Blog Azeroth Shared Topic: What’s in a name?

The shared topic this week is all about names.

How did you decide upon the name for your character(s)? Did you delve into Norse, Greek, or Roman mythology? Did you choose a name from one of your family members? Did you mash the “Random” name generator button in vain until you stumbled upon something you liked? Is your name a play on aspects of your class, using spells or other traits? Did you play around with syllables, vowels, and consonants until you found something that you loved?

suggested by Llani of Pocket Heals.

I’ve always had trouble picking the perfect name for each of my characters. It has to be something which suits the personality of the character, without being too silly, obscene or full of íntéréstíng accents. I learnt the latter the hard way, after deciding to call my Undead Priest Dornröschen. What seemed like a good idea at lv 1 was actually exceedingly annoying for friends by lv 70. Although it did cut down on gold selling whispers, so I suppose every cloud has a  silver lining. As W.H Auden wrote “Proper names are poetry in the raw” and thus the choosing of cannot be taken lightly.

The very first character I made all by myself was a warlock. So when I went searching for suitable names I wanted something which I felt suited this slightly evil creature who liked playing with demons. At the same time I was reading the Illiad as part of my course work and when I came across this:

And he prayed aloud, looking up to the wide heaven: “Be Zeus before all witness, highest and best of the gods, and Earth, and Sun, and Erinyes, who under earth take vengeance upon men


but it is not I who am the cause, but Zeus and Destiny and Erinys that walketh in the darkness, who put into my soul fierce madness

I knew I had to call her Erinys and when I rerolled with friends on another server, my new main, a Priest ended up being called Erinys as well. I had intended the Priest would melt faces but since back then it was spec holy/disc or watch your guild raid without you, that didn’t last long. Despite having had the opportunity to name change whilst server and faction transfering, she just is Erinys now. Calling her anything else would be a crime.

My second and third warlocks are both called Teasel after the prickly plant which grew along the river bank near my Grandmother’s when I was a little girl. Plant names tend to be my fall back if I can’t find any suitable mythological names. Besides I couldn’t help but think that my warlocks suit being named after a very beautiful, although not in the classical sense plant which comes with lots of little spikes. It’s not a far leap of the imagination to go from a death of a thousand little spines to dying slowly covered in dots.

The third category of names I use are place names. My mage Clova for example is named after Glen Clova. We drove past the signpost for the Glen when I was frantically trying to think of a name and so it was obviously fate.

I was hoping to call my new gnome priest Bubblensqueak but unfortunately Blizzard are a bit mean with their character allowance and Bublensqueak or Bubblensquek or any variation there of just look wrong. That’s probably a good thing though.

One of my favourite resources for names can be found here. Failing that, road maps, atlases and gardening books have all proven very useful in the past. I have to say I loved reading everyone else’s responses though, perhaps more so than any other topic so far. Names are so personal and seeing a touch of other people’s thought processes has been fascinating.

2 Responses

  1. I love finding new names for my characters. I think the part I dislike the most is when I find one I really want to use, and find that it’s already been taken on my server.

    Like Saga, the name I’ve had since like forever I haven’t actually been able to use on my last couple of realms. Makes me sad 😦

    A few of the other names I really like and use a lot I also can’t use because they’re taken, but it does mean I have to go out and look for new names. And I’ve found a few that are hardly ever taken – which works out nicely.

    I will have to check that website you linked, I usually look at and other sites. I’ve also got a list of greek/gaelic names that I keep on my computer when I want to browse through it for a new name.

    • Sometimes I feel that evil sprites just bookmark every sensible name on every server. I actually find that it’s one of the hardest things to do. Usually I have to go through five or six names before I find one that’s not taken now.

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