Author Topic: [New project] Help with names  (Read 2529 times)

Tusky

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[New project] Help with names
« on: April 06, 2018, 03:22:09 PM »
This isn't (yet) a demostrable product so not sure if this is the best forum to ask this... please move if not


I'm writing a medieval sim style game that involves a number of knights from up to 16 medieval noble houses with heraldry, probably some amount of backstory but I need good ideas for house names. This would be for the house rather than an individual's name (e.g. Lancelot's house I believe was Benwick). This is because the knights can die and so will have randomly generated first names.


I was initially going to go for the pseudo-real angle, with house names like Goodwin / Redmond and that sort of thing. But then I thought it might be good fun to instead have the houses as spoofs of things pop culture or even some exilian references?! My only worry is that there aren't 16 that are well known enough.


Couple of ideas I had:


Bannister, house crest could be a ballistrade (Send up of Lannister)
Birodragon (pendragon)


So does anyone have any house name suggestions, or maybe know of a good resource I can use? What Exilian references might work?


Is my fledgeling idea of having spoof names actually a good one? I suspect that since I am asking this in a forum frequented by medievalists the answer will be a no...
« Last Edit: April 13, 2018, 08:45:46 AM by Tusky »
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Caradìlis

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Re: Next project: Help with names
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2018, 06:20:39 PM »
First of all, I'd like to say that the pendragon pun is brilliant, hilarious and I am sad that I haven't thought of it ever... ;D

Second, - as probably evident through my first comment - I don't think there is anything wrong with pun house names... It depends on what you want the end result to be though...
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Jubal

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Re: Next project: Help with names
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2018, 08:01:41 PM »
I may be a medievalist, but I'm nonetheless very much up for puns :) I think the thing you might struggle with is finding enough well-known knightly/legendary names to pun on, since surnames were not always used and/or were often place based in both the Arthurian legends and the real medieval period generally. We might get 16 though...

I'm not sure I'd use Bannister as it's a real surname. I very much like birodragon. :)

Other names one could use as a pun basis...
de Montfort (Led 2nd Barons War)
Plantagenet (English royal house)
Fitzwalter (Led 1st Barons War)
Bruce (as in Robert the Bruce)
Wallace (ol' William)
Hauteville (Norman family who conquered Sicily)
Neville (Surname of the earl of Warwick known as "the Kingmaker")
Glyndŵr (Leader of the main Welsh rebellion in the Middle Ages)
du Lac (most often used as Lancelot's surname)
Aurelianus (given as the surname of the predecessor to the Pendragons)
da Hammo (the surname of Tolkien's eponymous hero in the book Farmer Giles of Ham, who becomes King after some shenanigans with a dragon and a blunderbuss).
le Fay (Morgana's surname)
Roncevaux (not actually a surname, but the battle in which Roland famously died)
Díaz de Vivar (El Cid's real surname)
Campeador ("Great Warrior", a nickname of El Cid)
Cid (See previous two suggestions)
Martel ("the Hammer", a nickname of Charlemagne's grandfather)
> Plus the GoT house names

I guess the question is whether a list like that is well known enough to work with, which isn't a question I know the answer to.

Out of interest, where did you find the name Benwick attached to Lancelot? It's not one I've seen before in any of the Arthurian variants I know...
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Glaurung

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Re: Next project: Help with names
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2018, 08:28:01 PM »
Campeador ("Great Warrior", a nickname of El Cid)
I was a bit uncertain about this, but I can see how it might be worked out: the -ador ending probably means 'fighter, killer', as in toreador, and camp- would be from campo, 'field', in the sense of 'battle'. So, loosely, 'battle-fighter', intensified by being the battle-fighter. But my etymology could be horribly wrong.

Out of interest, where did you find the name Benwick attached to Lancelot? It's not one I've seen before in any of the Arthurian variants I know...
According to the Wikipedia article, it's from French/Breton sources - he appears as the son of King Ban of Benoic (anglicised as Benwick). This definitely ended up in something I read a long time ago, probably as a child or teenager: probably T. H. White's The Once and Future King, or possibly Mary Stewart's "Merlin" trilogy.

Tusky

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Re: Next project: Help with names
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2018, 08:30:54 PM »

Wow fantastic list Jub - thanks a bunch. There are plenty that can be used there. I'll ruminate for a while and post back with a shortlist maybe


You're right about Bannister - it is quite a common surname so I'll rethink that one.


Out of interest, where did you find the name Benwick attached to Lancelot? It's not one I've seen before in any of the Arthurian variants I know...


I remember it from when I read up on it a while ago (from internet sources) Checking back (as Glaurung says) it's of French origin. I think I just assumed it was that - and du lac was a more myth based one from his upbringing from the lady of the lake
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Ban


First of all, I'd like to say that the pendragon pun is brilliant


Thanks Car! 



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Jubal

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Re: Next project: Help with names
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2018, 09:31:06 PM »
@Glaur: I *think* I'd have recognised it if it was in The Once And Future King, though I guess it's a while since I've read it. I've not read the Merlin trilogy though, so could well be from there.

@Tusky: no probs, glad to be useful :)
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Silverspook

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Re: Next project: Help with names
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2018, 01:52:35 AM »
Cool concept!

I actually had a ton of names for "houses" in the cyberpunk-future feudalism in Neofeud, and I similarly tried out a great deal of different angles including realistic, off-the-wall comedy, pop-cultural, and more allusive / critical. I think the initial name for the Clington-Buschs was Tywester, or Stanniston, something like that. XD 

Here's some random stuff off the top of my head if you're going medieval comedy angle:

Gilliamson
Cleseman
Jonesterry
Idlestein
du Dench





Tusky

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Re: Next project: Help with names
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2018, 10:33:23 AM »




I think the initial name for the Clington-Buschs was Tywester, or Stanniston, something like that. XD 
Nice. Mind if I pinch this?


Thanks again everyone for your great feedback  8)


So I have been ruminating on this over the last couple of days and have distilled down to this shortlist:


#Principle championSpoof SurnameBased On
1WilliamWarlessWallace
2SimonDe MontcastleDe Montfort
3TancredHaughtyvilleHauteville
4RobertFitzwaldoFitzwalter (all of the above are based on real families from Jub's reply)
5GuyGisboneGisbourne
6RobinLockshoodLocksley
7WilfredIvanholeIvanhoe
8LancelotDu LackDu Lac
9EdmundDarkaspBlackadder
10ArthurBirodragonPendragon
11UlricVon LichenstoneVon Liechtenstein (appears in "a knights tale" but based on a real person)
12NeddardNorthgrimStark
13Gregor "The hillock"ClegoonClegane
14JorahFewermontMoremont
15RobertStannistonBaratheon (From Silverpook's suggestion)
16JaimeFlannisterLannister




There are a couple that I think will do better as main story characters you have to deal with, rather than playable houses:


  • The Black Knight. (Known from various things, in this case I'm primarily thinking monty python)
  • The Sid. (El Cid)



Thoughts?
Another thing/concern I have is that I don't want to infringe on copyright or anything like that...

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Jubal

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Re: Next project: Help with names
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2018, 10:39:13 AM »
I think you should be fine - in both UK and US law, parody is explicitly protected and exempted from copyright obligations, and if you're only really taking mock-versions of a couple of characters then I think it's completely fair use legally.

You could replace the GoT forenames with slightly changed variants as well if you want to provide more cover - "Jonah", "Egbert", and "James" or "Jamie", say.
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Silverspook

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Re: Next project: Help with names
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2018, 09:12:39 AM »




I think the initial name for the Clington-Buschs was Tywester, or Stanniston, something like that. XD 
Nice. Mind if I pinch this?


Yeah, go ahead. I'm not planning on making that Game of Thrones rehash anyway. (I'd much prefer to get Neofeud greenlit into a Netflix Original series... *wink wink, nudge nudge to all the Netflix producers on Exilian*)  ;D

Jubal

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Re: Next project: Help with names
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2018, 10:49:36 PM »
Would that we did have Netflix producers trawling the site...
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Tusky

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Re: [New project] Help with names
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2018, 03:16:30 PM »
I'm still thinking about this. 

I'm interested in the legality of using a name that is in use. For example George RR uses Bolton, which is a pretty common surname. As far as I've been able to tell from looking at the legality around use of real people in fiction (e.g. here) it seems like it's only a problem if you've used their exact name, and they either make money from who they are, or the story (game) is defamatory / untrue.

I was thinking of throwing a couple of less silly / real names in, e.g. Gwent or Redmont, but don't wan't someone to sue me!
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Jubal

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Re: [New project] Help with names
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2018, 10:03:08 PM »
I'm fairly sure that a fictional character happening to have the same name as a non-fictional character is not at all illegal. And indeed - I think they would need to prove both that it was an intentional portrayal of them, and that it had been reputationally or financially damaging to them. I think you're absolutely fine on that.
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