Writers of historical, military or science fiction are often including names of ships or vessels in their work. However, this can become more challenging as you need to create lots more detailed and huge universes or worlds. That is why many content creators for these fictional worlds use a ship name generator to help them develop names for vessels.

In this article, we look at how you’re able to use a ship name generator to help you create excellent ship names for your fictional work. This can also be used in the real world if you’re naming a yacht or other small boat.

Why Use a Ship Name Generator?

There are numerous reasons why you will want to utilize a ship name generator. The first of which is because you want to make sure that the ship has a unique name. This means that it can’t be confused with another vessel. However, sometimes writer’s block or just a simple lack of choice due to the number of ships registered can leave you stuck for a ship name.

Naming a ship can take a long time and this might be the time that you would rather be doing something else like creating a travel plan, building plot points or developing characters.

Whatever the reason for having to create a new name, the ship name generator is an excellent tool to help you come up with lots of options for potential names that you might not have realized earlier.

Tips for Naming a Ship

While some might see the naming of a ship as rather trivial, there are several good reasons why you might need to have a good name. For instance, you might only mention the name of the ship once or twice, but a ship’s name has a meaning and even a small mention can be a good way to drop hints or throw off audiences about the ship’s vital part within a storyline.

Therefore, you want to spend a good amount of time on the naming of the ship. So here is some advice and tips to help you build a good set of names for creating an identity for your new ship.

Tip One: Consider the Era

The first thing that you should do is to consider the era that you’re basing the story within. If it is modern-day, then you can use typical naming constructs that are around. However, going into the past you might want to name ships based on their purpose.

For instance, numerous ships were named based on whether they were an exploring, trade or military vessel. Some ships were named because the crews wanted them associated with good fortune or to encourage deities to protect them from storms.

Those stories based in the future might want to consider future naming strategies like the names of famous people.

Tip Two: Naming Conventions

There are numerous naming conventions when it comes to the naming of ships. For instance, the UK Royal Navy has a very strict naming routine. Their latest destroyers have all got the name starting with ‘D’. In the past, they’ve had destroyers that have been named after large cities.

In the US, destroyers are always named after navy and marine corps heroes. Their cruisers are named after US cities.

In the popular science fiction show Star Trek, there are also important naming conventions that writers would adhere to. For instance, one type of ship used regularly on the show was named after rivers on Earth. Another type of ship would have the names of production crew members.

That doesn’t mean that you have to stick to an existing naming convention if the world you’re building is completely fictional. But having a naming convention for your world might be a good way to build reliability into your world.

Tip Three: Storylines

What is the storyline going to be and how does your ship fit into the general world? It could be that the ship is designed to rescue another ship in the heat of battle, and therefore you name the battle after a famous war hero who did the same.

Or the ship could go missing while on patrol and you name the ship after another that went missing on earth, or a person who mysteriously vanished.

Naming a ship for its place within a storyline can be a vital way to drop hints to your audience about what is going to happen. This can also set the tone or add mystery to your story.

Another option is to use an ironic ship name or a red herring. Perhaps you don’t want the audience to know that your ship is going to go missing or will be destroyed.

And you might want to consider mixing in different languages that have meaning to the storyline but the average reader might not understand. For example, Sieg is German for victory. This could be a good name for those within a military science fiction story.

Tip Four: Think About the Community

The world in which you’re placing your ship might not be explored much, you might stick to the ship or the ship might just be mentioned in passing. That doesn’t mean that your ship doesn’t have an important part to play or that its history should be ignored.

Therefore, think about the community, culture and history of the ship before you name it. Was it once a trading ship that was retrofitted for use as a military ship? Was it a military ship that has since been turned into a training vessel?

Did the ship have a previous name that some people still call it?

It is important that you think of the answers to these questions. You might be able to incorporate them into your story.

Tip Five: Links

Does your ship have a connection to history or something else in the story’s fictional world? This can help determine the name of the vessel. For example, if the ship was once the flagship of a foreign navy, then you might want to consider what they might have named it.

Or you might want to connect the ship to an older ship where sometimes the new ship has a slight alteration to the name or registration. For instance, in Star Trek, they would make a change to the name by adding the next letter to the alphabet whenever they built a new version, the Enterprise, Enterprise A, Enterprise B, etc.

This strategy can sometimes mean that you can keep a connection that audiences will understand.

Tip Six: Meet Expectations

You must also meet the expectations of your audience to ensure that they like the name. If you’re writing a story that is based on the Napoleonic wars, then you will want to be using ship names that were common during this period. Often these were grand and very pompous.

Those named in the future might have more exotic sounds to them. Or they can allude to important messages.

How to Use the Ship Name Generator to Name your New Ship

When it comes to using the ship name generator, there are a few steps to get it right. Here are the instructions you will want to use for your fictional ship name.

Step 1 – Create a List

The first thing that you will want to do is to create a list of all the words that are going to connect with the ship. This can include using the tips above. So you can create a list of words that are associated with the history, plot points, characters, culture, storylines, and more.

You should create a list as long as you can. You don’t want to be discounting anything at the moment to ensure that you get the best name for your vessel.

Step 2 – Reduce Down the List

Now you should take the list and compare it to other features that are detailed within your story. Do certain words not align themselves with the other ships that are included in your story, or are you going to give too much away if you use that word within the name of the ship?

You need to be very thorough here as you want to reduce the words to just five or six words that are relevant to the ship, characters, universe and the purpose of the ship. If you’re looking for some help, you can always ask friends and family for their support or create a poll on your Facebook page.

Step 3 – Add your Words to the Ship Name Generator

Now you need to add the words that you’ve shortlisted in the previous step into the ship name generator. Every time that you enter a word and click on the ‘Generate’ button, a new list of potential names that you can use will be displayed on the screen. You need to save these names for later.

  • allied Enterprise
  • satisfied Enterprise
  • external Enterprise
  • imperial Enterprise
  • political Enterprise
  • stable Enterprise
  • compatible Enterprise
  • African Enterprise
  • correct Enterprise
  • final Enterprise
  • greek Enterprise
  • tiny Enterprise

  • real Victory
  • secret Victory
  • melted Victory
  • outer Victory
  • Asian Victory
  • severe Victory
  • solid Victory
  • amazing Victory
  • hard Victory
  • parental Victory
  • genetic Victory
  • dangerous Victory

Ship Name Generator

You can try the ship name generator below.

Get a Name Idea

Step 4 – Reduce the List Further

Now you’ve got the list of potential names, you’re in a position to reduce the list down further. This can be a very time-consuming process. You want to have a list of about five to ten ship names that you can get to work within the story but you will need to check them against other aspects quickly.

Step 5 – Check for Usability

Now you want to make sure that you’re able to use the name that you’ve selected. There are lots of great names that are suggested in ship name generators but might have been taken. So you will want to ensure that this is not the case in the ten that you’ve got.

This should be a quick part. For real boats, you can use a maritime registration service to check for available names.

Then you might also want to check with fictional works. For instance, you might not want to use names like USS Enterprise or the Battlestar Galactica. Using these names could infringe on copyright laws and therefore, you could be sued.

However, there are some exceptions to this. For instance, Elizabeth Moon uses common ship names like Vanguard and Courageous within her fantasy worlds, but these are very common words and ship names, therefore, you should be able to use them.

Step 6 – Check Domain Name Status

Another aspect that you might want to check is whether you can register the domain for the fantasy ship. If it is a major plot point for your fiction it could attract fans to your work. You could use the domain name to build a website where you can sell merchandise, provide information about the latest releases and more.

Step 7 – Choose your Name

Now you can start to finish the process of choosing the name from the list of ten that you had. All the names that were no good for the domain or because they were already in use should have been discarded.

To help you reduce the list down further, you might want to speak to your fans and create a final poll.

Ship Name Generator FAQs

Here is a list of questions that are commonly asked about the ship name generator. See if your question is listed below.

How Much is it to Use the Ship Name Generator?

There is no charge for using the ship name generator. You can use it to enter as many words as you like and click on ‘Generate’ as many times as you like. The content that is delivered is free for you to use. Every time you click on ‘Generate’ a new set of options will be generated at no cost.

You’re also able to use any of the ship names that you would like for free.

The only cost that you might experience is if you want to register the ship name as a domain.

Can you Guarantee the Names are Available?

The ship name generator cannot check whether the names are available. This is a task that you must do. However, checking for domain availability is really easy as you only need to click on the name on the page to check.

Can Two Ships have the Same Name?

It is very bad practice for two ship names to be the same. It can create confusion and be upsetting for audiences. In the real world, ships can have the same name, because boats are identified by their registration number. However, that still does cause confusion and many people try to stick to unique names.

Can you Copyright a Ship Name?

It is possible for a ship’s name to be copyrighted and for the use of the ship’s name to be used only with your permission. However, it is very hard and is generally considered only possible to sue the infringing party if they’ve copied lots of other content from your work.

Final Word: Ship Name Generator

Above are the steps, tips and simple FAQs for naming a fictional or real-life ship with the ship name generator. You need to use a generator as it will speed up the naming process. And you can also use the generator to help you build a more lively entity that can be part of your world.