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Fantastic Naming Convention

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Capt. Jean-Luc Picard: Yes, Ensign Laren, please have a seat.
Ens. Ro Laren: Ensign Ro, sir.
Picard: I beg your pardon?
Ro: The Bajoran custom has the family name first, the individual's second. I am properly addressed as Ensign Ro.

In real life, many cultures have unique ways of naming their children, based on family, clan, so on and so forth. It should come as no surprise, then, that writers often come up with unique naming conventions for their fictional cultures.


The simplest way of introducing a bit of foreign spice is to simply swap the placement of the given name and the family name (which can cause confusion), but it can get far more complex than that. Codifying I Am X, Son of Y is not uncommon, nor is simply giving extremely long and poetic names.

For names that all have a specific pattern, see Theme Naming. Though do note that if this Theme Naming is intentional in-universe, it could still count for this trope (such as a culture where everyone is named after flowers).

See also Fantastic Honorifics and Fantastic Rank System. Law of Alien Names, Letter Motif, and Animal Naming Conventions are also related.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Humankind Empire of Abh in Crest of the Stars employs a complex naming system for its citizens, which can have up to five distinct components, namely [Clan name] [Class indicator] [Family name] [Title]note  [Given name]. So for example, the full name of Lafiel, one of the two protagonists, is "Ablïarsec néïc Dubreuscr Bœrh Parhynr Lamhirh"note 

    Comic Books 
  • Superman: Kryptonian men are typically given one-syllable names and have one-syllable family names, hyphenated together—for example, Superman's birth name is Kal-El, or Kal from the House of El. Women have a first name and their father's full name in place of a surname—for example, Supergirl is named Kara, the daughter of Zor-El, and is this called Kara Zor-El. Women do not change their names when they marry. (Note that many writers seem to forget these conventions, however, and often give women male-style names.)
  • The merpeople of Swordquest: Waterworld apparently start all names with "aqu-". Their kingdom is Aqualania, their ruler is queen Aquana, and she gives the amnesiac protagonist the name "Aquon".

    Fan Works 
  • The Pe'khdar, a race created for the Star Trek Online fic Bait and Switch, give their names as "[Prefix]'[Suffix], Clan [X]". The prefix acts like a given name, while the suffix is passed from their same-sex parent. So, for example, the USS Bajor's security chief is Dul'krah, Clan Korekh, with the name meaning something akin to "Dul of the line of Krah". In his Day in the Limelight, The Headhunt, Dul'krah reveals that his full formal name uses the I Am X, Son of Y convention (referring to his mother rather than his father), followed by the clan he was born into (Korekh), then a Blood-Clan (Rustra), then his Ship-Clan (Bajor).
  • Legacy of ch'Rihan retroactively applies the Romulan naming convention given in the Rihannsu series (see Literature) to official characters that don't follow it, with the official name becoming either given name or House-name on a case-by-case basis. For example, Nero is given the full name Nero ir-Benheris tr'Sihalian.
  • In the Sonic the Hedgehog High School A.U. Shadow the Hedgehog - First Class, Mobianss differ from humans in naming scheme. They have names like "Sonic", "Knuckles", "Charmy", "Cream", etc and don't use surnames. Amy Rose and Shadow (who has the last name "Robotnik" in this fic) are oddities because they were raised by humans.

  • Characters in The Lion King are named after Swahilian terms and phrases. To name a few, there's The Hero Simba ("Lion"), his father Mufasa ("King"), his best friend and eventual wife Nala ("Gift"), and the baboon Rafiki ("Friend"). Exceptions would be Ed the hyena and the Big Bad Scar, though a book reveals he was originally named Taka ("Trash") before he got his name from the scar he gets.

  • In A Brother's Price, there is no clear naming pattern at all for younger sisters, but the eldest sister is, apparently, named "Eldest", and has no other name. Eldest is also a title, that changes to "Mother Elder" when a woman gives birth.
  • Played with in the Captain Underpants novel Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants. The antagonist comes from a country named New Swissland, where everyone has a silly name. His is Professor Pippy Pee Poopypants. He later changes it Tippy T. Tinkletrousers. The book even comes with a naming chart so that readers can make their own silly name.
  • In Adam Roberts' novel On, the protagonist is named "Tighe", but it's not until a few more characters of the protagonist's culture have been introduced that we learn that they use the suffix -he for all male names and the suffix -she for all female names.
  • The City And The Dungeon: Some delvers take the name of the first monster that successfully killed them. T.B. Kyoto, for example, was killed by a Tengu Bushi.
  • In C. J. Cherryh's Morgaine Cycle, Nhi Vanye i Chya's native culture uses [Given Name] [Father's Clan Name] i [Mother's Clan Name].
  • Discworld
    • The Ramtop Mountains has a naming convention in which a child is named by whatever the priest doing the ceremony says, regardless of whether it was intentional or not. This has resulted in names like James What The Hell's That Cow Doing In Here Poorchick (known as Moocow Poorchick to his friends). Even royalty is not immune, with at least one of Lancre's rulers being named King My-God-He's-Heavy the First and most recently, in Carpe Jugulum, Princess Esmerelda Margaret Note Spelling of Lancre.
    • Reaper Man had One-Man-Bucket, whose tribe names children after the first thing the mother sees upon looking outside their tent after the birth. One-Man-Bucket's full name is One-Man-Throwing-A-Bucket-Of-Water-Over-Two-Dogs. His twin brother, born just a few minutes earlier, wishes he could've been called Two-Dogs-Fighting.
    • In the Agatean Empire, almost everyone's name is number-adjective-noun, such as Nine Turning Mirrors and Six Beneficent Winds. Two Little Wang is particularly disgruntled about this. Some characters lack the adjective and run it into one word (Twoflower, Ninereeds). Word of God from Terry Pratchett is "I think I pinched the Mayan construction."
    • Omnian (a Discworld religion) characters all have names that are descriptive of religious duties including Visit-The-Infidel-With-Explanatory-Pamphlets (called "Visit") and Smite-the-Unbeliever-with-Cunning-Arguments. The names are allegedly shorter in Omnian but in Ankh-Morporkian (which is established to be the same as English) the names are longer.
  • The Reynard Cycle:
    • Surprisingly for a series chock full of dueling clans, none of the Southern characters have family names. When a second name is applied (Celia Corvino, for instance), the intention is to differentiate the person from another family member with the same name, and is taken as shorthand for X, son or daughter of Y. So Celia Corvino would be known to be Celia, daughter of Corvino.
      • Calvarians do have secondary names, but they only serve to tell you the order of their birth (Drauglir Seventhson) or whether they were an unwanted child (Isengrim No-Father). As Calvarians are only permitted to have half as many children as they have personally killed in battle, having the last name Fifteenthson is a pretty clear indication of someone's pedigree.
      • The royal family of Solothurn do have a family name, Vargr, but it's really more of a title than a name, as it is an indication that the person is descended from Wargs.
  • M.C.A. Hogarth, self-proclaimed "anthropologist to aliens" uses a variety of naming conventions for her different species.
    • Jokka use [Given name] [contracting house]-[birth gender], i.e. Keshul Akkadin-emodo.
    • Flight of the Godkin Griffin: The Godkindred kingdom, with their religious prerogative towards interspecies breeding, have last names indicating their number of bloodlines (Silfia Fiveblood for example), while those with at least ten use "Godkin" (Angharad Godkin).
    • Paradox: Many of the Pelted have developed their own naming customs, Tam-illee choose "foundnames" based on their calling in life instead of surnames (Carevei EarthHunger was a geologist but changed it to HawkFreed later after a spiritual experience, and one wonders how Fleet commander Jonah NotAgain chose his name). Harat-Shar refer to their families as "trains" but are known only by their personal names. While Ciracaana, Glaseah, Phoenixes, and Naysha seem to dispense with more than one name entirely. And the true aliens have their own customs, Eldritch have a personal, family, and House name (i.e. Jahir Seni Galare is heir to the Seni family of House Galare), and Chatcaava put no stock in names and prefer to be known by their titles.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: In Barrayar, aristocrats have a Vorsylable in front of their last name so that Vorkosigan means "Sir" Kosigan, etc. There's also a tradition where the firstborn son is given his paternal grandfather and maternal grandfather's first names as his first and second names in that order and the second son is given his maternal grandfather and paternal grandfather's second names as his first and second names in that order (assuming each grandfather agrees if living). The Cetagandan warrior caste does the same only using the sylable, "Ghem".
  • In Warrior Cats:
    • The Clan cats have a naming system that involves putting two nouns, verbs, or adjectives together. The first part of the names may include stuff from nature such as plants, animals, colors, etc., while the last part of their name includes the part of a cat's body, an action, plants, animals, and much more. (Fireheart, Ivypool, Whitestorm, etc.) The suffix of the name changes throughout their life: with "kit" when they are kittens, "paw" when they begin training, pretty much anything once they're an actual warrior, and "star" if they become a Clan leader. (For example, one character went from Bluekit to Bluepaw to Bluefur to Bluestar).
    • Tribe cats are named after the first thing their mother sees when they are born, and this results in several-word-long, descriptive names, such as Bird Who Rides The Wind and Brook Where Small Fish Swim. (They just go by the first word of their name for everyday use.) The leader of the Tribe gives up their name and becomes "Teller of the Pointed Stones" (Stoneteller).
    • Both naming schemes began with an early group of cats, who had names like "Moth Flight" and "Gray Wing" and so forth, which are very similar to Clan names. The Tribe's pattern branched off of this when an ancient cat, Stone Song (who was temporarily leader of the ancient group), was named by his mother for the wind that blew over the rocks when he was born.
  • In The Wolf Chronicles, both wolves and humans have name patterns. Normal wolves' names have a double letter in them - Kaala, Rissa, Trevegg, etc. Greatwolves' names end in -dru or -dra, as an homage to their ancestor, Indru. Humans have compound names such as TaLi and MikLan; the last half signifies their gender and which tribe they are from (for example, TaLi's tribe is the Lin tribe, so all males have the ending "Lin" and all females have the ending "Li").
  • In Junction Point, the ktrit'zal take on the family name of those they marry or make blood-brothers with. Family names are separated by clicks, which are represented as apostrophes.
  • In Anne McCaffrey's Dragon Riders Of Pern series, multiple conventions exist.
    • A common naming convention among Weyrborn is to have the first half of one parent's name combined with the second half of the other's (modifying the end to the appropriate gender, adding '-n' or '-a'). In this way, you have Falloner and Lorana giving Falarnon, and Falloner and Manora giving Famanoran.
    • When a male rider Impresses, they shorten their name and contract the first syllable. This originally developed to aid communication during combat, and later became a honorific.
      • Falloner becomes F'lon, Falarnon becomes F'lar, and Famanoran becomes F'nor.
      • One of the things that distinguishes Jaxom of Rutha Hold as not a Dragonrider is that he does not recieve the honorific. Although before that descision was made, several characters discuss what his name might be fore-shortened to.
    • For the dragons themselves, each one has a single personal name, which always ends in "th".
    • In Todd Mc Caffrey's books from the 3rd Pass, it is revealed that watchwher have their own naming convention. Their names end in '-sk', with the first part taken from the name of the person or bloodline they are linked to. The closer the bond, the more of their name taken.
      • The watchwher for Fort hold is Forsk.
      • Nuella's first, green, watchwher renames herself to Nuelsk when she transfers her bond from Kindan. After she dies, Nuella then bonds a gold, Nuellask.
  • In Isaac Asimov's "Nightfall (1941)": The inhabitants of planet Lagash have a name followed by a number, e.g. Sheerin 501, Beenay 25, etc.
  • In the two Neolithic tales in Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories there are just three names given, but they all conform to the same pattern: A word consisting of three syllables, beginning with "T-" and ending with "-mai" and a polysyllabic second word, all descriptive of the bearer's character:
    "His name was Tegumai Bopsulai, and that means, 'Man-who-does-not-put-his-foot-forward-in-a-hurry'; but we, O Best Beloved, will call him Tegumai, for short. And his wife's name was Teshumai Tewindrow, and that means, 'Lady-who-asks-a-very-many-questions'; but we, O Best Beloved, will call her Teshumai, for short. And his little girl-daughter's name was Taffimai Metallumai, and that means 'Small-person-whithout-any-manners-who-ought-to-be-spanked'; but I'm going to call her Taffy."
  • Star Trek Expanded Universe:
    • Rihannsu:
      • A Romulan's formal name is composed of a given name, a locative indicating their place of origin, and a clan name which is passed matrilineally. So, for example, Areinnye ir-Menhei t'Sei means "Areinnye, from the Menhei region, of the clan s'Sei." The prefix on the surname is t' for women, tr' for men, and s' when speaking of the clan itself.note  In common usage Romulans default to a simple first name, last name arrangement, Areinnye t'Sei for our example. (This explains the simpler names used in the shows.) Married men take their wife's surname. More information here. Romulans also have a secret fourth name that they only tell to people they trust implicitly, a practice that evolved from Vulcan Internet usernames.
      • The same series also establishes that the Vulcan male naming convention in the franchise's present day of five-letter names beginning with 's' and ending with 'k' is meant to honor Surak, the Vulcan philosopher who led the species to embrace logic.
    • Star Trek Novel Verse continuity:
      • Andorians have a given name and a surname, with their surname containing a prefix indicating which of the four sexes they belong to. Shran's full "Imperial name" in the Star Trek Enterprise Relaunch books is Hravishran th'Zoarhi (he's a thaan), with his better-known full name Thy'lek Shran (originally referring to his Mirror Universe counterpart in the TV series) apparently being the Aenar translation of his non-Imperial, home-culture name. The character Kanshent Shelav, from a highly traditionalist branch of her clan, insists on using this (her native Dreshna name), even though Andoria officially registers her by her Imperial name, Trenkanshent sh’Lavan. Her cousin answers just as readily to Aranthanien ch’Revash as to Thanien Cherev. The four gender suffixes are th', sh', zh' or ch' (e.g. Thirishar ch'Thane, Sessethantis zh'Cheen or Kellarasana zh'Faila, whose shorter "familiar" names are Shar, Thantis and Kell - though the latter's Mirror Universe counterpart prefers Sana). An additional prefix for an outsider adopted into an Andorian clan was recently introduced. In all Andorian names, sibilants and lisping sounds are very common.
      • Tellarites have three names, usually of one or two syllables, the middle being a non-capitalized connective that appears to be chosen from a small pool. Examples include Bera chim Gleer, Bodor chim Grev, Bersh glov Mog, and Mor glasch Tev. Typically, they're referred to by the final name, which is shared among close family members (Rif jav Balkar and Sagar bav Balkar are a married couple).
      • Hermats have a name followed by a number (e.g. Burgoyne 172, Dogayn 418 or Rulan 12).
      • Among the Nasats, names are letter-number-shell colour, e.g. P8 Blue, Z4 Blue, C29 Green or V1 Red. These are actually shortened forms of a longer string of numbers and letters which serve as the official designation, with shell colour added on.
      • Triexians have two names often connected by "na" (e.g. Krelis na Then, Arex na Eth, Ferin na Yoth), or sometimes "ko", as in Nexa ko Tor. The first name appears to be the one used formally. The first name is almost always two syllables, the final name a single syllable. The Triexians' Edoan cousins seem to have only a single name.
      • Tholians have a single name, which usually ends in "ene". Examples include Loskene, Tezrene, Yilskene and Kasrene. Exceptions appear to be from the lower castes like the technicians; most Tholian characters of note are from higher castes like the politicians, warriors and diplomats, and almost always use the "ene".
      • Damiani names have two syllables separated by an apostrophe, followed by a letter, an apostrophe and ullh, ullho or ullhy depending on sex (they have three). Examples include Ra'ch B'ullhy (female), Je'tran T'ullh (male) and Ne'al G'ullho (the third sex).
      • D' and N' are common Romulan prefixes, the former suggestive of importance or "greatness", while T' is apparently a Vulcan feminine prefix. Other than that, Romulans vary Depending on the Writer. Some of the books borrow the naming structure from the Rihannsu books (for example the Star Trek: Enterprise Relaunch expands the name of Admiral Valdore from the canon show to Valdore i'Kaleh tr'Ihaimehn), while others favor the Only One Name pattern more common in the shows. It seems that this single name is usually the family name; a first name will sometimes be used, e.g. Gell Kamemor, Aventeer Vokar, but this is apparently rarer than simply using the family name.
      • Thallonians tend to use the honorific "Si" between their given and family names (Zoran Si Verdin, Jang Si Naran, etc). Royal Thallonian Si Cwan appears to use the honorific itself as his first name.
      • Betazoid males have names of one or sometimes two syllables (Tam, Cort, Gart, Hent, Ven), the females of two, three or four (Anissina, Mollarana, Damira), while their family names often end in "n" (Enaren, Kaldarren, Povron, Tevren) or "x" (Grax, Xerix, Mryax, Xerx).
      • Efrosians tend to use a "Ra-" prefix on the surname (Ra-Yalix, Xin Ra-Havreii, Ra-Ghoratreii, Satlin Ra-Graveness), but not always. Ni- and Hu' prefixes have been see as well (e.g. Ni-Jalikreii, Fellen Ni-Yaleii, Hu'Ghrovlatrei).
      • Tzenkethi names have four components: the individual name, their job, their echelon within that job, and their proficiency grade. Example: Alizome Tor Fel-A, with "tor" indicating a position as special agent to the Tzenkethi Autarch, "fel" being her membership in the "problem-solver" echelon, and "A" indicating the second-highest proficiency in that role (AA rating is incredibly rare, though).
      • Alonis have long names like Quirmirkis, Nerramibus or Liezakranor. When off-world, they add a shorter additional name to the beginning to designate their function (“Tel” is diplomat, “Los” is soldier), and split the name in two (e.g. Admiral Los Tirasol Mentir is probably Tirasolmentir back home, Ambassador Tel Ammanis Lent is probably Ammanislent).
      • Grazerite names, following the formula established onscreen by Jaresh-Inyo (the Federation president during Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 4), are two names joined by a hyphen (e.g. Severn-Anyar, Torvis-Urzon, Lonam-Arja, Amster-Iber). They sound ponderous and each of the names is typically two syllables long, very occasionally one. The first name is shared between siblings or herd members - Jaresh-Inyo's brother is Jaresh-Uryad.
      • Coridanite names very frequenly end in a V. The "ev" sound is particularly common (e.g. Lekev, Kalev, Chulev); another common ending is "g" (e.g. Seareg, Yoralig). The emphasis always seems to be on the first syllable, and family names are rare.
      • Zakdorn possess both a given name and a surname, the latter almost always longer than the former, with choppy syllables and lots of "k" sounds yet also oddly melodic (e.g. Koll Azernal, Klim Dokachin, Myk Bunkrep, Virum Kalnota, Rujat Suwadi, Gruhn Helkara).
      • Betelgeusian names seem to almost always have an "uu" sound, an "i" sound, a "t" sound and an apostrophe (e.g. Chuu'iik Hru'uith, Kuu'iut, Hrrii'ush Uuvu'it, Chi'iot).
      • Rhaandarite names always seem to have an "aa" sound (e.g. Gaanth, Haarv, Vaylin Zaand, Laarin Andos).
      • Benzite names are two syllables and harsh-sounding (e.g. Meldok, Veldon, Linzner, Salmak, Cardok, Melnis).
      • Bolian names are short, almost never more than two syllables, and quite often only one. Some use surnames (which are indistinguishable from given names), but most don't. Examples: Chell, Min Zife, Gom, Frnats, Zim Brott, Nea, Sovan, Rixx, Bor Loxx.
      • Chelon names have lots of short, sharp syllables that sound like wet clicks and snaps - "i"s and "t" are common (e.g. Rinsit, Simmerith, Latanum, Jetanien, Miltakka).
      • Gnalish have a first name of one or two syllables, a surname of three or four. Examples include Sar Antillea, Phigus Simenon, Qur Ontallium, Ganris Phrebington, and Gorus Gelemingar.
      • Choblik have a two-syllable first name and a last name consisting of three hyphenated syllables. The only two individuals known are Torvig Bu-Kar-Nguv from Star Trek: Titan and Felbog Bu-Tsop-Vee from Department of Temporal Investigations.
  • Crest of the Stars has the Abh, which seem difficult but are fairly straight forward when you get the hang of them. [Family Name] [An element that signifies social rank] [Founder of the Lineage] [Noble Titles (if any)] [Given Name]. So our female lead's (Abriel Nei Debrusc Borl Paryun Lafiel) is from the Abriel family, of royal lineage (the nei particle is reserved for the royal families) of the line of Debrusc, Vicountess Paryun and her given name is Lafiel. Just watch out for variant spellings.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
    • Bothans' given names don't follow any particular pattern but their surnames are usually three letters, an apostrophe, and another three letters (Borsk Fey'lya, Laryn Kre'fey).
    • In the Black Fleet Crisis trilogy Yevetha have a three-letter given name and a five-letter last name (Nil Spaar).
    • Adumari names (X-Wing: Starfighters of Adumar) have a "ke" between given name and surname (Cheriss ke Hanadi).
  • In Tanya Huff's Quarters series, people use a given name, then a matronymic, then a patronymic. For example, the child Annice has with Pjerin in Sing the Four Quarters ends up being named Magda i'Annice a'Pjerin.
  • In the web-novel Domina the angels swap out their last name for a Name based on their job and role. Gabriels are warriors, Jegudiels are workers, Michaels are protectors, Raphaels are doctors, Uriels are hunters, and Lucifers are teachers. There seems to be a little blurriness at times, though; Alex is a tracker, but he bears the Name Gabriel. Word of God is that the Lucifers should have been called Samael, but the Arch-Saints sort of skimmed some parts of traditional angelic lore.
  • The Stormlight Archive:
    • The Veden are named using the traditional [Given] [Family] format, with one exception: The sons each have an honorific indicating their birth order. The eldest son is Nan (second, after their father), third is Tet, and fourth is Asha. These honorifics are ingrained in the culture enough that they are used even privately among family members.
    • The Shin are named after their parents. So there's Thresh-son-Esan, Shauka-daughter-Hasweth, so on and so forth. Szeth, due to being a dishonored Truthless, refers to himself as Szeth-son-son-Vallano, so as not to sully his (still living) father Neturo by association.
  • In Marcus LaGrone's The Highlands of Afon novels Highlands Taiks have a personal name, a patrilineal clan name, and a house name that comes from the First Mother and is shared with her husband and co-wives. Females usually just use their given name and house name, while males use both their clan and house name as children and switch to just their given and clan names at adulthood until they get married.
  • In the Eldraeverse the eldrae tend towards Overly Long Names, as noted on the blog's "Trope-A-Day" feature. The example given, Miran Esitariel Prime Cyprium-ith-Avalae isil-Claves Linlethar ion-Atiran iel-Calandra mis-Eliera-en-Kiriv Leir, includes a: title, personal name, persona identifier, [House]-ith-[Lineage], spouse's House and Lineage, attributive name, Patronymic, Matronymic, and location.
  • In Ryuunosuke Akiyama's A Terribly Dangerous Coat, characters have names in an invented language, given in Eastern order, all of which natively mean something.
  • In the Earth's Children series, the following naming conventions can be seen:
    • Clan: Masculine names have one syllable and start and end with a consonant. Feminine names have two syllables, start with a vowel and end with an -a. This only seems to apply to Clan people in the region where Ayla grew up; those living further west have two-syllable masculine names and feminine names starting with consonants, or at least with a Y.
    • Losadunai: Both masculine and feminine names start with a consonant. Masculine names have three syllables and end with an -i. Feminine names have four syllables and end with an -ia.
    • Mamutoi: Masculine names have a variety of endings, including -ag, -ut and -ec. Feminine names end with an -ie.
    • S'Armunai: Names may begin with either a vowel or a consonant. Masculine names typically end with -an or -ar. Feminine names end with -oa. The S' prefix is added to someone's given name as a mark of respect; it loosely translates as "Honoured One".
    • Sharamudoi: Masculine names end with an -o or a -do according to which half of the tribe its bearer belongs to. Feminine names end with an -io.
    • Zelandonii: All names start with a consonant. However, while masculine names have various endings such as -lan, -lar or -nan, feminine names always end with an -a.
  • In Mirabile, everyone on the colony world of Mirabile has a middle name reflecting their occupation, and the formal short form of a name is Middlename Lastname; for instance, Leonov Bellmaker Denness, known for short as "Bellmaker Denness" (but "Leo" to his friends). The middle name can change if the occupation does; for instance, Bellmaker Denness used to be Opener Denness before he retired (an "opener" is an explorer type who opens up new territories for human occupation).
  • In Animorphs, Andalites have three names strung together, with the first being the personal name: for example, Ax's full name is Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill, Elfangor's is Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul. It's notable that "Esgarrouth" and "Sirinial" are their respective parents' second names, but it's unknown if that's a convention.
    • Yeerks are all a name, followed by a string of numbers; for example, Visser Three is Esplin-Nine-Four-Double-Six primary. The "doubled" last number and "primary" comes from being a twin; his twin has the same name, except with "primary" replaced with "lesser." Most Yeerks only have three numbers.
    • Hork-Bajir have a personal name and a surname that passes from father to child; females don't change theirs when they marry. For example, Jara Hamee married Ket Halpak, and their daughter was Toby Hamee.
    • The Ketrans, the species from which the Ellimist came, have long, bizarre designations based on where they live on their planets' giant floating crystals; his was "Azure Level, Seven Spar, Extension Two, Down-Messenger, Forty-one." Because of this, individuals just make up names that they like; his was Toomin. "Ellimist" was basically his screen name, likewise made up just to sound cool.
  • In Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, all cats have three names: first, they have a sensible name for everyday use, the kind you might find a cat having in real life. Second, they have a much more grandiose name, one unique to each cat and apparently necessary to afford them proper feline pride, such as Jennyanydots, Bustopher Jones, Growltiger, Griddlebone, etcetera. Finally, they have a hidden and secret name that no human will ever discover and no cat will ever reveal, reserved exclusively for the cat’s own private contemplation.
  • Tailchaser's Song uses the same system as Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, with a simple first name, a more impressive second name, and a third and entirely private secret name. These are referred to as the a cat’s Heart, Face and Tail names, respectively. Their use is a bit switched around from Old Possum's — the simple Heart Name, given at birth, becomes reserved for lovers, friends and family, while the grandiose and descriptive Face Name, given later after the cat has grown enough for their personality to become evident, is the one used in everyday conversation. For example, the main character, Fritti Tailchaser, is Fritti to his family and to a very small number of other characters he tells that name to, and Tailchaser to everyone else. The Tail Name is not given — each cat must discover it by themselves — and none are revealed in the book.
  • In The Culture, people in the Culture have multi-part names including their birthplace, family, and chosen name. The author explains that he would be "Sun-Earther Iain El-Bonko Banks of South Queensferry".
  • In The Wheel of Time, the Aiel have Only One Name, which they append with their home sept (i.e.: fortified settlement) and clan. This causes them to be on a Full-Name Basis with Westerners, since Aiel are unfamiliar with the concept of surnames and consider it a very intimate gesture to abbreviate someone's name.
  • Confederation of Valor: Taykan names go [life stage]'[family name] [given name], and having a shorter family name indicates a higher-class family (e.g. di'Ka Jarret); they usually go by their given name rather than their surname. Krai use Only One Name, which typically has has at least one 'r' sound and is usually but not always monosyllabic.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Within Westeros, those descended from the First Men tend to have shorter, straight-forward names (Stark, Reed, Mormont, Bolton) while the Andals tend towards more complex names (Lannister, Tyrell, Arryn).
    • Valyrian names almost always contain "ae" and frequently end in "-on", "-ar", or "-rys" (Aegon, Aemon, Rhaegar, Maekar, Aerys, Viserys, Daenerys).
    • Male Dothraki names end in "-o" (Drogo, Rakharo, Kovarro). Daenerys combines Valyrian and Dothraki conventions for her son Rhaego and her black dragon Drogon.
    • The letters "k", "r", and "z" are very common among the Ghiscari of Slaver's Bay and there is a "mo", "na", or "zo" between the given and surnames (Kraznys mo Nakloz, Razdahl mo Eraz, Prendahl na Ghezn, Hizdahr zo Loraq).
    • Names from the Free Cities often have suffixes like "-io", "-is", and "-o" (Syrio Forel, Illyrio Mopatis, Daario Naharis, Tycho Nestoris). Others show clear Valyrian influences (Varys, Petyr Baelish, Shae, Talisa Maegyr), and some are even more exotic (Jaqen H'ghar, Salladhor Saan).
  • Star Trek has naming conventions for entire planets, except usually the human ones.
    • The Bajorans normally use their family name before their personal name, though Ro Laren explains in the species' debut episode "Ensign Ro" that some Bajorans change it to given name-then-surname when dealing with offworlders for convenience's sake. One such exception is Star Trek: Voyager recurrer Tal Celes, who in fan fiction is often corrected to Celes Tal.
    • The Klingons have one personal name, their father's name, and then their house name. The house name is usually omitted in introductions, but the crest is worn on their metal sashes.
    • Vulcans have several conventions followed:
      • They do have family names, but Spock and his mother Amanda both note that their family name is unpronounceable by humans. Thus they typically go by their given names.
      • Female names usually begin with T followed by an apostrophe: examples include T'Pol, T'Pau, T'Les, T'Lar, T'Planahath. Notable exceptions include: Saavik from movies II, III, and IV, Valeris from movie VI, and Sakonna from "The Maquis".
      • Male names usually begin with S, end with K, and do not have an apostrophe. Notable exceptions include Tuvok from Voyager, Vorik from Voyager, Koss from Enterprise.
    • Romulans tend to have only one name with no surname. The main exception is Admiral Alidar Jarok from TNG: "The Defector".
    • Ferengi also tend to have only one name, generally one syllable, with no surname.
    • Trill have a given name and family name like most human cultures, but joined Trill replace their surname with the name of The Symbiote.
    • If Star Trek: Voyager's Seven of Nine is any judge, Borg drones get a numerical designation consisting of their order in a given lot of drones ("Seven of Nine"), followed by a phrase that probably refers to their organizational assignment in the Collective ("Tertiary Adjunct"), and lastly which unimatrix they are part of ("Unimatrix 01").
  • Babylon 5:
    • Minbari typically have Only One Name, usually with two syllables and featuring no hard consonants (e.g. Delenn, Lennier, Neroon). Their family's name, though not typically used, is preceded by "of" (e.g. Delenn of Mir).
    • The Centauri use given names and surnames with Roman or Italian styling (e.g. Londo Mollari, Cartagia).
    • Narns use Only One Name, with a prefix-apostrophe-suffix format. G'Kar explains in the season 5 premiere that Narns are given a temporary name for the first ten years of their life (because of high infant mortality rates in ancient times), then at age ten they choose a new name with a prefix denoting which of the many Narn spiritual leaders they've chosen to follow (G'Kar follows G'Quan; other options include G'Lan and Na'Kili).
    • The members of the Zathras family, the caretakers of the Great Machine on Epsilon III, are all named Zathras, with small differences in pronunciation. This mightily confuses the Comically Serious Ivanova when she finds it out.
  • Krypton: Like in the comics, Kryptonian males have a given name (usually single-syllable) with a hyphenated family name. Unlike the comics, the females follow this same naming convention (though they tend to use multi-syllable given names), rather than using their father's name. This was done intentionally to make Kryptonian culture less patriarchal.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Tau Empire as a whole have a very peculiar naming convention for their citizens, using [Caste]'[Rank] [Sept they were born in] [Defining traits]. For example, Shas'la T'au Kais means "Brave Fire Caste Initiate from T'au". With the common shortening being [Rank]'[Defining traits] (making the previous name's shortened form la'Kais).
    • Orks, being spawned from spores and having no concept of females or sexual reproduction, instead have a name followed by various descriptive terms or nicknames referring a particularly worthy feat. Such as Ghazkull Mag Uruk Thrakka, Wazdakka Gutsmek, or Warboss Gorgutz 'ead'unta Ghostkilla Ragescreama Gunsmasha Deffkilla Daemonkilla Bloodspilla.
  • Traveller goes into this with several cultures, as described in the appropriate sourcebook.
  • In the Forgotten Realms setting, the dwarves and many humans of Chondathan ethnicity (i.e. white people from west-central Faerun) use Luke Nounverber very frequently.
  • In Paranoia, Friend Computer has established a special naming convention for all clones of Alpha Complex that combines their personal name, the initial of their Security Clearance level, their home sector's three-letter name, and their clone batch number. For example, the fourth of a Red clearance clone batch named Jenny from the DND sector would read "Jenny-R-DND-4", while the first of her batch would have been "Jenny-R-DND-1" and if she is promoted (to orange) her name would be "Jenny-O-DND-4". In earlier editions, non-player characters often have their names rendered to form jokes or gags.
  • The various MegaCorps that rule the posthuman Solar System in Hc Svnt Dracones all have different naming conventions. MarsCo generally uses "corrupted" English names (i.e. J'ohn Matews), ASR combines the first and last name into a Wiki Word with the first name uncapitalized, Pulse generally doesn't use last names but includes symbolic typography in their first names (James!!@), Spyglass names are usually anagrams, IRPF names are precluded by rank and use the first two letters of one's taxonomic family and species as surnames (i.e. Student Richard Ca'Ja would be a jackal), Progenitus favors long elaborate names derived from Greek mythology with some warping over the centuries ("U'sisous" from "Ulysses"), while TTI follows MarsCo with a preference towards Inuit, Russian, or Icelandic, with their job after the name.

    Video Games 
  • Mass Effect
    • Quarians have names organized as given name, apostrophe, clan name, vas/nar (for adult and underage, respectively), ship of residence/birth (ditto). Thus, Tali receives several Meaningful Renames over the course of the series: she begins the series as Tali'Zorah nar Rayya ("Tali of clan Zorah, born on the ship Rayya"), then completes her Pilgrimage and becomes Tali'Zorah vas Neema nar Rayya ("Tali of clan Zorah, crew member of the Neema, born on the ship Rayya"), then Tali'Zorah vas Normandy (when she needs to leave the fleet for political reasons), although it's just as common to refer to her as Tali'Zorah. The much-maligned Mass Effect novel Deception infamously only gave quarians a first name and ship name, and furthermore wrote as if their ship names were their last names.
    • Turians and asari use the "given name then family name" order. Krogan originally have only a given name but once they complete their Rite of Passage, they bear the clan name in front of their given name.
    • Salarians list the individual's homeworld, nation, city, district, clan name and given name, but cut it down to just the last two (swapped to being in western order) in nearly all circumstances: only two salarians get their full names spoken on screen and neither are major characters.
    • Hanar have two names, a simple one-word "Face Name" (example: "Zymandis") they use in general conversation, and a long, poetic "Soul Name" (example: "Regards the Works of the Enkindlers in Despair") that only very close and trusted individuals are permitted to know. The only hanar who goes by his Soul Name openly is noted as being incredibly rude and arrogant by hanar standards.
  • The Kilrathi of Wing Commander use [Given Name] nar [Clan Name]. The nar is always lower case, and usually italicised. The Clan Name is usually the name of the place or planet where the Kilrathi was born. The novels add hrai to the name of one Kilrathi, meaning 'of the family of'. The character in question starts as Kirha hrai Ralgha nar Hhallas (Kirha, of the family of Ralgha, who is from Hhallas), and after being ordered to serve the human pilot Ian 'Hunter' St John, renames himself Kirha hrai Hunter nar Aussie (Kirtha, of the family of Hunter, who is from Australia). This part doesn't come up anywhere else though.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • The Races of Men:
      • Imperials have a first name and a last name which both sound Latin, given their Romanesque culture. The latest installment, Skyrim, changes some Latin last names to Italian ones, reflecting the real-life evolution of language.
      • The Nords have a Norse or Germanic sounding first name and a clan name, or sometimes a first name and a nickname (you can tell the difference by the presence or absence of the "the" article; if there is one, it's a nickname, for example "Sild the Warlock". If there's no "the", it's a clan name, for example "Lars Battle-Born".
      • The Bretons have a French-sounding name and last name (in the main Breton culture) or a single Celtic name (for the Reachmen).
      • The Redguards typically draw from a mix of Arabic and Persian sounding names. Through Oblivion, they also had the occasional Ghetto Name mixed in, like Trayvond, or names originally from other cultures that have become very popular in the African-American community (Roderick, Alonzo, Rasheda, etc.) though this has been dropped by Skyrim in favor of purely Middle Eastern/North African sounding names. In all cases, they have Only One Given Name, with a region of birth and titles sometimes (rarely) added. (For example, take Frandar do Hunding Hel Ansei No Shira. Frandar is the only "given" part of his name: "Hunding" is the name of the region of his birth; "No Shira" means person of noble birth and "Hel Ansei" is his title of Sword Sainthood in the language of Yokuda.)
    • The Races of Mer:
      • Altmer (High Elves) have names heavily inspired by Tolkien's "Quenya" Conlang, tending to be very vowel heavy with lots of "-il," "-ar," and the like suffixes. Reading a list of Altmer names will sound very similar to reading The Silmarillion. According to supplemental materials of in-universe questionable accuracy, Altmer names are actually complex strings of numbers that merely sound like a name if you aren't fluent in their language.
      • The Bosmer (Wood Elves) instead have names inspired by Tolkien's "Sindarin" Conlang. They use a lot of "th" sounds, plus plenty of "d's, f's and g's" surrounded by soft vowels. The end result are a lot of names like Glarthir, Fargoth, and Enthir.
      • The Dunmer (Dark Elves) are a varied bunch. Velothi (Ashlanders and rural House Dunmer) Dunmer names draw heavily from ancient Mesopotamia, leading to them sounding like they're straight out of The Epic of Gilgamesh. This works well with their ancient Daedra worship (most Daedric ruins have similar names, such as Ashurnabitashpi). More "civilized" Dunmer have a characteristic "Dunmerish" sound (ex. Falanu Hlaalu, Nels Llendo, Hlireni Indavel). The Dunmer nobility also use the names of their Houses as prefix to their names (for example, Redoran Hlaren Ramoran, King Hlaalu Helseth, etc.). The Telvanni Masters use one name only (Mistress Dratha, Master Neloth, etc.).
      • Orcs (Orsimer) have traditionally Orcish sounding first names and surnames, and the surname gets the prefix "gro-" for male orcs, "gra-" for females. (Ex. Yadba gro-Khash, Borba gra-Uzgash, etc.) The surname in most cases is the name of the Orc's same-sex parent. In other cases, the surname is the Orc's home stronghold. (Ex. Burz gro-Kash is "Burz of Kash").
      • The extinct Dwemer seem to have used to build names by mashing hard-sounding consonants together, although it's unclear whether that was actually the case or just a transliteration issue (since Dwemer language and alphabet varied wildly from Tamriel's lingua franca of the day, Aldmeris). Names known from modern sources contain vowels, such as Yagrum Bagarn (although he could've taken up the name for convenient interaction with his hosts at Tel Fyr), Kagrenac or Dahrk Mezalf. Names mentioned in books - not necessarily (Bluthanch, Nchunak, Nblthd).
    • The Beast Races:
      • The Khajiit have single names with prefixes and a Pūnct'uatìon Sh'akër, for example Ra'Virr, Dro'Zel. These are generally honorifics bestowed or sometimes assumed (this is seen as arrogant). Unlike Argonians, they usually feel no compulsion to translate them. Sometimes no prefixes are added. (Ex. Vasha, Wadarkhu)
      • The Argonians are seemingly named (in Jel, the language of the Argonians) after unique traits they display while still hatchlings and, if they have frequent dealings with non-Argonians, get those names translated into Tamriellic. "Haj-Ei" becomes "Hides-His-Eyes," for example. In other cases, their name in Tamriellic is based on their profession. "Quill-Weave" is a writer, "Makes-One-Soup" is a chef, and "Lights-Sparks" is a mage.
  • Goron leaders in The Legend of Zelda usually have names that begin with 'Dar'. Darunia, Darmani, Darbus, etc.
  • In World of Warcraft Dragons have naming conventions separated by colors.
    • Blue dragons have names ending in "gos" (Kalecgos and Malygos) for males. Female names end in "gosa" (such as Sindragosa or Madrigosa). There are a few outliers as Word of God says this naming convention wasn't decided on until the Burning Crusade expansion.
    • Black Dragons' true names end in "ion" or "ian" for males (Deathwing's true name was Neltharion, for example, while his son's name was Nefarian). Female dragons end in "a" (Sinestra or Onyxia). In the Warcraft universe, black dragons are historically the most evil race and had the most direct contact with mortals, therefore most black dragons are known by nicknames given by mortals, usually based on color (Firemaw, Flamewing, Blacklash).
    • Bronze dragons' names end in "dormu" if male (Nozdormu, Zaladormu). Female bronze dragons have names ending in "i" (Indormi, Nozari)
    • Green dragons only seem do have naming conventions for females, whose names end in "a" (Ysera, Nishera). Most of the male green dragons identified have no discernible naming convention.
    • Red dragons have names ending in "strasz" for the males (Korialstrasz, Nostrastrasz). Female red dragon names end in "za" (Alexstrasza, Rheastrasza).
  • Halo:
    • Sangheili ("Elites") typically use a given name and a surname, with the surname made up of a prefixed apostrophe, their house name, and usually a suffix denoting status. For example, Halo 2's Deuteragonist Arbiter Thel 'Vadamee is a scion of House Vadam (with the "-ee" denoting that he serves in the Covenant military), while Halo: Shadow of Intent's Tulum 'Juranai is the head of House Juran (with the "-ai" suffix denoting that he's a Master Swordsman). Other examples include Sesa 'Refumee, Bero 'Kusovai, and Fal 'Chavamee. After the Covenant falls apart, most Elites have removed Covenant-based suffixes from their names; nowadays, Thel 'Vadamee prefers to be referred to simply as Thel 'Vadam. Additionally, some Sangheili are bestowed middle names as titles; in Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, Voro 'Mantakree becomes Voro Nar 'Mantakree after being promoted to Fleet Master.
    • Unggoy ("Grunt") names tend to be five letters long and repeat the first two letters, e.g. Yayap, Dadab.
    • The Jiralhanae ("Brutes") use Religious and Mythological Theme Naming (Maccabeus, Tartarus), although some of this may be a Translation Convention. Additionally, the "-us" suffix common in their names is reserved solely for those who have reached a certain age (so Tartarus during his youth would have been known simply as "Tartar").
  • In the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy, people who are originally from Gran Pulse have this naming order: place of birth, then clan (family) name, then given name. Thus, we have Oerba Dia Vanille ("Vanille of the Dia clan, from the village of Oerba") and Paddra Nsu-Yeul ("Yeul of the Nsu clan, from the nation of Paddra"). Citizens of Cocoon, meanwhile, follow the typical Western naming order. Two exceptions to the Gran Pulse naming rule are Noel Kreiss and Caius Ballad (though the latter also has his original name, Paddra Ballad-Caius).
  • The different races in Final Fantasy XIV each have their own naming conventions. These range from the relatively straightforward (Hellsguard Roegadyn) to the relatively complex (Seekers of the Sun Mi'qote). One of the more entertaining ones are the rules applying to most Lalafell names, which deal with syllable repetition. Lord Lolorito Nanarito, for example, is a prominent Dunesfolk Lalafell in the story.

  • The Order of the Stick: Azure City has a number of naming conventions that have no apparent relation to each other. For some, the family name is a single syllable and part of the given name (Shojo and his nephew Hinjo), others have the given/family name combined with a hyphen (O-Chul, Gin-Jun), while others use the same given name and family name construction as most of the rest of the world (Miko Miyazaki, Ho Thanh). In the Kickstarter-backer story How the Paladin Got His Scar, it's mentioned that there used to be many different cultures on the Southern Continent, but they were all absorbed by the Ancient Empire. When the Empire fell, it split into many different countries again, but now the cultures were spread randomly throughout the continent.
  • Kayoss in L's Empire have a sibling seniority naming system on top of their gender based Theme Naming (destruction themed for boys and flowers for girls). Eldest children have a long first name and no middle name, second children have a short first name and short middle name, and the youngest have a long first name and middle name (they're biologically incapable of having more than three living children).
  • In Goblins, the goblin adventuring party's clan has their fortune-teller name every newborn goblin according to their visions. This can produce Prophetic Names like Dies-Horribly, simple observations like Big Ears, or... "Stop-The-Ceremony-I-Swallowed-A-Bug".
  • Tamberlane: Most of the critters of Treehollow use their professions as last names, such as Belfry Baker, while young children have a matro- or patronymic, as with Belfry's daughter Tamberlane Belfriton.
  • Outsider: Loroi names consist of three parts: the first denotes their caste, the second is their military rank and the third is their personal name. Beryl's full name, for instance, is Listel Tozet Eilis; "Listel" denotes her being part of the analyst caste, "Tozet" is a rank roughly equivalent to a tactical analyst, and "Eilis" is simply a word meaning "beryl".
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob, Princess Voluptua's full name is Voluptua of House Monoptera, and the dragon Hibachi's full name is Hibachi of Mesquite. Fructose Riboflavin, an outlaw of Voluptua's race, was once identified as Fructose, son of Dextrose.

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the different nations typically have names that follow phoneme patterns. The Water Tribe uses hard K sounds and lots of O's and A's (Katara, Korra, Noatok, Hakoda). The Fire Nation uses Z's, O's and I's (Ozai, Zhao, Sozin, etc). The Air Nomads use mostly real life Tibetan and Chinese names or names that sound similar. The Earth Kingdom has no strict pattern.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Pony names are simple one- or two-word constructs with literal meanings. While Western-style surnames have occurred from time to time, Family Theme Naming is more common (such as the Apples, who are all named after apple cultivars or dishes, and Pinkie Pie's relatives, who are all named after types of rock), when family names are used at all. Although there are plenty of exceptions, there are also noticeable naming trends within the three tribes of ponies:
      • Most earth pony names derive from words relating to the earth, plants and foodnote . They also tend to make the most use of Family Theme Naming, with families using similar names based on their lifestyles and livelihoods, such as the Apple family, the Pear family, the Rich family and so on.
      • Pegasus names tend to involve flying, weather and the skynote . At one point, this led to a Who's on First? situation when some pegasus weather workers couldn't figure out whether the phrases "Clear Skies", "Open Skies" and "Fluffy Clouds" referred to the weather or each other.
      • Unicorn names often derive from celestial objects and phenomena, usually but not always nighttime onesnote . This seems to be the least prevalent of the three naming trends.
    • Pony names get a little more complicated with families, marriage, and inheritance. Pinkie Pie's family all have "Pie" like a family name. Mr. and Mrs. Cake name their children Pound Cake and Pumpkin Cake. Applejack's family is called the Apple family, but only a few of them explicitly have the word "apple" in their name. Fluttershy's family name is apparently "Shy" (though we don't learn her parents' names), but her brother is Zephyr Breeze. Filthy Rich is the grandson of Stinkin' Rich, and when he married Spoiled Milk she changed her name to Spoiled Rich—but their daughter is named Diamond Tiara, without any mention of a "Rich" family name. In the end, it seems like simple Theme Naming rules the day, just close enough to real-world name inheritance to be confusing to viewers.
    • Griffons have uniformly used "real" human names, with the peculiarity that they all start with the letter "G"note .
    • Dragon names tend to be short, one- to two-syllable words usually referring to body parts, noises or something to do with firenote .
    • Changelings use names derived from arthropod anatomy and biology, usually ones with emphasis on sibilantsnote .
    • The hippogriffs/seaponies mostly have names composed of two words, either separated by a space or as a single compound word, pertaining to either the skynote  or the seanote .
    • Kirin names incorporate nature themes and are composed of two separated wordsnote .
  • All characters in Trollz have the word "troll" somewhere in their last name (Amethyst van der Troll, Ruby Trollman, Sapphire Trollzawa, Topaz Trollhopper, Onyx von Trollenberg). The sole exception would be Miss Tourmaline, which is a disguise by Snarf.


Example of: