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Thread: Anyone have any tips for naming?

  1. #1

    Default Anyone have any tips for naming?

    I wasn't sure if this should go here or in the critique part of the forums. Since I'm not the one making the map i figured the general forums would be the best bet.

    As some of you may have seen, i commissioned my world map to be made. The map will be featured in the stories i release to kindle. However I'm getting stuck on names. Does any one know of any good name gen sites or tips on how to name regions, worlds, crops of trees lol.

    To help give an example i will post the basic info about the races. Its pretty long so i slapped it into a spoiler tag.

    The Empire - To put it simply, they are aliens. They come from a different planet but their society regressed back to a fantasy setting. They also control the "AI" a super intelligent computerized "teacher" that is programmed to "terraform" a society. Slowly over the generations it teaches them things and advances them to star faring cultures. Right now the empire is in an American civil war era. They have black powder guns, electricity and metal war ships. They generally feel that they are above the other races and are more than happy to take slaves. They even have human breeding farms to cultivate the magic genes. (These guys are kind of a mix of the Japanese and Romans)

    Humans - Medieval style culture. Less war and religion focused though. Egotistic, loves their money and takes slaves. (European)

    Asians - They belong to a special order of warrior monks that use every ounce of power they have to keep the main body of the "Taint" contained in a small island near the volcanic ring the Asians call home. They keep their fighting talents a secret, only training their own kind. They are also protected by a dragon guardian (Water). This dragon teaches the monks how to fight the tainted people. They send out assassins to hunt them down. (Buddhist monk influences)

    Dragon Guardians - Four of the oldest and most powerful dragons. Each being well over a thousand years old. Able to easily control each of the four elements (Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water.) Only one is ever awake at any given time. They work with the Asians to keep the Taint contained. sleeping allows the dragons to maintain their power and keep it locked away. The Earth and Fire dragons are the main ones needed for this. The last time all four were away was when the Taint landed. (Mix of asian and euro dragons)

    Barbarians - Nomadic warriors who live in the cold regions no other races are willing to live. They use nature magics and animal communication, preferring to use the help of the giant polar bears and mammoths. They are a typical shamanistic society, hunter gatherers and prizing strength above all. And like most fantasy barbarians, they quite large. (Little bit of the Hun mixed with Vikings)

    Dwarves - Steampunk versions of the dwarves we see in most fantasy stories. They have steam powered engines and electricity. They are still the best crafters around. (Other then the steam punk these guys are typical fantasy dwarves)

    Wood Elves - Hippies on steroids, its all about the threes. They have a general ban on harvesting wood except in select places. They don't like strangers either. They will attack people chopping down trees as well. (No earth influence)

    High Elves - They are kind of the justice and virtue of the world. Paladins that cant be corrupted, and they run the world prison. (No earth influence)

    Dark Elves - They are pretty typical of the fantasy Drow. A long time prior to the events of the story, they tried to take over a lot of the surface and even chased the dwarves away from a few of their mountain homes. However they were eventually defeated and now they hide away. (No earth influence)

    Halflings - They grow their own trees so the wood elves let them sell lumber. They are the only source to get wood for housing or other things like that. (Generally most housing is made from metal or stone) They also sell tobacco and other smokables. They also retain some of their fantasy roots, a love for food and drink.

    Gremlins (Also known as Foxilian) - They are a race of primitive but lovable fox people. They stand around a foot tall, thin boned. And they love everything shiny. Their society is based around, who ever brings back the biggest and best "shiny" gets all the respect. They lived in a small cave system in the desert (ancient hollowed out granite under the sand dunes.) They are kind of a myth to the desert dwelling travelers. They will robe them blind, but take the oddest things. A rock, some string, or the case of ale they were hauling. They attack by means of summoned sand storms, which gain in power the more gremlins there are in the area. They feed off each others power. They have also been known to give water to stranded travelers, right after they steal their stuff. In most cases no one ever sees them coming or while they do their work.

    Dragon Riders - On the one hand they are half breeds, half dragon and half human. They live in a society of aristocrats, lords and ladies, high society. However they also play the police and protection force. The rider has the ability use strong elemental magic and do does the dragon they ride. Some combining their elements for stronger attacks. They are at war with the empire but their numbers are small, so they stick to hit and run tactics. Their dragon Lords are able to control multiple elements and transform into full dragons. They take on the role of kings and queens. (No earth influence but has a bit of Pern mixed in.)

    Fog Walkers - Large (10 to 13 feet tall) yeti/ gorilla styled primitives, also not on the map. They weave jungle junk (leaves, branches and vines) into their fur to camouflage themselves from the native baboon hordes that enjoy eating them.

    The Taint - The taint is the main evil force in the world. A long long time ago, there was two races in the galaxy, one learned to ascend and became god like. They actually became the gods the races listed above worship. While the other old race tried to force ascension, rather than becoming wisps of energy, they became bacteria. Broken down into single celled organisms that are all connected. They are pure evil, tainting and corrupting every one that gets infected. Their goal is to spread. They can infect objects as well and any one that touches it will be corrupted. They love kids, turning them into serial killers or other crazy masterminds. Adults they use hard and throw away.

    The Gods
    The Dark Lady - Controls everything below the surface and anything the light cant touch. She isn't evil, however, just dark. Resembles a young attractive woman.
    Magic - her magic is stealth, fear, illusions and she admires assassins the most.
    Healer Type - Necromantic voodoo type healing. Potions, hexes and soul transference. Can sacrifice someone else to resurrect the dead.
    People she influences - Dwarves, Dark Elves, Thieves and Assassins
    Champion - Undead assassin - Can shadow step, and feed on others life energy.

    The Mother (or Old Lady) - The balancer, she controls everything that grows on the surface and values life. Resembles an old lady.
    Magic - Nature magic, plant growing, conjuring elements, and healing. She likes the wood elves the most.
    Healer Type - Healers that follow her have the ability to take the pain of the wounded into themselves. Then they transfer some of their own life in to the wounded. They can resurrect the dead at the cost of their own life.
    People she influences - Wood Elves, Barbarians, Hobbits
    Champion - Druid - Ability to resurrect and heal without injuring herself, and strong control over the elements around her. Can transform into multiple animal forms for longer periods of time.

    The Light - The protector, Protects the planet from asteroids and meteors. Resembles an old wizard.
    Magic - Holy power. Localized time reversal.
    Healer Type - Can resurrect the dead without killing the caster. Can create shield of light that reflects damage.
    People he influences - High elves, Humans, Dragons Riders, Paladins
    Champion - Top Dragon Lord - Super intelligent, can read any language. Has mastered three of the four elements. Dragon abilities are stronger then average.

    Now the world at least would have been named by the gods or the really old dragons. But it has to be something pronounceable. Like i said above i have tried a few random name generators but nothing ever sounds right. So I'm curious how do you guys come up with the names? Is there a process that you use?

    Generally when i do character names i just throw letters around until something sounds decent. I tried doing that for this but I'm not even sure what region or names of this type should sound like.

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    I have attached rough pictures to show where stuff is. Anyway thanks for any tips, or help. Just writing all this out gives me a little more direction. Maybe in each racial area i can base the names after the earth cultures they represent. Or other fantasy type things.

  2. #2
    Guild Artisan eViLe_eAgLe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Washington State


    I have to say that what you have so far, sounds immensely interesting.
    As for what I do with world names, if it was a newly found land, it would be named after the person, or similar to the person who found it, albeit with some language corruption.
    As for a name already being made, it would likely be different in every race and culture, do to different ethics, pronunciation and language corruption.
    As for a good name, I don't know. Sorry D:

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by eViLe_eAgLe View Post
    I have to say that what you have so far, sounds immensely interesting.
    As for what I do with world names, if it was a newly found land, it would be named after the person, or similar to the person who found it, albeit with some language corruption.
    As for a name already being made, it would likely be different in every race and culture, do to different ethics, pronunciation and language corruption.
    As for a good name, I don't know. Sorry D:
    Yea i may try and mix in names from the cultures they are based around. Like Hun type sounding names for the barbarian area, Japanese for the empire. Least its a start. The planet or continent name still eludes me though. For one of my sci fi worlds i used Anos and i fell in love with it. But my girl friend refuses to let me use it for this one lol She think its looks too close to "Anal." I want to find something like that though. Short and sweet and easy to say.

    Anyway thanks for the tips. And if you are interested feel free to check out the stories website Tainted Legacy - Tainted Legacy A lot of what is up there, i just posted to this post but there is some excerpts of the stories that will be hitting kindle.

  4. #4

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by ravells View Post

    I've moved this thread to the Toponomy sub forum as you might find some ideas to answering your question here.
    Thanks for the move, i had no idea this section existed, before posting i looked around a bit but i was unaware that "toponomy" had to do with naming. (Even the generic spell checker that all websites use doesn't think its a word lol.) Now I'm off to read through old naming posts

    Turns out i had a post in here from last year some time. Some good info in there that i missed.

    Now that i know a general idea for who my races take after, i think naming wont be as hard. I think the ones that will trouble me are elves and those that have no earth backing. On the bright side, elves are such a loved race that there are tons of fan made languages to use as reference material. Same would go for dwarves too I'm sure.
    Last edited by lokiie1984; 04-11-2013 at 10:22 AM.

  6. #6
    Guild Journeyer
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    West Lafayette, Indiana


    You might be interested in this name generator: PBE Games: Namer

    It uses dictionaries of names from various languages to build letter sequence / frequency graphs and generates new names based on the results. You can combine multiple language sources to tune the results (yes, this is a shameless plug for something I wrote ).

  7. #7


    I could see that being handy for some things. If i need character based names *NPC name* Castle or something.

    However i could see you taking what you have there and adapting it to landmarks and locations. Would be pretty handy to have then. For example taking the German word for high, the Irish word for pass and then canyon or something. Could be neat.

    That's not to say that your generator isn't useful as it is. I will save it for when i get more into the stories. I'm always looking for easy to use character names.

  8. #8
    Guild Apprentice Ourea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012


    Universally across cultures (at least as far as I can tell) the word for the planet has always been earth, soil, land etc. Maybe play around and think about the sort of languages your people speak, what they sound like and what sorts of letters they use (I doubt elves have very many k's or g's in their language, for example, but dwarves may) and try to compile a few names from that and see what sticks. Once you get around to placenaming, it can be fairly easy, as most places are named after geographic location, nearby landmarks, or famous people/saints/gods/etc. so you can just play with compound words.

    For generators I like to use Fantasy Name Generator They seem to have a reliably pronounceable output across most of their name gens

  9. #9


    that's a good idea. In general we feel that the ones who named the world are the really old dragons. So i googled a dragon language and found this site Playing around with it to see if i can find a good word to use for a planet name.

    As a side note, naming the regions has been easy and hard. The desert i plan to name "Sand Sea" I always liked how those sounded. Grass Sea too.

    (Or as the gremlins call it - With their little arms spread as wide as they can go, and eyes as wide as possible and then in a happy exited overly exaggerated voice "Biiig Sand" Their language has a lot of body movements on top of the words)
    Last edited by lokiie1984; 04-11-2013 at 01:10 PM.

  10. #10
    Community Leader Guild Sponsor - Max -'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012


    I never really had problem finding names. Just creating them from nothing but imagination... usually playing with sounds and phonems work well.

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