names used 
in many countries, especially in earlier times.  A particularly 
Catholic name can immediately alert readers that a character is 
Catholic, and of course, certain traits will be associated with 
that fact.  Having such a name in real life is not nearly as 
suggestive, naturally, as having such a name in a novel or short 
story.  Alert readers will have expected an author to have chosen 
a name carefully, and to have anticipated the baggage which it 
likely carries.


    1.  The names are grouped according to country or language of
origin.  American authors can be fairly free about using names 
from any country for American characters, and may want to 
Anglicize some of the difficult ones.  The CUSTOM database is
provided so that you can create a database of special names for
a certain project or just a list of your own creations.

2. The following languages are represented:

     ENGLISH - American, English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, etc.
     GERMANIC - Austrian, German, Scandinavian, Swiss, etc.
     SLAVIC - Bulgarian, Czechoslovakian, Russian, Yugoslavian, etc.
     ITALIC - French, Italian, Portugese, Spanish, etc.
     ARABIC - Arabic, Hindi
     ORIENTAL - Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, etc.
     OTHER - Eskimo, Greek, Hawaiian, African, etc.

     Of course, several languages are not included in this list,
but these represent the most widely spoken, and the most 
frequently used for English-speaking writers.  If you wish to add 
an entirely new language to the database, you may do so by 
choosing one of these primary groups and adding records to it, 
using the NATIONALITY field to identify your subgroup.  For instance,
if you wanted a section of Icelandic names, you could add names 
to the SLAVIC database, putting ICE in for the NATIONALITY.  The
database called OTHER may include several unrelated language groups.

3.  Nicknames - The nicknames listed for any foreign names are 
generally those that English-speaking people would use, since the 
other characters in the novel are usually English-speaking.  The 
nicknames may also (coincidentally) be appropriate in the native 
language, especially for Russian names, which have long-established

4.  When you search for a name, you will be asked to specify 
which language group and which sex the name should be.  If the list
generated is short, this may be the end of your search.  However, 
you will also have an opportunity to narrow the list of names 
based on certain general characteristics.  There are five of 
designators used are "Y" for Yes, "N" for No, and an empty field for
neutral, which is specified by pressing Return only.  If you want
to see all the Welsh female names in the English database, leave the
characteristics blank.  The more characteristics you specify with
either a "Y" or "N," the fewer names in the list.  On small databases,
such as the Hawaiian one, you will probably want to select only a
couple of characteristics, such as BEAUTY and YOUTH, leaving the
others blank.

     a. BEAUTY--Whether or not the name suggests physical 
attractiveness.  Some names have strong connotations of beauty or 
non-beauty.  Agnes, for instance, is a name which sounds ugly to 
most English-speaking people.  Whereas Cecily is a name which 
sounds beautiful.  Some names seem more or less neutral in this 

     b. YOUTH--Whether or not the name is young-sounding.  For 
instance, Randy is a name which sounds young.  Most nicknames 
will have a youthful sound, especially those ending in "ie" or 
"y."  Randolph, on the other hand, sounds more mature.

     c. WEALTH--Whether or not the name suggests a person of 
financial wealth.  Most hyphenated surnames suggest wealth or 
prestige.  Likewise, long given names are more effective in 
intimating upper-classness.  Certain very traditional names, used 
frequently among nobility or aristocracy, may also fit here.  And
surnames used as first names often suggest a wealthy background.
     d. HONESTY--Whether or not a name characterizes goodness,
warmth, kindness, honesty, etc.  Many of the decisions for this 
category are based on the derivation of the name or on well-known 
persons with the name.  An Abraham, for instance, will be a good 
person.  The name means "father," and belonged to Abraham in the
Bible, and Abraham Lincoln.  These will be most people's 
reference points.  Names designated with an "N" here will be 
those appropriate for villains or criminals, or just people without
a strong sense of integrity.

     e. INTELLIGENCE--Whether or not a name suggests
sophistication, worldliness, or intelligence.  A "Y" here may 
also suggest that the name evokes a sense of power.  An "N" here 
designates names for people who aren't too bright or are naive.  
They may simply be people who have lived a sheltered life.  
Claude will have an "N" here.


     The names in these files were collected from a large number 
of sources.  Among them are books of names, newspapers, magazine
articles, and any other sources I uncovered during this project.
In addition, I have occasionally added names that just came to mind,
which is what you will do yourself as a writer of fiction.


    Okay, so now you're ready to use the program.  You will find 
that the distribution disk contains several files.  The unregistered
version contains only two database files--ENGLISH.DAT and CUSTOM.DAT.
The ENGLISH.DAT file should be 109,098 bytes.  If it is larger, you
do not have an original copy as distributed by the author--the database
has been modified.  This file, NAMEBASE.DOC, is also on the disk and
may be printed with the command COPY NAMEBASE.DOC TO PRN.

    The main program is called NAMEBASE.EXE.  Type NAMEBASE at the
DOS prompt and press Enter.  An introductory message will appear.  If
the database files are not on the same disk as the program, you will
be prompted for the drive letter.  Then the NAMEBASE menu will appear.

    You should make a working copy of these files, or copy them to
your hard disk, all to the same directory.

    From here on out, it's easy.  Just read the menu and answer the
questions.  I'm sure you will find this program useful if you 
write fiction.  I know I will, just as soon as I get back to that 

     An IBM PC or compatible computer is required.  A color monitor
is required--CGA or better.  A hard disk is recommended, as access
to a large file on a floppy disk is slow.  A single floppy drive
is all that is required, however.

                          REGISTRATION FORM

Send to:        Robin C. Johnson
                3445 Windham Circle
                Stockton, CA  95209

Registration Fee:  $20.00

You will receive:

                Complete executable NAMEBASE database system
                Current versions of all name databases
                Heroine name generator
                Science fiction name generator

Your version:   ---------

Your Name:      ------------------------------------

Address:        ------------------------------------

City, State:    ------------------------------------

As a registered user of NAMEBASE, I agree not to modify or distribute
the program or to make copies for other than my personal use.

Signature:      ------------------------------------

Date:           --------------

Directory of PC-SIG Library Disk #2467

 Volume in drive A has no label
 Directory of A:\

CUSTOM   DAT       495   6-09-90  12:38a
ENGLISH  DAT    109098   6-09-90   1:51a
HEROINE  EXE     39115   6-08-90   3:42a
NAMEBASE DOC     20414   6-09-90   2:19a
NAMEBASE EXE     99267   6-09-90   1:59a
FILE2467 TXT      2295  10-30-90   8:42a
GO       BAT        40   1-01-80   6:00a
GO       TXT       771  11-21-90   1:38a
        8 file(s)     271495 bytes
                       47104 bytes free