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Thread: Naming Your Elf

  1. #1
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    Naming Your Elf

    I enjoy helping people make elf names in Sindarin. The sound mutation and assimilation rules means that it's often not just a matter of sticking two words together.

    Examples:
    Glin+Tol = Glindol
    Ech+Sael = Echael
    Estel+Bain = Estelvain
    Gala + Gol = Galangol

    If anyone wants help making names in Sindarin, feel free to send me a PM or ask on this thread.
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  2. #2

    Re: Naming Your Elf

    I named my elf Mithralas. I wanted to name him Mithos but that was taken so I looked down the list of suffixes until I found one that seemed to roll of the tongue with it. Do you think it sounds elvish enough?

  3. #3
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    Re: Naming Your Elf

    Sounds Elvish enough for me whether or not it's perfectly Tolkien.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Naming Your Elf

    Mith = Misty, Gray
    Rhaw + Las = Rhalas = Wild Leaf (where the w is removed due to sound assimilation)
    Mith + Rhalas = Mithralas (due to the soft mutation rule)

    If you don't like the above meaning, your name could be made up of two words; Mith (misty, gray) + ____, where the undefined word (Gralas or Tralas) is just assumed to be an elvish word that Tolkien didn't "invent". Tolkien's Sindarin is full of holes, in that the vocabulary was only developed to the point where the rules could be excercised and people/places could be named. There are no words for many things, simply because he had not yet run into a need to invent a word for that thing. Note: Mith+Gralas or Mith+Tralas would both result in Mithralas due to the sound mutation rules.
    Last edited by Schirf; Jun 11 2010 at 10:54 AM.
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  5. #5

    Re: Naming Your Elf

    Taragadan:

    Tar (tough, hearty)
    ag (My other character is named Aglach)
    adan (man)

    He's an elf champion. It works but I get called Tee-roy as much as anything.

  6. #6
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    Re: Naming Your Elf

    Tarag + Adan = Taragadan = Horn(ed) man

    Note that Adan does not mean male, it means non-elf human.
    Last edited by Schirf; Jun 11 2010 at 06:20 PM.
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  7. #7

    Re: Naming Your Elf

    oh, very interesting. I never new the suffixes all had meanings. If I wanted the meaning to be misty or gray shadow it would be something like Mithgwaith? That doesnt sound very good

  8. #8
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    Re: Naming Your Elf

    When words are combined there are some sound mutation rules that go into effect.

    Gwaith = Manhood
    Gwath = Dim light

    In some special circumstances Gwath becomes Gwaith. This occurs when Gwath is the last syllable of a multi-part name that (1) is plural and (2) doesn't use a soft or liquid mutation (i.e. follows a select set of prepositions or "of the", or "in").

    Mith + Gwath = Mithwath (I agree, this doesn't sound very appealing)

    If you're looking for the literal "shadow", as in the dark shape caused by an object blocking out light, then the word to use is Morchant (Morn + Cant).

    Mith + Morn + Cant (Misty Grey Dark Shape) = Mithvorchant (Still not working for me)

    Padanegwath is a long name that means "Walking in dim light"
    Pada + ned + gwath with a stop mutation, rather than a soft mutation (because of the use of the word ned).

    Padanegwath is long, but it does have a ring to it?
    Last edited by Schirf; Jun 12 2010 at 03:08 PM.
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  9. #9

    Re: Naming Your Elf

    wow thanks for that analysis. Looks like tolkein made anything that had to do with shadow not sound great on purpose I do agree that last one is long but I can see the flow of it. what if instead of dim light it was silver light or star light, something to that effect?

  10. #10
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    Re: Naming Your Elf

    Gilgalad = Starlight ... you're not getting that one.

    How about... Tinnuben = One who is like twilight (without a moon)
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  11. #11
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    Re: Naming Your Elf

    Well I named mine Galadthingil (the correct form would be Galathingil, but my intention is actually Galad-Thingil)

    Comes from three words:

    Galad: Radiance
    Thin: Evening
    Gil: Star
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  12. #12
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    Re: Naming Your Elf

    So how terribly mutilated is Findurin, which I originally translated like... Five? Six? years ago, to mean 'Dark Hair'?
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  13. #13
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    Re: Naming Your Elf

    Fin+Dur+Rin would mutate to something like Findhurin (Tress + Dark/Sombre + Crown)

    Findurin would come from Fin+Tur+Rin (Tress + Mastery/Victory + Crown)

    ... a cool name regardless! Sounds like you have good hair.
    Last edited by Schirf; Jun 14 2010 at 09:21 PM.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Naming Your Elf

    I made up my name. And after about level 35 I actually checked to see what it meant. Something like bright light if I remember correctly. Which goes quite well with the kin I'm in. Must have been fate!
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  15. #15
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    Re: Naming Your Elf

    This made me want to check if the name I used in almost every game I play, Melith, meant anything in elvish. What joy to find out it meant love >.>, and wasn't a word I made up

  16. #16
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    Re: Naming Your Elf

    Taragail is a good one to show mutations:

    Tara = tough, stiff
    Tarag = mountain peek
    Gail = bright light
    Cail = fence or palisade of spikes and sharp stakes

    Gail is a special mutation case. When combining words to make names, if the 2nd word starts with a G sound the G is dropped unless the root comes from an Ng sound in Quenya (the root of Gail is Ngal), in which case the G sound mutates back to its root Ng sound. This means that Gail, when used as a 2nd part of a name, mutates to Ngail. So the meaning of Taragail can't be Tara + Gail, because that would become Tarangail when the name is formed.

    Tarag+Gail has the same problems; Gail > Ngail, and the resulting contraction of double (similar) consonants (g+ng) means the sounds assimilate to either Tarangail (again) or Taragongail (using the shifted vocalization found in words like Nauglavir).

    The good news: A word that starts with a C sound in the 2nd position mutates to a G sound. Example: Thangail, which comes from the words Thann/Thand + Cail (Shield Fence, a battle formation of the Dúnedain).

    Tara + Cail = Taragail
    Tarag + Cail = Taragail

    Both have good meanings.
    Last edited by Schirf; Jun 15 2010 at 07:49 AM.
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  17. #17
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    Re: Naming Your Elf

    Friends,

    Reborn Founder here. I had taken a vacation away from Middle Earth quite some time ago for reasons that belong in another thread. I've recently started back up and have fallen in love all over again. The characters I had once loved, however, seemed strange now and I've forgotten the mechanics, etc. while absent. So I've deleted them all and have decided to start anew, bright eyed and full of wonder... as I did those years ago.

    I'm onto leveling a new character now and am looking for a Sindarin name that translates to Moon Shield; Shield of the Moon would be acceptable if need be. I understand that:

    ithil = (full) moon
    thand = shield

    That yields Ithilthand (Moon-Shield) or Thanithil (Shield-Moon; Shield of the Moon). Neither exceeds four syllables but the former sounds a little rough; and I believe these names are to be beautiful or, at the very least, not awkward. I would certainly use either one but would first like to seek a second/third opinion in this matter.

    I've recently found "amath" to mean shield but am unsure of how authentic it is and why there would be an alternative to "thand" unless they had different meanings.

    Using Tolkien's rules for authenticity's sake, what are my options here?

    I appreciate this thread and your help.

  18. #18
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    Re: Naming Your Elf

    Amath/Ambath (Shield) is sourced to the Vinyar Tengwar, so it's legitimate. The word is listed as having a Noldorin origin, whereas Than(d) has a Sindarin origin listed. An example of this in Engish is Fowl (Old High German origins) vs. Poultry (Old French origins).

    Note: Ithil was used in both Noldorin and Sindarin, but even if it wasn't there are examples of names that use words of disparate origins.

    So you have Ithilamath as a 3rd option...

    And if you like...

    Curanamath : Crescent Moon Shield
    Last edited by Schirf; Jun 20 2010 at 02:57 PM.
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  19. #19
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    Re: Naming Your Elf

    Thank you for the quick response, Schirf.

    Ithilamath does sound more pleasant, no?

    So I'm assuming the mergers of the other two were correct then? Ithilthand and Thanithil don't quite sound like elven names when I compare them to the known names of Middle Earth elves. What is your opinion of this? If you were to give these names (incl. Ithilamath) a perfectionist/elitist assessment, which - if any - is more elf-like.

    On a side-note, if you don't mind. What exactly does Morthos translate to? Mor = "Black" but I cannot find the origins/translation of "thos" in any of my resources. I only care because it's a great sounding name.

    Thanks again.

    Edit:

    I found the following in David Salo's "A gateway to Sindarin: a grammar of an Elvish language from J.R.R. Tolkien's"

    "Moon: ithil, raun"
    (Page 327)

    "Gwaeron (March): Gwaerron is a compound of gwaew 'wind' and raun 'moon' and so means 'month of wind'."
    (Page 401)

    So my options are (?):
    * Ithilthand
    * Thanithil
    * Ithilamath
    * Amathithil **; would this be Amathil due to the repeating 'thi'?
    * Raunthand
    * Than(d)raun
    * Raunamath
    * Amathraun

    ** ElfFetish.com states:
    "Repeated Syllables. This is a Quenya rule that we may want to import over to the Sindarin side to help in the war against dumb-sounding Elf names. In Quenya, a name with a repeated syllable (such as lala or arar) can be condensed down to a single occurrence of that syllable (la or ar). Because Sindarin names with repetitive syllables sound just as dumb as their Quenya counterparts, I wouldn't hesitate to use this rule in cases where it would make an improvement. A Sindarin name like Ecthelellon sounds silly. Ecthellon is far better." - http://www.elffetish.com/SindaFrame1.php

    Now, this is not a stone-solid rule given that the author admits it to be a Quenya adaptation. However, it does make sense and turns the awkward Amathithil into the beautiful Amathil.

    If this is all correct and acceptable, then I think I'm leaning toward Amathil. If it really should remain Amathithil, then I believe Thanithil is the next choice.
    Last edited by Borknagar; Jun 20 2010 at 08:32 PM. Reason: Spelling mistake

  20. #20
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    Re: Naming Your Elf

    I have some problems with some of David Salo's work, but it's a good starting point.

    Example: He translates Raun as moon, because Cu = Arch/Crescent/Bow and Curan/Curaun = Crescent Moon. The problem with this is that Ety/383, X/RH translates Raun as the adj. Errant, giving Curan a literal meaning of "errant crescent", i.e. a more flowery description of the crescent moon, but one that does not give Raun the meaning "moon". This also leaves the possibility that March = Errant Winds.

    The contraction of repetitive consonants is seen in a number of places (example: thth > th) and true repetative sounds can be contracted. That said, in Amath + Ithil the sound isn't repeated, and I'd have a harder time dropping the I from Ithil. If you'd presented me with Amathil as a name, I'd have taken it to mean Gleaming White Shield... so nothing wrong with that, eh?

    Morthos ... I may translate this word as "bad odor", from Morn + Thost?
    Morn = Dark
    Thost = Smell/Odor

    I can't find anything closer than that.

    In your examples, Ithilthan is also possible, as the trailing nd is often shortened to just the n sound.

    How about Thanenithil? "Shield of the Moon"

    Interestingly, there is a reason to argue that Mordor isn't Mor + Dor, but rather, Morn + Dor. The reason for this is that the D would mutate to Dh in it was simply Mor+Dor, giving you Mordhor. Morn+Dor would become Mordor (Morn+Dor mutates to Morndhor, which becomes Mordor because of the 4 consonants rules).
    Last edited by Schirf; Jun 20 2010 at 09:54 PM.
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  21. #21
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    Re: Naming Your Elf

    Very appreciated. You've given me a lot to work with.

    ROFL @ Morthos

    Thanks,

  22. #22
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    Re: Naming Your Elf

    Quote Originally Posted by Borknagar View Post
    ROFL @ Morthos
    This use of Thos from Thost can be see in the word Guruth+Thost > Guruthos (the shadow of death, death-horror - literally "Death Smell")

    But, on the bright side, Lothos (The smell of flowers), Mithos (The smell of mist/light rain), and Gaerthos (The smell of the sea) are really cool names.
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  23. #23
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    Re: Naming Your Elf

    ooh, I'll just come dump my Sindarin questions on you.

    My warden is Harnannen, which I've taken from the phrase "Im Harnannen" -- I just want to make sure there's no back-mutation I need to worry about (and you'd be surprised how much I've worried about this, LOL)

    Also, Caradhrandir -- red wanderer?

    Calengil -- Green shine? I like it for my mini's surname.


    Thanks a million times :-)
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  24. #24
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    Re: Naming Your Elf

    Harnannen is not modified by Im, so you're not looking at a sound problem at all. Harnannen comes from the words Harna + annen. Harna is the verb “wound”, and annen is the past participle modifier, which acts on the verb turning it into an adjective. Thus, your name is the adjective “Wounded”.

    3rd age Sindarin: Caran+Randir > Caradhrandir

    Noldorin and pre-3rd age Sindarin presents more of a problem. Rhandir would be used in that era, rather than randir. Mith+rhandir > Mith+thrandir > Mithrandir (thth>th). But in this case the proceeding n and the fact that we're working with an adj. + noun combo can make the rh mutate to an r, giving us Caranrandir as a strong candidate, even with the repetition. I *think* you can also get Carathrandir too, but I'd have to check my notes on that one.

    Calengil = Green Star
    Calengal = Green Light
    Calengail = Bright Green Light
    Calengeil = Green Spark
    Calengol = Green Wisdom
    Calengul = Green Magic
    Last edited by Schirf; Jun 23 2010 at 02:57 PM.
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  25. #25
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    Re: Naming Your Elf

    Carathrandir checks out... and you pronouce Caradhrandir as Carathrandir anyway....

    Estelwing = Estel (hope) + Gwing (flying spume or spindrift blown off wavetops)

    I'm having trouble understanding what you were going for with Alquagond. The Qu sound isn't used in Sindarin, usually having been changed to p or f sounds (depending on the word).

    Alqualondë = Swan Haven in Quenya

    In Sindarin, Swan is Alph/Alf, and Haven is Lond, with Alflond being a reasonable "Swan Haven".

    If you were going for Swan Stone (Alqua + Gond), then in Sindarin you'd have Alphond or Alfond.

    If, instead, you were looking for "Bold Swan", Alf + Cand = Alfgand or Alfgann.
    Last edited by Schirf; Jun 23 2010 at 07:22 PM.
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