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Naming a Fantasy World

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Black Dragon, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. AlexanderMiracoure

    AlexanderMiracoure Acolyte

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    When it came time for me to name my world, I decided that I'd like to tie said name into the lore and mythology of the world. So I looked at my creation story:
    The Greatest of Gods, Father to All, Ivranar, spun himself into the world so as to give his children a place to practice their arts, under the rule that 'that which they create, they must not interfere with, and instead let it go on living as it wishes.'
    Then I thought, okay, well if the world itself is the Great God, then shouldn't it be named for him. So.... poof! My world was named Ivranar =D
     
  2. Kobun

    Kobun Scribe

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    I mostly agree, but I think you need to take into account the relative level of theological or scientific sophistication of the society living on said world. We refer to the world as Earth only to differentiate it from other planets. A thing is named in relation to other similar things. Does the society think of its world as one of many other worlds? In the modern day we have planets that we know are other celestial bodies like our own. The nordic civilizations had the Nine worlds of which ours was one of many. The Abrahamic and other Middle Eastern traditions might have referred to this world in comparison to its relationship with the underworld and heaven.

    On the other hand there were societies where there wasn't other worlds. The gods lived here, the spirits lived here, everyone lived here. It was just the world.

    Really what it comes down to is how your society thinks of the world. Are they liable to think of the world as one of many? If so, then yeah they'll have a name for it. If not...
     
    TheCatholicCrow likes this.
  3. osimur_wil

    osimur_wil Scribe

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    I go about collecting other names for Earth and rearrange and combine names, throw them in to anagram generators, change some words. It's a long and arduous process and most of the results are unsatisfying but I do find some nuggets of gold.
     
  4. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

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    I've come to call my present version of my world for Itzaya, and its a long and ardeous road behind that name. But to put it short I took it from the Chicken Itza Maya city and reworked the name untill I like the sound of it.
     
  5. HowlingWriter

    HowlingWriter Dreamer

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    Coming up with your own name for your own Fantasy world can prove to be quite the task, and it took me a while before I settled on one that I really liked. Which, well, with three worlds total there are Arlaum, Lucethia and Lybaris.
     
  6. Shreddies

    Shreddies Troubadour

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    Considering 'Earth' is practically synonymous with 'ground', then how about naming your world 'Dirt'? :D

    The world I'm writing in was accidentally named, both in-universe and out, as 'Nowhere', after the leader of the settlers said: 'This is the middle of nowhere . . . Bring me my sandwich!'
    After that it just stuck.
     
    Kobun likes this.
  7. Kazzan

    Kazzan Dreamer

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    Named my primary world Jurr, rolls off the tongue well enough. It basically means world in one of my worlds languages, thouggh I gave it that meaning after the fact. Initially Jurr was the WIP name for a mod I was doing.
     
  8. Enthods

    Enthods Acolyte

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    I use a word generator and alter what it is to create names for anything that fits.
     
  9. MeanMachine

    MeanMachine Scribe

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    My world's name is Aura, which is also the name of the magical energy that is omnipresent in the world.
     
  10. Alpha

    Alpha Acolyte

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    I names my world Ouran because the word Rann means world in my language and Ouran sounded nice. There's also Idran, Ekeran, Falran and Vakran. I didn't have much trouble coming up with my names but there are a lot of name generators on the internet you can use.
     
  11. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    I named my world Erresuma, which is a Basque word for kingdom or realm. I like the sound of the Basque language and it's pretty obscure, so I use it as a resource for a lot of words and names in my world, sometimes altered and sometimes not.
     
  12. MeanMachine

    MeanMachine Scribe

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    Edit: I've changed the world's name to Gaea, and the name of the magical energy is going to be mana, and it's crystalline form Manacite (who needs originality?),
     
  13. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

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    And I named my world, or at least how I presently think of it :p, as Gaia both because of the Greek inspiration and because its a nice name.
     
  14. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    lol I just watched an anime set in a world called Gaea: Vision of Escaflowne. Some people would call the use of the name Gaia or Gaea cliche, but I think it's more like an old friend. You see it and it immediately conjures up memories and images. It's traditional and familiar in a comfortable way. I like Gaea.
     
  15. Gryphos

    Gryphos Auror

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    I usually don't name my worlds anything special. But I suppose that's mainly because my stories tend to be on a smaller scale and so don't require any kind of wider world building. However, on the occasion that I did have to name the world, I just called it 'the Continent', because it was one big continent. Most of the time I find that characters just referring to it as 'the world' works just fine.
     
    mt_jupiter likes this.
  16. Darron

    Darron Acolyte

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    I'll admit that I use my geology degree and use ancient landmass names like pangea, laurasia, rodina, etc or celestial bodies.
     
  17. Barian Bedrich

    Barian Bedrich Acolyte

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    My way to name my worlds is, build a solarsystem. Then I feed a random generator with lists of names and greek alphabet, and i have lot of inspiration.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015
  18. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Mine is Altearth.

    The name just popped into my head almost 20 years ago now. I knew it was a good name, since it's an alternate history Earth. Everything I've written is set there.
     
  19. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    Lets see...

    'Char' - my current main world, mostly arid, with a number of large, almost landlocked seas. Name came to me years ago, decided to keep it.

    'Aquas' - the secondary world (which I'll have to get back too someday). Almost all ocean, apart from a single large continent, a bizarre landmass, and a few island chains.

    'Spiral' - A minor world that will be the setting for one of the tales in the sequence of novellas I am writing. Named not for any features of its own, but the barred spiral of stars which dominates the night sky. World itself is borderline habitable at best, consisting mostly of a red, utterly barren plain with air far too thin to breathe. There are, however, a few very deep craters and canyons with a breathable, if very thin atmosphere along their floors (earth equivalent would be 3000 meters elevation, basins are on the order of 4000 meters below the bulk of the planets surface).

    Also contemplating other worlds for more or less straight SF tales.
     
  20. ArenRax

    ArenRax Sage

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    I try to choose something that sounds cool although there are times I will try and name the world with something from another language. preferably an old one or a fictitious one. Like I try to my own set of runic languages and such and yet it is easy unless you try to map out every word ever. If I can think of anything else Ill post it because I know there is more I'm just not feeling to well right now.
     
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