1. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Another word for "magic"

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Lea`Brooks, May 11, 2016.

    Yeah, yeah, "just look at the thesaurus!" Well, I did! And it sucks. :p So I'm coming to you all.

    In my fantasy WIP, everyone is born with magic. But it works like a muscle -- if you don't use it, it weakens. The more you practice, the stronger you get. So some people don't use their magic and prefer to use melee weapons, but others use it regularly and are quite good. I'm just having an issue with the word "magic," for many reasons. Mainly, it denotes a supernatural quality, but in my world, it's not supernatural, it's natural. Also, "magic" is stupid. It reminds me of children and.. well, magicians.

    So! Here's a few example sentences so you get the context of what I'm asking.
    • "I want to be trained in magic."
    • "I don't know what kind of magic I have."
    • "I am a skilled magician"/"I am quite skilled with magic."
    • "They were juggling balls of magic with ease."
    • "Don't use your magic here."
    • "Her overuse of magic weakened her."
    And so on, and so forth. I just need something else to call it that isn't so... generic. Make sense? Please and thanks? :D
     
  2. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    The Force!
     
  3. Wayjor Frippery
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    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

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    A new word for magic without using a thesaurus, eh? Which means, I guess, that you need something invented or borrowed.

    I checked the dictionary (OED) and it gave the the root of the word as (art of) a magus [where magi were regarded by the Greeks as magicians]. So you could replace magic with art.
    • "I want to be trained in art."
    • "I don't know what kind of art I have."
    • "I am a skilled artist"/"I am quite skilled with art."
    • "They were juggling balls of art with ease."
    • "Don't use your art here."
    To reserve the word art for magic all you need to do is refer to any other kind of artist by their specific name (painter, sculptor, etc.) and make it clear up front what and artist is in your world.

    I have no idea is this is the kind of thing you were after. Feel free to do with it what you will.

    :)
     
  4. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    :p

    Yes, very close, thank you!

    My issue with the thesaurus is that most of the words are also very generic. Sorcery, alchemy, arcane... And since they are so common, I already relate them to something else. Arcana is very common in video games. Alchemy is more like chemistry (which I do use in my book, so I'll have to remember that :p). Sorcery... Again, it denotes supernatural or unusual abilities to me. None of them fit with what I want, you know?

    But art is very close! I'll have to think on it and see if it meshes. Thanks again! :D
     
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  5. CMastah
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    CMastah Active Member

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    Potato!
    • I want to be trained in potato
    • I don't know what kind of potato I have
    • I am a skilled potato/ I am quite skilled with potato
    • They were juggling balls of potato with ease
    • Don't use your potato here

      I'm sorry, I couldn't help it.
     
  6. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    • "I want to be trained in the craft."
    • "I don't know what kind of powers I have."
    • "I am a skilled sorcerer/wizard/druid/shaman"/"I am quite skilled in the craft."
    • "They were juggling balls of power/energy with ease."
    • "Don't use your enchantments/charms/hexes/jinx/spells here."
    • "Her overuse of sorcery weakened her."
     
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  7. A.M.P.
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    What's the source of your magic?
    Is it like floating energy? Does it come from a God? Maybe you can name it after the source or a deviation of it.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Just please, whatever you choose, if it doesn't already have a naturally occurring "Y" in it, please don't force one where it doesn't belong in modern spelling. Or any extra letters. If you think magic is bad, magyck is just... the worst. :blech:
     
  9. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ummm.... I'm not entirely sure what you're asking. :bigoops: Could you explain please?

    I agree! :p
     
  10. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I'd go with Mystyckotechtronycka.
     
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  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    *Falls on the floor, twitching. Glistening spittle decorates one cheek*
     
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  12. A.M.P.
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    Like, where does magic come from?
    Sure, you're born with it but is it like a special organ, a part of your brain, do you absorb it through the air.
    If it has no physical counterpart, it wouldn't be much of a muscle since you could just do it on and on without expense.

    So, I thought, if it comes from something other than itself, you could name it after that source.
     
  13. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Sorry! I didn't realize it would induce a medical emergency! *grabs the defibrillator*
     
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  14. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    Umm.... Apparently I haven't full thought this through. :p

    I guess I saw it as pure energy. You can draw it from your own body, your own energy, but it can also be drawn from the energy in the earth (if you have life magic), or water (for death magic) or air (for spirit magic) or fire (for time magic). And you can take other people's energy too, add it to your own, and strengthen your own magic. At the end, I have a group of six people pushing their magic into one person to make her strong enough to defeat the Big Bad. And at one point, she draws too much energy from herself and sleeps for 24 hours because she's so drained and exhausted.

    Is that what you meant?
     
  15. A.M.P.
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    @Lea`Brooks

    Yeap, that's what I meant.

    So, if they draw power from basically the four elements (ie: what the first philosophers believed all creation to be made out of or "Stoicheion") I think) you could call them elementalists (although it's a bit generic)
    Or just look over https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_element and see if anything resonates with you.

    Maybe also look through Wiccan history as they placed great emphasis on elements (Although they went much further than the basic four) to see if anything clicks.
     
  16. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm, seems elemental.
    Anyway, instead of linking it with the mystic by meaning, you could also relate it to power:
    • "I want to be trained in influence."
    • "I don't know what kind of sway I have."
    • "I am a skilled magician"/"I am quite skilled with esteem."
    Or something random, as in a lore relation to how people commonly attribute the origin of their magic. Kind of like Ovid's renditions about echos coming from a cursed nymph or Apollo's arrows (sun rays) killing Python (morning mist).
    • "They were juggling balls of Ogar with ease."
    • "Don't use Daphne's Light here."
    • "Her overuse of Sorrow weakened her."
    Sorrow, Daphne, or Ogar could have been turned into pure magic (thanks to some great "sin" or "sacrifice" long ago) that is subsequently summoned by trained magicians to get shit done..
     
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  17. halisme
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    halisme Contributing Member Contributor

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    While you said you don't want to use words commonly associated with magic, might I suggest Arcane Philosophy.
     
  18. terobi
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    terobi Contributing Member

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    By the sounds of it, you want something that's simultaneously normal, but slightly mysterious - why not just capitalise an existing word?

    Brandon Sanderson does just that in Warbreaker, when describing every person's natural magic essence - he calls it "Breath", which some characters equate with a soul. It sounds like you could do something similar.
     
  19. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know this isn't what you're looking for, but I can't help myself:

    sufficiently-advanced science. I hear it's indistinguishable from... you know. The 'M' word.
     
  20. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Another word for magic: Jimi Hendrix

    • "I want to be trained in Hendrix."
    • "I don't know what kind of Jimi I have."
    • "I am a skilled Jimian"/"I am quite skilled with Hendrix."
    • "They were juggling balls of Jimi with ease."
    • "Don't use your Hendrix here."
    • "Her overuse of Jimi weakened her."

    And if you want to be super creative, you can render the term like this:

    Jymi Hendryx

     
  21. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Could nick 'pokery' from jiggery-pokery—it has a self-explanatory element to it. ??

    ...or 'the specialties', 'the way','the praxis' ?
     
  22. ToeKneeBlack
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    Possible alternatives might include "chi", "ki", "focus", "will" or "might".
     
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  23. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    At this point, I'm leaning between art and anima. Both do what I want. I just can't decide which is better... I guess I'll use them both and see how they work out. :p
     
  24. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    Hmmmm... Another word for magic, Religion?
    (sorry, couldn't help myself.)

    How about - Powers
    Check out the Wheel of Time books. They must have other words being used. I don't recall it ever being referred to as magic in that series.
     
  25. Zadocfish
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    Zadocfish New Member

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    I would go with art over anima, personally. Art is simple, it conveys something that anyone can DO, yet is unique to the individual. It also conveys something that you can get better at with focused effort. Anima, meanwhile, sounds more like a primal force, a regular magical term. Art, I think, is more evocative.
     

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