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Thread: Toponomy, or How to Name Places!

  1. #11
      Diamond is online now
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    Yeah, I never really understood the purpose in the Horseclans books of doing that. I mean, if the names are spelled phonetically, why not everything else? When they go swimming, do they go in the whaater? Do they climb mowntens?

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      NeonKnight is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond View Post
    Yeah, I never really understood the purpose in the Horseclans books of doing that. I mean, if the names are spelled phonetically, why not everything else? When they go swimming, do they go in the whaater? Do they climb mowntens?
    Wouldn't that be WHAATUR?
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    I am going to go on a slightly tangential rant for a moment I could not find an appropriate thread and don't think this deserves its own thread as much as it deserves a thread hijack...

    As a consistent reader of fantasy and an off and on gamer, I think it is incumbent upon the community at large to stop the dire place names convention. No more "Cliffs of Despair" or "Swamp of Tears" or "Graggy Hills of Doomy Doom!" or "Dark Scary Forest Don't Go In There" or "The Plot Point Hills of Dread."

    I get tired of seeing places like the aforementioned "the Dark Forest." In the "real world" places are named by the people who live and use the areas (even if it is a hard and dangerous life). No one wants to live in the "Dire Marsh." The people who do scrabble out a living in or near that swamp would not give it such an imposing name.
    Something witty and pithy

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    "Craggy hills of doomy doom" is awesome! I gotta use that, if but only once
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmmmmpig View Post
    I am going to go on a slightly tangential rant for a moment I could not find an appropriate thread and don't think this deserves its own thread as much as it deserves a thread hijack...

    As a consistent reader of fantasy and an off and on gamer, I think it is incumbent upon the community at large to stop the dire place names convention. No more "Cliffs of Despair" or "Swamp of Tears" or "Graggy Hills of Doomy Doom!" or "Dark Scary Forest Don't Go In There" or "The Plot Point Hills of Dread."

    I get tired of seeing places like the aforementioned "the Dark Forest." In the "real world" places are named by the people who live and use the areas (even if it is a hard and dangerous life). No one wants to live in the "Dire Marsh." The people who do scrabble out a living in or near that swamp would not give it such an imposing name.
    Just cause I can

    http://www.destination360.com/europe...y/black-forest

    The History, of HOW the Black Forest Got it's Name.

    So, name like TANGLE WOOD or DENSE SWAMP, are certainly not as 'scary' as DEATH WOOD or DIRE SWAMP or anything, but they ARE Evocative, and how people go about naming places.

    Another example (with pictures even), is the SLEEPING GIANT PROVINCIAL PARK in Ontario, Canada, so named because an island looks like a sleeping giant.

    In fact, if you do a Google search for images on Sleeping Giant Mountian, we have LOTS of mountains around the world that is named exactly that:

    http://images.google.ca/images?hl=en...title&resnum=4
    Last edited by NeonKnight; 08-03-2009 at 01:31 AM.
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    You want some real fun with this, take a look at my Roilwachhs map It's full of stuff like this.. one extreme example being "Sandy Desert Full of Sand that gets in your Bits and Makes You Feel Uncomfortable"

    I dunno, I can imagine the people living near there naming it like that

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    "Dark Scary Forest Don't Go In There" - That got a good old chuckle out of me.
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    Guild Journeyer altasilvapuer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeonKnight View Post
    [...]
    In fact, if you do a Google search for images on Sleeping Giant Mountian, we have LOTS of mountains around the world that is named exactly that:

    http://images.google.ca/images?hl=en...title&resnum=4
    From my relatives' house in Stuyvesant, NY (near Hudson, etc; roughly 30-45 minutes south of Albany), you can see to the Southwest the very tip of the Catskill Mountain range - specifically three peaks of it. The three peaks are sometimes referred to as "Rip Van Winkle," after the legend of the man who slept for 100 years. From the right angle (at about which their house sits, in fact), the three peaks form what looks like a man's brow, nose, and chin.

    I think I have a picture on my harddrive of it; I'll see if I can find it.
    I thought I had a picture of it, but I can't find any from the right angle that are very clear. A quick internet search found this one, though: http://rogerkenner.ca/Bike/Nyc00/Bik...knyc00_129.jpg which, oddly enough, appears to be quite near my relative's house. Unless I miss my reckoning, they're off to the right a couple miles at most.

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  9. #19
      Pegasos989 is offline
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    Info Finnish names are the same way

    While others have already mentioned that English, German, Japanese, etc. names form as they do, I'll add Finnish names to that list.

    Last names are generally Finnish words with "nen" or "lä/la" added in the end. "Lä/la" means "a place where something is". For example, a name Seppälä would mean "A place in which you can find seppä" (And seppä means "smith"). This is the list of 9 most common last names in Finland at the moment.

    1: Virtanen (Virta means "stream")
    2: Korhonen (Korho means "dry hay" though it is old word. Had to look it up.)
    3: Nieminen (Niemi means "peninsula")
    4: Mäkinen (Mäki means "hill" or "ascent")
    4: Mäkelä (Also based on word mäki. "A place where is a hill")
    5: Hämäläinen (Means "someone from Häme" which is a place, named after Hämä, a pagan goddess whose name also apparently means "land" though is so old word that it took some serious googling to find out)
    6: Laine (Laine means "wave")
    7: Koskinen (Koski means "rapid")
    8: Heikkinen (Heikki is a common first name. It is Finnish version of Heinrik, which comes from german Haimrich, which... I don't know.)
    9: Järvinen (Järvi means "lake")

    You see a pattern? Yes, it's that simple. Pick pretty much any old finnish word meaning some pagan deity or something nature or agriculture related, add "nen" to the end and the chances are it is someone's last name.



    The place names are a bit more complex to explain but still simple.

    This place where I live now is called Lehmihaka. Lehmä means "cow" and haka means both "hook" and a fence to keep something in some area. Lehmihaka means a fenced area in which you keep cows (kinda flattering, eh?). You can guess that there used to be a lot of cows in this area. The suburb in which Lehmihaka is is called "Havukoski", which is from Havu (branch of evergreen, twig) and Koski (rapid). Nearby is a rapid with evergreens on the shore.

    This whole city is called Vantaa and I don't know if that means anything (probably) but before that, this was just called "Helsingin maalaispitäjä" as that means "countryside municipio of Helsinki (bigger city next to this one". The center of Vantaa is Tikkurila. Tikkuri is old finnish word for squirrel's hide. (and 'la' addition. "Place where are squirrelhides"). It was a common trading post when people used squirrels' hides as money.

  10. #20
      Ascension is offline
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    Now that's some great info there, Peg...very nice and thank you very much. I'll definitely be using this.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


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