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Author Topic: Family Names?  (Read 381 times)

steelhead86

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Family Names?
« on: September 09, 2017, 04:51:33 pm »

I did a search and didn't see any reference to this elsewhere, so forgive me if it has been suggested/planned already.

The game currently generates names in a pretty uniform way: every entity gets three words, translated, and arranged into two names. This is great for ensuring that everyone has a pretty unique name and works pretty well as it is. However, it is missing a pretty big element: family names.

Virtually every culture currently on Earth, and most dating back several thousand years, has had this element. It is implemented differently for different cultures: in English and other European languages, it comes in the form of a last name; in Japanese and some other Asian languages, it is a first name. In some cultures (i.e. ancient Romans) the family name was completely separate from the individual's (several) names. Further, cultures often prefer some given names over others.

It would be interesting if there was more variability in the way entities were named: if, for example, some cultures gave their children many names, while others gave them only a few; if some element (first name, last name, half of last name, etc) was inherited from a parent (or both parents? Dwarves might take the first part of their last name from their mother, and the second half from their father?). An extra nice bit, might be if parents liked to name their children after other people - a friend, a parent, a sibling, etc. That could be trickier to implement for historical figures though as they would have to have friends and relationships, which I'm not sure they do.
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Urist McClown

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Re: Family Names?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2017, 02:15:54 am »

Family names are far younger than you think they are; in Europe, only nobility used to have last (really, Clan) names until roughly 500 years ago. E.g., in England, common surnames date back to an edict by Henry VIII. Scotland and Wales took another 100 years. The Netherlands only introduced surnames between 1795 and 1811. Japan didn't have surnames until the early 20th century. For example, Leonardo da Vinci didn't have a surname; "da Vinci" means "from the town Vinci". Neither did Erasmus of Rotterdam. Both of these men lived merely 500 years ago.

So I don't think family names in the classical sense are entirely necessary. However, yes, Clan membership should be tracked, and loco-, patro- or matronyms ("Son of ..." or "from..." style names) might be an interesting addition.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2017, 02:23:21 am by Urist McClown »
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SixOfSpades

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Re: Family Names?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2017, 02:31:18 am »

A few of the possibilities that came up recently: http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=163718.0
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Batgirl1

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Re: Family Names?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2017, 08:32:39 pm »

I would love to see patronyms and/or matronyms; maybe different cultures would prefer one or the other, for extra flavor.  Having a house/family name bestowed on you could also go along with becoming nobility:

"Urist McDuke is the first member of the house of SnobNobles."

"This is Urist McBoy, son of Urist McDuke of the house of SnobNobles."
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Derpy Dev

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Re: Family Names?
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2017, 09:13:38 pm »

In typical DF fashion, this could be taken even farther with family feuds going on in worldgen and fortress mode.

Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Family Names?
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2017, 12:47:51 am »

In typical DF fashion, this could be taken even farther with family feuds going on in worldgen and fortress mode.
They already do to a certain extent. A recent tavern massacre was triggered by a family feud (your great-grandfather killed my ancestor kind of thing). It's been tweaked since that mess but the thoughts and grudges are probably still floating around.

Will become much more apparent after social and political relationships are fleshed out during the Starting Scenarios arc.
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steelhead86

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Re: Family Names?
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2017, 04:33:07 pm »

Quote
Family names are far younger than you think they are; in Europe, only nobility used to have last (really, Clan) names until roughly 500 years ago. E.g., in England, common surnames date back to an edict by Henry VIII. Scotland and Wales took another 100 years. The Netherlands only introduced surnames between 1795 and 1811. Japan didn't have surnames until the early 20th century. For example, Leonardo da Vinci didn't have a surname; "da Vinci" means "from the town Vinci". Neither did Erasmus of Rotterdam. Both of these men lived merely 500 years ago.

So I don't think family names in the classical sense are entirely necessary. However, yes, Clan membership should be tracked, and loco-, patro- or matronyms ("Son of ..." or "from..." style names) might be an interesting addition.

You're totally correct. Had I tried to explain this in my OP though, it probably would have gone over most peoples' heads, which is why I didn't really get into it. (Though I have to poke at your Leonardo example; you're leaving out his patronym, 'di ser Piero.')

Your second paragraph is really where I was going. Even if they didn't have proper "surnames" as we think of them now, the names of commoners still often differentiated between Jon (son of Donald), Jon (of Brien), and Jon (the blacksmith) when it was important to know which Jon you're talking about (for example, if all three Jons lived in the same town). Besides: many of these loco/patro/matronyms ultimately *became* modern surnames, hence Jon McDonald, Jon O'Brien, etc. Other commoners adopted surnames related to their craft (Jon Smith, Jon Carpenter, Jon Fisher, etc).

Expanding on this idea, as well: the Roman families (well, those that kept records, anyway: the wealthy ones) had a fairly structured means of naming children: the tria nomina. Look it up if you're interested. Even in other cultures, though, it would have been common (though not universal) for a firstborn son's given name to be the same as his fathers... at least as far as I understand. I must admit I'm not an expert on the history of names, only an amateur with a lot of time to comb through relevant wikipedia articles, haha!
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Azerty

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Re: Family Names?
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2017, 01:18:34 pm »

Some ideas of source for family names:

  • Profession: just like some are named Weaver, Cooper, Smith and Fisher, in DF, some would be named from their profession.
  • Deity: some could name themselves from a favoured deity, especially some priests and heroes (Herakles, "Hera's glory").
  • Given name: some could use a patronym or matronym as surnames.
  • Places: some could name themselves from a place, for exemple their birth place.
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Batgirl1

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Re: Family Names?
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2017, 01:07:54 pm »

Some ideas of source for family names:

  • Profession: just like some are named Weaver, Cooper, Smith and Fisher, in DF, some would be named from their profession.
  • Deity: some could name themselves from a favoured deity, especially some priests and heroes (Herakles, "Hera's glory").
  • Given name: some could use a patronym or matronym as surnames.
  • Places: some could name themselves from a place, for exemple their birth place.

Ooh! So, it could be ranked where a dwarf who attains legendary status in a profession takes a work-based name, a deeply religious dwarf takes a deity name, a dwarf with important parents takes a patronymic or matronymic (maybe his mother crafted an artifact, or his father was a noble) and the rest just pick names from other sources.
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Derpy Dev

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Re: Family Names?
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2017, 02:52:01 pm »

Some ideas of source for family names:

  • Profession: just like some are named Weaver, Cooper, Smith and Fisher, in DF, some would be named from their profession.
  • Deity: some could name themselves from a favoured deity, especially some priests and heroes (Herakles, "Hera's glory").
  • Given name: some could use a patronym or matronym as surnames.
  • Places: some could name themselves from a place, for example their birth place.

Ooh! So, it could be ranked where a dwarf who attains legendary status in a profession takes a work-based name, a deeply religious dwarf takes a deity name, a dwarf with important parents takes a patronymic or matronymic (maybe his mother crafted an artifact, or his father was a noble) and the rest just pick names from other sources.

I know this wouldn't add much to the gameplay, but I love this idea and really want to see it as just added detail.

SixOfSpades

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Re: Family Names?
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2017, 04:25:01 am »

Profession: just like some are named Weaver, Cooper, Smith and Fisher, in DF, some would be named from their profession.
This makes perfect sense in medieval Europe, where sons generally took up their father's professions, and so names like Glover, Fletcher, Roper, Taylor, Fields, Shepherd, etc., tended to be true across multiple generations. But because DF's skill slope is so shallow that literally ANY dwarf can become Legendary in ANY skill in just a year or two (assuming the workload is there, of course), without any training whatsoever, the odds that any dwarf will follow in their parents' footsteps is rather slim indeed. Besides, since profession names are already tacked on, you're either looking at redundancy ("Iton Miller, Miller") or incongruity ("Iton Miller, Macedwarf").
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Azerty

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Re: Family Names?
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2017, 02:12:08 pm »

Profession: just like some are named Weaver, Cooper, Smith and Fisher, in DF, some would be named from their profession.
This makes perfect sense in medieval Europe, where sons generally took up their father's professions, and so names like Glover, Fletcher, Roper, Taylor, Fields, Shepherd, etc., tended to be true across multiple generations. But because DF's skill slope is so shallow that literally ANY dwarf can become Legendary in ANY skill in just a year or two (assuming the workload is there, of course), without any training whatsoever, the odds that any dwarf will follow in their parents' footsteps is rather slim indeed. Besides, since profession names are already tacked on, you're either looking at redundancy ("Iton Miller, Miller") or incongruity ("Iton Miller, Macedwarf").

Could we restrict this to the cases where several generations occupy a job during world gen? If, for exemple, the father, son and the grandson are jewelers, their names might be drawn from jewelry.
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steelhead86

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Re: Family Names?
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2017, 10:44:49 am »

How about this option:

Emuth, female and Olmul, male, get married and have baby, who they name Urist after Emuth father. Since the fortress currently does not have another Urist, this dwarf is simply "Urist."

A few years later, a redheadded fisher named Urist immigrates to the fortress. Now we have to differentiate between the two. So, we decide from several attributes to create bynames for Urist and Urist: Urist son of *father*, Urist *physical-attribute*, Urist *profession*, etc. How this is decided might be random: baby Urist might become known as Urist Olmultilat (Olmul Child), while the newly immigrated Urist might become known as Urist Angrazes (Red Hair).

Eventually, Urist has a child, who he decides to name Urist after his grandfather (or himself, who knows). Since there are already two Urist's, he needs a byname: he becomes Urist the Younger. And so on.

It would be nice if by-name decision wasn't too heavily weighted towards any one thing by default, so that I don't end up with half my fortress using the byname "Fisher." However, different civs might weight different byname types differently, like a human civ that likes to give people patronyms.

For funzies, if several generations of a family have the same byname, maybe it becomes a surname, and becomes inheritable by their children. When surnames conflict, resolution can depend on civ-level randomness: the humans might have the father's surname take precedence, the elves may have the mothers, the dwarves may make male children inherit from their father and females inherit from their mother, and the goblins may give them both names. (Something would need to be added to prevent names from getting too long.) Or whatever. It might not even be consistent from one same-race civ to the next. Surnames might become quite common in longer world-gens, especially if entities start giving their children intelligently-decided given names based on relatives, beliefs or similar.

Important dwarves (nobles, or those who reach Legendary skill) might start a clan: all their descendants get "of clan Foobar" added to their name. Someone elsewhere has discussed clan membership when they conflict; it could follow similar rules to surname inheritance.
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