Let’s get to know more about the setting of my upcoming novel, A Bridge To The Quiet Planet. It’s out late this fall but you can find out about the world now . . .
The various countries and regions of Telvaren have had many naming traditions over the years. Many of them still exist in one form or another, even if in honorifics. However, certain naming trends dominate the culture.
A person one meets on Telvaren or its associated worlds may have a name like Scintilla Ferr-Orbil or Marigold Rel-Domau. The name of most citizens is in three parts:
The first name is almost always an object, phenomena, or thing with some meaning to the parents, family, culture, or community. The sources of these vary widely, and most everyone has a “why I got this name” story, some of which aren’t humiliating.
Common sources are:
- Family traditions, often on certain objects – plants, stones, weapons, etc.
- Meaningful items – An author may name a child “Papyrus,” a doctor may name a child “Remedy.”
- An occurrence of birth – A child born during a storm may be named “Rain” or “Lightning.”
- Items relevant to an important god – A child born to a worshipper of Ivonau, the god of magic, might be called “Rune” or “Grimoire.”
The second paired names are matrilineal. The first is the matrilineal name of the mother, the second the matrilineal name of the father.
- Marogld Rel-Domau is the daughter of mother Lyric Rel-Kaber and father Key Domau-Jobal.
- Scintilla Ferr-Orbil is the daughter of mother Joyful Ferr-Bistrain and Thunder Orbil-Mizra
Most people refer to each other by both last names, though it’s not unacceptable to merely use the maternal name in casual conversation.
There are still variants on this common name that occur for certain reasons:
- Traditional first names. Some people or families use names in older languages, family traditions, or due to regional trends. This you may meet someone with a name like Gyra Trell-Ozmi whos family uses old traditional names (in this case Northern ones)
- Traditional last names. This is far rarer, but a rare and decreasing amount of people have single last names due to regional or family tradition. This is usually seem in Central and at times Western regions, but is also known on the world of Lindhaem. An example of a very traditional name would be Shalen Vynne – though there is some potential confusion . . .
- Estrangement. Some people due to estrangement from one side of a family or other reject the last name of one of their parents and go with a single name. This is seen as a complete disownment of that family and would be considered a massive insult. An example would be Beacon Rindle – whose use of modern first names with a single last name hints at estrangement.
The Origin Of Modern Naming
The current way of naming children is not new – it originated from the common Western and Southern way of naming children. This had spread to some Central and Norther regions. What made it far more popular was the War and then popular culture.
Having a way to easily refer to people’s lineage was made necessary during the devastation of The War. Simply treating last names as a way to track both sides of the family was remarkably convenient, and became popular in the evolving Government and Military – the Military was especially enthused about it for the sake of ease.
The establishment of The Government and a relatively unified culture among the future Great Cities helped further this naming tradition. The various cities that became The Great Cities had a great deal of cultural and economic commerce anyway, and in some ways had more common culture than their countries. The Network in its Second and Third forms also propigated common culture.
Finally, true popular, global culture evolved in the last one hundred years. A few major Great Cities – most notably Sabillion, but also the Theopolis of Triad True and the academic powerhouse of Brightguard – had an outsides influence on culture. This also spread common naming ideas making them more common.