More name games

Discussion in 'World Building' started by skip.knox, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

    OK, I got another one for you.

    First, quick background on elves. They came to Europa when Atlantis broke apart and sank. They were scattered as a people, landing all up and down the western seaboard. Yes, in just those areas that are Celtic in our world. But they fractured even further, choosing certain ways of living that came to define them over the ensuing centuries. So, for example, there are fisher elves.

    One group became travelers. They are known as the Totally-Not-Gypsies-That's-For-Sure people. I shift some stuff around--most notably, they are not social pariahs.

    Anyway, I have some name candidates for these people, at least for the French version of them:

    I was actually pretty happy with the third one, not wanting to inflict too many "foreign" words on my readers, but then I read a David Eddings book and by golly there's some Wagoneers. Not the same kind of folk, but the word is there.

    Do you have preferences? My second pick is Routiers because it doesn't immediately connect in English, but does after a bit of reflection. I had hesitated because routiers during the Hundred Years War were bandits of the worst kind--unemployed mercenaries. Some real bad hombres, uh-huh. But then I looked at modern French and routier basically just means truck driver. The bad connotations are all gone.

    Voyageur is third choice. Serviceable, but it makes me think of fur trappers, so there you go. I don't know why I'm struggling with words on this project. They came pretty easily with Goblins.

    Any preferences?
  2. elemtilas

    elemtilas Mystagogue

    It's not like he owns the word. It's a perfectly serviceable English word for people that drive waggons. As you tell your story, I'm sure your readers (if they have even read the Eddings book in question (I have not, I think, though I read some of his books years and years ago)) will not confuse the two.

    I kind of like the sound of Routiers. Just explain what it meant by the name and all should be well!
    skip.knox likes this.
  3. psychotick

    psychotick Dark Lord


    Are you completely wedded to the idea that it has to be one of these three? Because your favourite "wagoneers" doesn't thrill me and the other two confuse me. (Not a French speaker so that may be a part of it.) Could I suggest Caravaneers? Its actually a term for someone who leads a caravan.

    Cheers, Greg.
    skip.knox likes this.
  4. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

    Caravaneer is serviceable. Maybe one too many syllables (too many notes!).

    The original Persian is karwan, which might be transformed in some way. Karwaneers. Karwaners. Karwani. Karwans. The word has to be flexible enough to indicate either a particular wagon train ("let us return to the karwan") or the people who travel in them ("look, Pa, karwaneers!)

    Still thinking....
  5. Futhark

    Futhark Lore Master

    '..carruca, a four-wheeled wagon, and the carrus, a four-wheeled goods wagon. The essedum was a war chariot...'

    A Brief History of the Celts - Peter Berresford Ellis - Google Books.

    Just saying, if the elves influenced the Celts, then maybe some of their old names might be appropriate.
    Oh, I enjoyed 'The Carrotfinger Man'. Congratulations.
    skip.knox likes this.
  6. Draconianwriting

    Draconianwriting Apprentice

    comitatum, meaning caravan in Latin. see if you can screw with the lettering to make it sound like a group of people or profession. or possibly just take the word caravan and put it into google translate in some other language. comitaem could possibly work
  7. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

    Thanks, Draconianwriting. I may have other uses for comitatus. I should have posted here--I did find a satisfactory word. Caravan comes from the Persian karwan, a word that is close enough phonetically to be suggestive while different enough orthographically to be unique. I've been auditioning it and it feels about right.

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