Naming Conventions



Most folk carry a common surname, either a family name or a name related to their region of origin or job. Sorn Fellhorn, Kara of Windshire, and Tellan Magewright are all examples of naming conventions among the common folk of the Five Nations. Those born outside the Five Nations may follow this convention, or may not carry a name other than their given name.

                The royal families that trace their roots to the original kings and nobles of the Five Nations, as well as those granted land and titles in more recent times, add an ir’ in front of their surname. So Queen Aurala of Aundair carries the name of Galifar’s kings, ir’Wynarn, while a vassal lord identifies himself as Lord Darro ir’Lain. This practice extends to the Mror Holds and Zilargo, where some dwarf and gnome families were granted titles by the Galifar rulers.

                In a practice that predates Galifar and was introduced after the War of the Mark, those born of the blood of the dragonmarked houses add a d’ to their surnames.


First Names:

Naming conventions vary greatly between the races.


AASIMAR: Aasimar tend to take human names, although some change their names upon reaching young adulthood and realizing their heritage.


CHANGELINGS: Usually monosyllabic and seem more like nicknames than proper names. Changelings have a habit of collecting names as they get older, naming each new form something different. Examples are: Bin, Dox, Fie, Hars, Jin, Lan, Nit, Ot, Paik, Ruz, Sim, Toox, Yug. Family names follow the above convention.


DHAKAANI: The descendents of the once great Dhakaani empire, this group of creatures exist now only in 3 tribes; Rhukaan Taash, Kech Shaarat and Kech Volaar.


BUGBEARS: Tend to have monosyllabic names, they are quite gutteral and when translated into common are often descriptors of violence or bravery. Often they will take their clan name as a last name.


GOBLINS: These creatures are usually common laborers or even slaves and as such are rarely called by any formal name. Most times they are given nicknames that describe some physical aspect on their body. Amongst themselves they have quite formal names that are often recitations of their heritage, untranslatable in common.


HOBGOBLINS: Being the one time rulers of Khorvaire, these creatures still think of themselves as royalty. Their naming convention consists of a 1 or 2 syllable first name, usually using hard consonants and double vowels.


DOPPLEGANGERS: Dopplegangers, like their progeny the changelings, collect names their whole lives. When they are born their parents may call them by any name that suits their immediate need.


DROMITES: When born, Dromites are chosen from the nurseries by adults that have entered life bonds. The adopted dromite is named by its new ‘parents’ according to the traditions of the life bond. Thus, Dromites have a first name and a life bond family name. Typical first names are: Demisse, Elimu, Fela, Gebre, Idi, Idrissa, Kato, Matunda, Obi, Sefu, Vita, Xolu. Typical family names are: Adanech, Dedanech, Fanech, Gyalech, Marimech, Massawech, Nikech, Ulech.


DUERGAR: A Duergar’s clan name is more often than not based on his or her chosen profession. Clan names can change over time as clans pick up new occupations or win honors in battle. Typical First names: Bruthwol, Horgar, Ivar, Murgol, Thangardt, Brilmara, Dorthis, Olga, Ulara, Weltha. Typical clan names are: Coalhewer, Firehand, Goldcrown, Hammerhead, Ironthew, Steelshadow.


DWARVES: First names are handed down by the family elder. All good dwarven names have been used and reused, down through the generations. A dwarf’s name is not his own, it belongs to the family. If  a dwarf misuses or shames his name, the clan will strip him of it. The dwarf cannot call himself any other Dwarven name without retribution from his clan. Typical names: Barendd, Brottor, Eberk, Einkil, Oskar, Rurik, Taklinn, Tordek, Trauborn, Ulfgar, Veit. Clan names follow the surname convention above.


ELVES: When an elf declares themselves an adult, they also select a name. Those that knew them as a youth may continue to call them by the ‘child name’ and they may or may not care. An elves adult name is a unique creation, though it may reflect the names of those the elf admires or the names of others in his family. In addition the elf bears the family name which is a combination of  regular elven words. Typical names are: Aramil, Aust, Enialis, Heian, Himo, Ivellios, Laucian, Quation, Soveliss, Thamior, Tharivol, Anastrainna, Antinua, Drusilia, Felosial, Ielenia, Lia, Mialee, Qillathe, Silaqui, Vadania, Valanthe, Xanaphia. Surnames follow the naming convention above.


GARGOYLE: Originating from the outer planes and until just recently, only speaking Terran, gargoyles have only begun to explore the concept of personal names. Most tend to pick a name that announces their profession or general interests.


GITHYANKI: A Githyanki’s primary alliegance is to his clan, so the clan name is usually given first when addressing strangers. A Githyanki also has a personal name to which they grant little importance. Typical first names: Baarya, Duuth, Fiden, Flomm Kastya, Klavya, Saath, Zith, Zomm, Amith, Efromm, Ifrith, Iliss, Olavya, Ummon, Usamm, Ysviden. Typical clan names: Druustya, Fiden-sither, Githom-vaas, Tother-ka, Saamasal, Zuriith-movya.


GITHZERAI: Githzerai do not place much impotance on clan or family, preferring to organize their society by merit. They have developed a wealth of traditional titles and ranks that are awarded to individuals as they become warranted, and they refer to one another by simple names in daily life. Typical names include: Dak, Duurth, Ferzth, Greth, Hurm, Kalla, Muurg, Nurm, Shrakk, Adaka, Adeya, Ella, Ezhelya, Immilzin, Izera, Uweya. Typical titles include: Zerth, Ur-zerth, Fell-Hand, Master of Elements, Planewalker, Swordthane, Spellthane, Rrathmal, Storvakal.


GNOLLS: The rasping, gutteral language of the Gnolls does not translate well into common. As such Gnolls tend to take on any word that strikes them as interesting in the common tongue as their ‘Common’ name.


GNOMES: Gnomes love names, most have half a dozen or more. As a Gnome grows up, his mother, father, clan elders, aunts, and uncles all give him names. In addition he gains nicknames from virtually everyone he knows. Gnome names are typically variants on the names of ancestors or distant relatives. When dealing with humans or other races that are ‘stuffy’ about names, gnomes pick three names to use: a personal name, a clan name and a nickname. When deciding which names to use, gnomes usually pick ones that are fun to say. Gnome clan names are combinations of common gnome words. Gnomes translate them into common when dealing with humans (or elvish when dealing with elves). Boddynock, Dimble, Fonkin, Gimble, Glim, Gerbo, Jebeddo, Namfoodle, Roondar, Seebo, Zook, Bimpnottin, Caramip, Duvamil, Ellywick, Ellyjobell, Loopmottin, Mardnab, Roywyn, Shamil, Waywocket. Surnames follow the above mentioned surname convention.


GOLIATHS: Every goliath has three names: a birth name assigned by the newborn's mother and father, a nickname or honorific assigned by the tribal chief, and a family or clan name. The birth name tends to be short -- often only a syllable or two -- but the clan names often have five syllables or more and always end in a vowel. The honorific isn't a traditional name so much as it is a descriptive nickname, often a two-part sobriquet. The honorific can change at the whim of the tribal chief, whether because a particular goliath did something useful for the tribe (earning an honorific such as "Highclimber" or "Nighthunter") or as punishment for failure (a middle name such as "Latesleeper" or "Wanderslost"). Goliaths who have been exiled from their tribe generally carry a middle name that reflects their status, such as "Solitary" or "Kinless." Some specific roles within the tribe, such as lorekeeper or shaman (described in the Society and Culture section later in this chapter), have honorifics attached to them as well.When introducing themselves for the first time, goliaths always use the first name/honorific/family name construction, translating the honorific into the listener's language if possible. Thereafter, they refer to themselves and each other by the honorific alone. Goliaths traveling among other races sometimes assign honorifics to their comrades rather than use their given names. Male Names: Aukan, Eglath, Gauthak, Ilikan, Keothi, Lo-Kag, Maveith, Meavoi, Thotham, Vimak. Female Names: Gae-Al, Kuori, Manneo, Nalla, Orilo, Paavu, Pethani, Thalai, Uthal, Vaunea. Honorifics: Bearkiller, Dawncaller (see Chapter 5 for details on this prestige class), Fearless, Flintfinder, Horncarver, Keeneye, Lonehunter, Longleaper, Rootsmasher, Skywatcher, Steadyhand, Threadtwister, Twice-Orphaned, Twistedlimb, Wordpainter. Family Names: Anakalathai, Elanithino, Gathakanathi, Kalagiano, Katho-Olavi, Kolae-Gileana, Ogolakanu, Thuliaga, Thunukalathi, Vaimei-Laga.

HALF CELESTIALS: These creatures are almost never raised by their Celestial parent and as such, are usualy given names common to whatever race the mortal parent belongs to.

HALF DRAGONS: These creatures are never raised by their Dragon parents, and are given a name common to their humanoid parents race. As they grow older, and discover their draconic heritage, they may take on a more draconic moniker.

HALF-ELVES: Half Elves are given either human or elvish names, ironically, half elves raised by humans are often given elvish names and half elves raised by elves are given human names.


HALF FEY: The Fey do not raise mortal children, as such, any offspring is named by the creature that raises it.


HALF-GIANTS: Half-Giants have a child name and a given name, usually bestowed upon them by friends or the community they grew up in. Most half-giant names reflect some aspect of the land the half-giants inhabit. Typical names are: Sandking, Dunewalker, Sunharrower, Drywell, Stormrider, Desertstrider, Saltwalker, Raam, Oasis, Sandrose, Breath, Goldflower, Sweetwater, Raincaller, Nibenay.


HALF-OGRES: A Half Ogre usually chooses a name that helps him make the impression he wants to make. If he wants to fit in among humans, he chooses a human name. If he wants to fit in among ogres or intimidate others, he chooses an ogre name. Half Ogres raised by humans will have a given name but they tend to change them once they are off on their own. Typical Ogre names are the same as typical orc names.


HALF-ORCS: A Half Orc usually chooses a name that helps him make the impression he wants to make. If he wants to fit in among humans, he chooses a human name. If he wants to fit in among orcs or intimidate others, he chooses an orcish name. Half Orc raised by humans will have a given name but they tend to change them once they are off on their own. Typical Orc names are: Dench, Feng, Gell, Henk, Holg, Imsh, Keth, Krusk, Ront, Shump, Thokk, Baggi, Emen, Engong, Myev, Neega, Ovak, Ownka, Shautha, Vola, Volen. Human surnames follow the above convention, orc surnames are usually a tribe name.


HALF TROLLS: Depending on which parent raises it, the half troll will either have a troll name or one common to the other parents race.


HALFLINGS: A Halfling has a given name, a family name and sometimes a nickname. It seems that family names are nothing more than nicknames that worked so well that they stuck. Typical names are: Alton, Beau, Cade, Eldon, Garret, Lyle, Milo, Osborn, Roscoe, Wellby, Amaryllis, Charmaine, Cora, Euphemia, Jillian, Lavinia, Lidda, Merla, Portia, Seraphina, Verna. Surnames generally follow the above mentioned surname convention.


HUMANS: Human names vary greatly, there is no general rule.

KALASHTAR: Their names have much in common with the name of their people, they are three to five syllables long with a combination of hard and hissing consonants. Male names end with masculine suffixes: harath, khad, melk, or tash. Females end with feminine suffixes: kashtai, shana, tari, vakri. Typical names are: Halkhad, Kanatash, Lanamelk, minharath, Nevitash, Parmelk, Thakakhad, Thinharath, Ganitari, Khashana, Lakashtari, Mevakri, Novakri, Panitari, Thakashtai, Thantari.


KILLOREN: All killoren names have three syllables, the last denotes their family much like human surnames. Killoren choose their names themselves upon reaching their tenth year. Sample names are: Durmindin, Ennimbel, Kettenbar and Shallahai.


KOBOLDS: Kobolds have a long tradition of naming their offspring, each new kobold is given a name that reflects the long lineage of his clan, often dating back to the beginning of the race itself. These names are always in the Draconic language and are rarely shared with outsiders. In fact it is considered one of the greatest statements of trust and honor if a kobold shares its Draconic name with you. To the other races, kobolds tend to take descriptive nicknames, often describing physical attributes or professions.


LIZARDFOLK: While there are many lizardfolk clans, most can be divided up into three main groups. All of their formal names are difficult for other creatures to pronounce as they are in the sibilant language of the lizardfolk.


BLACKSCALES: Power impresses and drives these large creatures and they tend to name their children with words that reflect the strength and power each parent wishes for their child.


COLD SUN TRIBES: The Cold Sun Tribes, while still primitive are more advanced than the other branches of lizardfolk. In an attempt to have closer relations with other races, the Cold Sun Tribes have taken to ‘borrowing’ names from other races. It is possible for a cold sun lizardfolk to have any name from any of the races.


POISON DUSK: Small, quick and primitive, the Poison Dusk name their children short sibilant names that describe speed, agility, alertness or aspects of the swamp they live in.


MAENADS: Maenad names are given and used much like human names. Every maenad has at least a given name and a family name. Typical names: Alberik, Alrik, Basilius, Erland, Gunnar, Isak, Ragnor, Rurik, Tor, Agaton, Annalina, Blenda, Eleonora, Gala, Lena, Malin, Ragnara, Vedius. Typical surnames include: Coebelliantus, Hjalmar, Kolbjorn, Perchnosius, Torborn, Valborg, Valentin, Xaljorn.


MEPHLINGS: A Mephling typically uses the given to it by its adopting parents, but most choose another name at adulthood. It is often a descriptive word for their elemental heritage (Fire, Crackle, Rock, Splash, Breeze, etc).


MINOTAURS: Legends speak of the minotaurs as a crossbreed originally, nothing could be further from the truth. However, the minotaur society likes that their history is shrouded in mystery and incorrect information and to perpetuate the lie, thay choose common names from the human lexicon for all of their offspring.


MONGRELFOLK: Mongrelfolk pick their names from those used by other races. They try to pick names that could belong to more than one race. They will adopt different surnames or clan names, depending on what races they are encountering. Typical names include: Andion, Austen, Caden, Elzedar, Haraze, Jerain, Michel, Randal, Tahriol, Winden, Betra, Candace, Deliah, Esthel, Gerta, Jenemia, Lissende, Marte, Safire, Vendela.


OGRES: Ogres are simple creatures and as such have simple names, most are descriptive names, when translated into common, are equivalent to Smash, Crash, Crunch, etc.


ORCS: With a long tradition of Druidic duty and ties to nature, the proud orc race has fallen into disrepute in the more civilized areas of the world. In the wilds where their culture has not been diluted they maintain their strength and dignity. As such, there are 2 naming schemes present in the orc society. ‘Civilized’ orcs, creatures that have left their proud heritage behind, usually have monosyllabic names that are gutteral and crude sounding, like Kruusk. The ‘Wild’ orcs name their offspring with two names, a formal name and a clan name. Both sound odd to the human ear but consist of heavy consonants and ‘apostrophied’ segments like Kryll’taan Gruut’toorik.

SHIFTERS: Shifters use the same names as humans, often ones that sound rustic to city dwellers.


TIEFLING: Tieflings tend to take human names, until they decide to differentiate themselves from their parents. They often take Abyssal or Infernal words that sound menacing, even if they do not know the meaning of the word.


TROGLODYTES: Much like their Lizardfolk cousins of the Cold Sun Tribes, Troglodytes adopt names from other cultures, often cultures that live near them, in an attempt to ‘fit in’ better.


TROLLS: Trolls have gutteral monosyllabic names that have no real translation into common. Creatures that do not speak troll and manage to somehow form a friendly relationship with a troll, usually give them a nickname that is at least close to the trolls given name. There does not appear to be any pattern or reasoning in the troll naming convention and troll names sound like pure gibberish to anyone that hears them.


WARFORGED: Warforged do not name themselves and only recently have begun to understand the need for other races to have names for everything. Many accept whatever names others see fit to give them, and warforged travelling with humans are often referred to by nicknames. Some warforged, however, have come to see having a name as a defining moment of their new existence, and thus search long and hard for the perfect name to attach to themselves.


XEPHS: A Xeph’s name is granted to them on their fourth birthday. Most xeph are used and reused down through the generations. Xephs that travel usually take the name of their city of birth as a surname, a reminder of where they originally began their journey through life. Typical names include: Assim, Bahram, Behrooze, Cyrus, Jamsheed, Ksathra, Shahin, Soraya, Zenda, Asha, Dareh, Feroz, Kurush, Melchoir, saeed, Val.