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Character Description Resource

This resource has been created to help you develop and describe your characters. In the tables below, you'll find categorized listings of descriptive words and phrases which apply to bodily appearance, physical expressions and basic contemporary clothing/accessories.

This resource is an ongoing project written in UK English. To contribute, please send your descriptive words (stating categories) to Diana. Our thanks go to Darren Andrews for creating this resource and to Nicky Schmidt and Pamela Cleaver for their contributions and support.


(click on link to jump to appropriate table or scroll down)

Bodily Appearance
  1. Physique
  2. Skin colour
  3. Complexion (texture and appearance)
  4. Hair colour
  5. Hair style
  6. Hair condition
  7. Facial hair
  8. Eyes (colour and shade)
  9. Mouth
  10. Lips
  11. Teeth
  12. Nose
  13. Ears
  14. Chin
  15. Cheeks
  16. Neck
  17. Chest
  18. Stomach
  19. Shoulders
  20. Arms
  21. Hands
  22. Fingers
  23. Finger Nails
  24. Back
  25. Legs
Physical Expressions
  1. Voice
  2. Facial
  3. Visual
  4. Vocal
  5. Gesticulative
  6. Body Movements/Positions


  1. Headwear
  2. Hair accessories
  3. Footwear
  4. Clothes
  5. Material
  6. Jewellery

Bodily Appearance

anorexic; gangling; gaunt; haggard; lanky; scrawny; skinny; spindly; withered / agile; athletic; lean; lithe; petite; rangy; reedlike; slender; slight; slim; sylphlike; thin; trim; willowy / barrel-chested; beefy; big-boned; brawny; buxom; chubby; fat; muscular; sinewy; well-muscled; voluptuous

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alabaster; albino; apricot; black; bronze; brown; caramel; cream; ebony; fair; ivory; lily-white; milky; nut-brown; olive; red; white; yellow;

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COMPLEXION (appearance and texture)

Appearance - blush; flush; freckled; glowing; jaundiced; mottled; pallid; pale; pasty; rosy; ruddy; russet; sallow; splotchy; wan
Texture - acned; cadaverous; craggy; greasy; leathery; peeling; pitted; pocked; scarred; sunburnt; wrinkled

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HAIR COLOUR (natural only)

Black - coal black; jet black; raven; sable; ebony; charcoal; ink-black; sooty;
Dark Brown - brunet/te (male/female - male form rarely used); auburn; chestnut; chestnut brown; walnut;
Light Brown - ash brown; mousey; chocolate; sandy; tawny; golden brown; nutmeg; nut brown; cinnamon;
Red - fiery red; ginger; rusty; rust red; redhead; honey red; reddish brown; russet; copper; burnt sienna;
Blond/e (male/female) - ash blonde; strawberry blonde; platinum blonde; flaxen; honey-coloured; towheaded; light blonde; yellow-brown; fair-haired; champagne; tawny-gold; golden-haired; yellow-haired;
White - grey; silver; hoary; hoaryhead; snow-white; silver-grey;

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Afro; beehive; bob; braids; bun; coiffure; corkscrew curls; curls; crew cut; dreadlocks; French braid; mohawk; page boy; pigtails; pompadour; ponytail; shorn; skinhead; topknot; wedge / crop; fringe; locks; ringlets; strands; wisps;

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cowlicked; disarrayed; disheveled; ill-kempt; knotted; messed up; messy; mussed up; mussy; uncombed; unkempt; ragged; ruffled; shaggy; tangled; tousled; twisted; untidy; matted / combed; kempt; neat; neatly combed; thick; thinning; tidy; / greasy; oily / dry; split-ended / flecked; grizzled; wiry; receding; unshorn

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beard; bristles; five o'clock shadow; fuzz; goatee; moustache; muttonchops; sideburns; stubble; whiskers

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EYES (colour and shade)

Blue - bright blue; dark blue; light blue; luminous blue; piercing blue; sky blue;
Brown - dark brown; light brown;
Green - emerald; jade; light green; dark green; bright green; sea green;
Grey - light grey; dark grey; deep grey; stone; stone grey; cobalt; slate grey;
Hazel - light hazel;

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cupid's bow; downturned; grim; large; small; smiling;

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blue; cracked; dry; fat; full; luscious; parched; parted; red; ruby; thin; wet

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buck; crooked; gap-toothed; gappy; gleaming; large; protruding; razor-like; small; sharp; shining; straight; white; yellow;

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aquiline; beaky; broad; bulbous; button; button-like; curved; eagle-like; hatchet-like; hooked; prominent; straight; turned up;

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jug-like; protruding; tiny;

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angular; chiselled; protruding; square;

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rosy; ruddy; sunken; high (cheek bones); flat;

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short; long; swan-like; thick; gracious; elegant

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barrel-chested; broadchested; flat-chested; solid; well-defined; well-muscled;

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chiselled; lean; pot-bellied; round;

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broad; ox-like; sloping; drooping; hunched; rounded;

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long; thick; skinny; pudgy; strong; muscular

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elegant; long; long-fingered; rough; stubby; shovel-like; slender; spade-like;

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gnarled; stubby;

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bitten; broken; claw-like; dirty; hooked; long; painted; sharp; talon-like;

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bent; hunched; ramrod straight; rounded;

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long; shapely; sinewy; thin; tree-trunks;

Physical Expressions

bass; bellowing; booming; breathy; cackling; childlike; croaking; crackling; drawling; droning; falsetto; faltering; feeble; flat; fluting; gravel; guttural; harsh; hoarse; hollow; husky; hypnotic; lilting; lisping; monotone; nasal; piercing; ponderous; purring; quavering; rasping; reedy; resonant; robust; sensuous; sharp; shrill; soothing; soporific; spluttering; squawking; squeaky; sultry; thick; thin; throaty; thunderous; tremulous; velvet; warbling; wheezing; whining;

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bewildered; disbelieving; disgust; frown; puzzled; nonplussed; scowl; smile;

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blank look; gaze; glance; glaring; glowering; hard stare; piercing; sideways glance; vague; vacuous; vacant; searching; empty;

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ah (satisfaction, surprise, delight, dislike, pain); oh (surprise, fear, anger, pain); aha (surprise, pleasure, triumph)

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Anger - wave a fist in the air; stamp feet;
Dismissal - wave a hand in the air; waved away;
Disgust - throw up hands; turn up nose; wrinkle nose;
Dismay - shake head; slump;
Sudden Despair - throw hands over face; drop head; drop shoulders;
Introduction - sweep an arm
Inspiration - clap hands; clap hand to forehead; click fingers;
Shock - clap hand to cheek/s; clap hand to mouth;

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Fingers - click; drumming; flatten palms against; flick; laced/interlaced; massage; pull; stroking (chin); tapping; tug;
Hands - brush; bunch; caress; clap; clasp; clench/unclench; close (around/over); clutch; cupping; dust off; grasp; grip; hit; hold; knock; made a fist; punch; rap; slid; wave;
Arms - embrace; fold; hug;
Head - bend; bow; cock; cradle in hands; dip; incline; lean (back, forward, sideways); lift; nod; shake; swing; tilt; tip; toss; turn; wag;
Chin - raise; stroke;
Nose - wrinkle (in disgust);
Shoulders - shrug;
Knees - hug knees to;
Body Motion - amble; bounce; chase; crawl; creep; gallop; jump; leap; lollop; slide; slither; soar; rush; spring; stride; stroll;

Clothing/Accessories (modern only)

bowler; panama; top hat; scarf; bonnet; fedora; beret; peakcap; deerstalker;

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Alice band; hair band; hair clip; headband; head scarf; scrunchie;

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boots; brogues; clogs; plimsols; skates (ice, roller); snowshoes; trainers;

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Tops - blouse; cardigan; halterneck; jacket; jumper; polo neck; pullover; shirt; sweater; t-shirt;
Bottoms - dress; shorts; skirt; trousers;
Other - mittens; fingerless gloves; gloves; cloak; shawl; coat; windcheater; mackintosh; raincoat; socks; stockings; tights;

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canvas; cotton; denim; linen; lycra; nylon; polyester; satin; silk; towelling; wool;

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earrings; necklace; bracelet; brooch; watch; pendant; stud; bangle; chain; ring; toe-ring; bellyring; ankle chain; bellychain;

Project started by Darren Andrews 29.08.04. Printed copies for personal use may be made as long as in their entirety. Do not copy this web page 

to another site (just link to it). Please seek permission first if you desire to use it in any other way.

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