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.

 

2024

4/10/24

4/3/24

3/27/24

3/20/24

3/13/24

3/6/24

2/28/24

2/21/24

2/14/24

2/7/24

1/31/24

1/17/24

1/10/24

1/4/24

Hamsters

Papua New Guinea Names

Shades of Red

SFF Theme Burgers (ChatGPT)

States of Confusion (Great Lakes)

Danish Dog Names

Romantasy Novels

Classical Greek Names (Male)

Love Magic

Classical Greek Names (Female)

Shades of Purple

Hawaiian Cocktails (Chat GPT)

Greek Islands

Best of Twittersnips 2023 (Magic Items)

 

2023

12/27/23

12/20/23

12/13/23

12/6/23

11/29/23

11/22/23

11/14/23

11/01/23

10/25/23

10/4/23

9/27/23

9/20/23

9/6/23

8/30/23

8/23/23

8/16/23

8/9/23

8/2/23

7/26/23

7/19/23

7/5/23

6/28/23

6/14/23

5/17/23

5/10/23

5/3/23

4/26/23

4/19/23

4/12/23

4/5/23

3/29/23

3/22/23

3/15/23

3/1/23

2/15/23

2/8/23

1/25/23

1/18/23

1/11/23

1/4/2023

Best of Twittersnips 2023 (Spells)

German Christmas Cookies

Species of Santa

Magic Spells of Ancient Greece

Magic Items of Ancient Greece

Myths of Ancient Greece

Venus and Mars

Ultraman Kaiju I

Vampires Around the World

Welsh II

Welsh I

Shades of Orange

Let’s Talk About Bism (Narnia XLX)

Glenstorm and His Sons (Narnia XLIX)

Centaurides (Narnia XLVIII)

Centaurs (Narnia XLVII)

Narnian Inns (Narnia XLVI)

The House of Caspian (Narnia XLV)

Rilian’s Brothers (XLIV)

From the Spellbook of the Green Witch (Narnia XLIII)

From the Spellbook of the White Witch (Narnia XLII)

Elegant Es

Dickensian Twists

Let’s Talk About Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin Songs

Hungarian Names

Shades of Yellow

Shades of Green

Dark Acadamia (Secret Societies)

Dark Acadamia (Schools)

Dark Acadamia (Campus Locations)

States of Confusion: The Wild West

Cults

The Best of Twittersnips: Plants

House of the Dragon (Dragons)

House of the Dragon (People)

States of Confusion (Southwestern States)

Tokusatsu Shows of the 1970s

Jewish Delis

Best of Twittersnips 2022 (Magic Items)

 

2022

12/28/22

12/21/20

12/14/22

12/7/22

11/30/22

11/23/22

11/16/22

10/26/22

10/12/22

10/5/22

9/28/22

9/21/22

9/14/22

9/7/22

8/17/22

8/10/22

8/3/22

7/27/22

7/20/22

7/13/22

7/6/22

6/29/22

6/22/22

6/15/22

6/8/22

6/1/22

5/25/22

5/18/22

5/11/22

5/4/22

4/27/22

4/20/22

4/13/22

4/6/22

3/30/22

3/23/22

3/16/22

3/9/22

3/2/22

2/23/22

2/16/22

2/9/22

2/2/22

1/26/22

1/19/22

1/12/22

1/5/22

Best of Twittersnips 2022 (Spells)

Christmas Cocktails

Christmas Traditions Around the World

Magic Spells of Ancient Egypt

Magic Items of Ancient Egypt

Names of Ancient Egypt

Let’s Talk About -ling

Hogwarts Houses

Those Damned Ds

Haircuts (Silly)

Nautical Slang

Complicated Magic

Deep Sky Objects

Galaxies

Nymphs and Satyrs II (Narnia XLI)

Nymphs and Satyrs I (Narnia XL)

Mythical Lions (Narnia XXXIX)

Other Mythical Creatures of Narnia (Narnia XXXVIII)

Narnian Female Names (Narnia XXXVII)

Flowers of Narnia (XXXVI)

Narnian Desserts (Narnia XXXV)

More Narnian Magic (Narnia XXXIV)

Gods of Calormen (Narnia XXXIII)

Queen Swanwhite’s Descendants (Narnia XXXII)

Narnian Magic (Narnia XXXI)

People of Calormen  (Narnia XXX)

Let’s Talk About Dumbledore

Comic and Crunchtastic Cs

Random Playlist Songs

Canadian Provinces

The Best of Twittersnips (Cocktails)

Recreational Drugs (Fantasy)

Undead Magic

English Folk Beings

Shunned Locations (Lovecraft IV)

Shady Characters (Lovecraft III)

Great Old Ones (Lovecraft II)

Blasphemous Books (Lovecraft I)

Battle of the Gargantuas (SyFy Monster Movies)

Chimerae

The Witcher

Let’s Talk About -stan

Emotions You Never Knew You Had

Highfalutin’ Magic Rings

The Best of Twittersnips (Playing in Another’s Sandbox)

Mermaids

Ladies of Arthurian Romance

 

2021

12/29/21

12/22/21

12/15/21

12/8/21

12/1/21

11/24/21

11/17/21

11/10/21

11/3/21

10/27/21

10/20/21

10/13/21

10/6/21

9/29/21

9/22/21

9/15/21

9/8/21

9/1/21

8/25/21

8/18/21

8/11/21

8/4/21

7/28/21

7/21/21

7/14/21

7/7/21

6/30/21

6/23/21

6/16/21

6/9/21

6/2/21

5/26/21

5/19/21

5/12/21

5/5/21

4/28/21

4/21/21

4/14/21

4/7/21

3/31/21

3/24/21

3/17/21

3/10/21

3/3/2021

2/17/2021

2/10/2021

2/3/2021

1/27/2021

1/20/2021

1/13/21

1/6/2021

Twittersnips 2021 (Spells and Magic Items)

The Best of Twittersnips (Christmas)

Knights of the Round Table

Let’s Talk About Camelot

The Best of Twittersnips (Real World Locations)

Russian Names

States of Confusion (Heart of Dixie)

The Flat Earth

Russian Palaces

Horror Movies

The Best of Twittersnips  (Fairy Tales)

The Best of Twittersnips  (Local Color I)

Insects

Bodacious Bs

The Best of Twittersnips  (Narnian Creatures)

National Parks

Models of the 1960s

Charnian Names (Narnia XXIX)

The Sister of Jadis  (Narnia XXVIII)

Narnian Horse Names  (Narnia XXVII)

Narnian Islands  (Narnia XXVI)

Let’s Talk About Cair Paravel (Narnia XXV)

Places in Narnia  (Narnia XXIV)

Coriakin’s Magic Book  (Narnia XXIII)

Witches of the North  (Narnia XXII)

Seals of the Seven Lords  (Narnia XXI)

The Green Witch  (Narnia XX)

The Twins of Archenland  (Narnia XIX)

Gallic Chieftains (Narnia XVIII)

Let’s Heat It for the As

The Best of Twittersnips (Mythical Beings)

Strawberry Shortcake Dolls

Beatles Songs

Druid Magic

The Best of Twittersnips  (B-Movie Madness)

Supermarkets

Fill Your Bookshelf

The Best of Twittersnips (Animals)

Atompunk Computers

Atompunk Robots

Anarres and Urras

The Best of Twittersnips (Off the Map)

Let’s Talk About Wakanda

Fairy Tales III

Fairy Tales II

Fairy Tales I

Blues Singers

Let’s Talk About Shakespeare

Animal Magic

Ancient Empires

Teen Movies of the 1980s

 

2020

12/30/20

12/23/20

12/16/20

12/9/20

12/2/20

11/28/20

11/18/20

11/11/20

11/4/20

10/28/20

10/21/20

10/14/20

10/7/20

9/23/20

9/16/20

9/9/20

9/2/20

8/26/20

8/19/20

8/12/20

8/5/20

7/29/20

7/22/20

7/15/20

7/8/20

7/1/20

6/24/20

6/17/20

6/10/20

6/3/20

5/27/20

5/20/20

5/13/30

5/6/20

4/29/20

4/22/20

4/15/20

4/8/20

4/1/20

3/25/20

3/18/20

3/11/20

3/4/20

2/26/20

2/19/20

2/12/20

2/5/20

1/29/20

1/22/20

1/15/20

1/8/20

1/1/20

The Best of Twittersnips (SFF Novels)

Christmas Songs

Christmas Characters

Healing Herbs

States of Confusion (Gulf Coast)

Scooby-Doo

Rock Bands

The Best of Twittersnips (Crime Novels)

Military Division Nicknames

Solomon’s Demons

Halloween Costumes 2020

The Best of Twittersnips (Food and drink)

Cocktails

Narnia XVII (Narnia continued)

Narnia XVI (Calormen local color)

Narnia XV  (Other Countries of Narnia)

Narnia XIV  (The Last Battle)

Narnia XIII:  Let’s Talk About Charn

Narnia XII  (The Magician’s Nephew)

Narnia XI  (The Horse and His Boy)

Narnia X  (The Silver Chair)

Narnia IX:  Let’s Talk About Telmar

Narnia VIII:  Let’s Talk About Queen Prunaprismia

Narnia VII  (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader)

Narnia VI  (More Mythological Creatures)

Narnia V  (Mythological Beings)

Narnia IV  (More Narnian Creatures)

Narnia III  (Narnian Creatures)

Narnia II   (Prince Caspian)

Narnia I   (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)

The Best of Twittersnips (Magic Items, Part 2)

The Best of Twittersnips (Magic Items, Part 1)

The Best of Twittersnips (Magical Clothing and Accessories)

Let’s Talk About Princess Irulan and Her Sisters

Military Slang, Part III

Military Slang, Part II

Military Slang, Part I

The Best of Twittersnips (Potions)

Unlikely Animals

Big Cat Hybrids

Carnivores

Vampire Novels

The Best of Twittersnips (Magic Weapons)

Transformers Porn (Transformers IV)

Female Transformers (Transformers III)

Rejected Transformers (Transformers II)

Transformers (Transformers I)

Minor Magic Spells

Malls

Martial Arts Movies

Nail Polish

Video Games

 

2019

12/25/19

12/18/19

12/11/19

12/4/19

11/27/19

11/20/19

11/13/19

11/6/19

10/30/19

10/23/19

10/16/19

10/9/19

10/2/19

9/25/19

9/18/19

9/11/19

9/4/19

8/28/19

8/21/19

8/14/19

8/7/19

7/31/19

7/24/19

7/17/19

7/10/19

7/3/19

6/26/19

6/19/19

6/12/19

6/5/19

5/29/19

5/22/19

5/15/19

5/8/19

5/1/19

4/24/19

4/17/19

4/10/19

4/3/19

3/27/19

3/20/19

3/13/19

3/6/19

2/27/19

2/13/19

2/6/19

1/30/19

1/23/19

1/16/19

1/9/19

1/2/19

The Best of Twittersnips (Spells II)

The Best of Twittersnips (Spells I)

Christmas Scents

Birth Signs

Let’s Talk About Aphrodite

Minor Magical Items

Steampunk Characters

Pumpkin Cuisine

Witches!

Torture Devices

Elfquest

Apple Varieties

Roller Coasters

Melniboné

Fish

Silent Movie Stars

Features of New Jersey

States of Confusion (West Coast)

Let’s Talk About Elric

Trendy Scented Candles

Let’s Talk About Cleopatra

Detective Novels

The Best of Twittersnips II (Characters)

The Best of Twittersnips I (Characters)

Arabian nights Tales II

Arabian nights Tales I

Parts of the Brain

Rare Dog Breeds

Coffee Blends

A Land Fit for Heroes (Naom)

1960s Exploitation Films

Nouveau Cuisine

States of Confusion (The American Heartland)

More Steampunk Novels

Deadly Snakes

Madeleine L’Engle

Lapine II

Lapine I

Steampunk Novels

Superheroines

Cetaceans

Fashion Houses

Short and Sweet

Let’s Talk About Chicago

Wicked Women of the Bible

Old Dudes from the Bible

Pokemon

Ice Cream Flavors

Exotic Vegetables

Fantasy Fruits

Savage Queens

2018

12/26/18

12/19/18

12/12/18

12/5/18

11/28/18

11/21/18

11/14/18

11/7/18

10/31/18

10/24/18

10/17/18

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

Santa’s Bad Elves

Santa’s Elves

Water Parks

Atlantis

YA Novels

Archaic Clothing

Tarot Cards

Let’s Talk About the Kardashians

Gothic Mansions

Halloween Costumes

Let’s Talk About Salt Lake City

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