Random Names

Posted by Jesus Antonio on 2 April 2018 in English (English)

I think that a lot of new users, create countries with no etymology (not derived from a word) like Peaceland or Buildtion, even Iceland and Greenland have an etymology. I think there should be a guide for that to make OGF more versamilitude.

PD: Is ironic that Greenland have a lot of ice and Iceland having a lot of green grass.

Comment from trabantemnaksiezyc on 2 April 2018 at 07:48

Greenland is named so because the viking who came here wanted others to come as well. Think of this name as the first example of fake advertisement ;) .

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Comment from eleinads on 2 April 2018 at 10:17

About my country: the etymology of the name "Gardensa" is explained in the wiki page. I hope that it respect the policy of verisimilitude...

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Comment from zhenkang on 2 April 2018 at 13:04

Singkangia's OGF etymology is slightly complicated. I was trying to come up with a reasonable explanation and there you go. (See the wiki) I will try to explain it better in the future.

The name in real life is just named after myself and Singapore. Thus Singkangia. Hehe

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Comment from stjur on 2 April 2018 at 13:52

the etymology of "Antharia"? hmm idk @trabantemnaksiezyc came up with this name as he owned the territory before I did. I just went with the name because I liked it, but I don't know what it means or where it comes from..

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Comment from trabantemnaksiezyc on 2 April 2018 at 18:43

To be honest Antharia comes from nowhere, I just made it up because I needed some name and I didn't think about the meaning. I decided that it sounds "enough like a country" so I went with it. It's not even close to any Polish word. Shilesia is just a mixed up version of Silesia.

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Comment from Luziyca on 2 April 2018 at 18:45

Kuggyong means borderland in Korean. My first nation though, Mahikan comes from mahihkan, meaning wolf in C

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Comment from Ernestpcosby on 2 April 2018 at 18:49

I wonder if Freedemia, having a Christic and Ingerish heritage, could have originated its name from a mistake from butchering "Free and Redeemed"

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Comment from Jesus Antonio on 2 April 2018 at 18:54

Thanks, also when visiting wiki, i noticed that many people is putting etymology after posting this.

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Comment from Ernestpcosby on 2 April 2018 at 18:54

I'm thinking a severe misspelling of "redeemed" that was written like 'Reedemed Land' or something in Alexander Quentins' writings when he first discovered Freedemia? Explorers weren't always that educated and it seems likely that based on the time period (mid 1500s) spellings and writings might have been a bit different. Not to mention it could partially explain Reeds state having its name too, with the area originally being known as Reedemed and then eventually losing the "emed" through time

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Comment from zhenkang on 2 April 2018 at 22:40

The two best etymologies are Rhododactyli and Ardisphere. The rest... why Commonia is named after 'common', when the country is not so unified? What is the name behind Khaiwoon, Midistland and Mecyna?

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Comment from FictiveJ on 3 April 2018 at 04:01

Well 'Midistland' seems to come from 'middle + east' reflecting its location in Uletha.

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Comment from Sarepava on 3 April 2018 at 09:00

Also consider the English name may be completely different to the vernacular one. 'Germany' derives from the Roman word for the area; the French name Allemagne probably is a corruption of Charlemagne; in Finnish it's Saksa from Saxon; whereas the Germans call themselves Deutschland, 'country of the Teutons'.

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Comment from Yuanls on 3 April 2018 at 14:11

I think some people go a bit overboard with the whole versamilitude concept. Pretend, for a second, the reality was reversed , with us lived in the OGF world. We are brainstorming country names for the 'real world'. Hungary-is that a pun on the word Hungry? China-why are you naming a country after a type of pottery? Turkey-why are you naming countries after birds??? Why on earth is there a country named Niger? How come there is an Austria and also an Australia? There are plenty of conflicts, and that's in the English language alone. Sarepava has made a very good point.

Conflicts with other countries or objects may be co-incidental (Hungary, Austria/Australia) or intentional (Turkey and China). In the OGF timeline, maybe cookies were invented in that cookie country that since had had its name changed.

My proposal is simple: name countries what you want, as long as you have a valid etymology. Of course, not everyone can do this otherwise it'll become 'suspicious'. Exercise imagination and creativeness, but also restraint and common sense. Be realistic but interesting.

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Comment from ruadh on 3 April 2018 at 16:47

@ Yuanls, you've hit the nail on the head here, many real world countries would fall foul of even loosely interpreted versamilitude rules. People are going overboard.. it actually comes across, to me, as a bit hysterical, and an excuse to have a go at new users.

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Comment from Luciano on 3 April 2018 at 22:50

I agree with @Yuanls above. There are weird and strange a difficult-to-imagine-why names in the real world. And as @Sarepava points out, too, names aren't the same in each language. In fact, if you look at those other languages, it gets worse: did you know that in Korean, Seoul means, get this... "Capital City." Talk about a lack of imagination! Further, Tokyo means "Eastern Capital" and (haha, really) Kyoto ALSO means "Eastern Capital" and Beijing means "Northern Capital" and Nanjing means "Southern Capital" and Shanghai means "Seaside". Talk about a lack of imagination... who designed these countries, a 5 year old? So you get the point.

Users should be free to name things whatever they want. The key is to then INVENT AN INTERESTING ETYMOLOGY, to justify it. Ardisphere, frankly, is a kind of implausible and even "dumb" name - I'll admit so myself. But I'm deeply attached to it, because I've ALWAYS had an imaginary country named Ardisphere, since I was 11 years old. So I set about making some kind of etymology that could justify it. Hence the story about the misunderstood natives saying "Don't come here" in their own language, and being completely misunderstood. And I play with it, too. Ardisphere's name doensn't stay the same across languages. In Gohangukian (Korean), it's called 화국 /hwaguk/, a semi-calque via Sinian (Chinese characters, i.e. 火國, namely, "fire country") of the misunderstood Castellanese name. Etc.

As another example, I have a place called Playa Americana, and you might be thinking, "Hey, no fair, there's a rule against real-world names!". But the name predates OGF, and, again, I'm attached to it. So I got slick, and invented an "in-world" etymology to justify it. Specifically, in fact "Américo" is a common given name in Castellanese (Spanish, and also Italian - that's where Earth's "America" COMES from: good ol' Amerigo Vespucci, right?). So I set up this Ardispherian national hero, Américo Valdivia, and explain that Playa Americana is named after HIM. That's NOT a real world name, now, it's an in-world name. Get how that works?

The verisimilitude rule is rule which exists primarily to be bent with our imaginations.

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Comment from zhenkang on 3 April 2018 at 23:03

@Luciano the Ardiaphere etymology really reminds me of the name of Kangaroo.

I remeber lemonking mentioned a set of guidelines for realistic names which I will show here.

Many real country names originally describe the nature of the area. I suggest you choose the name after you know the location and after you have developped a rough idea of the topography and history of the area.

Was your country originally covered with forest? Consider names like Waldortia, Waldland etc.

Is there an important body of water or mountain in the area that defines the geography? Consider names like Flussendia, Ostseelandia, Nordhangen etc.

Is there a proud people with noble history? Consider names like Adelburgia, Folkerland etc.

You could also create a history of abbreviation for the name, e.g. Adelburgia > Alburgia or Waldortia > Walria etc.

You may want to look at this list of real etymologies for inspiration:

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Comment from stjur on 3 April 2018 at 23:40

@Luciano I think there is a difference between creating a culture in which it's normal to name cities "North Capital" or "Capital City" and having no culture at all, naming cities random words off the dictionary succeeded by "City", which happens a lot on OGF and which is the problem addressed in this thread. It's ridiculous to defend these "creators" and putting them on the same level as Goryeo dynasty rulers.

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Comment from zhenkang on 3 April 2018 at 23:42

Just to add on, Chinese names around the RW is slightly weird. China in Chinese means Central Country (中国) and USA is beautiful country (美国). However, there are some meaningful ones like Germany 德国 (pronounced de-guo), probably beacuse of Deustchland.

On the list of countries in various languages, I have always tried giving some special translations for Chinese. I think I will review Freedemia's Chinese name.

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Comment from Luciano on 4 April 2018 at 00:16

@stjur My point is that when I started (when I was a newbie!) I was the same. People complained to me, what's with your names? And so what I'm doing is suggesting that there is a way to solve this problem, even if you want to keep your names.

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Comment from FictiveJ on 4 April 2018 at 01:44

I suppose people are right about this, it's just that I suppose 'Peaceland' sounds like a really strange name for a country, as does 'Buildtion' (which sounds very choppy, as compared to the old name 'Omniville' which was sleek and nice-sounding in my opinion).

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Comment from Trombonist2003 on 4 April 2018 at 02:46

I would agree with @Zhenkang on their last post. Names can originate from the culture of the nation. If they think they're the centre of the world, there's a pretty good chance they'll name themselves, "the centre of the world" (like China). The United kingdom is so named because that's just what it is: Two (sorry ireland) Kingdoms that were United. My last example is where I reside: Canada. It is derived (arguably) from the Iroquois word "Kanata," meaning village. So names can be heavily influenced or originated from the local culture.

Names can also originate from its geography. Japan, seeing no land farther east than itself called itself "the origin of the sun" because all they saw towards the origin of the sun was just ocean. Australia was so named because the closest latin form meant "southern land", which made perfect sense (until they found antarctica).

Almost forgot. Names can also be derived from the nation's ideology. A perfect example of this is the USSR (union of Soviet socialist republics). It has socialism in its name, which matches accordingly to its government: Socialist

Anyways... My country's Etymology (Similar to Canada)

Bélice [Pronounced be-lisø - IPA Français]

Derived from be native Belič word "Béličé Uktà" meaning "Rows of Mountains." There is great debate because this does not reflect the physical geography of the entire nation. Therefore, people in the flatter, eastern areas want to change it to the French-sounding "Géodivèr," a combination of Géographie (Geography) and Diverse (Diverse). It only currently remains Bélice because the central government is located right in the middle of the mountains. I'll add more after.

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Comment from zhenkang on 4 April 2018 at 07:50

Belice will be 山国 (mountain nation) then.

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Comment from histor on 4 April 2018 at 07:51

"whereas the Germans call themselves Deutschland, 'country of the Teutons'. "

Sorry - nothing with the Teutones. Germanys own name "Deutschland" only means the land, where the folks language is spoken. First mentioned at the meeting of Ludwig and Karl, grandsons of Charles the great, as both sworn to fight against Lothar in Straßburg (Strassbourg). The same meaning has the danis word for Germany = "Tyskland". So the etymology for "Deutschland" ony is simply "folks-land".

(Germany is exactly seen the wrong name, because germanic-speaking people too are in England and Skandinavia.)

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Comment from zhenkang on 4 April 2018 at 08:50

I wish to set up a list of etymologies. To not create so many lists, I think there should just be one for countries and the major cities.

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Comment from Luziyca on 4 April 2018 at 18:47

I don't think we need a section for "lists of etymologies for major cities." But a list of etymologies by itself should be fine IMO.

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Comment from FancyFoxy on 4 April 2018 at 20:14

You know, I didn't just take the first thing that came up in my head when I thought of Peaceland. Yeah, the name sounds pretty weird, but the derivation is from Peace, which is an extremely important part of the country. Also, is it really necessary to specifically name a country instead of just saying what you think?

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Comment from stjur on 4 April 2018 at 20:19

@FancyFoxy I don't wanna repeat myself but wouldn't Unicornitania be a good name for your country too? I mean the derivation would be from Unicorn

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Comment from FancyFoxy on 4 April 2018 at 20:20

@stjur Is there really anything about my country that has to do with unicorns, though?

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Comment from The_Cute_Chick on 5 April 2018 at 13:08


The country China is not named after the ceramic material china. It is actually the reverse. The ceramic material china is named so because the material is first seen in China.

The country China is most widely believed to have originated from the word "Qin" as in the Qin Dynasty.


Tōkyō (東京) literally translates to "east capital" but Kyōto (京都) literally translates to" capital city" and is not the same as Tōkyō.

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Comment from Yuanls on 5 April 2018 at 14:18


I know, I'm Chinese myself. I was writing from the perspective of a person in OGF who is trying to make up country names.


There are plenty examples of former colonies where exactly that kind of naming takes place. Newfoundland. South Africa. Ocean City. Long Island. Salt Lake City. Puerto Rico. Heck, even the Pacific Ocean. There are plenty of places around the world with the format generic adjective+generic place, whether the naming was intentional or not. Suddenly 'Peaceland' doesn't seem so farfetched.

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Comment from Ūdilugbulgidħū on 5 April 2018 at 16:54

There are certain rules that the names of real world countries follow, mostly relating to grammar and 'how the name sounds'. The majority of country names are not too difficult to pronounce. They follow the grammatical rules of the language the country speaks, and where there is more than one language spoken, there can be more than one official name. Therefore, for countries, verisimilitude won't happen when a country name breaks these rules.

Think about this in relation to some of the countries in OGF, there are clearly a few issues.

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Comment from Luciano on 5 April 2018 at 19:27

@TCC I revealed my ignorance, in my effort to include Japanese (Tokyo / Kyoto). I should have verified before spouting off about it (or better yet not mentioned it). But my error hardly invalidates the point I was trying to make.

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Comment from Portopolis on 6 April 2018 at 03:08

Luciano even if what your saying was wrong you are very right about Japanese names. Compared to even most English cities and American cities which are offen Native American names. Japan is literally naming cities and neighborhoods things like Six Trees Roppongi. Shinjuku, New Post Town. Shibuya Refined Valley or Distateful Valley etcetera. The more I look the more boring the non neighborhood names become.

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Comment from The_Cute_Chick on 6 April 2018 at 10:35

There is a wikipedia page on the state and territory name etymologies of the United States and I have also found subway stations in Hong Kong being literally translated which can be seen here.

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