Forum: Languages in Arda

Discussing: Naming conventions of Man

Naming conventions of Man

I am trying to figure out how to name non Numenorean men (and a few women) in Middle-earth. I am looking at Men who lived along the coast of Southern Eriador, from about the Greyflood (Gwathlo) up to the Gulf of Lune. I assume the area was thinly populated, and that Eryn Vorn may have had a village.

I'd rather not call them 'Bob' or 'George' or 'Mary'.




Re: Naming conventions of Man

All I can think of would be the story of Tal-Elmar from HoME 12, The Peoples of Middle-earth. If you don't have it, I could go through the story to list the names...



Re: Naming conventions of Man

Thanks, Nath, I can get it. I didn't even realize that was there, since I haven't finished "Peoples" yet. Perfect!




Re: Naming conventions of Man

I was faced with the same problem for my WIP Mortal Shores some time ago (though I needed only one name). So I just made up a name which I thought sounded reasonably Tolkienish - Orgol.. Later on, I figured these people would possibly speak some form of Taliska, the original language of Beor's people. You can find more information about it at the Ardalambion site (Taliska is listed under 'Various Mannish Tongues'). Unfortunately, very few words have been preserved. Using Adunaic - assuming an early version of it was preserved southeast of the Ered Luin - would make things a lot easier.



Re: Naming conventions of Man

So what I've heard before - that one could use Elven names for regular people from Gondor (specifically Minas Tirith) - is incorrect? I'm working on a series of vignettes about generally common folk, and on the first one I wrote I didn't need a name, but now I do need names that won't get me laughed out of review.

Ever since I had a crazy DM in D&D a few years back names for fictional characters has been my great terror, so please excuse me if I sound over-anxious.




Re: Naming conventions of Man

No, Tolkien mentioned in Appendix F of RotK that although the Elvish tongue was not widely spoken in Gondor by the end of the Third Age, it was still used for many names (though people probably no longer knew the meanings of those names).

Just as today we reuse names that are 2000+ years old and without paying attention to the meanings. So I'd say using Elven names for Gondorians is fine. I certainly do it - and also old Mannish names from the Sil - and I'm fairly anal about naming, too. Figuring out the names can take longer than writing a vignette, for me. I've even been known to begin with X and Y and fill in the names later.




Re: Naming conventions of Man

Well, I think Adunaic was something Men took over the Sea to Numenor, and it is a mixture of Beor's original language and elements of Sindarin. You could use something akin to it, perhaps adding in a mix of Rohirric, as those people would have migrated south into the land that would become Rohan from Beleriand and perhaps intermingled along the way.

Now if anybody knows where I can find some good Haradrim names, let me know. Somewhere I saw a Challenge or Nuzgul about writing about a Haradrim mumak handler and maybe.... These fang marks are killing me.



In Forums

Discussion Info

Intended for: General Audience

We're sorry. This is a closed discussion. Content is available only to invited readers.

« Back to Languages in Arda