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-carlsen-



Joined: 12 Jan 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:21 am
Post subject: Name?
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so I am writing this story, and I need some inspiration for a name. The name is for a male elf. How do you get inspration for names? I really need some help!
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Jade
Seven of Jade


Joined: 05 Nov 2006
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:55 pm
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I'll look at baby-naming websites specific to particular languages. For an elf, I don't know, try various Scandinavian, Gaelic, maybe some eastern European, and just scan the names and see what jumps out. You can always modify them, mix and match syllables, etc., but I find it helps for inspiration.

When I chose my main character's name, I actually browsed websites listing the names of heroes and heroines in old sagas, because I wanted a name that actually meant something.

Jade

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Xinpheld
Bird Man of Alka-Seltzer


Joined: 24 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:35 am
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I tend to rattle consonants and vowels in my head until a name settles into place that sounds appropriate to the character. Harder consonants for characters that tent to be harsh, fierce, or generally yin-ish, and softer consonants for more yang-ish characters. Mystical characters tend to have less used sounds, like Y or Z or Zh or Ch. It's also good to have a name that can be easily turned into a nickname, especially if you want the character to be more memorable. Either a short name or one that can be reduced to something catchy. Generally, I like to make the sounds of the name match the tone of the character.

Another consideration is context-- do elves in your story have long names? Lots of vowels? Heritage-based surnames? Names based around birth events? If you're writing in an existing world, you can use other characters as a reference. Otherwise, naming has the power to establish culture for the character's race. No pressure, though.
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Xinpheld
Bird Man of Alka-Seltzer


Joined: 24 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:41 am
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Then again, I've also used letter dice and rolled up random names. That's how I got Xinpheld, after all. (looking back, and realizing that the name Xinpheld is over 20 years old. Egad.)
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-carlsen-



Joined: 12 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:15 am
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Thanks! :D That helped!
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LunaRaven



Joined: 30 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:39 am
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I agree--looking through name books or on baby name sites is very helpful. I also like to look at old maps and use the names of old countries. Addtionally, there is fun in just making up a name off the top of your head. You can also combine two names that you like, or find a "english to ____" language dictionary, look-up a word pertaining to your character, and make a name out of it.

Another tip for finding names is to look through mythology, or books with names of Roman Emperors(because they had some fun names). You can take a name straight from mythology or you can use parts of the name to make a new one( like taking the name Artemis and changing it to Artamisia). Alternate spellings of names also help, like spelling Jack like "Jac" or "Jak" or Spelling Seymour as "Seamoor" or "Seemuir". Finally, if you want some really spifftastic and eccentric names, look at the scientific names of plants. (Tiger Lily=Lilium Tigrinum).
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avwedhorn



Joined: 01 Feb 2008
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:11 pm
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Names can be tricky, sometimes you have to make sure that the name fits the book too. Rathgar the giant killer won't be surrounded by paul, mike and bob lol. I use several ways of coming up with names in my published stuff. I would look at things around you, words you see and try rearranging them or combining them, like I always complain about my car, well in my first book I have a city named Mycar. Another thing is what the other said, name or letter generators, also check the phone books, you would be amazed how many good last names make good first names and there some good firsts too. Good Luck,
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TamAlthor
The Zeppo


Joined: 09 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:03 pm
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Quote:
Rathgar the giant killer won't be surrounded by paul, mike and bob lol.


hmm i kinda think i might like to read that book one day.
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Kheltan
Silky Smooth Since Seventeen


Joined: 24 Nov 2006
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Location: Minnesota, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 2:56 pm
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I think this post may provide some help as well: The Importance of Character Names?

A couple tricks I use (apart from those previously mentioned):

Pick a language as the basis of the character's language and look up certain words to combine into a character name with some tweaking. So, if you wanted an good Anglo-Saxon inspired character you may want to name him Michael...but Michael is Hebrew (Mikha'el, "Who is Like God?") so you can't do that. So, look up the Anglo-Saxon words with similiar meaning: Hwa gelic God / Os. Mashing this together to could get Hwagelicos which is a bit clumsy, so let's shorten it (as names tend to do)...Hwalicos? Halicos? And so on.

Another I use is deliberatly shifting my finger to the wrong keys on the keyboard and letting them type normal names/words by muscle memory but with the wrong letters. For example: Joshua, when shifting the right hand one letter left is 'kpsjia'. Now just clean it up so it readable and pronouncable, 'Kapsiya' sounds decent.

And when I'm feeling really goofy: say things backwards. Many NPC's when I've been DM'ing have ended up being 'Ispep', 'Lemac', or 'Otirod' (Pepsi, Camel, and Dorito...respectively)!

Khel

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LunaRaven



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:39 am
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Who knew that Dorito sounded so spifftastic backwards? Not Luna, that's who. Or Bobert, but Bobert doesn't know anything about anything...
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K.S. Crooks



Joined: 15 Oct 2014
Posts: 12
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2014 8:24 am
Post subject: Choosing names
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A few methods I like to use are two decide on the ethnicity of the character then search through baby names of that culture to find one I feel is suitable. Sometime I will use a meaningful word from the culture's language as a name. I also will think of people I used to know and make new combinations of first and last names. Even if I want a new/unique name using these methods will spark an idea. I like to do this when I need the name of places (village, town, country) as well. Hope this helps.
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