Thursday 21 June 2018

Sobriquets for Sylvan

Sobriquets for Sylvan: Names and Naming Post 10 

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 sylvan first appeared in book #3: Green Balls, when the pixie hero of that book encountered one of them by the creek. They're not common, even over there and generally don't come much over here.
Each sylvan (men and maids) has a dual nature. As one of them puts it, it's not two personalities sharing a body so much as two bodies sharing a personality. Each can morph to be man or maid, depending on what s/he wants to do at the time. Because of this duality, each child is given a unisex name at birth. Since they don't bother with surnames it's probably just as well there are few of them.
Sylvan age slowly and have long lifespans, so although they often form lasting friendships with others, they understand their friends will be old while they're still barely into middle age. 
Names are often combinations of the parents' names, and frequently sound botanical or to do with the natural world.
For example Oash (pronounced in one syllable) is a child of Oaka and Asht. Oash has a sibling named Koh. 
Occasionally sylvan blood gets into the human population and the result is generally not good. Sam Silver's great-great grandfather was a sylvan, and it was this term, misheard, that formed the family surname. Her father is a sylvan halfling who goes by his/her mother's surname and uses the human naming convention--twice over --being known as Jillian/Jules Fraeman. Sam's mother Shelley, grandmother Stella and great aunt Sofia all have sylvan blood, but since they don't know,  their names follow the human style.

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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