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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Adventures in Worldbuilding: A Question About Naming

Random question for you writerly types:

I'm currently working on a fantasy world, as I said a few days ago. The world is coming together well enough. Figured out the relationship between geography and climate (though not orbit and climate, sadly, which I cannot seem to find useful information for easily calculating). My problem now stems from a problem of naming, which seems to be a trap between oddly French sounding upper royalty "houses" and oddly middle English sounding stuff for most of the lower "houses."

So I suppose the question is this:
Should I change the upper houses to reflect the linguistic heritage of the lower houses, or could there be a valid reason from a linguistic perspective for those names to stay with their French influence (accidental) if there are no French-like cultures surrounding them (and, thus, no invasions, cultural transference, and so on)? 
I'm leaning towards changing the names, even though I like them as they are (the upper houses are Echeler, Millard, and Dorian, with Lyemark as the only slightly Frankish/Middle English outlier).

(The lesser houses, unfinished though they may be, are currently named as follows:  Leyne, Pyne, Trym, Cambryn, Caethyn, Prymsteyn, and Aestyn -- yes, I am fairly obsessed with the Y right now.)

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  1. Maybe the upper and lower houses grew out of two different family lines?

  2. Anonymous6:01 PM

    All I try to do with naming conventions is make them internally consistent with the world, and across the whole story. Everything else is secondary.

  3. I'm with Adam there. I try to make naming conventions fit within the world and the society.

  4. Adam: Well, yeah, but that's sort of the problem here. Trying to figure out how to make this named system work within the world. I got a solution, though, so all is well.

    Sparkling: Yes, that's sort of where I was going, though more along the lines of cultural cross-pollination from the nearby culture, with the French-sounding upper houses the last holdouts of a dead culture. It fits with my feigned hate of the French :P