1. Pyraeus
    Offline

    Pyraeus Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dundee, Scotland

    Place names - Language based or made up - Adelsheim/Bloody Crag

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Pyraeus, Feb 10, 2013.

    I've been trying to think up place names for areas within my story, but I can't decide whether or not I should name them like they do for Warhammer - Altdorf, for example - or if it might be something more along the lines of Skyrim - Whiterun, Solitude, Riften etc.
    What is your preferred method of naming towns.

    Oh, and I've thought of a bit of background lore about a few places and how they got their names - battles and events that happened there etc.
     
  2. Xatron
    Offline

    Xatron Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Messages:
    576
    Likes Received:
    6
    If your setting is medieval like the ones you mentioned, then you should know that most non-major towns in those ages got their names from some special characteristic that distinguished them from the others. For example if a town was far from the others then it would be called Solitude or something, if it was near a river or lake or a water reservoir of sorts, it could be called Waterfront etc. On the other hand there were establishments that got their names from things as unimportant as a dog chasing some soldiers around.

    In the end it comes up to what you want to write about. If you have thought of lore and background for places, use those names and it will all fall in place. There is no specific rule that says you can't name your town Mixzpitlik or Gharvzgh instead of Blackwater or Townsville.

    PS, Altdorf means old village in German so it is just like Skyrim names.
     
  3. Pyraeus
    Offline

    Pyraeus Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dundee, Scotland
    Thanks for the reply Xatron, it was very helpful.
     
  4. creative_nothings
    Offline

    creative_nothings Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    Not entirely sure of the story you are writing but I personally name my towns in a fashion I feel suits the race. So humans get town names like West Port or Oldtown, dwarves get names like Hammerden and Deep Forge, elves get ones like Quel'Thera. I'm not big on finding names with meaning, but rather create my own meanings for the names I choose. I find this approach adds more depth to the story and world I'm creating.
     
  5. erebh
    Offline

    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,618
    Likes Received:
    464
    Location:
    Sacramento
    here's an idea - base your fantasy city on where you grew up and make your fantasy names from the original names, maybe use an anagram site. This way you become increibly "at home" in your fantasy city - helps me a lot!
     
  6. GhostWolfe
    Offline

    GhostWolfe Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2013
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    For my own fantasy setting, I used a combination.

    The "human" race have cities & landmarks that are surnames with meanings like "explorer", or places like "Wardfell" which is a historic place name derived from the surname 'Ward', which were named after the people who discovered or settled them; combined with descriptive names like "Lightglen".
    The dwarven race use mostly German-based words for descriptive names like "Sternfel" which uses the words for 'stars' & 'fall'; or "Unterstyr" (under stone).
    The elves use mostly descriptive names based on Italian-based words, with some French or Spanish for variety.

    Naming stuff is a pain, I'd suggest picking a theme that you like & running with it.
     
  7. Quetzalcoatl
    Offline

    Quetzalcoatl New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Sonora, Mexico
    When it comes to naming in a fantastical setting, I'd think there's only one rule, whereas the others are simply guidelines.

    Never name for the sake of naming.

    Worldbuilding satisfies our urges to create, to express ourselves. You don't have a name? Develop your world's history then, and its cultures and its religions. Breathe life into your world, until the maps you draw about it evoke real landscapes in our heads. The names will eventually come.
     
  8. JennyM
    Offline

    JennyM Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2013
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    London
    A very loose rule though, end a name with a 'sted' or 'stead' i.e. 'Berkhamsted', Hemel 'Hempstead' - in old English the sted means an enclosure (homestead)

    This is the same with 'stan' - Afganistan, Turkestan

    As well as the more commoner ones where the 'town' is shortened to 'ton', i.e. Northampton

    You can find more old anglo saxon ones here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_generic_forms_in_place_names_in_the_United_Kingdom_and_Ireland

    Just googled and found a nice little name generator (though they are actual names from all over the world): http://www.mithrilandmages.com/utilities/CityNames.php
     
  9. Pyraeus
    Offline

    Pyraeus Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dundee, Scotland
    Thank you for advice and links, everyone, it's greatly appreciated.
     

Share This Page