(Character) Names

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M_Tee
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(Character) Names

Post by M_Tee » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:55 am

So, in doing some brief research into the -iah family of names (Jedidiah, Obadiah, Josiah, Zedekiah), I stumbled across this link of moderate interest in the uptake of terminal n's in boys' names.

Also, the following US census-based service is of interest, sorting name popularity by decade dating back to the late 1800s.

Anyway, let's discuss names, children's names, and the naming of game characters (for relevance's sake).

EDIT: link corrected.
Last edited by M_Tee on Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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dougeff
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Re: (Character) Names

Post by dougeff » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:19 am

-iah is a a form of Yahweh, the name of God. Also common in Jewish names is El. Another word meaning 'God'. Samuel. Michael.

And, of course, Superman. Kal-El. Jor-El. Jerry Siegel was Jewish, of course.

I dislike that every time a character becomes famous, you basically can't use that name anymore. Zelda. You can't have an important girl named Zelda in a game. You can't have a main character named Mario or Luigi.
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FrankenGraphics
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Re: (Character) Names

Post by FrankenGraphics » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:14 am

Example: Matthyahweh/Mattyahu[anglified transcript] (hebrew; "gift of god") -> Mathaios (greek), Matteus (latin) Mattias (scandinavian/german), Matías (spanish/portugese) Matej(Czech), Mateusz (Polish), Matthew (english).

Gift of/from god/s has got to be a very common meaning, at least in europe + eastern coast of the mediterranean sea?

Bogdan (all slavic languages i know of: bog = god, dan = approx. given by)

In norse, two female names:
Astrid (gods' peace)

Gudrun (the mystery/secret knowledge of god, maybe translatable to "wonder of god")


Male relative names to astrid:
Gottfried
Godfrey

It's also somewhat common at least for norse names, when not referencing to mythology, to mean something like a variation of "inheritance of our legacy/property". While some of these names blend in today, i wonder if they might've been reserved for firstborn children in wealthy/mighty clans once.

I'm also pretty sure names where given deliberately according to their meaning, rather than because they have a nice ring (we default to this today since the literal meaning is lost on us. Rather, we associate names to other properties like popularity, uniqueness, perception of age, class, ethnicity, etc - some of which has always been true, most likely. But there was also the meaning, which was understood.)
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Re: (Character) Names

Post by tepples » Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:22 am

I didn't know there were other name nerds on this board. I wonder how many times I'll get ninja'd while typing this out.
M_Tee wrote:So, in doing some brief research into the -iah family of names (Jedidiah, Obadiah, Josiah, Zedekiah),
You'll probably end up hitting some of the same sources I hit after watching Halloween Is Grinch Night and trying to puzzle apart Euchariah's name, which appears to be a hybrid compound of Greek eu "good" and charis "grace" with Hebrew -iah. Are there any other -iah names that are hybrid compounds?
M_Tee wrote:I stumbled across this link of moderate interest in the uptake of terminal n's in boys' names.
I too am interested, as one of the settings I was writing for also uses -n in boys' names, as opposed to -a or -t for girls' names. But I don't see how a My Neighbor Totoro and Star Wars: The Last Jedi fan mashup is related.
M_Tee wrote:Anyway, let's discuss names, children's names, and the naming of game characters (for relevance's sake).
I wrote an article about personal names. And for the benefit of those translating my games, I tried to give the origins of their characters' names to help ensure dynamic equivalence à la Ted Woolsey, as I know puns translate poorly.
dougeff wrote:-iah is a a form of Yahweh, the name of God.
Or in actual Hebrew, before Greek, Latin, French, and the English Great Vowel Shift had added their own filters to all the names (turning Yeshua into Jeezus), this was more explicitly rendered "-yahu" as in Netanyahu.

But now that I think about it, a My Little Pony fanfiction written by Jonathan Swift and published in 1726 might be read as antisemitic in this sense. After the crew of his cargo ship commits mutiny and drops on an uncharted island, Lemuel Gulliver finds an island inhabited by talking ponies who call themselves Houyhnhnms as well as a gem-obsessed tribe of apparently inbred humans that the ponies call Yahoos. The Houyhnhnms find everything about the Yahoos detestable; even their word for disease, hnea Yahoo, means "Yahoo's evil".
dougeff wrote:Also common in Jewish names is El. Another word meaning 'God'. Samuel. Michael.
Yet -el also shows up in names from Tolkien's Elvish languages that have no relationship to Hebrew.
dougeff wrote:And, of course, Superman. Kal-El. Jor-El. Jerry Siegel was Jewish, of course.
But then in this case, -El is a surname. Kryptonian women's names such as Lara Lor-Van have a patronymic middle element in almost the same way as real-world Russian names, just without the declension that would have produced "Lara Lorovna Vana". Incidentally, had Superman asked people of Earth to call him Kal while in costume, the people might have accepted it as a short form of Calvin. This might have reinforced his purported separateness from his journalist form Clark Kent, and he might not have had to use his reality distortion field as much.
dougeff wrote:I dislike that every time a character becomes famous, you basically can't use that name anymore. Zelda. You can't have an important girl named Zelda in a game. You can't have a main character named Mario or Luigi.
The name among fans for this phenomenon is One Mario Limit.[1]

EDIT: My worries were overblown. I wasn't ninja'd.


[1] If you're wondering why I use All The Tropes instead of TV Tropes, there are three reasons: a change in July 2012 to a non-free license CC BY-NC-SA in violation of the copyright of contributions written prior to then, an experiment for several months with requiring editors to assign copyright in their contributions, and most recently a script that confuses the tracking protection built into Firefox with an ad blocker. I can explain further in a separate topic if you're interested.

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Re: (Character) Names

Post by nesrocks » Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:31 am

I don't think you can't name a character Mario. As long as he doesn't also look like nintendo's Mario and you treat the fact that his name is Mario naturally (not doing any reference at all), you can do it just fine. Maybe it's natural to me because my name is Mário and I know a few other Marios and I've even known a Luigi. And I'm not even in Italy. Same goes for Zelda. It is a name, and the name of the game is The Legend of Zelda. You're not gonna be sued if you name a character Zelda, as long as you don't connect the characters. The only problem you might face is players trying to find a reason for your naming (breaking the fourth wall).
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Re: (Character) Names

Post by zzo38 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:47 am

If you don't like One Mario Limit (and/or One Steve Limit), then, to avoid both. (You might give two character the same name in one case for the purpose of the confusion it will cause in one circumstances perhaps. Even you might call one character Mario even in a fan game that is also the other Mario and might cause some events in the story due to the confusions. Or a name can be spelled in same way but pronounce differently, or vice-versa. (If you really want the character in the game to be name Zelda, do it anyways, or perhaps reverse it to make Adlez.)

If you do not want to use common names (sometimes using common names is useful, and sometimes not, depending on the story and on the character), one way making up the names for the character in a game or fiction can be by cleromancy by random selection, which can come up with "Iuckqlwviv Kjugobe" or "Ziveruskex" (both names I have used in role playing games, although the algorithm in each case is a bit different; the latter algorithm is generally better). Another way could be by an anagram of your own name (or even not anagram, if you don't want anagram), or an anagram of something else. Making the name based on the parts like is mention in the other messages in here can also be done, such as if character is Jewish, Norse, etc, such as if character is the gods' peace, or whatever.

And, sometime the character in the computer game might never be given a name because is unnecessary, or sometimes, the program should prompt the player to enter a name (and sometimes give a default if the player leaves it blank; for example, Rogue gives the name "Rodney" by default; ADOM will, if the option is enabled, give a default depending on your character's race/gender).

I also prefer All The Tropes, rather than the TV Tropes. In addition to what tepples mentioned, All The Tropes is using Media Wiki software.
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M_Tee
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Re: (Character) Names

Post by M_Tee » Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:55 am

dougeff wrote:-iah is a a form of Yahweh, the name of God. Also common in Jewish names is El. Another word meaning 'God'. Samuel. Michael.
Thanks. I knew they were biblical names, but hadn't realized their etymology.
tepples wrote:I didn't know there were other name nerds on this board. I wonder how many times I'll get ninja'd while typing this out.
M_Tee wrote:I stumbled across this link of moderate interest in the uptake of terminal n's in boys' names.
I too am interested, as one of the settings I was writing for also uses -n in boys' names, as opposed to -a or -t for girls' names. But I don't see how a My Neighbor Totoro and Star Wars: The Last Jedi fan mashup is related.
I must have accidentally clicked one of the multiple articles in the clickbait sidebar.

Here's the intended article: http://io9.gizmodo.com/america-why-are- ... 1561328070

Actually, I hate linking clickbait to begin with, so here's what appears to be that article's primary source: http://www.prooffreader.com/2014/04/bab ... -of-n.html
tepples wrote: I wrote an article about personal names. And for the benefit of those translating my games, I tried to give the origins of their characters' names to help ensure dynamic equivalence à la Ted Woolsey, as I know puns translate poorly.
This is really interesting, and I enjoy reading about the thought processes that go into these decisions. Thanks for linking it.

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Re: (Character) Names

Post by lidnariq » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:52 am

I like this searchable visualization of name prevalence: http://www.babynamewizard.com/d3js-voyager/popup.html

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Re: (Character) Names

Post by Oziphantom » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:59 pm

What fascinates me is how people name people after things.. Wednesday for example. India another. The Japanese do this, most names in Anime are naming them after the thing.. it like calling Romeo, Tragic Lover 1 and Juliet Tragic Lover 2. Some people I know are called Forest and Soft Breeze.

The -ova form from Northern Europe to donate they are a daughter..

Iceland - the last name is the fathers name + son/daughter so Christopher Cristopherson is the son of Christopher who is also called Christopher. This is why the Icalendic Phone Book is sorted First name first.

For the pure lazy French person - Jennifer lit "my daughter"

Then American's and their Jr and III and IV, like really you are so vain your name your kid after you and point out they are the smaller version their whole life.. Seems that when Females' do it they don't add the Jr ( see Gilmore Girls and yes I think it was just meant to be a joke ;) )

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Re: (Character) Names

Post by Memblers » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:45 am

Oziphantom wrote: Then American's and their Jr and III and IV, like really you are so vain your name your kid after you and point out they are the smaller version their whole life.. Seems that when Females' do it they don't add the Jr ( see Gilmore Girls and yes I think it was just meant to be a joke ;) )
On my birth certificate I'm the II, and I've found out that's apparently kinda rare. Leads to fun situations like signing a legal document affirming all the info is true, yet the suffix on my name is not even offered as a choice. Having the same name as your parent does lead to some mix-ups when receiving mail, phone calls, etc. On rare occasions it was useful. It seems very common instead to name their kid's middle name after themselves, parents, or grandparents.

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Re: (Character) Names

Post by Bregalad » Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:39 am

I am always interested in names and their etymology !
dougeff wrote: I dislike that every time a character becomes famous, you basically can't use that name anymore. Zelda. You can't have an important girl named Zelda in a game. You can't have a main character named Mario or Luigi.
I only learned recently that "Zelda" was a real given name, I always sort of assumed the name was made up for the game.

You are right - Mario, Luigi were common names in Italy but since the game is so common I don't think anyone wants to name their babies like that anymore.

The name Aldolph was also ruined for this reason - a famous guy had this name and unfortunately he was a bad guy so everyone stopped using this name. Even though Joseph remains popular even though another famous bad guy had this name - probably because it's biblical and (at least) two good guys in the Bible have this name so they overshadow the bad guy we know.

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Re: (Character) Names

Post by FrankenGraphics » Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:52 am

The name Aldolph was also ruined
But we'll always have its original long form : Aethelwulf (conjecture on my part bc of striking similarity).

Joseph was/is also a lot more common, for reasons you mentioned, so stalins' legacy to the name is dilluted.
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Re: (Character) Names

Post by tepples » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:35 pm

I imagine most boys named Adolph nowadays have a father who's either a racist or a fan of Adidas clothes and shoes.

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Re: (Character) Names

Post by FrankenGraphics » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:22 am

At least 16 babies were named Adidas 1987-1989.
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