Author Topic: Names and surnames  (Read 119 times)

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manche

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Names and surnames
« on: August 31, 2017, 01:53:32 PM »
Names and Surnames, not many make it a big deal  but often is one of the first things we know about a character, and a strong clue of what that entity is or where is it from.

In my post human world (some humans are still around) the creatures that succeeded them as masters of the planet have modified human names and, and their surnames are descriptive of jobs and other features.

Zavier Kurasisto: he's an organic chemist  from a line of healers

Captain Nigrapelto: she's blacker than soot, probably an orphan and the first of her line to carry that surname

Raisa Kampoj:  Cute girl from a farming family.

I used a mutated form of Esperanto to reinforce the notion that these are NOT humans


SO, how do you handle such an important topic yourselves?

Mark Engels

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Re: Names and surnames
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2017, 02:41:16 PM »
Since my werecat book takes place in our present-day world, I researched language and naming from places as disparate as Poland and Korea (both North and South.)  Suffice to say I frequented a number of several baby-naming sites.  Because my stories will eventually cover three generations of my female protagonist's family from the height of the Cold War to the present day, I also found listed at some sites what given names were popular in that particular country in a given year.  So I tried to pick from those.  Like how in the United States, we don't name our boys "Ulysses" or "Hiram" or "Rutherford" much anymore, but at one time those names were quite common.

I also had in mind to pick names that fit a theme.  A clan of werecats who emigrated from Poland and married into a landed immigrant family in Chicago named "Katczynski".  So Pawly (diminutive of "Pawlina") and her family adopt "call signs" during their respective military service with the suffix "-cat"..."Polecat" in her case.  Compared to "Tomcat" for her twin brother Tomasz, who goes by "Tommy."  Or their father Barry (short for "Bernardyn") who was "Bearcat" when he served as a SEAL.  Go figure.  :P

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"The modern day remnant of an ancient clan of werecats is torn apart by militaries on three continents vying to exploit their deadly talents."

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Sibir

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Re: Names and surnames
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2017, 03:55:39 PM »
Personally I love Scandinavian and Slavic naming systems. Both use endings that indicate the gender (-ov, -ova) and father (-ova, -ich, -son, -dottir) of the name-bearer. I have a story with a Russian-based setting with names that aren't real-world names but sound kinda Slavic. Ex: MC's name is Kira Dmivodoch Drishkanora: Kira, daughter of Dmivo, and -ora indicates she's female, and her son is Xandr Urveisyn Drishkanor: Xandr, son of Urvei, and -or indicates he's male.
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manche

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Re: Names and surnames
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2017, 05:03:35 PM »
Personally I love Scandinavian and Slavic naming systems. Both use endings that indicate the gender (-ov, -ova) and father (-ova, -ich, -son, -dottir) of the name-bearer. I have a story with a Russian-based setting with names that aren't real-world names but sound kinda Slavic. Ex: MC's name is Kira Dmivodoch Drishkanora: Kira, daughter of Dmivo, and -ora indicates she's female, and her son is Xandr Urveisyn Drishkanor: Xandr, son of Urvei, and -or indicates he's male.

that explains the Husky avatar?

Huskyteer

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Re: Names and surnames
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2017, 05:21:55 PM »
SO, how do you handle such an important topic yourselves?

With dreadful puns, usually :)
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leinir

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Re: Names and surnames
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2017, 05:11:12 AM »
Personally I love Scandinavian and Slavic naming systems. Both use endings that indicate the gender (-ov, -ova) and father (-ova, -ich, -son, -dottir) of the name-bearer. I have a story with a Russian-based setting with names that aren't real-world names but sound kinda Slavic. Ex: MC's name is Kira Dmivodoch Drishkanora: Kira, daughter of Dmivo, and -ora indicates she's female, and her son is Xandr Urveisyn Drishkanor: Xandr, son of Urvei, and -or indicates he's male.

A comment on picking names like that - as with most places, names tend to go in waves of use, and consequently they end up with various social connotations. A specific example of this is a character in the Summer King Chronicles (which is great and you should all go read it if you've not already) named Dagny. This name translates literally as "day new", but what it means in my head is "very old lady", because it was a fairly commonly chosen name in Denmark in the years leading up to the second world war. Obviously, The Silver Isles is neither Denmark, nor indeed the Nordic countries in general, i just thought it might be useful to point out how these choices impact in your readership :)

Makyo

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Re: Names and surnames
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2017, 03:16:14 PM »
I love names! Sometimes those are the most fun bits of research, for me. I like to find ways to make names play off each other, in particular.

  • A previous story has Aaron and Erin as a couple, and a little tidbit for how they manage that. A couple that gets along well, but has some divisive aspects of their relationship (notably as an interspecies relationship).
  • A current one has characters named after things relating to either the sun or the moon. Sélène (lit. "moonly") caught between her husband Aiden (from Étaín, a sun deity; diminutive of Ét: passion or jealousy) and her friend Malina (an Inuit sun goddess who ain't gonna put up with shit from jealous men).
  • Another current project has a character who changes her name with some regularity to keep the protagonist off-kilter.

Names are such little things, and, with the above example, almost certainly not something the reader is going to notice or care about. Still, it's meaningful for me to write, and helps me work with character development.