Elf Name Generators Inspired by Tolkien's Languages For Characters in LOTRO
Are you creating an aloof Elf in the online game Lord of the Rings, and you don't quite know the perfect name? Here we have names taken from language elements in Tolkien's work, which you can combine according to their meanings to express your character's personality.
Elvish and Names
For each of the characters you can pick to play in LOTRO, names are important. Elven names are particularly difficult to find that will both fit in the game, and are not appropriated from a well known character in the books. While LOTRO offers you some common prefixes and suffixes for names, you have no way of knowing what your pick means.
Tolkien created the languages his elves spoke, and used elements and words from those languages to name the elves in his books. Here, we look at Elf name generators which use words from Tolkien's Elvish languages, allowing you to select their meanings.
Slack 'n' Hash
As an example, here you can pick dae, which means shadow, and maethor, meaning warrior, at the Elf Name Generator at Slack 'n' Hash, and they will combine the words in their generator according to Tolkien's naming conventions. It is a propitious sounding site to choose a name to wear proudly into combat. They come up with the name Daevaethor, which has had some grammatical formatting done to the elements to conform to Tolkien's rules for his languages, and allows you to give your character a name meaning shadow warrior. This generator uses Sindarin name elements.
The Elf Name Generator here offers two different methods: Random or Select from Lists. It asks you Gender, with the choices: either, female or male, and a box to check to 'Remove evil bits?' Random female, no check gives me élchiril: and tells me what the name means based on the elements used. It is taken from él (star) and hiril (lady).
The site gives credit to dreamingfifi at realelvish, for Sindarin name elements and rules. After a study of the different word choices in the generator, I check the box 'Remove evil bits?', but see no difference in the list of name elements. Using the Select from Lists choice, as I did for shadow warrior, I pick the elements bain, meaning fair, and ini, meaning female. The combination give s me the name Baineth, using rules to change the form of the second element.
I surf to the site realelvish, since it was mentioned, and find some very interesting reading material on Elven Naming Traditions. This indicates Elves have two to three names in their lives, one of which would never be shared with anyone outside an intimate group. The page is well worth reading, giving you a sense of the purpose of your elf name, and may make you decide you need an additional secret name to add depth to your character.
Elf Fetish: Quenya and Sindarin names
This site has Elven name generators from both the Quenya and Sindarin languages. Quenya is the tongue of the High Elven, and was not routinely spoken during the time period covered by the books of The Lord of the Rings. However, Galadriel recites poetry in the Quenya Language in the course of the books, and Elendil, who, while dead, was still an important person in the LOTR, was named in Quenya. Both of the generators on this site offer you the opportunity to generate a random name, and then tell you what the elements mean. The randomly generated names may sound well, but checking the meaning given is an excellent idea. Randomly, the Sindarin generator came up with Idhorif, which looks interesting, but the meaning is thoughtfulness bark- not a concept that seems to have an immediate meaning.
For those of you who like the sounds of Quenya better, you can read about The Quenya name generator, and then click the internal links to bring you to the actual generator. It again is a generator which takes a first element and a second element, both of which are given to you with meanings, and then combines them according to Quenya grammatical rules. The author also has some comments about names which can be created as a combination, but would not have been used in the form the name generator created them, and why. As of June 14 th, 2009, the Quenya name generator is offline for maintenance: it says it will be available again soon.
For Sindarin names, which were the names in use at the timespan covered by the LOTR, information starts on the page Introductory topics, which the author warns should be read before jumping into the use of the actual generator. He also gives sources for other information on Sindarin, and where to go if you actually want to try to learn it. The Sindarin elven name generator consists of lists of language elements. You select the element you want first, and then a second element, and his compiler, known as pixilated feanor, will work through, he says, 1000 rules, to give you a correct rendition of your chosen name. This generator does not separate male from female names, but, as the author says, the elements you pick often determine whether it is a male or female name.
For verification purposes, I pick dae and maethor again, and receive the same answer, Deaveathor, from this generator. From this generator I pick a first element, achass, meaning fear, and ceredir meaning maker (m), and the name generator gives me Achasgeredir, or fear maker, another likely name for a warrior. This generator also gives the element ceredis, meaning maker (f), to give me the name Achasgeredis, or fear maker, as a name for a female warrior.
Using the Name Generator
The generator is set up so that the same element can be used as the first or last component of a name, and the element ceredis is the form for the second element of a name. If you wanted a name beginning with maker (f), the form would be cerediss. Adding tur, the second element form for the meaning victory, pixilated feanor gave me Ceredisdur for a name, with the meaning maker victory, perhaps a name for an elf who makes her own victories.
The author does gives some warnings on the name pixilated feanor creates. While they are correct grammatically, some of the combinations don't make good names, as discussed in the following paraphrase of his reasons.
Length: most elven names are two, three or four syllables long. Beyond that, the names becomes unlikely to have been used. They are also awkward to use when you are calling for help in a hurry.
Acute accents: Lots are unlikely in a name. You may want to drop the second accent pixilated feanor puts in the name. The marks in Tolkien's runes are not accents. They are the way vowels are indicated.
Repeated Diphthongs. If pixilated feanor gives you a name with repeated ae, ie, etc., you should consider cropping the second ae to a. It will also be less confusing to companions trying to pronounce it.
Dumb names. An elf would not have a name that sounded dumb. If the combination is not pleasing, try again. This generator has several elements which have the same meaning. mith means grey, but so does thind. There are other elements which also have the same meaning as each other.
Other Fantasy Name Generators
Name generators are not a new thing for players of online games. Threshold RPG, a roleplay required text MMO, requires that character names sound appropriate for its game theme. For players who have trouble creating a suitable name, Threshold RPG staff often recommends the Samuel Stoddard Fantasy Name Generator. It has options for serious names, fun names, insulting names, names specific to a certain culture, and more.