What’s In A Name?

Hello, loyal readers!  As you may well already know, Rowan Blaze and I got into a wonderful discussion surrounding character creation-especially choosing a name for each character. Some people go for the humorous side of names like Hugh’Jass (a body type 4 male Bounty Hunter I met on Nal Hutta when first rolling my PT), DaddyFatSaber, or Smell’mi’phartz (both of these belong to a great guildie of mine). Personally I have always tried to focus on making sure my character names actually have some basis in something else (I tend to steer toward mythology), and from his blog post, it would seem Rowan agrees with me (though his inspiration is not limited to mythology). I have also attempted to keep the inspiration separate between my Republic characters and my Sith characters.

I have broken down the phonetic pronunciation of each character (at least how I say them) beneath the spelling-just in case someone ever wants to talk about my characters to others.

I do want to mention that though I fully support the creation of back stories and role playing, I actually don’t do any of that.  Therefore, unlike Rowan, I do not have a backstory to go along with each character. I find that the back story thrust upon you for each class becomes too rigid to attempt to create a back story for. I will probably think about this, and if I ever come up with something I will post a blog post about them-probably sometime during the month of August.

Tanks

I have always wanted the names of my Tanks to be synonymous with demonic destruction-a name that literally meant death, destruction, or something to that affect. This can be easier said than done.

DikarZloney

(DEE-car za-LONE-ee)

Let’s start with the first character I had ever created on an MMO, DikarZloney. I don’t have a screenshot for this Assassin because I have deleted him long ago. He was a male Zabrak with crimson skin and several horns surrounding his head and on his temples. I had Dikar decked out in Aim, Cunning, and Strength (notice a lack of Willpower?). I actually stopped playing Dikar on Tatooine because I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. The name, however, does have a lot of meaning. In keeping with the theme of Sith Zabraks from Maul and the Clone Wars, I was looking for something that would be similar. Dikar means “savage” in Russian, and Zloney means “beast” in Russian. Therefore Dikar’s name was translated as Savage Beast.

IMG_0005

Zernebog

(ZUR-nah-bog)

Since I had such a difficult time with the Assassin, I began reading A LOT about tanking and the classes. Dikar was way too far gone to try again, so I rolled another male Zabrak, but this time as a warrior (Juggernaut). I started looking into more options for Judeo-Christian demonic names to use for Zernebog to no avail. I finally found a reference to the Black God of Slavic mythology, Chernobog.  Though Chernobog was already taken, the reference I found listed several variations on the transliteration of Chernobog. Zernebog ended up being the variant that was available on Ebon Hawk.

Ja'rilo 27

Ja’rilo

(JAH-rill-oh)

Like many players, I had to change the construction of this name since it was unavailable in its normal form (Jarilo). This is my lowest leveled tank for the time being and is a male Cathar that I modeled off my own Maine Coon cat. Jarilo is the God of War in Slavic mythology so it seemed appropriate to make my Powertech tank of this name.

Awwim 1

Awwim

(AH-whim)

Awwim breaks the mold completely. First, she is my only female tank (blue Twi’lek-male Twi’leks look weird to me). Secondly, she is a Republic tank (Shadow). Finally, Awwim does not come from Slavic mythology but rather from Judeo-Christian book of Enoch. Awwim is actually the collective name for all the Watcheds and has been translated as “the Devastators”.

Healers

Dodola (2)

Dodola

(doe-DOE-la)

I only have one healer presently-a female Ratataki Corruption Sorcerer named Dodola. Dodola also comes from Slavic mythology (notice a theme here?) and is the bringer of rain-so kind of like a Rain Goddess. This reminded me of the Thunderstorms we get in the American Midwest that are key for the production of crops. I know it’s a little bit of a stretch, but I am happy with the name. Besides, the goddess of rebirth and healing in Slavic mythology was already taken on Ebon Hawk. Though I could use an alt code for a special character or add an apostrophe, I just chose a different name.

One thing that I thought incredible is that I have actually been asked twice about my character names. Once while I was healing on Dodola a Serbian Marauder asked if the name came from Slavic mythology, and I had another person approach me on Twitter about the name Zernebog coming from Chernobog and siting Slavic mythology. I was later informed this person was also Serbian. I love it when people recognize the origins!

So what is your strategy when choosing character names?  Do you have a particular character name you are especially proud of?  Would you rather see humorous names or names that come about like mine or Rowan’s?  Or do you come up with a single name and place alt codes for special characters or add a character to the end of a base name to differentiate your characters?

Advertisements
Standard

21 thoughts on “What’s In A Name?

  1. nice nice. i usually just tend to pick/make up names that sound like they fit the particular toon i’m creating. that and i have a bunch of repeat names i use in multiple games (Lorhin, Sashel, Shylar). i don’t give my toons silly names like Smell’mi’phartz, but i guess sometimes their names might end up sounding weird (ie. Slaff, my human male dps scoundrel). and then there’s times when my brain shuts down or all the names i think of are taken, so the random name generator button gets mashed about 50 times before i find a suitable label.

    Like

  2. I think it’s nice that you try to give so much thought to your characters’ names (even if I joked about the way I read Dikarz’ name when you first mentioned it). I’m a firm believer that everyone should be able to name their characters what they want, but at the same time I’m a bit of a name snob to be honest and will judge you quite harshly if I think your name is bad (at least on first impression). One of my guildies, an elderly guy no less, has the “Smelzbad” legacy and all his characters have names like “Dershiz”… I don’t think I’ll ever get over that!

    At the same time, trying to get overly clever with names can backfire as well, when you misspell things or use foreign language words in a strange manner. (For example as a German speaker, some of Rowan’s character names made me cringe a little.) I think my favourite names are connections of random syllables that don’t sound like any real words (that I recognise at least)!

    Like

    • Oh I’d like to know which names and why. I assume you’re referring to the two German ones, or maybe my German TSW character. Names and meanings are important to me, but I confess that I used Google Translate to come up with those.

      Like

      • Yeah, I was referring to the post you made about your SWTOR characters. There’s nothing terribly wrong with any of them, it’s just… I don’t know about you, but in English I wouldn’t name a character Hidden for example. Translated, it may seem like a cool name with a hidden meaning to a someone who doesn’t speak the language, but to someone who does it’s just a plain adjective and an odd choice for a name. Also, Tollkirsche is grammatically female and giving that name to a male character feels odd. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I can certainly understand a native speaker looking at a lot of names and wondering what is wrong with people because a name doesn’t follow the grammatical rules of their mutter spreche (I know I forgot umlaut). As an American the knowledge of multiple languages is not something ingrained in our culture (though my opinion is that it should be and I have been too lazy to become fluent in any other language). Also, the fact that all nouns have a gender in many languages is difficult to understand for Americans because English is devoid of gendered nouns. I can speak some very basic Deutsch, and I can recite the German alphabet and count, I think I remember the four conjugations of articles depending on case, and I can recite the dative prepositions, but sadly that is all I have retained from my two years of German in High School.

        Sorry, a bit off subject. I tend to look more at ancient religions for inspiration because I am a historian I think (okay-still working on a Bachelor’s degree in European History). I really love you brought this point up, though, Shintar!

        Like

      • Yes, Versteckt was meant to be his code name, his real name is Gideon. I was aware that Tollkirche is feminine (much like one English name for the plant “belladonna”), and the character was meant to be so originally. I’m not sure at this point why I made him male. You’ll probably be mad when I talk about Weiden. Thanks for the insights.

        Like

  3. I am a big, unrepentant naming snob. No shame about it. “Funny” names on PVE/PVP servers – I roll my eyes about how “oh so original!” the creator was and then move on. On an RP realm, though? Yeah, give me the slightest reason and I’ll report your ass for being against the naming-conventions. Yeah, yeah, humourless spoilsport, yadda-yadda-boohoohoo.

    That said, my own naming is inspired mainly by mythology and/or neat sounding foreign language words ( warning: look up their meaning! *cough*) I rarely use them as is, though. Normally I fiddle around with them a bit, change letters around, add or substract syllables, throw them to the anagram makers…

    Or, you know, sometimes a name just pops into my head and demands I make a character for it. Strange things happen… 😀

    Like

    • I understand this mentality. I usually take a second to throw a quick /whisper to the owner with “Nice name!” before continuing on. RP is a little different-especially on Ebon Hawk since the server started as an RP/PvE server (at least when I started back during Titans of Industry). It has since become an RP server, but I don’t want to pay to transfer all my toons and I love playing with my guildies (none of us really RP). I do like the idea of changing words to form names though. Adding or subtracting syllables or letters pulls the meaning away and creates a great name that can stand alone.

      Speaking of not really understanding gendered nouns, I have a funny story. I was in my French II class senior year of High School. A question was asked where the answer was “the kitten”. I raised my hand and answered, but my instructor’s face turned bright red. Turns out that I used the wrong gender article and instead of saying “the kitten”, I referred to a particular part of the female anatomy.

      Like

  4. tyrannodorkus says:

    I like to see really good pun names (the more they make me groan, the better), but I try to stick with a stable of names I use across games. I tend to keep them serious or with meaning, and try and keep them to something I think is within the tone of the setting. I’ve had a few funny names, but those characters don’t stay around for long.

    Like

    • I only play SW:TOR currently so the names pretty much stay as is. Now when I begin rolling on The Harbringer and Jedi Covenant, I will probably name my first toon Zernebog to keep with the theme, but I will turn to other mythology to name other Pub/Imp toons. I like to use mythology, but I really don’t like using Greek/Roman/Egyptian mythological characters because they have been used SOOOOOOOO much! Overused, in fact.

      Thanks for stopping by, Tyrannodorkus! I’m glad to see you stop by!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Eternal Shad says:

    I must be the odd one. I found an online name generator that I use faithfully. It helps me give my characters names when I roll a new one. They have all the generators for any game you can imagine, and I use the SWTOR one for all species listed. They even added the unreleased Togruta,but yeah I’ve ran across a few strange ones like “Theeznuts”, and “Sirstabsalot” I really don’t think these people realize how funny their names appear to others, or just don’t care, and troll away in SWTOR.

    Like

    • I’ve seen every variation of “These nuts (and/or balls)” imaginable. I’m not a naming nazi, but when I see those I immediately shut down Gen Chat because I know it’s just a bunch of trolls. I need to find a way to expose all those trolls to sunlight!

      Like

  6. I check out baby naming sites, then jump around variations until I find one that either works, or that I can add an extra letter to without messing it up. I went into mythology a few times but so many of those names are taken!

    Like

  7. An interesting idea you and Rowan have. I may need to do this at some point with my other games.

    For me, I like to try to keep names as lore-based as possible. I’m one of those folks that semi-RPs their characters. They’re me, but they’re not. And as I reuse names, those names come to have a specific personality. All of my “Jhisalith” characters, for instance, are snarky bad-ass ladies who don’t particularly care for authority.

    Thanks for the blog post idea! ^_^

    Like

    • Hey! Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad I was able to make you think about names. Now that I have embodied this personality, I think I will end up with a Zernebog no matter what game or server. I guess when we become identified by a particular name it just sticks.

      Like

    • I find that most games (LOTRO and STO being notable exceptions) have rather thin naming lore. In the past, I have stuck with plant names partly because they often transfer well into whatever game I am playing without seeming too out of place. Granted that as seen above, that partly depends on which what language you might be speaking. I look forward to seeing your post.

      Like

  8. Pingback: Pixels by any other name | The Iron Dagger

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s