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What’s in a name?
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Naming traditions within the Oteqaši.
This public article was written by [Deactivated User] on 12 Dec 2014, 05:49.

[Public] ? ?
Menu 1. original post As requested by seatentsina, I shall be writing about naming traditions within my conworld. The Oteqaši are the people of my conworld, and Anikele the language that they speak. I will be talking about the naming ceremonies, types of names given, and other relevant information on this topic.

To begin with, it is important to state that over the course of a lifetime one will receive four separate names. The first two are chosen for you and the final two are chosen for yourself. Now onto the specifics of each:
The first name one receives is given right at the birth of the child. It is chosen by the parents, and is intended to express the hopes and expectations that the parent has of the child. So, for example, the closest-sounding equivalent of my first name in Anikele would be Aneśue (/a.’neː.t͡su.e/), which means ‘[One who] Returns from the East’. My given name is a much better example in that it means ‘fit to be loved; loveable’. Please note that names do not have to specifically be obvious in what they mean for the child; it is just customary that they usually represent something that the parent hopes for. It is also common for a child to be named after a relative that the parent hopes to look after the child or a historical figure that the parent wants the child to be like. This name is given in a simple washing ceremony that serves to clean off the various disgustingnesses of the birth as well as give the child a clean start in the world.

The second name one receives they are given at the approximate mid-point of puberty. Occasionally it is earlier or later, but it is usually given one-fifth through one’s expected life years unless requested by the child to be at a different time. This name is once again chosen by the parents, but instead it serves to describe the type of person the child has shown themself to be at that point in life. My second name equivalent would be Namik, which means ‘[One who] Leaves’, while my given second name means ‘people of victory’. This name is usually given in an elaborate ceremony up at the local place of worship (usually a temple), and is taken as a coming-of-age ceremony. It usually involves inviting the local people and relatives for a celebration that lasts a few days. It is held outside and is a cross between a party and a camping trip, with everyone sleeping and celebrating outside for two to three days. Due to changing opinions about the actual ceremony, many are now having much smaller celebrations for this naming. Still, if one can afford it they usually try to make it as big and extravagant as possible. This reflects with the next naming ceremony, which is almost the opposite of this.

The third naming is probably the most personal of the four. This is the first time one gets to choose their name, and it will be the one that they are known for for the majority of their life. Since it is such a large decision, the person who is being named usually goes on a quest to find themself that can last anywhere from a few hours to a week. The person may choose how they decide to go on this quest, but the important thing is that they make it by themself. It can be anything from going to a far-away place for a visit to taking a walk to shutting oneself in until they realize what they want their name to be. This ceremony happens once a person decides that they want to take the next step in their life towards independence and adulthood. It can happen anywhere from a few years after their second naming to halfway through their life, although it usually happens about one-fourth of the way through their expected lifetime. This name signifies who they want to become in their life, so it is a big decision to choose one’s name. My third name (which I have no equivalent for in English) is Setavulos (/se.’taː.bu.lo̞s/), which means ‘trusted information/informant’. If you translate it directly using the words it is made up of (seta ‘good’ and vulos ‘information/knowledge’, and through extension, book [which is how it is used most often]) it will sound odd, but together it means a sort of trusted information source or someone who has good intuition and wisdom to give.

The fourth naming ceremony is done right near the end of the person’s expected lifspan. There are people who never get to choose their own name due to accidents or bad timing, but on the whole it is customary for one to choose their own final name. This is also a personal ceremony, and it involves a lot of reflection upon one’s life choices and path in life. The final name reflects one’s view of their path in life, the person they have become, and what they have accomplished. If one dies before they have chosen a fourth name for themself and they have left behind no sign of what they intended for it to be, then usually the closest person to them will choose it in their honor. Due to the fact that I have only recently chosen my third name and the fact that I am not to die for hopefully quite a few years, I have no personal example of a fourth name.


Cities are unlabeled because this is quite an old map of the Kelotan Islands (the word at the bottom right says kelotala, which is the term used to refer to the islands and their inhabitants). The states are as follows: the area colored in red red is Averšiku, yellow is Eśíhe, brown is Olefáth, and purple is Kientas. The orange part is supposedly ‘owned’ and controlled by the religious leader, the Tietán, but is actually owned by the overreaching religious governing force (a la the Church).

Past the given or chosen name that one has, if one is to leave their local community they will go by [name] uejo [place]. Uejo in this situation notes that a person is from a place, although a more accurate translation would be ‘[name] of [place]’. If one is within their state, then they will go by the name of their city or town. If one leaves and travels further away then they will go by the name of their state. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. It is more popular to go by the name of the city anywhere if one comes from a large city.

And that is it about names! There’s really not much else I can go on about as far as I can think. If you think of any questions regarding names, feel free to ask and I will amend this post! Thank you for reading!

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