How to Name Your Elf

Today I’ll talk a little bit about how I choose names for the People in my books. (By the way, it’s rude to call them elves, but artistic license, ‘kay? Okay.)

Most names will have two syllables, rarely three. If I’m making my own name, I’ll choose from the syllables I’ve already established. Most often, People from the same family with the same gender will use a common syllable (e.g. “Bea,” pronounced “bay” and meaning “fox”). If I want to make a name that means something new, I’ll choose one from a baby-name list, usually Irish Gaelic or Welsh — cheap, yeah, but then I’ll split it apart and reuse the syllables once I know what it means in hituleti.

Female names are either plants or celestial bodies. Rhi = Rose, Cuil = Moon, what have you, so you’ll get Rhialle (Rose Daughter) or Rhiada (Sweet Rose). Cuiladh (Bright Moon) or Cuilran (Red Moon).

Male names are always some kind of animal. Cab = Mouse, Lach = Hare, and so on. You could have Cabhan (Wild Mouse) or Cabgan (Little Mouse); Lachlan (Brown Hare) or Lachmar (Noble Hare).

Familiar individuals will address one another by nicknames; it’s more formal and distant to use the full name. Everyone refers to Beagar (which means “Big Fox,” by the way) just that way because he doesn’t have any friends, or anyone really familiar with him. Likewise, when Eagle refers to himself as “Eagle,” he’s really saying “Vo” and it’s presented in translation.

Any questions? Because I  could go on. And on. And on.

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