14 November 2012

Umathing Names

Female Names

Female names usually stem from two juxtaposed words, one denoting the expected character of the child — an adjective — and another one with a reassuring or a religious meaning.

1st word
Fair, happy, clear, blessed, gentle, good, faithful, bountiful, snowy, kind, peaceful.
2nd word
Blessing, gift, home, grace, faith, hope, earth, land, love, wind, rain, season.

The juxtaposition of the two words may hence end up in Umathing female names such as Fair-season, Blessed-home, Snowy-land, etc.
 Male Names

Boys are given disparaging names until their coming-of-age ceremony; this is supposedly to fool evil spirits: why would a spirit harm a boy who isn't loved by his parents?
Names such as dick-head, piece-o'-shit, ugly-toad, fart-breath, troll's-crap, etc are very common.
Upon reaching adulthood (at about 13) boys are given their real name, which, like female names, consists in two words, again according to the adjective+noun pattern, except that these are now bombastic or warlike names:

1st word
Young, firm, glorious, famous, cunning, high, angry, healthy, rich, sharp, long, strong, fierce, heavy, wild, free.
2nd word
Man, fate, fighter, warrior, honour, vengeance, sword, spear, wolf, bear, storm, thunder, cold.

Rulers and leaders, like clan chieftains or rune priests, usually have a name made up by a sentence containing the name of their deity, e.g., Tyloque-drives-my-arm or Eler-floods-my-enemies.

Delvers usually have a nom de guerre. Reasons for bearing a pseudonym vary:

  1. Tomb robbers don't want to be known by their real name. Any living relatives of the entombed may be upset. And you don't want to upset a God-Learner.
  2. Mercenaries in the employ of the various Malki robber barons want to protect their kinsmen from any retaliatory actions by the relatives of their victims.
  3. Umathing names can be difficult to pronounce [this post provides mere English translations], so Umathings who operate in a Malki environment end up using an easy-to-pronounce nickname.
  4. Umathing society is extremely conservative and traditional. Choosing a new name is a way for an Umathing delver to show that he has severed all ties with his previous life.
For all the reasons listed above, delvers' pseudonyms are short and easy to pronounce.

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