The Sammichians... A race of disillusioned, pompous, and power-hungry cretins. A noble race nonetheless! You may have noticed that many of them possess very impressive, if not a bit odd, personal and family names. In this thread I'm going to give you insight into how I come up with these names, the Thrennexian language as a whole, and how you might go about creating your own Sammichian name (totally not for the purpose of stealing these for future wiki use).
Let's get started with a bit of a Shire history lesson.
Modern-day Sammichians trace their evolution and subsequent ancestry to the freezing continent of Thrennex in the northwestern Shire. They were credited with having established one of, if not the first civilization in the Shire around 2,500 PRY (Pre-Reckoning Year, equivalent to our world's B.C.). This head-start, as well as their expansionist tendencies, allowed them to eventually form the massive ancient empire of Xamichia, exerting a great degree of control over much of the Shire. The Xamichines (the source of the modern-day term Sammichian) spoke the language known as Thrennexian, which forms the basis of many of today's languages in the Shire. Imagine a very similar scenario to that of the Romans in Europe.
Thrennexian draws heavily upon Latin and Ancient Greek influences, as do the names it produced. To truly understand Sammichian names, one must recognize that Xamichine society was highly elitist and the language was divided into two distinct dialects: High Thrennexian (Accra unthet
) and Vulgar Thrennexian (Sepra unthet
). The former was a much more elaborate dialect, reserved only for the Xamichine ruling class and government matters. The latter was used by the commoners, and this distinction was enforced by law; those caught speaking High Thrennexian without the authorization to do could be fined, imprisoned, or in severe cases, have their tongues removed.
Thanks to these two dialects, there was (and continues to be) a contrast between the names of more influential Sammichians and the common people.
We'll talk about High Thrennexian names first.
These names are much more elaborate and grandiose than their Vulgar counterparts, used to reflect the power and majesty of the Xamichine and Fulfwotzian aristocracy. For males, these names typically end with an S or X, preceded by a vowel, in most cases a U, E, or A, although you will never see an A paired with an S. For example: Sammus. Tophaeres. Niphulux. Drefnex. Calphamax. On the other hand, female names almost always end in -a
. For example: Tryphaena. Vespania. Last names follow very similar conventions, but will oftentimes also end in -ae.
They also differ in the sense that members of the nobility have the privilege of using a nobiliary particle before their family name, similar to our von
in German and de
in French. This particle takes the form of vos
. We see this used in today's eight surviving noble families, such as Vos Vespae or Vos Petronax. While there was a much wider variety of titles in Xamichia, in today's NSE all nobles carry the title of Lord or Lady. They often carry a purely-ceremonial territorial attachment to their name as well. Put all together, a High Thrennexian name in both English and Thrennexian will appear in full as:
Lord Calphamax vos Vespae III of the Caffan Lagoon
Accraprimus Dominus Calphamax vos Vespae III sea Stagna se Capha
Lady Vulnicura vos Sparax I of Sammichian Verdenesia
Accraprima Domina Vulnicura vos Sparax I sea Verdenes Xamichine
Accra = denoting that they are the incumbent head of their family
Primus/a = denoting that they are related to the noble family by blood and was/is the heir to the head of the family
Dominus/a = Lord/Lady
I'm sure you understand (and hopefully appreciate) at this point how complicated High Thrennexian can be as far as names stand. Thank god it went extinct! Luckily for you, Vulgar Thrennexian names are much simpler to grasp.
As they are much more common, these names are shorter and far less complex. Male names will usually end in -o
. For example: Dago. Vigo. Calo. Moro. Traeto. Nero. Female names will end in -ia
. For example: Nessica. Sera. Meria. Traena. Venia. Vesta. You will almost never see a commoner sharing a name with any noble or ruler, modern or historic. The practice was outlawed for much of Xamichine and Fulfwotzian history, and while it's perfectly legal today, many perceive it as a taboo. You will not readily find a common Sammichian named Aggripedes or Amphurna, though some Humans do not share the same reverence for such names. You will, however, sometimes find last names that seem to be derived from the names of certain rulers. For example, Vespinus from Vespania; Meraxae from Meraxes; Sceparax from Scepares; or Amphilae from Amphila. This was a way for commoners to circumvent the restrictions preventing them from naming themselves and their children after members of the Sammichian ruling class.
Although both Thrennexian dialects have gone largely extinct and been overtaken by English, these names have and will continue to persist. I hope this has proved not only informative but also intriguing to those of you interested in Shire lore and naming conventions.
Why not take a shot at creating some of your own Sammichian names? If you're looking to create a noble name, keep in mind that these are the current Sammichian noble families:
- Vos Arrax
- Vos Hatrinidae
- Vos Ich*
- Vos Nervae
- Vos Paxae
- Vos Petronax
- Vos Sparax
- Vos Vespae
If you're feeling stumped, it helps to look up ancient Latin or Greek names and simply tweak them a bit. Enjoy!
*the unusuality behind "Ich" as a Sammichian name is attributed to the fact that it was originally "Vos Ichirae", named for the territory (Ichira) the family was appointed to govern in Xamichia. After a rebellion and the consequential razing of the province, -irae was dropped from the name.