1. Oswiecenie
    Offline

    Oswiecenie Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Hy-Brazil

    Name for a fictional plant-based drug

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Oswiecenie, Dec 9, 2013.

    I'm writing a story whose setting is losely based on the Opium Wars. It takes place in an entirely fictional universe and so far, I haven't managed to find a name for my universe's equivalent to opium. I'd be grateful if someone could help me out. Latin or oriental sounding names are preferred.
     
  2. Robert_S
    Offline

    Robert_S Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    163
    You could use a translator to find out the oriental pronunciation of some English words to help.
     
    Oswiecenie likes this.
  3. Lewdog
    Offline

    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,530
    Likes Received:
    2,825
    Location:
    Williamsburg, KY
    Well velocidad is Spanish for speed, so you could shorten it to "Veloci." That sounds pretty cool.
     
    Oswiecenie likes this.
  4. Leigh Silvester
    Offline

    Leigh Silvester Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    14
    Morphine was originally called morphium (from Morpheus - Greek god of dreams).

    From the Greek there are also the Oneiroi who were the spirits of dreams.
    This might give you Oneirium.

    If you like Celtic there is "Caer Ibormeith" goddess of sleep and dreams.
    Could give Ibormium.
     
    Oswiecenie likes this.
  5. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,859
    Likes Received:
    10,035
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    If it's a street name you're after, the process of word formation will be very different than if it's a pharmaceutical name, though sometimes it's a mix of both. Marijuana is of uncertain origin, though the spelling in English using an aspirated J is an overcorrection to Spanish, whence English takes the word. It's spelled marihuana in Spanish, with a silent H. But it goes by a bevy of other names: weed, grass, dank, crippy, crip, etc. Cocaine comes from coca (originally cuca in Quechua), the local name for the plant and the chemical suffix -ine. It also gets called snow, blow, whitney, etc.

    What is the plant like? Where in the plant does the drug come from? Where does the plant itself come from? What does the drug look like? Does it only have an illegal source, or is it a controlled pharmaceutical subject to abuse?

    I remember an episode of Oz where two prisoners were in the midst of taking an invented-for-the-show ecstasy stand-in drug that they kept referring to as D-tabs. D being the first letter of the chemical name for the drug that gets mentioned at some other point in the episode (Dibullshitdrugnameofloxin) and tabs being a truncation of tablets. The whole time I'm watching, I'm thinking, "No. No drug would ever get such a poindexter street name. Ever. Period. Who wrote this??"

    Keep it simple. Science Fiction is rife with overwrought drug names. Electric Blue... Plutonium Nyborg... ugh! Shoot me. Even Melange was pretty bad, but its real street name, spice, was pretty good.

    Best fake drug name ever: soma.
     
    Oswiecenie likes this.
  6. Alesia
    Offline

    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2013
    Messages:
    998
    Likes Received:
    251
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    To help me better make an assessment, what is the normal means of delivery? Shooting? Smoking? Dropping? Snorting?
     
    Oswiecenie likes this.
  7. Lewdog
    Offline

    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Messages:
    7,530
    Likes Received:
    2,825
    Location:
    Williamsburg, KY
    @ Wreybies there is a real drug named Soma. http://www.drugs.com/soma.html It's basically a muscle relaxer downer.
     
  8. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,859
    Likes Received:
    10,035
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Hmm.... I have to wonder of the Huxley estate is getting any of that action. :)
     
  9. Oswiecenie
    Offline

    Oswiecenie Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Hy-Brazil
    Thank you all for your input, guys!

    It is herbaceous and produces colourful flowers.

    The seeds.

    It is at home in the tropical and subtropical zones of my fictional world.

    I haven't really thought about this yet.

    In the country where my story takes place it has been in use for medical and ritual purposes for centuries but its use as a drug is a fairly recent occurence.

    I most definitely will. I absolutely despise long and complicated names, however poetic or humorous they may sound.

    It is usually smoked in a grotesque looking pipe.
     
  10. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,859
    Likes Received:
    10,035
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Ok, this so far is the most important bit of data. This means it's not going to have a name that's scientific sounding. The name will be a natural sounding word, not a constructed piece of jargon. So, no -ium, -one, -pam, -lam, -ine, etc. sounding suffixes that are so common in real pharmaceuticals (they indicate classes of drugs, generally).

    One of the ways to say opium in Chinese is yan. There are other ways but they all sound very much like opium. Yan. Yan flower. Yan seed.
     
  11. A.M.P.
    Offline

    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Messages:
    2,030
    Likes Received:
    1,126
    Location:
    A Place with no History
    What about making up a weird technical name (or pick one that already exists) and give it a similar first name?
    Like Molly is.. ecstasy, I think.
    Mary is marijuana.

    I think those are the catchiest, easiest to remember, and good for code such as "Hey, @Wreybies, care you meet Molly?"which would be innuendo for care to get some ecstasy.
     
  12. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,859
    Likes Received:
    10,035
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    When I was at university, weed was "Larry" because Mary was too obvious. In gay culture crystal meth is often called Tina. Chris-tina = Tina. ;) X was rolls or beans.
     
  13. Okon
    Offline

    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2013
    Messages:
    694
    Likes Received:
    389
    Plants sometimes get their informal names via their characteristics. I think that you will be able to think of a name much faster if you imagine the plant, or give it a unique feature.

    Here's a few made-up plants, followed by possible street names and descriptions.

    Rook's Nail --nails--
    Wet Vine --vinny-- (forms so much dew overnight that it floods small fields?)
    Yellow Poppy --mellow yellow--
    Ripe Dotty --pox-- (maybe the leaves are covered in red spots?)
    Thorny May --barby-- (looks like barbed wire)

    Edit: Or, if street names too closely related to the source sound tacky, you can just use something that sounds like someone's name:

    Johnny
    Marty
    ChuChu
    Danny
     

Share This Page