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Old March 5 2015, 11:21 PM   #1
Deranged Nasat
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Naming Conventions

This originated with TV Tropes, as it happens, but I thought I'd post an expanded version here, in part so we can compare and speculate together, and so you can add any patterns I've missed. The alien races in the novel 'verse have naming conventions, of course, often expanded from what we heard canonically, and they follow the amusing course of trying to stay true to the source while also incorporating variety.

All: We all know that TV Trek in particular went overboard with the "it's feminine so it ends in an a" convention. We can, I propose, just chalk that up to translators. E.g. in the Voyager episode "The Chute", we hear a fair few Akritirian names. All are one or two syllables save one - a female's three-syllable name ending in "a". Personally I assume her name is two syllables, but something about those syllables or the way they're put together signifies an unmistakable feminine to their culture, so the translator flings an "a" on to the end.

Alonis: This one is my speculation. Sometimes we see Alonis with long names (and only one), as in A Singular Destiny. More often, they have a single-syllable first name and then a long middle name and medium-sized last name. Different cultures, perhaps, but odd that only one kind shows up in a given work. Then I noticed that there was a pattern to the first name/syllable, that seemed almost Tzenkethi in its implications. Tel Ammanis Lent was a diplomat, and Tel Venatil Liss was also a diplomat. From what we can tell, then, Alonis have long names like Quirmirkis, Nerramibus or Liezakranor. When off-world, they add a shorter additional name to the beginning to designate their function (“Tel” is diplomat, “Los” is soldier or military leader), and split the name in two (e.g. Admiral Los Tirasol Mentir is probably Tirasolmentir back home, Ambassador Tel Ammanis Lent is probably Ammanislent?).

Andorians: This is known in detail, of course. Andorians have a given name and a familial surname, with their surname containing a prefix indicating which of the four sexes and corresponding genders they belong to. This is the official registry system and all Andorians have one of these names, but they may not be using them or primarily answering to them. For example, Shran's full "Imperial name" is Hravishran th'Zoarhi, but he prefers to be known as Thy'lek Shran, his home-culture name (although "Thy'lek" is apparently Aenar translation of the original). The character Kanshent Shelav, from a highly traditionalist branch of her clan, insists on using that, her native Dreshna name, even though Andoria officially registers her by her Imperial name, Trenkanshent sh’Lavan. Her cousin answers just as readily to Aranthanien ch’Revash as to Thanien Cherev. The four gender suffixes are th', sh', zh' or ch'. For convenience, Andorians take a shorter familiar name (e.g. Thirishar ch'Thane, Sessethantis zh'Cheen and Kellarasana zh'Faila are Shar, Thantis and Kell (or Sana for her Mirror counterpart, apparently). An additional prefix for an outsider adopted into an Andorian clan was recently introduced when Bashir got it slapped onto his name. He's not using it, but I guess the Andorian registry is. As for which of the four parents' clan names is used, it appears to be the zhavey's, which would make sense given the importance placed on the zhavey-child bond and the strong implication that Andorian traditional family structure is matriarchal. I like to speculate that Pava Ek'Noor sh'Aqabaa's name (since she graduated to novels and got a novel 'verse name, that is) contains the Ek'Noor (remembering that Noor was her mother's name) because she didn't, for whatever reason, take the zhavey's name, and her Imperial Name still needs it in there. Andorians like sibilants. Dear Uzaveh, do they like sibilants. President Thelian's full name is a crime for which someone will answer, in this life or the next.

Benzites: As heard on screen, a single name, almost always two syllables and with hard consonants. Examples include Cardok, Veldon, Linzner, Salmak, Mendon. They're industrious, you see? Can't have ethereal, wishy-washy names.

Betazoids: Sexual and gender distinction. Male names are usually single-syllable (Cort, Tam, Sark, Hent, Ven), occasionally two, while female names are multi-syllabic (sometimes two but more commonly three or four) and tend to - here we go again - end in "a" (Lwaxana, Nerissa, Damira). In this case I let them have it, and don't cry translator. Surnames commonly end in "n" (Enaren, Kaldarren, Povron, Okalan, Tevren) or "x" (Grax, Mryax, Xerix, Xerx).

Betelgeusian: They almost always have a selection of the following: an "uu" sound, an "i" sound, a "t" sound, and an apostrophe. E.g. Kuu'iut, Uuvu'it, Hru'uith, Chi'iot. They have two names, most of them anyway.

Bolians: Bolian names are short, almost never more than two syllables, and quite often only one. Some use surnames (which are indistinguishable from given names), but most don't. This is likely due to cultural/national differences; the implication seems to be that Bolians have multiple national identities, like humans. Examples: Chell, Min Zife, Gom, Frnats, Zim Brott, Nea, Sovan, Rixx, Bor Loxx.

Breen: In private, names are diverse. In public and official business, as everyone is equal and names might otherwise reveal your home culture and threaten your status as an unknown strictly merit-defined piece in the Breen machine, everyone has a mono-syllable name that is, apparently, often a reflection of the real name; Deshinar Tibbonel is "Nar".

Chelons: Chelon names have lots of short, sharp syllables that sound like wet clicks and snaps - "i" and "t" are common (e.g. Rinsit, Latanum, Simmerith, Jetanien, Miltakka). They're from a swamp world and they have beaks.

Coridanites: Coridanite names very frequently end in a "v". The "ev" sound is particularly common (e.g. Lekev, Kalev, Chulev); another common ending is "g" (e.g. Seareg, Yoralig). The emphasis always seems to be on the first syllable, and family names are rare.

Damiani: Damiani names come in two parts. The first, the family name, features two syllables separated by an apostrophe. The given name is a letter (the only truly individual part, apparently), followed by another apostrophe and ullh, ullho or ullhy depending on sex. Examples include Ra'ch B'ullhy (female), Je'tran T'ullh (male) and Ne'al G'ullho (the third sex).

Efrosians: Efrosians tend to use a "Ra-" prefix on the surname (Ra-Yalix, Xin Ra-Havreii, Ra-Ghoratreii, Satlin Ra-Graveness), but not always. Ni- and Hu' prefixes have been see as well (e.g. Ni-Jalikreii, Fellen Ni-Yaleii, Hu'Ghrovlatrei). A classic Efrosian name is "(prefix)-(something)eii".

Gnalish: A first name of one or two syllables, a surname of at least three. Examples include Sar Antillea, Phigus Simenon, Qur Qontallium, Ganris Phrebington, and Gorus Gelemingar.

Grazerite: Grazerite names, naturally enough, follow the formula established onscreen by Jaresh-Inyo; two names joined by a hyphen (e.g. Severn-Anyar, Torvis-Urzon, Lonam-Arja, Amster-Iber). They sound ponderous (bovine) and each of the names is typically two syllables long, very occasionally one. The first name is shared between siblings or herd members - Jaresh-Inyo's brother is Jaresh-Uryad.

Hermats: Hermats, of course, have a name followed by a number (e.g. Burgoyne 172, Dogayn 418 or Rulan 12). Note that the highest number we've seen, almost twice as high as the next – in the 800s – was held by their representative to the Federation Council, suggesting perhaps that prestige comes from a long-enduring line. Several other Federation races hold the old nobility or established families in esteem (see: Andorians, Betazoids, Rigelians).

Manraloth: They like throaty sounds and also love the “ae” sound.

Nasat: Among the Nasats, names are letter-number-shell colour, e.g. P8 Blue, Z4 Blue, C29 Green or V1 Red. These are actually shortened versions of longer designations (strings of numbers and letters) with shell colour added on.

Rhaandarites: Rhaandarite names always seem to have an "aa" sound (e.g. Gaanth, Haarv, Vaylin Zaand, Laarin Andos).

Romulans: An interesting case. On TV, they had one name except when they had two. Apparently, and sensibly enough, Romulans are referred to in public by a family or clan name - but not always (see Valdore, further on). Alidar Jarok, Kimora Cretak. D' and N' are common Romulan prefixes, the former suggestive of importance or "greatness", the latter apparently held over from the te-Vikram (the super-tribal super-violent culture that ended up accidentally swept up in the exodus). The Rihannsu naming system is used sometimes, just as the Rihannsu language is used consistently. Admiral Valdore is Valdore i'Kaleh tr'Ihaimehn, more commonly "Valdore" (not "Ihaimehn" as we might expect). There's also a private, personal name in many instances (Rihannsu fourth name). Overall, Romulans like the "k" sound, particularly at the end of the family name. Cretak, Jarok, Vreenak, etc.

Tellarites: Tellarites have three names, usually of one or two syllables. The middle name is non-capitalized, probably a connective, and appears to be chosen from a relatively small pool. Examples include Bera chim Gleer, Bersh glov Mog, and Mor glasch Tev. Typically, they're referred to by the final name, which is shared among close family members (Rif jav Balkar and Sagar bav Balkar are a married couple).

Thallonians: They often use the honorific "Si" between their first and family names (Zoran Si Verdin, Jang Si Naran, etc.) Royal Thallonian Si Cwan appears to use the honorific itself as his first name.

Tholians: Almost always their names end in "ene"; examples include Tezrene, Yilskene and Kasrene. The few exceptions appear to be from the lower castes like the technicians; the higher-ranking politicians, warriors, diplomats, etc., are rarely without the "ene".

Triexians: Triexians have two names often connected by "na" (e.g. Krelis na Then, Arex na Eth, Ferin na Yoth), or sometimes "ko", as in Nexa ko Tor. The first name appears to be the one used formally. The first name is almost always two syllables, the final name a single syllable. The Triexians' Edoan cousins seem to have only a single name. Speculation: whatever it was that saw these two becoming separate races/cultures had to do with different attitudes toward family identity or position within a wider social hierarchy - I wonder if Edoans are to Triexians what Americans were to British?

Tzenkethi: We know this one, of course. Their naming conventions involve four segments - a given name, the individual’s job description, their echelon within it, and their level of accomplishment within that echelon. The Tzenkethi Coalition’s initial ambassador to the Typhon Pact, for instance, was Alizome Tor Fel-A, with “tor” indicating a position as special agent to the Autarch, “fel” being her membership in the “problem-solver” echelon, and A indicating the second-highest proficiency in that role (but AA ratings are extremely rare). The "z" sound is very common in Tzenkethi individual names. Maybe at some point I'll hunt down all the name segments we've gotten so far; e.g. "Rej" is the Autarch. If Barclay ever visits the Coalition, he's going to get lynched.

Zakdorn: Zakdorn possess both a given name and a surname, the latter almost always longer than the former. The surname is choppy and tends to feature "k" sounds, yet is also oddly melodic. E.g. Koll Azernal, Klim Dokachin, Myk Bunkrep, Virum Kalnota, Rujat Suwadi, Gruhn Helkara.
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Last edited by Deranged Nasat; March 6 2015 at 12:53 AM.
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Old March 5 2015, 11:57 PM   #2
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Re: Naming Conventions

What, no Vulcans? They generally go by a single name, frequently beginning with S for males and almost always beginning with T' for females; however, the personal name is preceded by a family name that is infrequently used and in some cases difficult for humans to pronounce. Also, they have names for their clans as well. For instance, S'chn T'gai Spock of Clan Hgrtcha, more commonly known offworld as "Spock of Vulcan." (Well, of course it's offworld; it'd be pretty redundant on Vulcan itself.) They also like names ending in K. Lots of aliens do, it seems.
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Old March 6 2015, 06:03 AM   #3
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Re: Naming Conventions

I know it's incredibly common in SF, but I guess I'm not really a fan of the thought that a given planet would have one single naming convention. We certainly don't here on Earth. I guess where I found it most egregious was when they tried to fit every Andorian name into the single naming convention. Realistically, Thy'lek Shran, Pava Ek'Noor Aqabaa or Thavanichent th'Dani should all be "valid" Andorian names. (Adding the sh' onto Pava's name was especially odd, considering the rest of the name doesn't fit the convention that well, anyway.) The same goes for Alidar Jarok and Ael i-Mheissan t'Rllaillieu... there should be room for both.

That all being said, I understand why it's done the way it is, and I accept it for what it is.

Speaking of Romulans... Duane's Rihannsu naming convention introduced a gender-based prefix well before one was created for the Andorians. Females had the prefix t' at the beginning of their family name, and males had the prefix tr'. (I'm assuming it's a family name, because it was the same name for both Ael and Tafv.)

I also liked the old naming convention Mike Ford had invented for the Klingons (<given name> <honourific>-<line name>), but the newer TV series pretty much put an end to that. Now it's either <given name> (son of | daughter of) <father's given name | mother's given name>, or <given name> of House <given name of head of house>. They don't seem to carry a family name.

But the best one... I forget what species it is, but some seldom-appearing species had a naming convention where their name is just a string of seemingly random letters, with each letter separated by an apostrophe! So something like S'b'q'a'c't'r'i'n'b, or whatever. My eyes would just kind of glaze over whenever I tried to read one of those names!
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Old March 6 2015, 06:13 AM   #4
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Re: Naming Conventions

^ That's the Hamakli from Diane Duane's novels. K't'lk is introduced in The Wounded Sky, and later reappears as K's't'lk.

There's also M'k'n'zy of Calhoun from New Frontier.
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Old March 6 2015, 07:25 AM   #5
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Re: Naming Conventions

Hmm... I don't think it was the Hamalki I was thinking of... I thought these names were generally longer. And I think they were more recent than that. I'm thinking maybe it was KRAD who used them? Now this is going to bug me. Unfortunately, I don't remember the species, and I don't know any examples, so I don't know what to search for.

OK, I've found a couple by looking at the characters list for some of KRAD's novels on MB:

T'l'u'r'w'w'q'a
A'l'e'r'w'w'o'k
And there are a few others mentioned on the A Singular Destiny page that don't have pages of their own (B'w'e'd'l'e'r, Q'o'l'r't'r'e'z'a'k and T'r'w'o'l'h'o'r)

But there doesn't actually seem to be a named species for these ones. Maybe you're right and they are supposed to be Hamalki... he has included Sulamid characters before, so it's certainly possible.
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Old March 6 2015, 02:45 PM   #6
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Re: Naming Conventions

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Tzenkethi: We know this one, of course. Their naming conventions involve four segments - a given name, the individual’s job description, their echelon within it, and their level of accomplishment within that echelon. The Tzenkethi Coalition’s initial ambassador to the Typhon Pact, for instance, was Alizome Tor Fel-A, with “tor” indicating a position as special agent to the Autarch, “fel” being her membership in the “problem-solver” echelon, and A indicating the second-highest proficiency in that role (but AA ratings are extremely rare). The "z" sound is very common in Tzenkethi individual names. Maybe at some point I'll hunt down all the name segments we've gotten so far; e.g. "Rej" is the Autarch. If Barclay ever visits the Coalition, he's going to get lynched.
We've also seen that some Tzenkethi, possibly only among the lower echelons, have a colloquial abbreviation of their longer name. Mayazan etc etc etc becomes Maymi, Corazame etc etc etc becomes Cory, and so on. This is presumably only used between members of the same echelon, and when speaking to higher echelons, the proper full name would be used.



Avro Arrow wrote: View Post
I also liked the old naming convention Mike Ford had invented for the Klingons (<given name> <honourific>-<line name>), but the newer TV series pretty much put an end to that. Now it's either <given name> (son of | daughter of) <father's given name | mother's given name>, or <given name> of House <given name of head of house>. They don't seem to carry a family name.
I've always taken the '...of the House of...' to be their surname, although the parallel isn't perfect. For example, Worf son of Mogh is his full name, and he will always be Worf son of Mogh. He could also have been referred to as Worf of the House of Mogh, and that would have been correct for a while. Once the House of Mogh was dissolved, he couldn't be House of Mogh anymore, but he was still son of Mogh. And eventually he was son of Mogh, House of Martok. But he was never son of Martok. So it's both extremely simple and deceptively complex at the same time.

We have a fairly clear pattern for the Friagloim species from the Gamma Quadrant, although we only have one example to go by. They are a multi-partite species (of either three, four or five parts). Each part has its own one-or-two syllable name, but when any combination of parts is working together (either physically enjoined or not), that combination is referred to by a combination of the names of the individual parts, up to and including a combination of all the parts. Thus the five parts of one five-part Friagloim are called Aris, Le, Lema, Kin and Stess individually, but depending on which parts are together at any one time, you might call the resulting being Arisle, Lemakin, Lekinstess or Arislelemakinstess. It is unknown what governs the order of the individual names within the combined name, but it does appear to be consistent.

I'll see if I can think of more...

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Old March 6 2015, 03:01 PM   #7
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Re: Naming Conventions

lvsxy808 wrote: View Post
For example, Worf son of Mogh is his full name, and he will always be Worf son of Mogh.
Except that, technically, his full legal name in the Federation should be Worf Rozhenko. The writers too often ignored the ramifications of Worf being adopted and raised by humans. Sure, they handwaved his stereotypically Klingon behavior by saying he deliberately tried to be ultra-Klingon to compensate for his upbringing, and sometimes the writers actually used that in interesting ways, but too often it was just an excuse for lazy stereotyping -- he looks like a Klingon, therefore he must act like a default Klingon.

And really, if he rejected his parents' example and influence to the extent that he even legally changed his name back to Worf, son of Mogh... well, that makes him kind of a jerk to his parents, doesn't it? Imagine how hurtful that would've been.

And imagine how much more fun it would'e been if Worf had embraced his adoptive parents' influence. He would've been Trek's first Jewish Klingon!

TNG was on the right track with Alexander, a 3/4-Klingon kid who felt more influenced by human culture and resisted his father's attempts to force him into the stereotypical mold. But then DS9 totally screwed it up by having him suddenly, randomly decide to embrace his Klingon side and try to become a warrior -- surely the most pointless and unsuccessful thing that was ever done with Alexander as a character, and that's saying something.
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Old March 6 2015, 04:02 PM   #8
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Re: Naming Conventions

Do we know that Worf's parents actually legally changed his name to Worf Rozhenko? They obviously did their best to give him a Klingon upbringing; it seems perfectly plausible that despite their adopting him, his legal name was still Worf, son of Mogh.
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Old March 6 2015, 04:13 PM   #9
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Re: Naming Conventions

^Sure, you can make up in-story justifications for it, but I just think it was incongruous for the writers to say, on the one hand, that Worf was raised by humans for most of his life, and on the other hand, that Worf was absolutely 100 percent Klingon in behavior. I don't think they really thought that through. They had to concoct the frankly rather artifical conceit that Worf and his parents went out of their way to keep him purely Klingon, to somehow miraculously insulate him from all the cultural and psychological influence that growing up in the Federation would have logically had on him. Worf would've been a much more interesting, less stereotyped character if the writers had actually used the potential of his mixed upbringing rather than doing everything in their power to negate it. Frankly, Worf was never really a fully realized character until DS9. On TNG, he was just The Klingon. Most of the time, that was his entire personality -- Klingon, honor, blood, bat'leth, grrrr. He was pure stereotype -- tantamount to including a Japanese character in a cast and having him be an expert martial artist and spout bushido all the time and have no other personality traits, despite having grown up in the United States. (Which is something TOS mercifully avoided doing with Sulu.)
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Old March 6 2015, 05:00 PM   #10
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Re: Naming Conventions

Christopher wrote: View Post
But then DS9 totally screwed it up by having him suddenly, randomly decide to embrace his Klingon side and try to become a warrior -- surely the most pointless and unsuccessful thing that was ever done with Alexander as a character, and that's saying something.
The really annoying thing about it was, they could easily have had the episode with Alexander there on the Rotarran anyway, without needing to alter Alexander's character (and so render his earlier character arc meaningless). I mean, there was a major war on, and a pretty unambiguous one so far as wars go: the Dominion was invading, the Alpha/Beta nations needed to defend against conquest. Having Alexander enlist for the duration of the emergency would be entirely understandable - not that he's decided he wants to be a warrior or embrace the Klingon culture, simply that he's decided to fight the war and then go home. If you want an excuse for why he's in the KDF and not Starfleet, make it a political thing: as a member now of the House of Martok, he was encouraged to take a position there instead. You could get some legitimate drama out of that; perhaps precisely along the lines of "just because I'm mostly Klingon doesn't mean I want to be here exactly".
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Old March 6 2015, 05:04 PM   #11
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Re: Naming Conventions

I would say that Worf's actual-genuine-honour perspective rather than the honour-in-name-only of most of the other Klingons we met was very much influenced by a Federation upbringing. I'd say he deliberately made himself into a stereotypical Klingon because he was only learning the culture from the outside in, not the inside out. He was a by-the-book Klingon because all his Klingon-ness came from books, not actual experience.

DS9 definitely did it better, but TNG did use it too, most notably in "Redemption." But then I'm talking in-universe and you're talking writers' intentions.

Which is definitely topic drift, for which I apologise to DN.

Okay, names! Aside from the 'surname' issue, Klingon forenames do follow a pattern as well. They began as all K- names (just as Vulcan names were all S---k). But with more Klingons appearing the names were forced to diversify (again like Vulcans). But even when they were not K- names, they retained the same hard, guttural sound. Chang, Vagh, Duras.

Obviously out-of-universe this serves to continue to characterise them as warlike and aggressive through reverse onomatopoeia. Nobody would believe a Klingon called Lolo or Foofy.

In universe, these are sounds that fit with the general phoneme range of their language. Some names are clearly hereditary - Worf and Duras are both named after ancestors - but we might also wonder if Klingon parents deliberately name their child with a harsh-sounding name because it will sound aggressive and powerful, in line with the Klingon ideal. Just like humans might avoid certain names because in current fashion they evoke the speccy four-eyed nerd, I'm sure Klingons would want to avoid any suggestion that their child is weak by not giving him a weak-sounding name.

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Old March 6 2015, 05:28 PM   #12
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Re: Naming Conventions

lvsxy808 wrote: View Post
I would say that Worf's actual-genuine-honour perspective rather than the honour-in-name-only of most of the other Klingons we met was very much influenced by a Federation upbringing. I'd say he deliberately made himself into a stereotypical Klingon because he was only learning the culture from the outside in, not the inside out. He was a by-the-book Klingon because all his Klingon-ness came from books, not actual experience.
True -- good writers like Ron Moore were able to take the paradox of a human-raised Klingon being a total Klingon stereotype and turn it into something meaningful. But I see that as fixing a flaw in the conception of the character, rather than as something that was planned from the beginning.


Okay, names! Aside from the 'surname' issue, Klingon forenames do follow a pattern as well. They began as all K- names (just as Vulcan names were all S---k). But with more Klingons appearing the names were forced to diversify (again like Vulcans). But even when they were not K- names, they retained the same hard, guttural sound. Chang, Vagh, Duras.
I guess the first Klingon without a K-name was Mara. All the other TOS/TAS Klingons had K-names -- Kor, Kras, Koloth, Korax, Krell, Kang, Kahless, Kali, Kuri, Kaz. The first male Klingons without K-names were Torg and Maltz in The Search for Spock, with Valkris as our second female Klingon without a K-name. Although Mark Lenard's Klingon captain from ST:TMP was called Barak in an early draft of the script (and I've confirmed that as his name in DTI: Forgotten History). TFF gave us Korrd and Klaa as male names and Vixis as female. Then TUC gave us a bunch more non-K names: Chang, Gorkon, Stex (named only in the credits), and the rather distinctive female name Azetbur. The only K-named Klingon in the movie was Brigadier Kerla. (Not counting apocryphal names; for instance, the novelizations gave John Shuck's ambassador the name Kamarag.)

Meanwhile, TNG came along and gave us a Klingon named "Worf." Where in blazes did that come from?? I always wondered who the hell thought "Worf" was a remotely Klingon-sounding name. I guess it could be taken as sounding like "warfare," but it always struck me as being more like the name of some cute little dwarf/gnome creature, or a comedy character like Tim Conway's Dorf.


Obviously out-of-universe this serves to continue to characterise them as warlike and aggressive through reverse onomatopoeia. Nobody would believe a Klingon called Lolo or Foofy.
Or "Worf"...
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Old March 6 2015, 06:55 PM   #13
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Re: Naming Conventions

Avro Arrow wrote: View Post
Hmm... I don't think it was the Hamalki I was thinking of... I thought these names were generally longer. And I think they were more recent than that. I'm thinking maybe it was KRAD who used them? Now this is going to bug me. Unfortunately, I don't remember the species, and I don't know any examples, so I don't know what to search for.

OK, I've found a couple by looking at the characters list for some of KRAD's novels on MB:

T'l'u'r'w'w'q'a
A'l'e'r'w'w'o'k
And there are a few others mentioned on the A Singular Destiny page that don't have pages of their own (B'w'e'd'l'e'r, Q'o'l'r't'r'e'z'a'k and T'r'w'o'l'h'o'r)

But there doesn't actually seem to be a named species for these ones. Maybe you're right and they are supposed to be Hamalki... he has included Sulamid characters before, so it's certainly possible.
They were not supposed to be Hamalki. Basically whatever species that is -- and I've thrown them into a few of my novels is -- is my response to all the excess apostrophes that are thrown into alien names because ALIEN! MUST HAVE APOSTROPHES! SEE, THAT MAKES IT LOOK MORE ALIEN! tendency that far too many Trek writers (including, I freely admit, myself) have.

So I figured, you want your species to seem alien from apostrophes, let's make them really alien with apostrophes!
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Old March 6 2015, 07:46 PM   #14
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Re: Naming Conventions

Christopher wrote: View Post
^Sure, you can make up in-story justifications for it, but I just think it was incongruous for the writers to say, on the one hand, that Worf was raised by humans for most of his life, and on the other hand, that Worf was absolutely 100 percent Klingon in behavior. I don't think they really thought that through. They had to concoct the frankly rather artifical conceit that Worf and his parents went out of their way to keep him purely Klingon, to somehow miraculously insulate him from all the cultural and psychological influence that growing up in the Federation would have logically had on him. Worf would've been a much more interesting, less stereotyped character if the writers had actually used the potential of his mixed upbringing rather than doing everything in their power to negate it. Frankly, Worf was never really a fully realized character until DS9. On TNG, he was just The Klingon. Most of the time, that was his entire personality -- Klingon, honor, blood, bat'leth, grrrr. He was pure stereotype -- tantamount to including a Japanese character in a cast and having him be an expert martial artist and spout bushido all the time and have no other personality traits, despite having grown up in the United States. (Which is something TOS mercifully avoided doing with Sulu.)
The thing is, before Worf, Klingon Culture was barely explored (all there was was a handful of TOS episodes and one Novel really). Our entire view of Klingons was through the lens of Worf. Making Worf conflicted before we even really knew what one side of the conflict was like would not work nearly as well.
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Old March 6 2015, 07:51 PM   #15
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Re: Naming Conventions

Stevil2001 wrote: View Post
Do we know that Worf's parents actually legally changed his name to Worf Rozhenko? They obviously did their best to give him a Klingon upbringing; it seems perfectly plausible that despite their adopting him, his legal name was still Worf, son of Mogh.
AFAIK, Worf's name was never changed. He was never called Worf Rozhenko that we know of. It was always Worf, son of Mogh.

As for Alexander, he probably just didn't want a Klingon name. And probably still doesn't. (But who knows...he may decide to one day embrace more of his Klingon heritage, and call himself K'mtar, son of Worf. )
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