SCA Names

Topics of general SCA interest.

SCA Names

Postby Aiden » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:03 am

After pondering over the notion of picking an SCA name for myself, one that I'd be reasonably happy with, I think I've settled on a given name of Fergus. For a while, I either used my mundane name of David, or a somewhat more Gaelic-looking and sounding version of it, such as Daibhidh, which I never felt I was able to get a grasp on pronunciation wise. As of late, I've started to think a bit about surnames, which got me wondering about SCA naming in general.

How have you all picked your own SCA name (or names)? Was it just a matter of picking something that sounded good, possibly within a given time frame and region? How much thought have you given it, and did you find anything tricky about the process?
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Re: SCA Names

Postby Thorvald » Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:40 pm

When I first joined (when I was 12) I went by Stefan since my mundane name is Stephen.

Early on, I simply chose Thorvald because it sounded cool and I settled on wanting a Viking persona.

My first registered name was ThorvaldR Ganglare Vakkerfjell. Ganglare means "Wandering Learner" and I still use this occasionally as a pen name. Vakkerfjell was the name of my Shire in the West at the time and it means "Beautiful Mountain" which reminded me of my home (specifically Pike's Peak).

My current full name is ThorvaldR Thorolfsson a Vaksfjall. A proper Norse name should have a patronym and it took me a long time to settle on one. However, when my eldest adopted SCA son took the name Thorolf for himself, I figured since Norse tradition is to name your son after your father that my father must have been named Thorolf. I changed the last part of my name after consultation with Mistress Gunnvor (The Viking Answer Lady) for the more correct way to say "from beautiful mountain".

The thing that I suggest about SCA names to new members is to pick one early or people will always be calling you by your mundane name. However, give a lot of thought to the name because it will stay with you for a long time. If you do ever change your name (to include picking up your first name), insist on being called by it. If someone uses an old or mundane name, don't let it slide and simply politely remind them "Were you talking to me? That isn't my name, my name XXX." Otherwise people will continue to use the old/mundane name.

Great site for SCA name research: http://www.s-gabriel.org/

In Service,
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Re: SCA Names

Postby IgnatiusBaeticus » Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:14 pm

DavidL wrote:How have you all picked your own SCA name (or names)? Was it just a matter of picking something that sounded good, possibly within a given time frame and region? How much thought have you given it, and did you find anything tricky about the process?


Salve.
This is an interesting issue.
I first chose a period and a place: Spain in the last years of Roman Empire, though i then moved it some time later, so that my persona could know the first German kingdom in northwestern Spain; now i live in the final decades of 5th century or maybe the beginning of 6th. I chose a Roman citizen, for i wanted to belong to a kind of mystic of that time, sharing practices belonging both to christian and pagan traditions. This could only be done in the very late Roman Empire, or the very early German kingdoms, when ideological control was weak; and could only be done by Roman citizens, who still received a classical education besides the christian thought. So i have a Roman name, which is stablished by law (Roman law still applied to Roman citizens in the young German kingdoms). This name has three parts: praenomen (first name), nomen (family name) and cognomen (nickname). The two first are given at birth, and the last can be chosen and changed by every person, maybe due to an important event in his life. Thus, the emperor Augustus had as birth name Caius Octavius Thurinus; when he was adopted by Iulius Caesar, he changed his name to Caius Iulius Caesar Octavianus; his birth family name Octavius was changed to the nickname Octavianus, so he retained his birth family memory. I dont' know if you mean this when asking about tricky things: Augustus wanted to hold memories from both families, for both of them could help to achieve his political goals.
The name i chose was Iohannes Aelius, using a christian praenomen (which means that my persona's parents were christians) and a pagan family name. I've not chosen yet a cognomen, though am thinking about several possibilities; for the moment, as my persona happens to be travelling, the cogomen could be Baeticus, being Baetica my birth region. I chose these two names becasuse both saint John (Iohannes) and the Sun (Aelius) refer to some kind of mystic religiosity.
I guess this issue is less fixed for the German people, but still you could some "tricks". For example, in 1150 two of the Spanish states joined throught the marriage of Ramon Berenguer IV, count of Barcelona, and Petronila, daughter of the king of Aragon Ramiro II. Ramiro was a monk, and left the government (but not the royal title) to Ramon, and returned to his monastery. Petronila was a child when the marriage was done, and so survived Ramon many years. This left his titles to their son, to whom he named with his family name, Ramon. But his widow Petronila then called their son by the royal most used name of Aragon, Alfonso. Behind this, there was the dispute among Aragon and Barcelona for the dominance in the new united state. So, indeed there was some "importance of being Earnest" :lol:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Declaration of Independence, 1776.
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Re: SCA Names

Postby Aiden » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:26 pm

IgnatiusBaeticus wrote:I first chose a period and a place: Spain in the last years of Roman Empire, though i then moved it some time later, so that my persona could know the first German kingdom in northwestern Spain; now i live in the final decades of 5th century or maybe the beginning of 6th. I chose a Roman citizen, for i wanted to belong to a kind of mystic of that time, sharing practices belonging both to christian and pagan traditions. This could only be done in the very late Roman Empire, or the very early German kingdoms, when ideological control was weak; and could only be done by Roman citizens, who still received a classical education besides the christian thought. So i have a Roman name, which is stablished by law (Roman law still applied to Roman citizens in the young German kingdoms). This name has three parts: praenomen (first name), nomen (family name) and cognomen (nickname). The two first are given at birth, and the last can be chosen and changed by every person, maybe due to an important event in his life. Thus, the emperor Augustus had as birth name Caius Octavius Thurinus; when he was adopted by Iulius Caesar, he changed his name to Caius Iulius Caesar Octavianus; his birth family name Octavius was changed to the nickname Octavianus, so he retained his birth family memory. I dont' know if you mean this when asking about tricky things: Augustus wanted to hold memories from both families, for both of them could help to achieve his political goals.


I like this idea you describe of being able to have a self-picked nickname that can change over time. Reminds me a bit of my school days, where most people had a wide range of nicknames ranging from rather cool to quite annoying, except in this case, it sounds like one gets some level of control over the name! (Not to say all of my nicknames back then were bad, although at times, having control over them might've been nice.)

At the moment, the tricky part is just in having the ability to pick a name at all. I first dabbled in the SCA a few years ago, and began to think of names then. Only recently did I hear a given name that sounded kinda cool, and I've started to go by it. Given the amount of time that has passed since then, picking a surname sometimes seems like a bit of a daunting task!
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Re: SCA Names

Postby IgnatiusBaeticus » Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:50 pm

DavidL wrote:I like this idea you describe of being able to have a self-picked nickname that can change over time. Reminds me a bit of my school days, where most people had a wide range of nicknames ranging from rather cool to quite annoying


I also like it much. Romans were very wise most of time. But every custom uses to have a dark side. Women usually had only a family name. For example, the daughter of Augustus was called Iulia (being Iulius the family name by Caesar's adoption). They used to number the daughters when it happened to be several of them: for example, Iulia Prima (Iulia the first), or name some of them by a diminutive, as Iulilla for the younger. Anyway, if SCA doesn't hold those undesirable things of the Middle Ages as plagues, are we to take the undesirable aspects of Ancient Age?
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Declaration of Independence, 1776.
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Re: SCA Names

Postby Joshua » Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:46 pm

I knew my persona was Scottish, so I went with the Scottish version of my mother's maiden name (since that's her heritage), and found a suitable Biblical name to go with. :)

Boring, I know.

- Joshua
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Re: SCA Names

Postby Jibrail » Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:01 pm

*LOL* Which name do you want me to share the story behind? I've only got (6) of 'em. ;)


ANYwho...when I started, I had been on a serious Italian Ren research kick for my college theatre department...and had settled on Florence (because Venetian clothing was not my thing). I also wanted something that started with a "J" sound, since my mundane name also starts with a "J" and I needed that sound trigger to recognize people were talking to me. It just took me 5-6 years to find the right name before I settled on it. How I came up with all of the name elements, I don't remember exactly, but I tried to incorporate some common names along with one unique element to make it a little less than average. So that's how I ended up as Giudo di Niccolo Brunelleschi (and yes, that \JEW-doh\, not \GWEE-doh\...I do not "gwee").

After almost 10 years of being Florentine, I wanted a challenge, so started researching for an alternate persona. As time went on, I found that multiple cultures caught my interest and I couldn't figure out which one I liked the most, so I picked up a series of alternate personas that I could slip into if I wanted to, but don't slip into often enough for people to readily recognize those personas: MIshka Lamanov (a Kievian Rus merchant) whose surname I chose because it had a "llama" sound to it; Jedediah Glasmon (a London glasswright) because I do lampworked beads and wanted to dress in white (and be a white Jedi *evil grins*); and Decimus Saturius Praeconinus (a 4th century Roman) because "praeconinus" means "related to a herald" and one of the Households I'm in is very heavy on heralds.

Eventually I started going through a phase where all things Turkish sounded interested...and I dug more and more into clothing and miniature resources...only to discover I was falling in love with the Persian miniatures and not the Turkish that I thought I was going to want to be. And the more I dug around the Persian resources, the more my Florentine self fell to the wayside...and thus a Persian persona was born and taking over! I decided to go with Jibra'il `Attar, because my personal Household (although Italian) is called il Compagnia dell'Arcangelo Gabriele...Jibra'il is the Persian equivalent of Gabriel, and I love researching apothecaries of all cultures and `Attar means "the perfumist" or "the druggist" and seemed to fit that research interest.

Of recently, I've also been in the mood to go a-Viking...and wanted a persona where I could just blend in with the rest of the Calontiri crowd. And so a Swede named Eyvindr skalli Ketilsson is making his presence known. The only element of that name that means anything is "skalli" which means "the bald one"...which is a pretty accurate descriptor anymore. [[Stupid genetics!]]
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Re: SCA Names

Postby Gaston » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:18 pm

How I chose my name... well, I like France. I also wanted short sleeved tunics, short pants and sandals... and learned that this is okay in early-period along the Mediterranean coast. I settled on a French (Occitan) speaking persona loosely based in Provence.

I know that many people look at French names and think, “Let me buy you a real consonant—please!” Wanting to be kind to heralds, I looked for a French name with “crispy consonants.”

Gaston. Every consonant is sounded, although the “n” is half-hearted. Now to find a last name.

I pulled out a travel guide of Provence and found the village of “Lurs” (pronounced “lurse”). According to the guide, Charlemagne founded Lurs—now, that's period!

Gaston de Lurs. Nice ring. After several years, I decided to register the name. And quickly learned something: English-language documentation on a French village with a population of 326 is rather scant.

There is a peer-reviewed graphics journal that mentions the murder of an entire family on the slopes of Mount Lure—the town's namesake. There were so many questions about that August night in 1952 that people still debate conspiracy theories. I googled the convicted murder's name and found his horoscope among the more than 8000 other hits.

According to the article, the villagers promptly changed the name of the town from “Lur” to “Lurs” to safeguard their tourism industry.

“Lur?”

Consonants suddenly looked less crispy in period. Luckily, Bibliothèque National Francaise runs an archive called Gallica—it's similar to Project Gutenberg—that contained a 16th century mention of Lurs with the “s.”

Back to the murder: Police convicted a Monsieur Dominici, age 77, who was sentenced to the guillotine. However, perhaps to encourage the conspiracy theorists, Charles de Gaulle released him from prison—without a pardon—and then denied all requests for a retrial. M. Dominici's first name? Yep. You guessed it: Gaston.

I'm registered—apparently Laurel wasn't concerned about the French smart Alèc who declared August 5th to be “the Feast of St. Gaston de Lurs.”

--Gaston “I am innocent and you will prove nothing” de Lurs
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Re: SCA Names

Postby Salvador » Sat May 29, 2010 9:45 pm

well.. I have Catalan blood flowing in my veins ( albeit long removed from Iberia) I also loved the costumes of the early 16th century. I first chose the name Simon' Salavador de Barcelona. However my "nickname" quickly became SEMEN.. ( I and my friends were quite young 16-ish) I dropped the Simon and simply went by Salvador my 2nd choice of a name just because it sounded cool and there were no other Salvador's in The SCA. I later added a maternal heritage from occupied Italy ( Aragonese crown)
I chose Paolo ( a variant in Catalan is spelled the same) because when I was born my family wanted me named Paul ( didn't happen) so I settled on that combo.. it just kind of grew..lol
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