Adventures in Worldbuilding: A Question About Naming


Random question for you writerly types:

I’m currently working on a fantasy world, as I said a few days ago. The world is coming together well enough. Figured out the relationship between geography and climate (though not orbit and climate, sadly, which I cannot seem to find useful information for easily calculating). My problem now stems from a problem of naming, which seems to be a trap between oddly French sounding upper royalty “houses” and oddly middle English sounding stuff for most of the lower “houses.”

So I suppose the question is this:

Should I change the upper houses to reflect the linguistic heritage of the lower houses, or could there be a valid reason from a linguistic perspective for those names to stay with their French influence (accidental) if there are no French-like cultures surrounding them (and, thus, no invasions, cultural transference, and so on)? 

I’m leaning towards changing the names, even though I like them as they are (the upper houses are Echeler, Millard, and Dorian, with Lyemark as the only slightly Frankish/Middle English outlier).

(The lesser houses, unfinished though they may be, are currently named as follows:  Leyne, Pyne, Trym, Cambryn, Caethyn, Prymsteyn, and Aestyn — yes, I am fairly obsessed with the Y right now.)

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

4 thoughts on “Adventures in Worldbuilding: A Question About Naming

  1. Adam: Well, yeah, but that's sort of the problem here. Trying to figure out how to make this named system work within the world. I got a solution, though, so all is well.

    Sparkling: Yes, that's sort of where I was going, though more along the lines of cultural cross-pollination from the nearby culture, with the French-sounding upper houses the last holdouts of a dead culture. It fits with my feigned hate of the French 😛

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