Tag: Names

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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Worldbuilding Wednesday 8/21/19: Let’s Talk About Elric

Elric of Melniboné, that is. Elric was a creation of SFF writer Michael Moorcock and made his first appearance in 1961, in a novella titled “The Dreaming City” in the pages of Science Fantasy magazine. More stories followed later in the 1960s and eventually they were compiled, with added material and edits, into a a …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 8/14/19: Trendy Scented Candles

Yankee Candles, the granddaddy of all candle companies, was founded in 1969 by New Englander Michael Kittredge, who melted Crayola crayons together to make a candle for his mom. His company grew throughout the 1970s, given a strong push in the U.S. by hippie aesthetics and the back-to-earth-movement, to become the flagship giant it is …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 8/7/19: Let’s Talk About
xxxxCleopatra

The name Cleopatra conjures up images of an exotic Egyptian beauty, an ancient dynasty, a scheming queen, a seductress. In movies she’s been played by Elizabeth Taylor, Claudette Colbert, Vivien Leigh, Joan Collins,  and Theda Bara; and to this day she remains a popular Halloween and performing persona for celebrities like Katy Perry, Heidi Klum, …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 7/31/19: Detective Novels

The gruff private eye who investigated crimes with a world-weary cynicism had his start with author Dashiell Hammett amidst the throes of Prohibition when organized crime ran amok. Paperbook books began to be widely available in the decade after, and the two combined for masterpieces of vintage kitsch like the above (actual) novel by Fredric …

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