Any time someone walks into my office, there’s a 9/10 chance that they’ll take a look at my bookshelf, see a baby naming book, and say, “Something you want to tell me?” (The other 1 out of 10 times, the person walking in isn’t a smart aleck.)
Yes, I have a baby naming book on my shelf. Actually, it’s the same one my parents used way back when. I picked it up in high school to name a character for a story, and it’s been on my shelf ever since (with permission). It’s a great resource for male and female names from various cultures. You can get one at any book store to add to your personal writing library (support your local bookstore!).
Or you can look online.
There are all kinds of baby name sites. In fact, there are so many that there’s no point in me listing them here for you. I don’t even use the same one each time. Instead, I google the type of name I want (for example, “name meaning trickster”). Then, I look at however many websites I have to until I find what I need.
I’ve found that when I’m searching for a name with a certain meaning, different sites pop up than when I want to explore names from a specific culture. There are even sites that list the most popular names from different years (which can be useful if you want to set a story in a specific period). Starting with a search engine rather than a single site keeps me from missing potential names – it even pulls up forums where other people have asked for and gotten suggestions for names for characters.
Long story short, baby naming books and websites aren’t just for expectant mothers. They’re extremely useful for writers out to name characters – or worlds or devices. Whatever you want, really. Not just babies.