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What's In A Name? [Guide]

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Strange_Chemicals's Avatar Strange_Chemicals
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Taco

I'd like to talk about names. Most of us take them for granted. We look at things without a second thought of how they got their name or the history behind it. If you can properly name your projects, people look at them in a different light.

This article is a guide on names, and how to use them in your PMC posts. Keep reading if you like, I got a lot to share!


Step 1 - Know what the project is about. You can name cities, rivers, towns, palaces, shops, inns, castles, mountains, streams, forests, deserts, anything. But the most important thing to remember is that the name that you give your project must have some sort of connection to the build itself. Don't name your palace "The White Palace" if it's completely made of stone. Don't name your ship "Dry Land" if it's in the freakin' ocean. See what I mean? You know your project more than anyone, you need to understand what it's about.

Step 2 - Every name tells a story. Remember that every name has it's own meaning, and people pass judgment on names based on what they already know from them. Why do you think naming your kids is so important? If you named your kid Adolph, people probably wouldn't like you very much. It's the same with naming projects, too. Depending on how you name your project, people will either respond negatively or positively to it. Before naming something, find out what it means. If you thought of a good name for your project, always look it up on Google to see what it means. Google is an infinite source for finding meaningful names that can help you bring life to the project.

Step 3 - Get personal. But not too personal. It's okay to be emotional on the internet, and names can be very powerful tools to make people feel certain things. Violence, Sadness, Calmness, Happiness. Create names that are important to you. By making an emotional connection with people, you can make people appreciate your project even more. It's a difficult thing to do, especially in Minecraft, but it wouldn't hurt to try.

GUIDE (Continued)
The way I see it, there are many ways you can give something a name.

Mashup Style
The classic Mashup. (It's not really called a Mashup, I just gave it that name.) Combining two English words together to create one word. Skyrim is pro at making Mashup names, and it's not that hard to do it yourself...

Skyrim - "Sky" and "Rim" combined
Whiterun - "White" and "Run" combined
Understone Keep - "Under" and "Stone" combined
Winterhold - "Winter" and "Hold" combined

The list goes on and on. You can easily do this, too. Just by looking at the popreel, there are people who are combining two English words and making names...

Riverfoot Castle - "River" and "Foot" combined
Strong-Pine - "Strong" and "Pine" combined

Translation Style
Unlike the Mashup Style, the Translation Style uses simple words and turns them exotic. I highly suggest looking at the Romantic languages (French, Spanish, Greek, and Latin) for inspiration on how to name your project.

For example, let's say you wanted to name your city something evil and overall negative. "City of Demons" looks like it could be a good name, let's plug it into Google Translate and we can see the names that pop up...

English: "City of Demons"
French: "Ville des Démons"
Spanish: "Ciudad de los Demonios"
Latin: "Civitatis Daemonas"

I think I like the Latin translation better, but remember that some experimenting is needed with the names, and you don't need to limit yourself to just Romantic languages. If your project is in a desert, try Middle Eastern languages. If your project has Asian influence, name it after an Asian language.

Here's an example of a Translation Style that made it to the popreel...

Aguila's Village ("Aguila" is "Eagle" in Spanish)
Aurelum - A spinoff on the name Aurelia, which is based on the word Aurelius. "Aurelius" means "Gold" in Latin. A perfect example of Translation Style.
Eclipsa - Romanian for "Eclipse". (Not sure if that's on purpose)

Artificial Style
This style, at least in my opinion, is a hit or miss. What you are doing is making up a word completely on your own, and making the name fit in with your lore.

Here are examples of Artificial Style that recently made popreel...

Manachya - Alasantite Vineyard Town - The word "Manachya" doesn't mean much. Just an artificial name.
Kellurah's Basin - A completely made up name. However, there's no lore posted on the page.
Aucory Temple - Closest match to "Aucory" is "Aurory"

History Style
My favorite kind of style. You're using names from previous events or actual places in the world and using them in your project. You can name your project after a war hero, a king, a battle, a constellation, a philosopher, anything. But remember, that the meaning behind the name needs to relate to the project. There are so many names that you can use, all you have to do is look.

The Importance of Latin
Latin is the "Mother Language" of the Romantic languages. Spanish, Italian, French, and Portuguese all stem from Latin. Although Latin is a dead language, it still plays a major role in our everyday lives. Scientists use Latin while classifying plants and animals, and a good number of celestial bodies come from Latin influence. The Vatican also uses Latin heavily, during both ceremony and communication between each other. During the Middle Ages, many schools (which were mainly funded by the church) taught Latin in their classrooms. But during the Reformation, schools and universities didn't teach Latin as much, and soon lost its importance in education.

For more reading here's a Wikipedia article about it: [Link]


Places in Skyrim - Don't copy! Just inspiration!
Constellations and Stars - I highly suggest this!
List of Moons - Look up their meanings for more information!
City Name Generator - Only recommend this when you're completely stuck.

Greek Mythology - Lots of reading. But it's interesting!
Brief History of Rome - Some names have heavy Latin influence!

People & Objects
Mithril and Mages - A great site for name generators!
Random Name Generator - Choose your race and get inspired!
Ship Name Generator - ARRGGHH MATEY!

Translator - Due to the inaccuracy of some translation websites, it is best to double-check some translations with other websites.
Google Translate - Don't forget to check for originality!
Bing Translate

Thank you all for reading! I know it took a while, and I hope it was worth it.

If you like this article, I think you should definitely Diamond and Favorite this project. Share it with everyone you can, and spread this article so we can see better names being used on PMC! For the better of the community.

I'll be updating this article with more examples, better explanations, and things like that so I can make my point even further.

Have a good day!

1 Update Logs

Update #1 : by Strange_Chemicals 07/07/2013 7:02:52 pmJul 7th, 2013

+ Added 3 more useful links and organized the list.
- List of Moons
- Ship Name Generator
- Random Name Generator
+ Fixed up the introduction a bit (Still needs work)
+ Added more examples. Taken from popreel.

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01/29/2014 2:15 pm
Level 39 : Artisan Cake
cakeface's Avatar
Nice blog dude, this really helps =D. And quite funny on the first paragraph, but people actually name things like that xD!
01/09/2014 3:23 pm
Level 26 : Expert Grump
IceCream_Sundae's Avatar
Everything sounds better in Latin...
01/09/2014 4:01 pm
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Taco
Strange_Chemicals's Avatar
10/30/2013 10:21 am
Level 38 : Artisan Architect
Slyme's Avatar
Well written, good info. Very good blog sir :)
07/24/2013 3:39 pm
Level 2 : Apprentice Miner
Triggerslipped86's Avatar
Good blog. That's good information. Most of this stuff is what I already know and do in my personal projects, but it's good to know someone's helping out others with this. The Skyrim style (Mashup) is getting old, but easy and effective i suppose for most. Hope this will help people to be more creative and original. -Diamond
07/09/2013 1:50 am
Level 2 : Apprentice Explorer
Gormidion's Avatar
Great blog! I love your explanation! This helps so much, so thank you! But do you know any good online translation softwares/services/websites? Some aren't reliable, like Google Translate. Hehe.
Level 27
Expert Architect
about 17 hours ago

Interesting blog.
Although one tip: Don't use google translate for Latin. I mean,Ã "Civitatis Daemonas" --> Devil from the State.. Not City of Demons..Reply

Level 44
Master NarwhalÃ
about 8 hours ago
yeah, i'm starting to realize google translate isn't all that reliable. doesn't really help when they don't give you accurate translations. :/

Level 27
Expert ArchitectÃ
about 7 hours ago
Haha yeah I found it out several times, Especially Latin (Which can produce very epic names and I use them alot) is sometimes bad translated. haha.
07/09/2013 7:12 pm
Level 62 : High Grandmaster Taco
Strange_Chemicals's Avatar
sorry man, not that i know of. next time i release an update, i'll do some research on better translation sites.

thanks for saying something though!
07/11/2013 1:01 am
Level 2 : Apprentice Explorer
Gormidion's Avatar
Its fine, I'm just looking for a good translation site.

And you're welcome! :3
07/08/2013 10:09 pm
Level 48 : Master Architect
Noobso123's Avatar
Amazing blog thx:D
07/08/2013 9:58 pm
Level 22 : Expert Taco
_mesh_'s Avatar
Thanks Bro :3 Very intresting
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