45 Awesome Sounding Words
Dictionary of Awesomeness
Maybe you're looking for a cool title for your bad guy. Perhaps you're trying to name your guild in an MMO. Either way, you need something that sounds impressive.
Whatever the case, you don't just need a word, you need an epic word.
Fortunately for you, some words just sound cool. I've been in your spot several times and decided I never want to be there again. I finally decided to catalogue the most epic words I know, for the benefit of myself and others.
Meaning vs. Sound
After each word, I suggest meanings and usage. These can be helpful if you want to invoke a specific meaning, but are completely optional. Sound is usually cooler than meaning.
It may sound lazy, but think about it. Nick Fury is an appropriately awesome name, but Nick's primary trait is not being angry all the time. Similarly, Team Rocket isn't a group of evil astronauts; they're Pokémon thieves.
Sometimes an intimidating sound or association means more than a word's definition.
That said if you're developing a serious plotline and going in-depth with whatever you're naming, try to make the name suitable. At least don't make it wildly unsuitable; an ancient monster named Flamewing should be winged or flaming. "Flame" and "wing" can be symbolic, but they can also be literal.
How to Use These Words
Sometimes you like the meaning of a name but not the sound, or you want a more striking name. The thing is, you don't have to use the words exactly as they appear. There are several ways of playing with them.
- Variation: Modifying a word just a little bit to fit a new context is a simple way of incorporating awesome words. For example, you want to use the word "galaxy," but on its own it's too basic. Marvel turns it into a name for their character Galactus. The Kirby series uses it as a weapon name for Galaxia and a title for Galacta Knight. Just modifying a single sound—in this case, the last syllable—makes it workable for any situation.
- Contrast: Playing a word against something it symbolizes. For example, knights are associated with medieval times and the fantasy archetype of a hero in shining armor. Darkness signifies an unknown evil. Batman is the Dark Knight, and both words describe him without any fluffy connotations, but with the additional pun on "knight/night."
- Compound words: Combining two appropriate words into one. It works best with short words. DC Comics gives us Deathstroke. Transformers has Starscream. If the result is longer than 3 syllables, though, it's best to keep the space. Optimus Prime is cooler than Optimusprime.
My Top 45 Best Words
- Ages: Appropriate for something ancient or immortal. If something's origin is unclear, can be used to imply a long history. A popular form is [X] of Ages.
- Angel: Usually a symbol of peace or the greater good. Can be used for contrast by representing a higher being without the moral connotations.
- Armor: It has connotations of strength, focusing more on impenetrability and invincibility than offensive power.
- Ashen: Good imagery. Ashes make us think of death or time passing, especially remnants of something that has faded.
- Atomic: Brings to mind atomic energy or the atomic bomb, plus gets a free pass for sounding sci-fi.
- Black: Represents darkness, the unknown, or nothingness. Sounds good as a prefix or descriptor.
- Blade: Swords are already popular for their dramatic potential. In the context of knives, it sounds darker and less fantasy-based.
- Blaze: Fire is powerful, destructive, and painful. It also brings up vivid mental images.
- Burn: Puts more emphasis on the aftereffects of a fire.
- Chaos: Rampant confusion and disarray. Has a nice combination of sounds and a neat-looking spelling.
- Chrome: Short for chromium, a lustrous metal. It's often used for a sleek, futuristic look.
- Claw: Sounds good when following another word (e.g. Dragonclaw, Jadeclaw).
- Crimson: Red is a striking color but an overused word. Often, the older or less common words for a certain concept sound cooler than the everyday word.
- Crypt: A stone chamber, usually a tomb. "Cryptic" means mysterious, and "cryptid" is an unknown creature.
- Draconic: Somehow the combination of sounds here sounds swifter and more graceful than a lumbering dragon, but it has all the same connotations. "Draconic" (or "draconian") can also mean strict or tyrannical.
- Dragon: Sometimes the direct approach is best. There aren't many mental images quite like a dragon.
- Eon: More time than we can imagine. Depending on the context, this word could bring to mind immortality or a lost age.
- Fallen: I find words that invoke images of the past to be very dramatic. This word could signify a fall from power or any other fall, like embracing one's dark side.
- Fang: Like "claw," this word sounds great used after another word. Words relating to animals can be used to bring to mind a predator vs. prey conflict. Can also signify vampires.
- Flame: Another synonym for fire.
- Fire: Fire breaks the "most common word" rule because it's a cool word. Sounds good after another word (Dragonfire, etc.) or before (Firestorm). "Firefire" would be a bit much.
- Firefight: I have a thing for compound words, and this one has the advantage of being a real word already. Although, "fire" and "fight" are both vivid enough that it could easily be used out of context.
- Galaxy: Makes you visualize a swirling vortex of stars, space, and the unknown. ("Vortex" is also pretty cool.)
- Hades: A slightly more awesome word for the flames of hell. Also has the advantage of not sounding like a swear even though it means the same thing.
- Incendiary: A powerful word for "flammable." It's Latin root, "incendium," also sounds pretty cool.
- Jade: Gemstone names are always dramatic; I don't know why. Jade is both a striking shade of green and a female name.
- Jadeite: Same thing as "jade," but with a different rhythm.
- Light: Represents goodness and purity. Is a popular target for contrast.
- Oath: Swears and promises are (supposed to be) definite and with purpose. The word "oath" does not bring to mind someone joking around.
- Oblivion: Can mean multiple things, from forgetfulness to the nothingness after death. Its root word technically means "to forget", but I'm pretty sure the connotations are universal: oblivion is where you are after you've been obliterated.
- Omni: A prefix meaning "all." For example, omnipotence is unlimited power. Very broad usage, but it implies mastery over something, plus it sounds neat.
- Plasma: An ionized state of matter. Aside from its numerous sci-fi applications, the word itself seems to be popular for its general science fiction coolness. (Kirby's electrical ability is called Plasma, Pokémon has a villainous organization called Team Plasma.) Might bring to mind images of a plasma globe.
- Scale: Implies being snakelike, which in turn represents being sly and untrustworthy.
- Scar: Scars are popular in fiction. Aside from the fact that physical deformities get our attention, they imply a mysterious or unwholesome past. Where did he get that scar?
- Scarlet: Another synonym for "red." Also an expensive fabric, sounding a little fancier and more upper-crust for that reason.
- Shade: Darkness. Shadows. Anything that blocks out the light. Darkness is always associated with mysteriousness.
- Shadow: Same reasoning as above. Sounds good on its own, but can be used before another word (Shadowflame, Shadowstorm, etc. Don't ask me what they mean).
- Storm: Storms are dangerous and uncontrollable. Figuratively, storms signify an unstoppable force. "Storm" lends itself well to compound words.
- Steel: Strong and hard. Can be used to represent strength, limiting itself to neither offense or defense. It's the common link between armor and blade.
- Sworn: Similar to "oath," signifying definiteness and dedication.
- Tornadic: Same connotations as "storm" on a much grander scale.
- Void: Nothingness is a heavy concept. It plays heavily on our fears of loneliness and the unknown.
- Vortex: A swirling current of...pretty much anything. It brings to mind tornadoes, plus it has a neat combination of sounds. Can be paired with any other word for different effects. What's a plain old storm compared to a vortex of flames?
- Wing: Not many images are quite so dramatic as spread wings. Wings signify freedom, the ability to rise above your adversaries, and the wind itself at your side.
- Xeno: A prefix meaning "alien" or "different," such as xenophobia. Can be used to indicate something unfamiliar or inhuman.
What do you think? Any words you'd suggest?