1. Markus.A.Olsen
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    Markus.A.Olsen New Member

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    Bastard Surnames

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Markus.A.Olsen, May 20, 2012.

    Hey,

    has anyone got a good way to show the surnames of baseborn children? I have an example from 'A Song of Ice and Fire' were the surname indicates where you live. Such as in the north your name is 'Snow' in the riverlands, you name is 'Rivers'.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    There are many place-derived surnames. In German-speaking countries, the von prefix typically indicates a location name, e.g. von Strassburgh. The equivalent in Dutch is the van prefix, which may be integrated into the name, as in Vandenburg. In Italian, a di prefix serves the same purpose (di Napoli is "of Naples"), as does the de prefix in Spanish surnames.
     
  3. koal4e
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    koal4e Member

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    MOst UK names are derivatives of where someone was born, or of their profession. My surname Marlow originates from Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Hill as a surname was from John by the Hill, Fletcher means the persons ancestors worked for making the flights on arrows...smiths (self explanatory), tuckfield - someone who lived on a field owned by a tuck... skeffington is a localised one from Leicester in the UK and is for those whose ancestors were born in the small village of Skeffington.
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Norway (and I believe Sweden) surnames typically came from locations or father's names. Knute's son Erik became Erik Knuteson; Erik's son Lars became Lars Erikson; etc. Then, because there were so many Lars Ericksons running around, they'd add the farm name - Lars Erickson Bakken, for example - which, unfortunately, changed each time the person moved to a different farm.
     
  5. koal4e
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    koal4e Member

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    Also of interest a Premier League football player whose surname is similar to this from the Netherlands and the reason why his surname Vennegoor of Hesselink is so long :)
     
  6. Markus.A.Olsen
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    Markus.A.Olsen New Member

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    What I meant was more of a unviersal name maybe for bastards, for use in a fantasy.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That wasn't at all clear from your initial post. I don't believe you will find such a naming scheme. There are euphemisms for birth certificates, for example the archaic notation "Son of a gun" for a child born on a naval vessel if the mother won't or can't name the father.

    But typically the child's surname is chosen more or less at random if parentage is not known, or from the mother's surname if only the father is unknown.
     
  8. koal4e
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    You could use the word bastum as the surname, this is the old english word for the saddle of a pack horse and its believed to be where the word bastard is derived from. Its use was an insult to say the person was not concieved in the marital bed.
     
  9. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    In British history Fitz was used as a prefix for acknowledged illegitimate children's surnames (mostly aristocracy I think), it was usually followed by the father's surname, such as, say, Fitzherbert, or where the king was the father Fitzroy was used. It comes from a Norman term which means 'son of'. So, if there is some old or foreign language in your fantasy perhaps you could use a term from it that is applied to illegitimate children; like Fitz it can be a simple meaning that's just been adopted for that use.
     

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