Tag Archive: Names

Feb 21

Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/21/18: Birds

Astranci by Caelicorn on deviantART

Astranci, by Caelicorn   It’s pretty easy to name a new species of bird. Their beaks and tails adhere to certain shapes, and body parts such as eyes, breasts, and wings share certain features also. Their habitats name them, as well as their food, calls, and mating behavior. So if you want some fictional avian …

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Feb 14

Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/14/18: Great Romances

Guinevere’s getting ideas   Sometimes, when writing fantasy SF, or some mixture of both skewed sideways and viewed through a mirror, a writer likes to be clever and insert some obviously intentional fictional replacement for a real-world person, place, or thing. For example, Poppy Z. Brite’s novella Plastic Jesus was about a 1960s rock band …

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Feb 07

Worldbuilding Wednesday 2/7/18: Let’s Talk About Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth I of England

Elizabeth the I: Powerful and regal.   Elizabeth remains one of the more popular girls’ name in the USA. The name originated from the Hebrew Elisheva or Elisheba, translated into Greek as Elisabet. In its classic English form, Elizabeth,  is classic, stately, and elegant. Derivations include the popular Isabel, Elise, and Bella; there are also …

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Jan 31

Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/31/18: Ski Resorts

A climate-controlled ski resort for global warming.   From Central Europe we move to winter sports, specifically, ski resorts. (Of course, snowboarding, ice skating, and cross-country skiiing are offered as well.) These, in Canada and the U.S. at least, tend towards a certain blandness when not named after local mountains or Native American tribes. By …

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Jan 17

Worldbuilding Wednesday 1/17/18: Germanic Names

Returning to Ruritania, Germanic names, and fictional European countries again… There are really a lot of them, evidenced by this list on Wikipedia. I was blown away, actually. Some highlights: Animation has its share, evidenced by the fictional country of Cagliostro, in which Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, Hayao Miyazaki’s debut anime movie is …

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Dec 20

Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/20/17: Beers

dwarf drinking beer

Who doesn’t like a strong draft of beer?   Beer brewing is one of the most ancient of arts. Evidence exists for it in writing dating far back to 5000 BCE in Egypt and Mesopotamia. It went into eclipse during the days of the Roman Empire with its taste for wine; but came back in …

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Dec 13

Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/13/17: Star Names II

Distinctive stars have distinctive names. Polaris, for example, is also known as the Pole Star, and at various places in its past Angel Stern, Cynosura, the Lodestar, and The Star of Arcady. Arcturus was known as Guardian of the Bear to the ancient Greeks. Constellation descriptions in old astronomical catalogs give descriptions such as “Regulus, …

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Dec 06

Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/6/17: Star Names I

Hyades star cluster in Taurus

Not only did ancient peoples look to the night sky’s constellations as cultural touchstones, they also looked to individual stars. The star Thuban helped the Egyptians align their pyramids, and Sirius, when it rose at dawn, let them know the flooding of the Nile was soon to come. The stars of the Pleiades star cluster …

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Nov 29

Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/29/17: Imaginary Constellations

In a pre-industrial society, stars and constellations had more impact on the viewer because there was less light pollution. Pictures could be traced, paths, and stories, all providing a commonality among members of a tribe or society. One common example is the constellation of the Big Dipper, or Ursa Major, imagined by many ancient cultures …

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Nov 22

Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/22/17: Supernatural Beings

  There are all sorts of fairies, elementals, grues, demons, devils, angels, nature spirits, and the like in fantasy. Often they serve a purpose in the story, and just as often they are there for window dressing, like the offhand mentions of pookas or kelpies causing trouble. In fact, things wouldn’t be the same if …

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