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Inquiry about some names for kingdoms

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Gurkhal, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

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    I'm in the process of formalizing some ideas for my little world and for it I have come to the point of making names for my nine kingdoms. I was wondering what people might think about the feeling they give. I'm mostly be going to use the ancient Mesoamerica, Egypt and Mesopotamia för inspiration. I want to give them some semblance of connection but not so that they all sound alike and the reader gets a hard time to differentiate between them.

    Inswhara
    Xocanayara
    Kemor
    Duhnir
    Seratti
    Tenahmon
    Zitzaya
    Anshanaka
    Mijawa

    Any and all comments and suggestions are welcome.
     
  2. Wanara009

    Wanara009 Troubadour

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    Out of the list, I found "Inswhara'", "Xocanayara", and "Zitzaya" to blend rather easily if you say it out loud for a while. I think changing them a little so they don't rhyme as well would be a good idea. Then again, I'm pronouncing it with my Indonesian accent, so it might different for other people.

    Good luck and keep up the good work :)
     
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  3. WyrdMystic

    WyrdMystic Inkling

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    I like them. Probably just me, but I struggled with the second one when trying it out in my head. As for feeling, just from the name and solely my opinion and only after a little thought - I get -

    Inswhara – makes me think of trader types, something like Carthage
    Xocanayara - dunno
    Kemor - nothing specific
    Duhnir – industrial warrior types, medieval
    Seratti – serene, peaceful, ritualistic
    Tenahmon – makes me think of pharaohs and slaves
    Zitzaya - exotic
    Anshanaka - exotic
    Mijawa – tribal, ritualistic
     
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  4. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

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    I like the names - they each start with a different letter of the alphabet, which is important in distinguishing them.

    But - nine kingdoms? No plutocracies? Democracies? Dictatorships? Republics? Theocracies? And - NINE? Boy, is your book going to be complicated to read...
     
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  5. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

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    I don't think it's outside the realm of possibilities to have 9 "kingdoms". When you consider mesoamerica (the archetype he's going for) before the Spanish Conquest, there were easily that many small "civilizations" even just in Mexico that all used the same sort of government because they weren't familiar with any other type and it's what worked best for them.

    If the nine kingdoms are each based around a principal city and the constituent villages/holy places, then it is entire conceivable to have them intermeshed into a story and be able to include them all without it feeling "cramped"; though likely the story would center around 2 or 3 and only passively mention the other 6 to build a rich background to the story.
     
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  6. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

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    OK, that would work. Still a challenge, though, to have several countries with identical styles of government. It makes it that bit harder to differentiate them. And if the architecture, clothing, food, religion are the same too - confusathon.
     
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  7. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

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    Thank you. :)

    I've been looking at the names and I think I can see your point and I will think about it. I might for example change Inswhara to Zymara and Zitzaya to Itzaya. While at the same time Xocanayara can become Xocatl.

    Thanks. :) Yes, Xocanayara may be a mouthful and can perhaps be shornted down to Xocatl. Also thanks for telling me what image each of the names invoces. Its very helpful for determining the details of the realms.

    See below

    See below

    Thanks both for your comments. :) Both of you are right and I used the word "kingdom" for general political ententity. There will of course be various different political systems even while some form of leader-figure will be more common than not. I'm thinking about having five different generic systems and then each realm, both the nine big "kingdoms" and smaller realms, that rules them. These will be monarchy, aristocracy, tyranny (or some better word), oligarchy and democracy. A real example might be the Roman republic which could perhaps be described as a democratic aristocracy. Very few "kingdoms" and none of the large will be clear cut this or that.

    Its also correct that each kingdom will essentially be a single city which has various subjugated or allied settlements, towns or smaller cities connected to it through one mean or another. For examples one might look at the Athenian empire, the Carthagenian empire or the Tripple Alliance, also known as the Aztec empire.

    I'm thinking that these nine "kingdoms" are all part of a common culture that has grown up in the area where this is set, but they also have many regional variations of this common culture. It might be something like ancient Egypt in terms of, for example, religion. There is a native solid pantheon and cosmology but they arn't beyond importing some stuff from their neighbours, like the Egyptians brought in Baal, Anath and Astarte during the New Kingdom.

    You are of course right in that if things get to similar it will be difficult to differentiate between them. My hope is however that I will be able to ensure that there will be numerous levels of difference between the nine "kingdoms" and thus make sure that they can be separated and interesting in themselves.

    Don't know if it made things clearer but I hope it did.
     
  8. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

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    But on the other hand Xocatl means choclate in Nahuatl so that's probably a poor word for a city and "kingdom".
     
  9. Leif Notae

    Leif Notae Sage

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    Why would it be? There are many British towns names after the amount of pigs that lived there when it was founded, or the way the river stream flowed when the first man sat down and thought to build there. Besides, it gives your "kingdom" a personality. They harvest chocolate, they work the cocoa bean and it's crucial to their survival.

    Sounds like a great kingdom to me.
     
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  10. WyrdMystic

    WyrdMystic Inkling

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    And how many readers are going to speak Nahuatl?
     
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  11. MadMadys

    MadMadys Troubadour

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    I'm going to do it like WordMystic did because that's a great way to do it. In general, I don't worry so much about how to say the words in my head because after a while, I'll just recognize the word and attach the people, cities, and lands themselves to the word rather than "can I pronounce that?" I think it should be a distinctive word that pops out on the page so when you mention it, the reader knows exactly what you mean. So in that mindset, I'll go through them and tell you what they conjure up in my noggin.

    Inswhara - Sounds more like a town or sacred place than a whole kingdom.
    Xocanayara - I think of a region so this could work.
    Kemor - City.
    Duhnir - "Is it close?" "Duh, near!" Bad pun, sorry. Again, city or town. Doesn't come across 'kingdom-y'
    Seratti - Same as above only without the pun.
    Tenahmon - This makes me picture a person or a particular title.
    Zitzaya - Could be a region or race of people.
    Anshanaka - I know I said I don't care about pronunciation, but drop the third 'a' in there and it's a much more usable word for all sorts of things.
    Mijawa - Could be a people or a kingdom.

    Hope that helps!
     
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  12. Leif Notae

    Leif Notae Sage

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    Does it matter? You don't have to give them a definition because you already defined what they are. Who cares how many people can speak X if you have great character, city, and social depth like this.
     
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  13. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

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    Thanks. I suppose that some theft in this regard can be apporpriate, unless I find some even better Nahutl word of course. :D

    It helps alot! I've also been thinking that Duhnir wasn't really all that good, and neither was Tenahmon. I thin that even if it sounds like a city it could work since we would be talking about city-states rather than proper Medieval kingdoms.

    No, I suppose it don't actually need to mean anything.

    Thanks for all the good advice, please keep it coming if you want. :) I'm gonna re-work the names of the kingdoms and then come back with a new list.
     
  14. WyrdMystic

    WyrdMystic Inkling

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    That was my point :)
     
  15. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    To me, names be it people names, or place names, they need to be reasonable.

    Tstutsonamniads- lots if letters that don't easily work together, its long, so I would reduce it.

    I have used pronunciation promps for more difficult names, so anything can be used.
    Also if it means something in a different language, that is not a problem. Many places are named and might mean something totally different then they were intended in the original language. If you find it means something, its up to you to use that information to benefit your story or totally ignore it. Town names usually mean something to the namers.
     
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  16. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

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    This is of course true and I recon that Xocanayara was a mouthful to much. Otherwise I agree that names usually start with some meaning to them but it also to find a proper meaning.
     
  17. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

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    Well it was some time since I made this topic I reconged that should post the names I've come up with next after reading this thread, just like I said that I would do.

    Ishron
    Kemor
    Charruka (alt. Charrun)
    Seratti
    Tenoktha
    Xocatl
    Anshanka
    Zitzaya
    Mijawa
     
  18. Is the H really necessary? Not sure how to pronouce it. Why not just make it "Inswara"?

    Sounds vaguely Japanese.

    Second A wants to turn mute when I read this. "Xocanyara."

    Sounds Meso-American.

    Not much to say, a decent name.

    Sounds African or middle-eastern.

    Again, does the H serve any purpose? Or it just a more complicated way of writing "Dunir"?

    Sounds Norse.

    Nothing much to comment on.

    Sounds African.

    Another weird H.

    Sounds Japanese.

    I don't think putting a T before a Z is necessary - when spoken, it's going to turn into "Zizaya" anyway.

    Not sure what this sounds like.

    Sounds Japanese.

    Also sounds Japanese.

    I like it. Gives it all a stylistic coherence, and "the Nine Kingdoms" sounds good.

    Eh. It's essentially what Robert Martin went with in SOIAF, right? So, it's definitely doable.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  19. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    oh what the heck...

    Ishron - Sounds almost middle eastern to me. A bit like 'Ishtar', once a prominent goddess of mesopotamia. A grand religious and trade center.

    Kemor - Seems generic to me. I keep wanting to think of it as quasi Celtic for some reason, but that can't be right. Also want to think of it as a seaport, on the north shore of an inland sea.

    Charruka (alt. Charrun) - Middle eastern or south asian. Makes me think of a temple or 'holy city'.

    Seratti - middle eastern. Obscure, at the edge of the desert.

    Tenoktha - African. Desert city, near the edge of the map.

    Xocatl - mesoamerican. An isolated city state, deep in the jungle, with a pyramid at its center.

    Anshanka - middle eastern. Dark. Reminds me of 'Anshur', ancient sumerian deity. A forbidden city, worshipping an otherwise forgotten elder god.

    Zitzaya - mesoamerican again. A trade city, several pyramids, near the seacoast.

    Mijawa - african city, deep in the jungle.
     
  20. MadMadys

    MadMadys Troubadour

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    I'll have another go at this for you!

    Ishron - A city definitely comes to mind. If I had to elaborate, some place in or near a desert.
    Kemor - Could also work as a town but I don't feel 'city' off thing one.
    Charruka (alt. Charrun) - Charruka sounds like a drink that you wake up from wishing you hadn't tried it out. Charrun is more of a name, an odd one, but not really a place.
    Seratti - I could see a divine city or place with this one.
    Tenoktha - Sounds like you just sneezed mid-word.
    Xocatl - Jungle city of lore that probably doesn't exist but... maybe...
    Anshanka - More of a name or god.
    Zitzaya - Sounds like something someone would shout.
    Mijawa - For some reason I think Mogwai off that which in turn makes me not think of a city.

    These give perspective on what an odd functioning brain I have.
     
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