Monday, August 31, 2009

The Meanings of Words

I decided to fool around a bit with the Notary in LOTRO this morning, giving my toons some surnames that grant character. I've always enjoyed playing around with the rich language that Tolkien created for Lord of the Rings. Most of my toons have some meaning in their names that describes their background or character.

Heren Lokion - As we've said elsewhere on this blog, this is our "translation" of Ordo Serpentis from Latin into Quenya (high elven). "Heren" means Order, as in "Heren Istarion," the Order of Wizards. Interestingly, it's close in spelling to "heru," which means lord, and another translation of "heren" is success, fortune, mastery over. Lokion, I think we misspelled. It should be Lokeon, which is simply the word for snakes made possessive, i.e. "of the snakes." So, Heren Lokeon is "Order of the Snakes" or "Mastery over the Snakes."

Ellote - My main's first name translates to "Star flower" from Quenya.

Avouz - This was a name created via a random letter generator. Avouz was originally a character from D&D Dark Sun realm, so there was no languages to draw upon. However, treating this as an actual Tolkien word produces some interesting results. "Ava" means outside and is used to describe the Void, i.e. Avakuma. "u" is a negative, i.e. "not" or "against." The letter Z does not appear in Quenya that I can tell. Avouz is an Avari prince in LOTRO, so one could argue that his name is from a language that evolved from Quenya and it translates to "Against the Void" or "Not outside."

Saemonades - Taken from the Greek name Simonides. This one is a bit trickier than Avouz was to plug into a Tolkien language. "Si" means now. There is nothing for "mon" although "men" means region. "Ada" is man in Sindarin, i.e. "Adan" or "Edain" in the plural. "Man of the now region?" Or perhaps "Man of this time." Still an odd name for an elf, but no worse than its original Greek meaning "snub-nosed one." His surname is easier, "Mordeion," son of Morde. Morde was the elven spellcaster played by another friend of ours in our very first MERP campaign back in college.

We don't know a whole lot more about Tolkien's languages for the Rohir, Dwarves, and other races, although it is obvious he did do some work in these areas. Still, I'm not sure I want to try to figure out what Stofnar or Maeoden mean in English. I did my own little language game for Nord, claiming that "korath" means child and "nord" means north in Haradric, so he is "child of the north."

1 comment:

slick said...

I tried to put some thought into my characters' names. Calendriel dates back to our original Middle Earth RPG, and her name means something like "green-garlanded maiden" (since she was originally a druid.) Meriliavas is a bit more awkward in pronunciation, but means "autumn rose." Caalen is my own creation, borrowed from WoW and a Realms D&D adventure...I tried to make it more Rohrimm-like, but most easy transformations were already taken.