Commentary, Three Arrivals No. 5

More dialog. Still don’t like doing it.

I’ll talk about human names for a bit. The majority come in two parts—a first name and a patronym (all the -sen and -dottir suffixes). Formal address requires that you mention the patronym, so Mikel refers to Anja as “Anja Grevdarsdottir”. If you’re a child talking to another child, it’s not unknown to simply leave the patronyms off, as Liam and Elisa do with Anja.

Of course, with a population as dense as the one in Vrimderheimdalskaagerholmegvorrighrimdalholm, there are bound to be people who don’t know who their fathers were. For that reason surnames are becoming more common, although almost always as a substitute for a patronym and not as an addition (if you want to distinguish between two people of identical name, you just add another generation’s patronym). ‘Skräskyddsling’ is an example, though one that’s a bit older—meaning ‘ward of the Guild’, it’s an artifact of the Guilds’ collective preference to recruit from populations without family ties.

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