Z & Cinder’s Blog Challenge: Picking a Character Name

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Topic 19 for Z & Cinder’s Blog Challenge is about characters names, and blessed be gods, you shouldn’t have asked an altoholic that sort of question!

Although there are no roleplay realms in Russian language segment, I take character naming as if I play at one. Each and every toon of mine would naturally fit in an NPC range if needed.

I would speak of all toons, active and deleted.

Patterns

There are people who name their characters in patterns. For example, one of my Horde guildmates would christen all of her twelve toons beginning with Tiss-: Tissmina, Tissyara and all. My guildmaster in Alliance has many alts, and each one’s name is a funny phrase: Shieldblock, Ilovepve, Healersarenotneeded etc.

I’m not into that sort of thing. The closest pattern I follow is naming my Human (and ex-human Undead & Worgen) by their surnames rather than names. I wouldn’t be modest and say it’s a brilliant idea, because names are taken in each and every combination, but surnames sound as natural and fitting as names, and there’s much more creativity you could put in them.

My Human/Worgen/Undead range involved toons named like Bauers, Backston, Kellers, Hedersen, Rottenshield. And you may assign the names you like to them: if you want Anna or John, you could tell that it’s Anna or John.

Even more, I had 2 toons of the same nickname: ex-warrior Julia Backston and current hunter Katalina Backston. It also adds up to their background, doesn’t it?

Classes

Class-related names? This could be something that pisses me off most. If I see a toon named like Goodshammie, or Topwar – I see that I have nothing to tell to this person. Obviously you could relate to class fantasy, but you must have some fantasy in your head to do that.

For example, you could name your monk not as a Monkster, or Bestmonk – which doesn’t tell anybody anything except that you don’t have fantasy. My own toons related to class could be these examples:

  • Chitsuro – Pandaren Monk, oriental vibe
  • Paitsu – Gnome Monk, oriental vibe with the word “pie” in cheek
  • Oluu – Draenei Monk, draenei sounding nickname reworked from Finnish “olut” (beer)
  • Aurinko – Gnome Priest, “aurinko” means “sun” in Finnish

Races

I often name my toons based on their race fantasy. They must naturally fit in Silvermoon, or Gnomeregan, or Stormwind, or Orgrimmar without question.

Examples would include the toons with no hidden meaning except that it sounds very fitting to race language:

  • Orcs: Gorgull, Salash, Gorhaug
  • Tauren: Gottenbar, Mentaho, Helu
  • Troll: Zindari
  • Blood Elves and Night Elves: Melaris, Ilmari, Gardelle
  • Draenei: Oluu, Klaari

Inventing a Name

If you are looking for a person who picks new character looks in 3 minutes, and then chooses a name for 2 hours – congratulations, you’ve found him. It’s me.

Not that the previous examples were born naturally. Normally I would scrape every language (with Google Translate), associations, cultures – everything that could use to catch a spark of inspiration.

Salash – this very orcish name means nothing to anyone… except you’ve read a hilarious children’s book “Dennis’ Stories” by a Russian author Viktor Dragunsky. A boy there wrote a sentence “We built a hovel”. Hovel, a handmade house of branches, in Russian is “шалаш” (shalash), but the boy misspelled it and wrote “салаш” (salash).

Gardelle – the powerful and at the same time tender name for a Blood elf vengeful paladin was inspired by Billy Gardell’s surname, a lead actor for Mike & Molly series :)

Mindebad – the Gnome Death Knight. Her name relates to “mini”, “small” and was also inspired by Gundabad, the evil stronghold from Tolkien’s works. I wanted her name to sound like doom coming, and succeeded.

Bons – is taken from Treasure Island. Billy Bones character in Russian translation is read and spelled as “Bons”, and has no sinister relation to human frame. It appeared to be a perfect bouncy name for a warrior of not-so-big-proportions. Sounds powerful and jumpy.

Anibell – probably my only human with a name… although it may be her surname as well. The core element is “-bell”, relating to clerics and temples (because she’s a paladin), and Ani- is the name part, derived from “Ann”. Could be any name for the first part, I just took what fitted best.

Schlitzchen – is read as [‘ʃlits’hen]. Schlitz- means “slot” in German, and -chen is a diminutive affectionate suffix. All together it delivers a German and steampunk vibe, but tender name. What could be better for a goblin engineer girl?

My Main

Micromantica – a portmanteau of micro- (obviously), -mancer (as in necromancer, geomancer – in one word, caster), and maybe romance to some extent too.

We always name our first toons knowing nothing about the game… Of course my main’s name would be different if I invented it now. I was thinking of changing her name to a more appropriate roleplay one, but I’m so used to it. So not yet :)

Micromantica
Micromantica’s portrait by Donya, BattleTag Olvar#2463
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