There have been some awesome names and words created by authors of fiction throughout the centuries. Some of them I’m just happy to read about, but then, sometimes, there are some of the names and words I’m actually jealous of!
Mithrandir and Mirkwood
Starting with the king of fantasy, JRR Tolkien coined some words and names still used in the genre. Most of the names – especially after the movies made it even more famous – have become recognizable even to those who’ve never read the books. These include names like ‘Gandalf,’ ‘Frodo Baggins’ and ‘Gollum.’ But my favourite word – and the only one I would love to use myself – is the elvish name for Gandalf: ‘Mithrandir.’ I love how it rolls off the tongue and how mysterious it sounds.
For a place, there are many to choose from in Middle Earth, the least of all ‘Middle Earth.’ Some beautiful names are ‘Lothlorien,’ ‘Moria,’ ‘Rivendell’ and just about every elven name. But the most beautiful is ‘Mirkwood,’ a name we read of first in The Hobbit. It is a name that sounds mysterious and dark and is a perfect name for a dark, mysterious wood!
Elrakyn and fenlings
Moving to another fantasy legend, David Eddings created some epic names and words. Though I’ve never been a fan of ‘Polgara,’ the name ‘Poledra’ actually isn’t too bad. But the words that stand out, are ‘eldrakyn’ and ‘fenlings.’ An ‘eldrak’ is a kind of clever troll and ‘fenlings’ are cute otter-type creatures. They are granted the power of speech and it is utterly adorable!
Gar, Sylph and Mord Sith
You don’t have to struggle through the entire Sword of Truth-series by Terry Goodkind to find some fabulous words. Note that I don’t write ‘struggle’ because the series is bad, but because it is heavy reading. I like it, but it isn’t on my regular-reading list. He did create some wonderful words, though. There is the simple ‘gar,’ a great flying gargoyle-thing that counts its bloodflies; the ‘sylph,’ that transports you to other wells and was probably once a human woman; and of course, the ‘Mord Sith,’ probably the most bad-ass women ever to grace the pages of fantasy. In true Goodkind-style, their origins are also extremely tragic and terrible. It’s worth it to read it just once, either way.
Nac Mac Feegle and AshkEnte
Considering the amount of books he wrote – and the detailed world he created – there are few words from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld-series that I really envy. Most are great, but the only words I wish I could have come up with, would be ‘Nac Mac Feegle’ and ‘AshkEnte.’ Especially ‘AshkEnte’ is a word that would have been wonderful in other, more serious fantasy. But, considering the corpus of work by Pratchett, the word is perfect. It’s a pretentious word for a pretentious rite with some pretentious characters, and then he satires all over it! Well played, Terry, well played!
The Stargate name for humans is ‘Tau’ri.’ The word in its less-fancy form, Tauri, is a real word and you can Google it, like I did. Real or not, it is another word with a nice ring to it and something I would love to have an excuse to use.
Another name I wish I could somehow use, is the Star Trek name ‘Terok Nor.’ There are thousands of names and words in the Star Trek universe, but by far my favourite is ‘Terok Nor,’ the Cardassian name for the space station renamed Deep Space 9. And yes, I’ve been ‘keeping up with the Cardassians’ since the mid-90’s, although it is spelled slightly different and the aliens are not half as vicious and manipulative as their human namesakes. This is scary, as the Cardassians as a culture live for intrigue.
Though not a story – either written or filmed – it is a nice name reminiscent of Tolkien, from whom World of Warcraft seem to get a great deal of its inspiration. Here, too, there are many names I could fall in love with, such as ‘Ammen Vale,’ ‘Durator’ and ‘Shadowglen,’ my favourite is ‘Felwood.’
I feel slightly embarrassed to admit there are no Star Wars names that really stand out, beyond the fact that the movies (OT) is one of the cornerstones of my youth. The same goes for any of the Anne McCaffrey books. They are great stories, but the names are not that wonderful. One day I can only hope at least one of the names I will create will make a list such as this. Maybe. Maybe not.