Nobody in Andal will ever be called Florimel, or Tom, Dick or Harry. All cultures have their own way of naming people, their own stock of names and their own idea of which foreign names are acceptable to their people.
The most important name to many people is the name of the clan they belong to: it defines them in a more important manner than their given name. A member of the Soysha clan will feel secure in the knowledge that while his clan is poor, it is large, and that where-ever he goes, he will meet family members who will help him.
Apart from the clan name, a person will have a given name, perhaps even two given names, a nickname, and any amount of names they will have taken themselves to describe their personality, their pursuits or ambitions. The emperor (or his representatives, the magistrates and other officials) can give honour-names for meritorious actions. And some people, descended from noble families from the Southern continent, have a noble name, which can be compared to a clan name, but confers infinitely more status.
People who have left their birthplace for another city will often be named after the place of their origin: Tala lua Veroi will have hailed from the northern city of Veroi. Or her ancestors, since those names can become heriditary too. A complication arises: the noble family who has governed the city of Veroi will be called lua Veroi too. To make the distincion, mere location of origin can be indicated by tan, while descendance from a ruling family will be indicated by lua. But this is merely facultative, and a rich merchant from Veroi will introduce himself as Hamal lua Veroi, too.
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© Copyright 1998 Boudewijn Rempt.