Please PM STomnibus if you have any questions about this article.
Before the first section of road is laid and before the first Sims move in, the new Mayor (that would be you) is prompted to name the city. Naming seems like a quick, simple process, but can be difficult, as creating new names repeatedly in multiple regions can wear your creativity out very quickly and lead to repeat names. This guide will hopefully help you in creating fresh, original names for your new cities.
Step One: Survey Your City
This is the first, and perhaps most important, step in naming your new metropolis. Look at the city you have created and note its most important features. If you really have trouble thinking of new names, keep a list of features or this window open as you go. Key features to look for include bodies of water, such as rivers, oceans, bays, lakes, and other notable water features. Landforms such as hills, cliffs, and mountains are also important. Check your surroundings. Is this a suburb of a well-named city? If so, look at that name. Consider directions, like North _____ . A key feature to look for is the relationship between different parts of your city's terrain. Cliffs that flow into rivers is a distinctive feature and should be noted.
Step One Examples:
Bayside, Bayview, Rivermont, Riverside , Hillsdale, Hillside, Mount Crawford , Haley Valley , Johnson Cliffs, etc.
Step Two: Consider Function
What is your city for? A simple question, really, but you can name your city based on function. Is a prevalent highway river crossing there? Name it ________'s Crossing . Is it a farming mecca? Sleepy commuter town? Industrial wasteland? City function is a good thing to look at when naming your new burg.
Industria, Farmingham, Moore 's Crossing, Paradise , Port Sewan, etc.
Step Three: Get an Atlas
The best tool at your disposal for naming your city is an atlas. Look at local features and obscure small cities in Turkmenistan . Keep a list of names you like. Name cities after local rivers, such as, to use my local examples, Maury, Chickamauga , and Sherando . Local tiny villages that nobody will know you stole are great choices as well. Local examples for me, again: Catawba, Mount Solon , Parnassus , and Abingdon .
Step Four: Cruise Your Town and Know Your Neighbors
Let's see, you live on Brunswick Avenue ? Name your city Brunswick . Your favorite shop is Monk's at the corner of Third and Church? Name your city Monk's Corner. Your neighborhood has literally thousands of possibilities. Name it after the Wilhelms across the street. The possibilities are endless.
Step Five: Know Your Current Events
What do Ashcroft , Cheney , Chretien , and Aznar all have in common? They are all names of current world political influentuals who are also, coincidentally, great city names (John Ashcroft is US Attorney General, Dick Cheney is Vice President of the US , Jean Chretien is the former Canadian Prime Minister, and José Maria Aznar Lopez is President of Spain). Scour your newspaper and the BBC for names and write them down , because you'll forget them at the drop of a hat.
Step Six: Pronouns and Suffixes
If you take a look at any atlas, you'll notice that many names are combinations of different pronouns and suffixes. Hill + mont . Jones + town. Harris + burg. Hart + ford. Man + chester . Dover + shire. By mixing and matching, you can again create thousands of names for your disposal. Below is a brief list highlighting some of my favorites:
Prefixes (excluding names): river, new, old, north, south, east, west, hart, heart, hill, bay, mountain, colum, rock, port, man, san, saint, pot, frank, hol, little, big, los, an, clear, lynn, lanc, gran, loch, lake,
Suffixes: ford, bus, side, shire, chester, mouth, port, burg(h), ville, town, city, dam, furt, fort, vale, mont, comb, ton, worth, ia, lia, haven, view, polis, minster,
Naming your city is an important step and shouldn't be done without thought. Hopefully, this guide will help in your quest for that perfect name. Good luck!
Acknowledgements go to zeke12 's awesome database thread, which can be seen at here, and Mostly Harmless , Carnuth , and Trevorrex for suffixes in that thread.