Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Some As-Yet Unused Names

Grendzel Heuzengork

Orgun Ash


Orchard Underr


Vasken Einen

Klaw Veert

Unvelt Umwelt

Korgen Kroner


Ungrall Unwern

Hirgen The Fondler


Gundlee Oaken

Ash Pearl


Veinheim Le Guin

Hoarden The Other Seer

Costly Greasegraft

Usher Croon

Addendum: just thought of something--a naming system whereby the last name of the parent becomes the first name of the child. Thus Ursken Aller could have kids named Aller Grinder and Aller Hindenhorst and they, in turn, could have kids named Grinder Chork and Hindenhorst Chokefast, respectively.

Family names would be nonexistent, but tracing genealogies would be easy.


  1. You using the same system I do? The "string random syllables together until they sound right, with preference to the alliterative" school?

    For most things anyway. Elves are just lots of "v"s and "l"s with too many vowels tossed in. Goblin names are just hacking noises.

  2. I am one of those people who are ruining D&D: I steal my names from real languages.

    http://www.s-gabriel.org is my go-to resource.

    Bad habit I picked up in my late 20s (when I foolishly strived for "consistency" and "verisimilitude" in worlds of beholders and owlbears). ;)

    WV: "depie" - to break down pie back into its ingredients?

  3. Or family names could be in the middle.

  4. This is actually almost exactly how Icelandic names work. Erikson means, literally, "son of Erik". Erikson's sister would be Eriksdóttir.

    If Erikson's full name was Skeggi Erikson, then his son might be Bjorn Skeggison.


    I've been using the Everchanging Book of Names a lot lately. It's a really nice little app.

  5. I have some indian friends who seem to use a similar naming convention with a few quirks. I got the explanation of how it worked once but it became complicated pretty fast... at least for me being unfamiliar with the culture. A little looking at Wikipedia says that the people of India use a lot of different naming conventions. The one you describe seems most common in the southern areas of India.

  6. So far as I know, in existing languages (and in Gamilton's Star Kings series) it's the FIRST name of the father that becomes the last (or middle) name of the child. So Zak's idea is kind of putting the whole system upside-down.
    Which is fun.

  7. when I first glanced at this in my blog roll for an instant I imagined they were adult performance artist names up for offer - quite a niche market I would imagine.

    on that subject how do porn stars come up with names? are they given or chosen, or earned?

    My scheme for coming up with character names is whatever comes off the top of my head, or I open a random book and mash together two syllables from a page until I get something I'm happy with. In my Bro in law's campaign it's a sort of fantasy venice so the names all tend to be italianish

  8. @dungeonmum

    Porn stars pick their names.

  9. Isn't there like an actor's guild to keep people from picking the same name as someone else? Hollywood has something like that I think.

  10. @noumenon
    the actors guild is a union, the porn industry is, unfortunately, not unionized. you can have as many Scarlet Cherry's as you want.

  11. I know a few real cultures use the family name as the last name and the preceding parent's (plural) name for middle names. Maybe you could use the child's gender to match the same gender parent. If you want to go really crazy with the "real" naming conventions.
    Also, I recall in the Dragonlance setting/books (just for added flavor) the gnomish naming conventions there would have a comprehensive compilation of ALL their lineage, resulting in one lengthy name derived of countless names. i.e. WibbleCrondleStopthatExquizleRoundspikeRutherfurdJones

  12. Oh yeah. And their names were more than that - they included not only the names of all their ancestors, but the main events in life of all and every one of them, too.

  13. I'm finding that not only did the Dutch use patronymics, a bunch of 18th century Dutchmen loved to name their sons with their grandfathers' names, so Dirck Janssen's son would be Jan Dircksen and his son would be Dirck Janssen again.

    Then when central government (ie Napoleon) came and ruined the fun by insisting people took proper persistent surnames so they could be tracked through the bureaucracy, a bunch of people took protest names. Which is how Poepius ("poopy") came to be a traditional Dutch surname.

    ...the Dragonlance gnome thing is basically Portuguese - if a father's or mother's family was respectable it deserved respect in perpetuity, so the names just piled up.

    And then there's Abu Muslim Abd al-Rahman ibn Muslim al-Khorasani, who's name is constructed out of a bunch of messianic and proto-nationalist stories spread around by malcontents of the Caliphate in the 8th century CE - his name tells you he's the father and son of all Muslims, the harbinger of the true emperor and the man from the far east of the empire, the place out of which the black flags of the cleansing hordes will pour.

  14. @Zak S
    I'm happy to hear that, as it means only one person cannot forever hold the monopoly on being called "Ivana Fukalot."