Tag: Names

Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/13/19: Steampunk Characters

Steampunk as a genre got its start with The Difference Engine and The Diamond Age, both set in a alternate world Victorian England. So, it bears to follow that Steampunk characters have English language names that were popular during that time. There are no hippy names like Rainbow or Phoenix in Steampunkland, and neither are …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/6/19: Pumpkin Cuisine

In the past few years, the American consumer knows that Autumn is here by the number of pumpkin-flavored food items that become available. Starbucks has led the charge with its pumpkin-flavored lattes and now (delicious, trust me) pumpkin frappucinos. There are also pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin cereal, and pumpkin M&Ms.  But all this obscures the true …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/30/19: Witches!

Witches are a staple of fantasy and horror fiction. In their broad definition, they mean any kind of magic-using female. But for this list I’m going to use a more narrow definition: the Halloween type of witch, evil, cackling, out to do no good. The kind that brews potions in a big black cauldron and …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/23/19: Torture Devices

Medieval England came up with more than its share of punishment devices. Take the Pear of Anguish pictured above. It’s a speculum, basically, with an extendable pointy thing in the middle which may or may not have been spring-shot. It was inserted in any of the victim’s orifices and splayed them open. The spike then …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/9/19: Apple Varieties

As I discovered when I read Rowan Jacobsen’s Apples of Uncommon Character, a name can make or break an apple type. Heirloom apples were commonly named after who discovered or propagated them or where they were discovered. Such as Ben Davis, McIntosh, and Rome, which came not from Italy but the little town of Rome, Ohio. …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 10/2/19: Roller Coasters

The first roller coasters were not called roller coasters at all. They were known as Russian Mountains and were created in Portugal, not Russia, from mounds of ice piled up by Russian refugees from wars of Ivan the Terrible in the 1600s.  To this day, in Spanish-speaking countries, roller coasters are still known as montaña …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/18/19: Fish

Fish, and sealife in general, tend to get names that relate to their appearance — such as the seahorse  — or behavior, like the fancifully named by-the-wind sailor jellyfish. Sprinkled in are names from foreign sources, like humuhumunukunukuapua’a. Looking for a name for a fish that never was and never will be? Here’s a list. …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/11/19: Silent Movie Stars

The first movie stars to appear were not the glamourous creatures of today. They were experimental subjects, warm bodies whose only requirement was to do what the operator of the camera told them to. They were anonymous for the most part. Some of the earliest experimenters in film, like Georges Melies, used themselves as the …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 9/4/19: Features of New Jersey

As far as strange names goes, the state of New Jersey takes the cake. There are towns named Loveladies and Nutley and features like the Jenny Jump Mountains and Double Trouble State Park. In fact, drive a mile in any direction and you’ll be sure to find one or more oddly named creeks, reservoirs, hills, …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday
States of Confusion 8/28/19:
xxxx (West Coast)

I’ve looked at alternate U.S. states before on this site here and here, but frankly, where things really start to get whacky is on the West Coast. But you knew that, didn’t you? Being the most populous state in the union California tends to get divided up a lot. It seems fresh proposals come down …

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