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Fantasy Race Name

Discussion in 'World Building' started by SamYellek, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. SamYellek

    SamYellek Dreamer

    In my fantasy world I have one other race that coexists with the humans. They are generally pretty similar to humans but have a few noticeable differences.

    To start they have fur covered tails that match their hair, which can come in a few extra colors, like green, blue and purple. And their eye color can be gold, red, purple or black. They are also more hardy on average, having a bit more endurance and stamina than humans. While they aren't usually faster or stronger, they can certainly run farther and last longer. They are also slightly more aggressive on average, and to them fighting is considered a favorite sport.

    I've just been calling this race of people demons. But lately I've been liking that less and less, as it sounds too generic or too overused. I want to rename them, but I keep drawing blanks. So I would love some advice or suggestions and examples of sources of naming inspiration. Thank you.
  2. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    You need at least two names.

    First, you need the 'proper name' for the race, the one people use when they're being polite.

    Second, you need the 'slang name,' the one for casual usage. 'Demons' works well enough, though there will be others.

    Might also be a contracted name derived from geography and physical appearance,
    SamYellek likes this.
  3. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    For me, it would help with the differences between the species. From the outside, the main one could be the tail.
    What do the tails do?
    Are they mainly there for balance when moving? That might help with things like running.
    As a display? Peacock style or flicking about as a communication signal?
    Are they prehensile? An extra hand when needed?
    So depending on how they are perceived by the general public, the names could be friendly, insulting, descriptive, diminutive...
    I like the idea of calling something that could beat me in a fight a Fluffy or a Taily...
    SamYellek likes this.
  4. Miles Lacey

    Miles Lacey Sage

    When I decided to create races for my work in progress after realising that elves, humans and neanderthals no longer cut the grade I thought about a distinguishing characteristic or habitat for each one. A race I had modelled on Polynesians were called Mariners in English. Using Google Translate I found the Samoan word for mariner was fa'ailoa so that's what I called the race.

    The race you need to find a name for has furry tails and love to fight: the latter is a hallmark of a warrior culture so maybe you could call them (in English) tail warriors but that's really boring so find a translation that makes them sound more exotic. Tail warriors in Punjabi is Pūcha jagī. Pūcha by itself would work just as well.
    SamYellek likes this.
  5. Rob Ball

    Rob Ball Acolyte

    As miles said use existing language to start with. I base a lot of my races on old folklore so I go back as far as I can and find a name for that type of creature that is unfamiliar. Bounce through traditions and languages and see if anything strikes your fancy. The description sounds cat like to me so is there a tradition of cat demons somewhere you can borrow from?
    SamYellek likes this.
  6. Rob Ball

    Rob Ball Acolyte

    Also I think Pucha sounds really good.
  7. Futhark

    Futhark Sage

    I often go to Behind the Names website, type in a few meanings, like warrior, tall, stone, whatever; and mash the names I like together.
    SamYellek likes this.
  8. K.S. Crooks

    K.S. Crooks Inkling

    You can use the name of where they are from. Give them a mythical origin and name. Name based on a real animal they are similar. Give them a general characteristic and base their name on the trait, perhaps in another language.
  9. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror


    But seriously, you need to decide the linguistics of your setting first. Otherwise, you’ll get really out of place names or generic names.
    When you know what language the word should sound like, just punch some words in a translator and you’re bound to get something.

    For example, I had a group of guys who were “human but different”. I found out “human” ultimately came from the Latin phrase meaning “earthly beings” and after typing similar words in a translator, I got “Somars” which I felt suited the characters well as it’s linguistically consistent with all the Greek in my setting.
    SamYellek likes this.

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