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Random Ship names List

So in doing some prep I decided that sometimes you need a ship name fast and thus decided to put together a random name generator table for federation ships that I thought I’d share with everyone.

Just roll a d6 to select your name chart. and then roll 1d20 to get the name. As so many US ship names come from cities and states part of the US ships chart just says “select a city or state” I know that I could do something like this with the Japanese and British vessels as well but decided not too. I’ve also avoided using the names of modern statesmen as trek history apparently diverges with ours in the 70s or 80s and I wanted to avoid names that could lead to controversy, or even just distraction at the gaming table.

I also tried to avoid ships that we saw on screen and thus had actual ideas as to the class. If a ship however had mearly been named, it’s name might apper on the list
(1) American (1d20)
1- Hornet
2 -Midway
3 - Wasp
4 - Ranger
5 - Yorktown
6 - Saratoga
7 -Independance
8 - America
9 - Essex
10-12 Choose a US City
13-14 Choose a US State
15- Liberty
16 -Monitor
17 -Consitution
18 -Gato
19 -BonHomme Richard
20 -Bunker Hill

(2) Japanese (1d20)
1 - Kongo
2 -Muashi
3 - Nagato
4 - Akagi
5 - Kaga
6- Hiryu
7 -Ryujo
8- Hosho
9 -Fuso
10 -Mutsu
11 -Mogami
12 -Tone
13 -Furutaka
14 - Ise
15- Zuiho
16 -Amagi
17 -Fuso
18 -Mikasa
19 -Satsuma
20 - Kuma

(3) British (1d20)
1 - (Queen) Elizabeth
2 - Vanguard
3 -Nelson
4 -Trafalgar
5- Albion
6- Daring
7 -Couragous
8- Eagle
9- Hermes
10 -Ark Royal
11 -Colossus
12 - Majestic
13 - Audacious
14 - Malta
15 -Minotaur
16 -Belfast
17 - Emerald
18 -Ajax
19 -Swiftsure
20 -Endeavor

(4) Statesmen (1d20)
1 - Pearson
2- Kennedy
3- Churchchill
4- Jefferson
5- Cicero
6- Bismark
7- Ceaser
8- Cromwell
9- Charlemange
10 - Napoleon
11 - Mandela
12 -Ghandi
13- Roosevelt
14- Alexander
15- Ataturk
16 - Constantine
17- Temujin
18- Plato
19 - Boudica
20 - De Gulle

(5) Famous Explorers (including starship captains!) (1d20)
1- Drake
2- Ralegh
3- Cook
4- Kirk
5- Archer
6- Columbus
7- Frasier
8- Hudson
9 -Everest
10- Aubery
11- Shackleton
12 - Cartier
13- De Champlain
14- Cousteau
15- Eriksson
16 - Herodotus
17 -Shackleton
18 Vancouver
19- Magellan
20 -Jaun de Fuca

(6) Scientists (1d20)
1- Clarke
2 - Newton
3- Curie
4- Einstein
5- Darwin
6- Tesla
7- Aristolte
8- Euclid
9 -Archimedes
10- Copernicus
11 -(Francis) Bacon
12- Kepler
13- Van Leeuwenhoek
14- De Lavoisier
15- Babbage
16- Mendeleeve
17- Watson
18 -Hawking
19- Nobel
20 -Hahn


Thank you for sharing!

If I might comment:

  • The Saratoga, Yorktown, Essex and Monitor are more than mentioned imho. I’d be careful with these.
  • (1)7 shoudl probably read ‘Independence’ (typing error)
  • (1)17 should probably read ‘Constitution’ (typing error)
  • (3)7 should probably read ‘Courageos’ (typing error)
  • (4)6 should probably read ‘Bismarck’ (typing error)
  • (4)20 should probably read ‘De Gaulle’ (typing error)
  • Apart from Boudica (4)19 your list of Statesmen is all-male. I’m not recommending a USS Sissi (on the other hand: why not?), but e.g. Catherine the Great would fare great in that list, imho.
  • (5)11 and (5)17 both read ‘Shackleton’. Not only is the entry doubled, this is also the name of the scene where the Living Campaign takes place. So I would suggest to remove both entries, substituting them with different names. Again, most of the list seems to be composed of males.
  • (6)7 should probably read ‘Aristotle’ (typing error)

Besides that, there seem to be some naming conventions by Class. The Danube Class Runabouts for example, are named by rivers/streams; STA follows this with the Danube Class ‘Susquehanna’ that is searched for during Signals (Living Campaign); two of the three canonically known Nova Class starships are named after phenomenons related to suns (Nova, Equinox), it would make perfectly sense to follow that pattern with other Nova Class ships; the third (USS Rhode Island) fell outside of this pattern because it was kind of an in-joke by the producers of VOY.

Also, I want to introduce a list of 20 capitals that would make great random ship names:

  1. Luanda
  2. Malabo
  3. Gaborone
  4. Ouagadougou
  5. Yamoussoukro
  6. Asmara
  7. Banul
  8. Accra
  9. Conakry
  10. Nairobi
  11. Kinshasa
  12. Maseru
  13. Bamako
  14. Maputo
  15. Niamey
  16. Abuja
  17. Kigali
  18. Lusaka
  19. Khartum
  20. Kampala

Last, but not least: There is a list of Starship Names that really should exist (but don’t) in this very forum where you can get additional ideas (and the reasons why this should be a ship within your campaign). There, I explained why, imho, there should really be a USS Kampala in Starfleet. :slight_smile:

I’m the one who started that threat. as for all male names of statesmen, it’s an unfortunate side effect of most famous statespeople being men. obviously there’s room for exapansion, and some names could apply to both (Queen Elizabeth is in the british names section but obviously could be a statesman name) as for the taken names, you’re right and wrong both. regarding yorktown essex and saratoga my list is admittingly intended for 2371 and beyond, where none of those ships have an eistablished class. (Beta Canon says Saratoga was a new build Miranda but I find the idea that starfleet as of 2370 is actively BUILDING Miranda’s to be absurd) regarding the shackleton, I’m aware of the living campaign and included the name intentionally. I might replace the doubled name in the list with eaither a name for Emillia Earheart or Rachel Garett. sadly most famous explorers though just happen to be male. if this was a list dated 2400 or later I’d honestly have proably included the Janeway.

It is canon. There are two different USS Saratoga’s. The first (using registry # 1887) encountered the alien probe in Star Trek IV: Voyage Home. The second (using registry # 31911) Sisko served on, which was destroyed at the battle of Wolf 359. The USS Essex (NCC-173) was a 22nd century Federation Daedalus -class starship.

Granted, there is nothing wrong with re-using the names. Perhaps as a memorial for the ship lost at Wolf 359, a new ship has been commissioned as the Saratoga-A, and with more than 100 years between it, it is possible that the Essex name has been put back into service.

There is no clear convention on naming for most ships as far as the re-use of names aside from there always being a ship named Enterprise as the main one for most of the movies/series. It is possible that they may re-use names if it has not been in use for a set number of years. Personally, I would set it at a minimum of 10-20 years before reusing the name without reusing the same registry and adding a letter.

We know that a Saratoga exists as of 2374 as referance is made in a DS9 episode of the Saratoga being docked at DS9 so we know one is in service. we also know that Alphanumeric designations are NOT the norm with only one ship name, the Enterprise, having it. We also know of at least one ship name that was reused (Lexington) that DIDN’T use alphanumeric number and instead got a new number (the Lexington, NCC 1709 and 30405 respectfully) likewise Defiant has a new registry number and is not “1764-A” Although the renamed San Palo should have been the NX-74205-A and apparrently the only reason why it didn’t happen was budgetary reasons.
We know that in the case of the US navy when a important ship is lost, they’ll often rename a ship under construction with a less prestigious name, to that name (this happened for example when the Yorktown was lost) chances are starfleet operates in a similer way, so when a ship is destroyed, the name’ll likely be in use a year or two later.

Maybe Saratoga has some significance to Starfleet that we haven’t seen in canon?

The Enterprise NCC-1701-A for example (formerly the Yorktown incidentally, according to Roddenberry).

Yeah, much as we see them in a lot of fan works, the -A/B/C designations seem to be non-standard, maybe applying only to the Enterprises.

I love the tables btw, I may tweak them and add them to my own files! I could probably double the British list… and think there’s room for a few French, German, Swedish and Russian ones. And it’s nice to see Aubrey get a mention, but where’s Hornblower? :sunglasses:

Saratoga, Enterprise, Eisenhower, Yorktown, and a few others are names used recently for US Battleships and Aircraft Carriers, as well as older British Naval ships. (Enterprise and Yorktown specifically. Haven’t looked for others.)

Not just for the Enterprise. The Defiant on DS9 gets an A designation after it is destroyed and replaced during the show. The Enterprise is the only one that we have seen have more than one letter designation, but I do not see why it should be limited to just the Enterprise.

In my campaign, I am going to utilize the letter designations for Legacy ships that may be seen fairly often, or for the players ships if they wish to keep the same name. (Examples: Names of the original NX class ships. Enterprise, Columbia, Challenger, Endeavor, Discovery, Atlantis.)

This is what they intended. It never came to fruition since the use of stock footage would not have matched if they actually updated the model to reflect this.

The Enterprise NCC-1701-A for example (formerly the Yorktown incidentally, according to Roddenberry).

Yeah, much as we see them in a lot of fan works, the -A/B/C designations seem to be non-standard, maybe applying only to the Enterprises.

I love the tables btw, I may tweak them and add them to my own files! I could probably double the British list… and think there’s room for a few French, German, Swedish and Russian ones. And it’s nice to see Aubrey get a mention, but where’s Hornblower?

didn’t make the cut sadly but certainly could be lots. I went with 6 tables for simplicity, but I could have easily gone with more (I considered editing the british list to likewise have a selection of “choose a city name” and “choose a british colony” but I was admittingly writing for a North American audiance whom might not be able to name Colony’s and UK city names as easily) I’ve also considered additional catagories, Russian, French, German, Fictional characters. Oddly I found I struggled with the American names the most as they’ve seen the most use. British ships also posed an intreasting challange in that a lot of their battleship names would be inapproperate for a starfleet vessel. I just can’t see a USS Warspite or USS Revenge. Although they might be decent names for a Defiant class

They would make great mirror universe ship names. ISS Warspite, ISS Revenge

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German naming conventions of weapon systems (including, but not limited to ships) are a bit special, I think. They are, as a matter of fact, a scandalized subject to public debate in prime time news every other year (because there is e.g. still a Field Marshal Rommel Barracks which some deem inappropriate because he was a high-ranking General with the Nazi-Wehrmacht).

In general, we do not use names of persons (except for bases; and these bases are the main reason that the debate I mentioned goes on; also the Air Force Wing responsible for Executive Transport has some civilian aircrafts named after early chancellors) but rather places or animals. Concerning the ships, we tend to name them after our federal States (the newest frigate class named “Baden-Würrtemberg”-class) or (big) cities (the newest corvette class named “Braunschweig”-Class). Interestingly, our captial city, Berlin, lends its name to the class of Replenishment Ships currently in use.

We also had ships named after islands, or maritime fauna. Birds seemed to be especially popular for a time, but there were fish seafood (yes.) and even land animals (e.g. Lion or Puma, the latter being now the name of an Infantry Fighting Vehicle, IFV). Now, it’s mostly cities and some rivers.

So, if you want a random list of possible ship names following the tradition of nowadays German Navy, I would recommend to draw it from the List of Cities and Towns in Germany, the List of Rivers of Germany. You could also just take literally any animal to name a ship, though. :slight_smile:

The problem with persons is that Germany was unified from countless scattered, little but sovereign principalities to the German Empire in 1871. The Empire started WW1 (this is debated by scholars of history, recently, but anyway…). The Empire then was reorganised to become a democracy in 1918, but this democracy failed to defend itself from the Nazis rising in power in 1933; the Nazis eventually started WW2 in 1939. Todays Germany, the Federal Republic, was reorganised in 1949. I think, the majority of Germans would say that the period from 1871–1945 (or 1949) is not apt to spark tradition. Luckily, almost everyone agrees on this for the period 1933–1945.
This leaves us for the last seventy years or so. There is not much to draw off and post-heroism seems to be part of our culture, now. So, naming a warship after e.g. Chancellor Angela Merkel is kind of unthinkable in Germany. I think this holds also true for Chancellor Helmut Schmidt (who seemed to have been accepted even by his political enemies and has served in the Wehrmacht and the Bundeswehr) or President Weizsäcker, who was one of our more notable presidents.

But if you want a list of German personalities that could lend their names to warships, I would recommend to start searching within the resistance against the Nazis. The List of Members of the 20 July Plot could be a start, other notable organisations were the so-called Red Orchestra or the White Rose. I, personally, would think about adding Fritz Bauer to the list of important German personalities. I am not sure whether he would have liked having a warship named after him, though.

The last Time I named a Ship after a German Person I choose Leibnitz, wich leads, that in every Game it has a stint in, I hear the “Leibnitz Butter cooky” Slogan from one of my Players.

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you’re forgetting MisterX that we’re talking starfleet, not modern german naval tradtions. starfleet has a wide varity of naming tradtions they draw from. Notably they name them for famous ships (such as USS Enterprise), famous people , and locations.

I am most certainly not forgetting the fact that we are discussing Starfleet. I am merely suggesting that a flavoured ‘German’ list as mentioned by @Astronut should probably contain more places and animals than persons for the reasons I elaborated. Last time I checked, “places” as well as “persons” were compatible to Starfleet naming conventions.

If I might quote myself:

I have to apologise because I obviously failed to stress that these were meant as options and in no way exhaustive.

Regarding the emphasis on ‘modern’ traditions: I sincerely hope that everyone agrees that the traditions of not-so-modern Germanys are in no bloody way an inspiration for anything Starfleet related.

Thank you for thoroughly reading my post.

To reiterate “Saratoga has some significance to Starfleet”. I was trying to give a possible reason for why a new vessel by this name reappeared so quickly after Wolf 359. It’s possible that one of the earlier Saratogas has a legendary history not unlike that of Kirk’s Enterprise.

I was going to comment on the letter suffixes, but I see others have already done so! Certainly to my knowledge, Enterprise is the only one with this tradition. I view it as Starfleet’s answer to HMS Victory - the oldest commissioned warship in the Royal Navy.

@MisterX: that’s a very valid point and I apologise for not considering it. I guess there’s not much of a pre-Empire naval tradition to draw on either. Maybe the German contribution would be in the form of scientists, composers and other cultural big names (of which there are very many!). Another possibility would be mythological figures (Siegfried, Arminius, etc) - but given how they were coopted by certain groups, I’d guess those might be controversial as well?

really germany never had much of a navy until Wilheilm II got competivie with his cousins the british royals and attempted to build a fleet to match them. Germany has never been a major naval power.

Ever heard of this thing called ’ Hanseatic League’? Just askin…

No need for apologies. Why should you apologise for Germany having different history and traditions than UK and US? See? I don’t see why, either. :slight_smile:

Yes, there are plenty of scientists that would perfectly fit the hulls of Daedalus/Olympic, Orberth, Nebula and Nova Class starships. Regarding composers and other cultural big names, I share @aramis’ doubts.

I actually did not think about this. That would depend on the respective mythological figure, I think.
And also: Only because I would never name a ship ‘USS von Moltke’ (uncertainty intended), you are most definetly free to do so.

Another possibility to draw of for a ‘German flavoured list’ would be Prussia. They even had a navy, though not a very large one, I suppose. The Prussians were more into ground combat, I think.

Also, I completely ignored Eastern Germany, meaning the ‘German Democratic Republic’, the Soviet satellite-State that existed about 40 years until German re-unification in 1989. They were, generally speaking, heavily into worker-heroes. If I weren’t born and raised in Western Germany, Sigmund Jähn would have probably been the first name coming to my mind when thinking about Germany and Spaceship names.

But, in the end:

I am not entirely sure we actually need a German contribution in the first place. :slight_smile:

I was, admittingly, refering to Germany itself. not the various… proto-german states (I suppose would be the best term for it)

Wie bitte? Ich glaube es hackt. :wink:

Well, I would not name a Federation Starship after Werner von Braun, because of V2 or German Statesman, well, I would not took British, American or other Statesmen as well.
But Alexander Gerst, abouve Mentioned Leibnitz, or other Scientiffic Figures yes, of course.
And it seems perfect to Name some Danube Raunabouts after German Rivers.

1 Like apparently starfleet has no issues naming ships after him if that shuttles anything to go by.