Tuesday 12 June 2018

Eponyms for Elves

Eponyms for Elves Names and Naming Post 5 

When I started writing the Fairy in the Bed series, I dealt with just one kind of fay. As the series expanded, I brought in more. To justify having them different (they're all fay or fairies, but many of them categorise themselves beyond that) I came up with naming systems to suit each group.
Part of the fun, if not making up the names from scratch, lies in adapting existing names and finding enough that fit recognisably into a culture.

The first fay in the first story in the Fairy in the Bed series was an elf. I named him Niall le Fay, which teams a Celtic name with a surname that means, roughly, the fay or the fairy.  The McFee family, met later, have a similar name, meaning son of the fairy.
Such surnames might derive from families of mixed types back when surnames were being born, so the earliest of the le Fay and McFee families might have been given these appellations by humans in acknowledgement that they had one or more ancestors who were fay.
I hadn't worked out the mythology of the series in that first story, because as far as I knew it was a one-off. In retrospect I've had to try to fit it in with the other titles. 
Niall le Fay manifests as a Christmas elf. His mother's name is Natalia le Fay, nee Echo. He has a female cousin named Felicity "Flick" Echo. She's a halfling, with a courtfolk mother, but her name follows the elf convention. Niall's daughter, Evangeline, is also a halfling because her mother is human.
The only other major elf character we've met so far is Eve Adeste from the upcoming Christmas Eve. As with Niall, his mother Natalia and cousin Felicity, Eve has strong ties with Christmas. Her surname is Latin. I originally called her Eve Lullay, but then I had a closer look at the words and meaning of the Coventry carol (Lully lullay, thou little tiny child...) and decided against it.
There are not enough elves yet to give a better sense of their naming system, but they seem to go for classic names with strong connotations. Niall is an Irish name meaning champion. Natalia bears a Latin Christmas name, implying she was probably born on or near Christmas. Felicity's name means happiness, while Eve's means life. Evangeline is named partly after Eve Adeste. They're not related, but Eve was the midwife who delivered Frances's and Niall's Christmas baby. She was helped out by Raphael Angelus, so Evangeline's name is a compliment to both.
As the series progresses, no doubt we'll encounter more elves. They are generally nice people, and less mercurial than the pixies. 

The Fairy in the Bed series is showcased at Larksinger while the books can be purchased from the publisher.

About the Blog

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, anthologist and reader. You can find you way into her maze of websites and blogs via the portal here.(Sally is me, by the way.)

The goal for 2017 was to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. 2017 is well behind us, but I ran out of year before running out of books. As of June 2018 I STILL hadn't run out of books, but many of those still to come are MIA by which I mean I don't have copies and remember little about them. There are more new books in the pipeline, and I'm certainly showcasing those, but in between times, I'm profiling some of my characters, places and objects. Thank you so much to everyone who's come along on this journey so far!

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