Names and Naming

I must find the right name or I cannot get on with the story.
I cannot write the story if the name is wrong.

Ursula K. LeGuin
1926 – 2018

 

I have always believed in the importance of finding just the right name for people, places, and things in speculative literature. My favorite authors are, in fact, my favorites because they took the time to find just the right name. Dune would not have been Dune without the noble, Greek-sounding name of Atreides and the harsher, darker name of Harkonnen for Herbert’s rival noble houses. Jack Vance’s books would not have been so enjoyable if not for monikers like Ascolais and Almery. LeGuin herself was a master, twisting Slavic languages sideways to create soft, sibilant Russian-sounding names for Gethen and shorter Polish-sounding ones for Earthsea… not to mention the contrasting naming systems of Anarres and Urras and the plethora of worlds that comprised the Ekumen.

On this page, I’ve collected my Worldbuilding Wednesday posts that feature randomly generated names (via the software of Gammadyne’s Random Word Generator) for various things to help a word-blocked writer out.

 

 

2018

10/10/18

10/3/18

9/26/18

9/19/18

9/12/18

9/5/18

8/29/18

8/22/18

8/15/18

8/8/18

8/1/18

7/25/18

7/18/18

7/11/18

7/4/18

6/27/18

6/20/18

6/13/18

6/6/18

5/30/18

5/23/18

5/16/18

5/9/18

5/2/18

4/25/18

4/18/18

4/11/18

4/4/18

3/28/18

3/21/18

3/14/18

3/7/18

2/28/18

2/21/18

2/14/18

2/7/18

1/31/18

1/24/18

1/17/18

1/10/18

1/3/18

Elements

Gaulish Tribes

Individual Dragons IV (AD&D Chromatic)

Individual Dragons III (AD&D Metallic)

Individual Dragons II

Individual Dragons I

Kajira (Slave girls of Gor)

Perfumes

A Few Noble Families

Heraldry

States of Confusion (Mid-Atlantic)

Clothing of Distinction

Steampunk Jargon

Himalayan Mountaineering

Alternate Americas

Harry Potter Books

Gems and Minerals

Let’s Talk About Christopher

Cooking with Magic

Fantasy Villains

Eurospy

Plague and Pestilence

The Wild West

States of Confusion (New England)

Pern

Superheroes

Cursed Magic Items

Zimiamvia

The Lord of the Things, Part IV

The Lord of the Things, Part III

The Lord of the Things, Part II

The Lord of the Things, Part I

U.S. Cities (East Coast)

Birds

Great Romances

Let’s Talk About Elizabeth

Ski Resorts

Useless Magic Items

Germanic Names

Germanic Towns (Ruritania)

Mythic Animals

2017

12/27/17

12/20/17

12/13/17

12/6/17

11/29/17

11/22/17

11/15/17

11/8/17

11/1/17

10/25/17

10/18/17

10/11/17

10/4/17

9/27/17

9/20/17

9/13/17

9/6/17

8/30/17

8/23/17

8/16/17

8/9/17

8/9/1

7/26/17

7/19/17

7/12/17

7/5/17

6/28/17

6/21/17

6/14/17

6/14/17

6/7/17

Angels

Beers

Star Names II

Star Names I

Imaginary Constellations

Supernatural Beings

Venice or Venus

Fairground Rides

Quaint English Towns

Bogies

Geisterbahn  (Ghost train rides)

Tiamatan Clan Names

Legendary Creatures

Arabian Nights

Useful Magic Items

Houses of Ill Repute

Barbarians

Mundane Fare

Jungle Girls

Dragon Names

Bureaucracies

Inns, Taverns, and Eateries

Secret and Arcane Societies

Civic and Community Organizations

Organizations Clearly Up to No Good

More Magic

Pirates!

Magic Users

… wait, there’s more! (Spells, that is)

Magic

Introduction to Worldbuilding Wednesday