Hyborian names

Faraer

Mongoose
When getting to grips with fictional settings, I always try to grok the way characters and places are named. These are just a couple of preliminary thoughts.

Howard's character names are a mix of historical names, modified historical names or new names inspired by them, and fantastic made-up names. While reading and rereading the Conan stories I'm reading other stories by Howard and, in part, thinking how elements (such as names) could be adapted to the Hyborian Age.

De Camp's article "Hyborian Names", published in Conan the Swordsman, is a handy compilation of character and place names (with a few omissions) from the Lancer/Ace Conan stories, though some of the derivations are speculative and/or unlikely.

Two of the main types of fantastic names are Pictish and Zamorian.

There are a lot more Pictish names in non-Conan stories: Brogar, Brule, Brulla, Gonar, Grogar, Grom, Grulk, Ka-nu, Kelka, Lion-fang, to name a lot of them, and Garogh from a Conan draft. Of the Conan-story Pict names, one is native American-styled (Teyanoga), and two are fantastic (Gorm -- though the Danish king may be an inspiration -- and Zogar Sag). Just as he used more medieval terminology when writing "The Scarlet Citadel", Howard's interest in American lore when he wrote "Wolves Beyond the Border" led him to use some American-style character and place names. I don't think this invalidates the fantastic-styled Pict names, and I think they could be interestingly merged to increase the narrow B-, G- range.

There are different ways to interpret the extant Zamorian names, Shevatas and Yara. I see a pattern with Yara, the Zarfhaanian name Kulra Thoom from "Delcardes' Cat", and Joka from "Rogues in the House", though I may be imagining it.
 

Faraer

Mongoose
Howard's exotic, orientalist East is informed by contemporary yellow-peril stories and 19th-century English fiction as well as by history, so completely historical names don't quite work. Here are some Chinese names from his stories to use for Khitan characters (now expanded):

Fang Yin, Feng, Kang Yao, Ki Yang, Kwang Tzu, Li Yang, Li Yun, Li-crin, Li-keh-tsung, Shan Yang, Soo Ong, Tang Wu, Tao Tsang, Ti Ying, To Yan, To Ying, Wang, Whang Shan, Woon Shang, Wu Shang, Wu Tung, Yah Lai, Yao Shan, Yota Lao, Yotai Lao, Yotai Yun, Yuen Chin, Yun Chei, Yut Ling, Yut Wuen
 

Faraer

Mongoose
So, having collected most of Howard's Pictish proper names -- including personal names from "The Gods of Bal-Sagoth" which are for some reason in much the same style -- I plugged them into Everchanging Book of Names and get quite impressive (and rather fascinating re the Picts) output for a relatively small seed sample, for instance:

Skeh, Braler, Galki, Buna, Bremar, Suthak, Grathi, Zungoh, Gatoci, Groga, Bulka, Koguk, Gruthi, Zulka, Ganola, Katun, Gri, Skegan, Tolki, Graga, Balor, Brathga, Gonalk, Brala, Bonar, Deyarona, Sethogu, Ska, Bora, Delor, Bonala, Telba, Allam, Kongi, Baran, Brar, Katha, Gracur, Dorega, Skaron, Branar, Skuh, Grogh, Tolka, Gram, Gragam, Guma, Gre, Gora, Goram, Garun, Kolbu, Korn, Brathgi, Bri, Berni, Kolbarm, Deyarula, Gronar, Botha, Zogh, Gothara, Gra, Bama, Bror, Grator, Grolar, Groh, Gatha, Skothga, Gralla, Genarm, Sagon, Barnalk, Grelar, Gacar, Aller, Kolbe, Zalk, Zornami, Zatam, Kalkagh, Gron, Ganga, Nogeh, Banulk, Dolur, Skalur, Golli, Gran, Zanga, Sotegh, Kagon, Borgala, Zorna, Karnala, Kataca, Talbon, Grethi, Sulkota
 

slaughterj

Mongoose
Mongoose Old Bear said:
Issue 11 of S&P will begin a series on names, with each nation getting its own list.

I was hoping that sort of content would be in the Road of Kings, expanding on the lists provided in the main book...
 

Yokiboy

Mongoose
slaughterj said:
I was hoping that sort of content would be in the Road of Kings, expanding on the lists provided in the main book...

Yeah, I understand wanting to sell magazines, but I do hope that some of that content will appear in future Conan the RPG titles?

TTFN,

Yokiboy
 

Iron_Chef

Mongoose
slaughterj said:
Mongoose Old Bear said:
Issue 11 of S&P will begin a series on names, with each nation getting its own list.

I was hoping that sort of content would be in the Road of Kings, expanding on the lists provided in the main book...

Me too. I hope that's not the only Conan content in that issue, or it will be another issue I won't buy. I've already compiled my own huge list of names from the pastiches and originals, which took me a whole day of going through every book I owned with a fine tooth comb. I would have posted my list, but I was having trouble with the forum screwing up my formatting.
 

slaughterj

Mongoose
Iron_Chef said:
slaughterj said:
Mongoose Old Bear said:
Issue 11 of S&P will begin a series on names, with each nation getting its own list.

I was hoping that sort of content would be in the Road of Kings, expanding on the lists provided in the main book...

Me too. I hope that's not the only Conan content in that issue, or it will be another issue I won't buy. I've already compiled my own huge list of names from the pastiches and originals, which took me a whole day of going through every book I owned with a fine tooth comb. I would have posted my list, but I was having trouble with the forum screwing up my formatting.

You could probably get it to Red Tulwar to post, or upload it to the yahoo group.
 

rook111

Mongoose
Heres a question about Hyborian names for you guys, Do the Hyborian Nations use the modern convention of a given name followed by a surname or is it single names only or some kind of odd mixture?
 

Deathdealer

Mongoose
I wouldn't expect surnames from anyone except nobles. Other people would probably just be known by their name along with some reference to their location, their father, their place of origin, their job or some descriptive term such as...
Taurus of Nemedia
Amalric son of Gault
Khossus the Red
 

DrSkull

Mongoose
I can't recall a single surname in any Conan story off the top of my head. Even the nobles don't seem to have a "house" name, just a personal one. For instance, Conan's loyal Poitain supporters are named Trocero and Prospero, never with any kind of surname at all.

I think the one Borderer in one of the Pictish border stories was called "son of such and such" but it didn't seem like a fixed surname.
 

Old Bear

Mongoose
DrSkull said:
I can't recall a single surname in any Conan story off the top of my head. Even the nobles don't seem to have a "house" name, just a personal one. For instance, Conan's loyal Poitain supporters are named Trocero and Prospero, never with any kind of surname at all.

I think the one Borderer in one of the Pictish border stories was called "son of such and such" but it didn't seem like a fixed surname.

Olgerd Vladislav comes to mind. I suppose technically Kosatral Khel... :wink:
 
Iron_Chef said:
Me too. I hope that's not the only Conan content in that issue, or it will be another issue I won't buy. I've already compiled my own huge list of names from the pastiches and originals, which took me a whole day of going through every book I owned with a fine tooth comb. I would have posted my list, but I was having trouble with the forum screwing up my formatting.

I'd love to see that list. How about adding it to the Conan yahoo group? Or just as a loooong list here on the forum, even if your formatting cannot be used?

Also wondering otherwise why name descriptions would not be included in ROK? Seems logical...

//Mutated Mongoose
 
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