Street Names

Posted by Fleur on 1 August 2014 in English (English)

I'm interested to know how you all come up with names for generic streets because I have no ideas.

At the moment I'm just taking random words from my (small) Bayese dictionary and adding "straus" to the end but the dictionary certainly won't last me very long.

So where do you get your street names from? Do you even name your streets at all?

Comment from isleño on 1 August 2014 at 04:45

I think street names are great because they're one of the clearest ways to show the "flavor" of a place.

Here's what I did in Central Khaiwoon, where I wanted both English and "Khaiwoonese" names:

For the English names, I put together a huge word list based on themes. For example, I wanted the heart of the city to feel old, so I searched the internet for old-sounding words. (Cobbler, Embroidery, Tinsmith, Merchant, Candle, etc.) I also wanted it to feel "exotic" so I searched for those words too. (Temple, Silk, Oracle, Fortune, Veil, etc.) I also wanted it to feel tropical, so I added lots of tropical words. (Orange, Palm, Monkey, Vanilla, Pepper, etc.) I got even more names by combining two words on the list to make new ones (Silk Merchant, Orange Pepper) and by attaching outside words to words on the list (Little Temple, Red Monkey, Vanilla Bean).

For the Khaiwoonese names, I used the word generator here: which will provide an endless supply of names that all seem to come from the same language. You just tell it which letters and letter combinations you want to see, and what patterns they should follow, and then click "generate." It'll spit out a list of 200 words. Not all of them will look right, but you can just copy the ones you want and then click the "generate" button again, and it'll spit out another 200 words for you to choose from. Really easy. Using a tool like this, it's not hard to build up a massive name list in no time. In fact I ended up with way more names than I could possibly use.

Hope that helps!


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Comment from histor on 1 August 2014 at 21:43

You could give streets a "serial" name. So you have an order in your streets. For example ° names of woman = Amandastreet, Bridgetstreet, Charlottestreet ...... / ° names of animals / ° names of plants /

Too you can give - as in Hamburg (Germany) - themes for a part of a town = musicans (Bachstreet, Beethovenstreet, Tschaikowskystreet .../ painter / writer (roman as Ovidstreet, Vergilstreet, ..., american as Washington Irvin Street, E. A. Poe Street .... french as Moierestreet, Racinestreet, Sartrestreet, Camusstreet ....

You can differ a name = Applealley, Applelane, Appleterrace, Applecourt, Appleplace ....

If it get hard, in the outskrits of town you can name = Street # 432, Street # 433, Street # 434 ...

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Comment from isleño on 1 August 2014 at 22:51

Be careful though, if the street names are too uniform (single-themed, or alphabetized, or numbered) then it can seem like they were all planned or named at the same time, instead of developing organically over many years. So uniform names are a good fit within a "new city" like Marapura or Gobras City, but they may look strange in a place that is supposed to be older.

Another note: there are a number of people here (myself included) who try to avoid using the names of specific individuals and places from planet Earth. True, we make general reference to the plants and animals of Earth, and use Earth languages, but somehow it's really jarring for me to see very specific Earth references like Beethoven or Edgar Allen Poe. It would be like naming a city London or New York. If it was me, I'd make up a list of new composers/writers/etc with names that no one has heard of, but I guess this is just personal preference. To each his own, haha.

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Comment from histor on 1 August 2014 at 23:24

That is sure, that in the older cities or towns all streets have theyr characteristical and individual name. But soon around 1880, as the cities start to grow (in Europe) , they named new quarters with "thematic" names.

This is a nearly philosophical question: What sort of planet is the OpenGeoFicton planet? So I handle it as = date is actuell gregorian calender. My lands in the south (Latina, Zylanda) are discovered so 1450 - 1500 from people, who speak spanish, english, german and so on. Before that time there lived native tribes - with a more or less develloped zivilisation. Is it not possible, that on the OGF-planet had lived people like Beethoven or E. A. Poe? Why not?

[But I think, everyone so as he (or she) like]

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Comment from isleño on 2 August 2014 at 00:31

To me, the OGF planet is an alternate reality where many basics are the same as Earth, such as plants and animals, as well as the human species with similar developments in its history, technology and languages.

But while the general background is similar, the specifics of the OGF planet's history, such as the actual countries, cities, individuals and events are different.

So I can definitely enjoy an OGF country that is called, say, Gerlandia, with a capital called Erblinn and a famous composer called Beithoffer. I wouldn't want to see an OGF country called Germany, with capital Berlin, and composer Beethoven.

I think we all draw that line somewhere, just in somewhat different places.

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Comment from wangi on 2 August 2014 at 00:32

You get extra points if you're doing a "scheme naming" and get a seamless connection between neigbourhoods...

(Scottish rivers) Almond -> (nuts) Brazil -> (S. America) Amazon -> (rain forests) ...

But on the "organic" concerns it's always good to have leakage between areas & names...

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Comment from Oxalia on 3 August 2014 at 07:22

You can also use the names of cities/towns for your streets: "Roantraway"

Some lists in the wiki would be a good help for streetnames: e.g. (must be created)

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Comment from antoon on 3 August 2014 at 11:16

Though I'm not working on streets and buildings for 'my' country of Neberly yet, i already have been thinking about naming streets. I can agree that for city centers you don't want single themed streetnames in the same quarter. But i think earlier i found some themes that can be safely used when mixed up over the citycenter:

  • descriptive names like big, broad, front, high, new, small, south, west, etc.
  • buildings like bank, bridge, castle, chapel, church, gate, port, school, tower, etc.
  • crafts like baker, brewer, miller, potter, tailor, etc.
  • nobility like baron, count, duke, prince, king, etc.
  • food and drinks like beer, bread, cheese, fish, nut, pepper, salt, sugar, wine, etc.
  • animals like cat, cow, dog, fox, horse, ox, wolf, etc.
  • materials like copper, iron, marble, sand, stone, wood, etc.

When you search on the internet i think you can find many more examples on these themes.

My first post here. I hope it is helpful.

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Comment from Easky30 on 3 August 2014 at 12:13

With the new Wiki page I was able to use all the names of the countries on there as of today to name all the streets a neighborhood in Puerto Geo.

For the more suburban neighborhoods I model some of the streets like the housing estates outside of Dublin, Ireland where all the streets in the estate have the same name but will have a different ending such as Lane, Court, Drive etc.

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Comment from Luciano on 29 August 2014 at 09:03

I will admit that as I started my country Ardispheric Federation, I used a lot of names from the "real" Earth. The capital, Villa Constitucion, has a vast number of streets, and many, many of the names refer to Earth places and people. This is a consequence of the fact that the Ardisphere already existed on paper and my process of mapping in OGF has been partly one of tranference and partly one of addition / elaboration. Ardisphere was originally conceptualized as a fictional Latin American country on "real Earth," therefore these names make sense when conceptualized in that way.

I understand that the OGF environment isn't like that, and I intend to work very hard to gradually transition these names. One thing I have been doing is naming a lot of streets after fictional people. I have developed some extensive lists of notable Ardispherians from all walks of life: politicians, artists, etc. Over time, I will put some of these lists on the wiki if I feel they're ready.

I'm doing a similar process for Mahhal, but the added constraint there is that I'm inventing the Mahhalian language too - which makes things very slow, and I don't have the freedom to draw on word lists and name lists like I have done for the Ardisphere.

I have a rule, as I develop a place: "if I don't have a name for a street (or building or neighborhood or whatever), it's not ready to be built." I try to follow that 100% naming rule as closely as possible, and I think it gives me a better feel for what I'm creating, but it's challenging.

Over time, I will be changing the names of streets and towns and places in the Ardisphere that "clash" with the OGF naming consensus as it emerges. Also, as more and more countries develop within OGF, that will give everyone else a ready source of names to use - i.e. we can name streets after other people's countries, other cities, etc. I have already started doing this - I have built some new neighborhoods in Palmeras Grises that use the names of other countries for street names.

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Comment from Demuth on 2 September 2014 at 18:19

I also have used Antoon's method - occupations, animals, colours, positions/buildings (East St. or Market St. or Bank St.) I have to admit though that after I created my first cities, I've resorted to only naming tertiary or larger streets.

What became a bigger issue was names for hamlets, villages and towns. My cities are mostly named for characters in novels by British women (with a few exceptions); my towns, villages and hamlets continue that tradition, although the bulk of them are characters from Agatha Christie novels. Some of the streets in the 12 cities are also named after characters in the same novel from which the name of the city is taken.

My counties and natural features use a totally different system, and are named after Edicarian Phylum (pre-cambrian animals known only by their fossils - Wiwaxia, for example).

Kind of a strange mix, but it all made curious sense once I created a history for it.

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Comment from BMSOUZA on 28 September 2014 at 04:24

I admire those who can create new languages​​, but I can not. Things like yout all create here on the site, or languages ​​like Game of Thrones or the language of the dragons in Skyrim, hehehe.

So the streets in my country (Cariocas Islands - UL307) are named with Portuguese and Indigenous (South America) names. Anyway, indigenous names can be understood as a new and fictitious ethnic group.

For now, I'm still planning only metropolitan region Itacolomi. But I will have the challenge of naming many other streets, because in Cariocas Islands will exist more four large cities, and ten small cities...

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Comment from BMSOUZA on 28 September 2014 at 04:36

I admit I've used "real" names, such as stadium "Dario Conca", but I will also use names of fictitious characters. My brother and I had a fictional soccer league, with several foreign players (and teams), with no country defined. I can "tribute to them" soon, hehehe

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Comment from Portopolis on 5 November 2014 at 06:15

I play a gam called Grepolis and will use weird gamer tag names once my week is up. Like my friends Uragwolf, Foxxarino, Dukedurso, Elandrysylvanis, Antarius, Catt Ironheart etc.

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