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Thread: Help with names for map elements

  1. #1
      smyrin is offline
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    Post Help with names for map elements

    So I am working on a large map using a combination of PS 7 and CC3 and I was just putting the finishing touches on one section. As I was naming some of the map elements (i.e. forests, mountains, hills, towns, etc...) I discovered that there are not too many synonyms available for my tastes. I am trying to be as varied and orginal as possible but I am running out of ideas for cool names.

    Anyways, I was wondering what other people came up with. Don't post if you don't want me to copy your ideas!

    Some examples

    Forests: (How many ways can you call forest a forest?)
    The Feywild Forest
    The Misty Vale
    The King's Woods
    The Dismal Woodlands
    The Cloakwood

    Mountains:
    .... mountains
    .... peaks
    .... ridge

    Hills:
    .... Hills


    Any and all ideas would be great. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    It's true that there aren't a whole lot of different English words that mean "lots of trees." However, you don't necessarily need to label every mountain range "The <Name> Mountains." If your mountains look like mountains, it may be just as good to simply call them "The <Name>s." For instance, if you were looking at a map of Europe, and there was a large label over the mountains that said "Alps," you'd probably get that those were the mountains called the Alps.

    Tad Williams' fantasy trilogy Memory, Sorrow and Thorn featured a large forest called Aldheorte ("Old Heart"). Sometimes it was referred to as the Aldheorte forest, but on the maps, it didn't say "Forest," as the depiction of trees made that obvious.

    Many forests are simply named for the country they are in. The word Amazon refers to the rain forest, the river, and the basin in which forest and river reside.

    Of course, on the other end of that, are features that pick up additional descriptors as time goes by: Sherwood Forest is a bit redundant.
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    From Thesaurus.com;

    Forest:
    backwoods, brake, chase, clump, coppice, copse, cover, covert, grove, growth, jungle, park, shelter, stand, thicket, timber, timberland, weald, wildwood, wood, woodland, woodlot, woods
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      Jaxilon is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel General View Post
    From Thesaurus.com;

    Forest:
    backwoods, brake, chase, clump, coppice, copse, cover, covert, grove, growth, jungle, park, shelter, stand, thicket, timber, timberland, weald, wildwood, wood, woodland, woodlot, woods
    Thesaurus is your friend.

    As said already, you do not always have to use the explanatory part of the name (forest, wood, mountains, etc).

    Sometimes a place can gain a name of it's own based on events that transpired there. It may not have anything to do with it's being a mountain, field or whatever. "You don't want to go in there my friend, there is a reason they call it..'Widowmaker.'"
    “When it’s over and you look in the mirror, did you do the best that you were capable of? If so, the score does not matter. But if you find that you did your best you were capable of, you will find it to your liking.” -John Wooden

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      NeonKnight is offline
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    Also, we have just started a thread here:

    Looking for a List of Less Common Topographical Terms
    Daniel the Neon Knight: Campaign Cartographer User

    Never use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice!

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      smyrin is offline
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    Thanks for the help. I was already aware that I could name places after names that did not include its type and have been doing so but I did not want to name them all that way. I was using wikisaurus but I see that I was looking at the wrong place!

    Thanks for all the input everyone!

  7. #7
      rdanhenry is offline
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    Don't forget, there's also lots of languages. And names don't always get translated or replaced when someone new takes over, either.

  8. #8
      coffeefery is offline
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    Post Name generators

    Hi symrin, I also have difficulty churning out name that either sounds cool, logical or works. I'm not sure if fantasy setting names will work for you, but if they do, I would recommend checking out these sites:

    Town name generator (to get new names, just refresh the page or hit F5)
    Tavern name generator
    Fantasy name generator
    Another fantasy name generator
    Cottage name generator

    Hope these helps.

  9. #9
      ravells is offline
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    Moved to Toponymy.

    This is a really cool discussion and worth a lot of thought for a number of reasons, but not least because of Alfar's place name generator. The more synonyms for woods, forests, mountains etc we can come up with the easier it will be to come up with a place name generator which will make those huge maps easier to label. Where is Alfar these days anyway?

    Anyway, back on topic. First stop: Thesaurus:

    Mountains:

    abundance, alp, bank, bluff, butte, cliff, crag, dome, drift, elevation, eminence, glob, heap, height, hump, mass, mesa, mound, mount, palisade, peak, pike, pile, precipice, pyramid, range, ridge, shock, sierra, stack, ton, tor, volcano, bank, cliff, crag, escarpment, headland, hill, mountain, peak, promontory, ridge, rock, alluvion, bank, batch, bunch, bundle, clump, cluster, deposit, heap, hill, lot, mass, mound, mountain, parcel, pile, set, shock, stack, acclivity, altitude, ascent, boost, eminence, heave, hill, hillock, hoist, levitation, mountain, platform, ridge, rise, roof, top, uplift, upthro.

    Forest:


    backwoods, brake, chase, clump, coppice, copse, cover, covert, grove, growth, jungle, park, shelter, stand, thicket, timber, timberland, weald, wildwood, wood, woodland, woodlot, woods, backcountry, backwoods, boscage, bramble, briar, brush, chaparral, creeper, forest, hedge, hinterland, jungle, outback, plant, scrub, scrubland, shrubbery, the wild, thicket, vine, wilderness,
    back country, backwoods, boondocks, boonies, bush, countryside, cow country, farmland, farms, forests, green belt, hinterland, middle of nowhere, outback, outdoors, province, sticks, up country, wide open space, wilderness, wilds, woodlands, woods

  10. #10
      Alfar is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by ravells View Post
    Where is Alfar these days anyway?
    I got dragged off the 'net by a couple of events, one of them being my arm refusing to type for a month and a half. I got better

    Back on topic, you can also do variations of the words:

    Hill: hyl, hel, hell, hale, hylle
    Forest: forst, fers, fer, fore, fors

    Etc.

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