1. Forgetthi
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    Forgetthi New Member

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    Orc names

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Forgetthi, Mar 11, 2016.

    So, is there a general thought of what kind of names Orcs have? I have seen too many different types of orc names to really make out a pattern or something like that. I have this Orc character that I need a surname for, and I just don't know how to come up with one (Suggestions are appreciated). I've been reserving the name "Bogin" since I really like it for some unknown reason, I leaned towards "Bogin Gorbag" but I'm not so sure about it. Anyway, if you know anything that could help me I'd be very happy if you could tell me!
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Orc names can follow whatever conventions you want, because they're not a real race. They have one type of culture in things like Warhammer, but your orcs could be entirely different. This area is completely wide open for you, the author, to define as you like.
     
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  3. LostThePlot
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    LostThePlot Contributing Member

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    Assuming you want them to be more rounded characters I would edge away from the traditional Orc names instead trying to give them something that feels more like a language and a culture. If you look at names from German and Scandanavian cultures you can see a lot of very robust sounding words with lots of hard consonants that I think fit the barbarian roots of the Orcs quite well. You don't want to just pick up those names and use them, but you can find the right kind of patterns and it'll give you some good ideas. It'll get you thinking from a perspective where those words roll off the tongue and that'll give you a good place to start.
     
  4. Forgetthi
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    Forgetthi New Member

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    Well of course, but every time I tried coming up with something new it just didn't feel right...

    I've done this with almost all other places in my story, and as much as I'd like to name them after Scandinavian names it won't make sense with the other cultures and their homes geographic placement. I already have two cultures far north based on Icelandic (Giants) and Swedish (Snow elves) since that's where I'm from. I have a vague picture of how I want the orcs culture to be and I feel like throwing in some names can help me flesh it out.
     
  5. halisme
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    halisme Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you consider examining Gaelic of the Irish or Scottish variety? Considering that the latter kept the "barbarians" despite the roman attempts, it might work.
     
  6. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    Like some others have suggested, I find that the best way to establish naming characters is to create a strong naming convention and nomenclature. Not only does this make the whole story a long stronger (and the underlying lore of the world it will take place in), but it also just helps it all feel a lot better.

    A lot of 'my first fantasy novel' stories use made-up-on-the-spot fantasy-esque names, and I'm sure you know what I mean if you've ever looked at any of them. It makes the writing look sort of bad and the names all look a bit weird to you the first time you read them, but It's not a crime. I did it too with my first shitty 'my first fantasy novel' that I abandoned 80k words or so into it once I realized what an insane piece of turd it was.

    Assuming these are more fantasy-spun orcs that will have some kind of unique culture, establish a firm convention for naming them. This can be easier said than done, but you can always "cheat" by just drawing names from real world sources (as some of the others have already suggested). If those names don't feel right to you, start making up a fantasy convention. Do the names sound 'hard' with lots of "Khs" and "Gars"? Are they segmented names with hyphens or apostrophes? Maybe my suggestion doesn't help with the immediate issue of "help me name some orc guys", but if you have an extended cast of fantasy creatures (or really even just humans), setting a flexibly strict naming convention is a great way to go. I'm not one to often praise the Song of Ice and Fire novels, but George R R Martin did a great job with keeping a sensible, real-to-earth naming convention for his cast, as opposed to a typical World of Warcraft novel-tier cast of characters all named stuff like "Fahrlan" or "Gundary" or stuff like that.
     
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  7. Inks
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    Inks Contributing Member

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    I have a bit of a soft spot for orcs and as a result have a fairly complex system of naming and a cultural history for the two different major species of orcs in my setting.

    The second type are a fairly barbaric and egotistical variant. Though violent and cruel - hard sounding names which move the gut are used to impart discomfort in speaking. It becomes a common aspect that using the "given name" is an aspect that is uncomfortable and shows fealty in the same way that a very long or regal name would. Though they have a knack for poetry and use the vocal fluxations to both beauty and power. Though the names evolved over the centuries from sharp highs to gutteral lows, nobility still retain the sharp striking sounds of chisel and hammer on stone. Most of these are single syllable names represented in 4-9 letters likened to a cry that steals one's breathe to give proper reverence. The purpose being to prevent commands, orders and emotions from being temporally attached to one's name.

    The purpose of all this is related to the complete understanding of a complex society, but it is all really an extension of the language since the names are decidedly "non-western" in construction.
     
  8. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Try naming them with something ravaging and menacing, or create a language with that demeanor to make it more unique.
     

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