Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: What’s in a Name?

One of the things I’ve missed doing is taking part in the Shared Topic discussions over at the Blog Azeroth forums. I’ve done it before here several times, and it’s been a lot of fun; now it’s worth looking back to the WoW blogging community again for some ideas, inspiration, and engagement in between trying to cover WoW-related news and events.

So, with no further ado, this week’s shared topic is What’s in a Name?, submitted by Llani of the blog Pocket Heals, who says:

What takes the longest to choose, is the first thing people see, and is the one thing they always remember about you and your character?

Your name.

How did you decide upon the name for your character(s)? Did you delve into Norse, Greek, or Roman mythology? Did you choose a name from one of your family members? Did you mash the “Random” name generator button in vain until you stumbled upon something you liked? Is your name a play on aspects of your class, using spells or other traits? Did you play around with syllables, vowels, and consonants until you found something that you loved?

How long did it take you to come up with your name? Do all of your characters share the same ‘theme’ or naming convention? Have you ever run into someone who had a similar name? How did you feel? Does your character have a partner with “the other half” to your name (such as “Salt” and “Pepper”). Do any of your characters have a “themed” guild that goes along with your name? Do you have a nickname that your guild, friends, or significant other has given your character?

Has your character name become your online persona, or maybe the other way around?

Do you have any tips for naming your characters in WoW, or any other game? Resources, name generators, mythology websites, sources of inspiration, etc.

If you are an avid roleplayer, how was your name decided upon by family/friends? Did your character choose the name later in life or were they given it at birth? There are whole stories behind naming/birthday celebrations that I am sure are floating around out there.

So much can be said about names. What does yours say?

In her post, Llani goes into detail about the names she’s chosen for her mains and her alts, and it’s really interesting to read how other people come up with the names that identify them.

Let’s see if I can do the topic some justice.

The first thing I try to do when I roll a new character is to see if I can name one after celestial objects, many of which have Roman or Greek mythological roots. I start looking through Wikipedia for the names of moons of Saturn, for example, or Jupiter and Neptune – asteroids with names, and stars and galaxies. I have characters name “Anake” and “Oberon” and “Psamathe,” for example. If I can find an astronomical name that sounds nice, I’ll use it. That’s kind of my first line of defense when rolling a new character – looking for celestial objects I can match a character up to that don’t sound silly or often-used, like the names of planets in our solar system or frequently cited objects in science-fiction.

Still, I’m clearly not the only person who thinks this way, since I frequently try to roll new characters and find all of the names I can think of or research are taken. If I can’t come up with anything, I start reaching farther into mythology. If I still can’t find anything, I’ll start reaching in general. For example, my current main, “Shoryu,” was named while I was watching someone play Street Fighter Alpha while trying to come up with a name for my character. I remembered a while ago from the game pamphlet that shipped with my old SNES copy of Street Fighter II Turbo that “Sho-ryu-ken,” stood for “Rising Dragon Fist,” and thought it would be cool to name my character “Rising Dragon” in whatever fictional psuedo-japanese the game employed.

My bank alt, “Iczier,” was a tribute to a really old anime series I watched years ago, called Iczier One.

In all cases, I try to find a name that would match up with the gender and the race of the character I’m rolling, even if there isn’t a consistent theme all of the time. My very first character was a Tauren Druid, and since the Tauren remind me so much of Native Americans, I wanted to find a name that wasn’t contrived or misappropriative: a stumbled on “Mahota,” while browsing a list of names on the Web.

Still, I agree with Llani: your character’s name is one of the few things people will remember about you, and the one thing they see all of the time that distinguishes you: much more-so than yoru character’s appearance or gear. What about you? How do you come up with your character’s names? Do you have any stories about how you named your main, or the theme you use for all of your alts? Share your story in the comments!

2 Comments so far

  1. Foxfier (unregistered) on October 6th, 2010 @ 12:20 am

    “Ryu” is a word for dragon. (it’s spelled a couple of different ways)

  2. Shared Topic: What’s In a Name? « Twisted Nether Blogcast (pingback) on October 10th, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

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