South Eresian names

South Eresian names work not at all like Western names, and what people go by is highly dependent on social context.  In this post I will detail how South Eresian names work.

The layout of a name is like this:


Place name: This specifies your birth location, basically. You go by your place name when you are traveling; your place name is what you call yourself to strangers who you have no intention of knowing or meeting again. If you are in a nójeqara (religious journey, sort of pilgrimage-ish except there’s not really a specific end location), however, you do not use your place name but your religious name.  Most people return to their birth villages after a nójeqara; however, if they don’t, their place name changes to that of wherever they settled.  Note that you can’t just move and change your place name; you specifically have to go on a religious pilgrimage in order for a place name change to be considered legitimate.

These are all derived from place name root + derivational suffix -in.  The -t- that occurs in some of these is epenthetic, which will be explained in the eventual phonology post.

  • Cáxmequin – from Cáxmec
  • Tlaqóyatin – from Tlaqóya
  • Áuchiqayatin – from Áuchiqayat
  • Mántipatin – from Mántipa
  • Elmétlin – from Elmétl
  • Jíscamatin – from Jíscama
  • Yemáltin – from Yemálta

Date name: This specifies the day that you were born within the fourteen-year cycle.  This, and the place name, are the only names you have until you declare your chosen name and receive your religious name, at the age of 14.  This (generally the shortened version of it, see below) is what everyone calls you until you get your chosen name.  After that, you go by your chosen name to everyone except your parents and other close relatives, who still use your date name.

There are 189 months of 28 (or 29, every eleven months, as the lunar cycle is really 28.091 days) days each within a cycle.  The cycle repeats itself every 14 years (each year lasting 379.714 days, although there are no attempts to keep the lunar calendar perfectly aligned with the [mostly nonexistent] solar calendar).  These months are split into two parts: tláy, rising; the first half of the month, and c’uot, falling, the second part of the month.  Tláy corresponds exactly with the waxing moon; c’uot with the waning moon.  Within these halves, the day number is specified in the numeral system used for days (which does not correspond exactly with general-purpose numerals.  Lunar leap-days are considered to be at the end of a month, and are not specified as rising or falling, just as p’os: stopping.  A number is not given to those who are specified as p’os.

The specific numeral system is thus.  These are pretty much treated as verbal prefixes, although unlike more standard derivational morphology, they can and do take stress:

  1. zé-
  2. tó-
  3. élque-
  4. cuéz-
  5. pácua-
  6. cóxta-
  7. láy-
  8. ch’ope-
  9. yén-
  10. ámpara-
  11. áyra-
  12. póx-
  13. nóymi-
  14. t’al-

Tláy, c’uot and p’os are treated as suffixes, although they, like the numbers, can and do take stress.

Here are some examples of full date names:

  • áyra-Zeránquira-c’uot – eleven-full.of.blood-falling
  • ze-Tletlásima-tláy –
  • Ánapax-p’os – resting-stopped

However, in most informal situations, date names are abbreviated to just the month name:

  • Morítepa – striking everything
  • Motláxira – very full of tears / very full of rain
  • Nósix – resembling the void
  • Quíratlira – full of knives
  • Sícua – musical
  • Xájat – stormy

Chosen name: When the date of your date name rolls around again (on your fourteenth birthday or very close), you go to your local temple and declare a name of your choice.  After this, this name almost completely replaces the function of your date name, which only your parents and other close relatives may call you after your chosen name has been declared.

This name can be pretty much any verb.  Here are some examples:

  • Chilásira – full of snow
  • Chímima – covered in chalk
  • Huéquili – intoxicated
  • Sánaprix – hawk-like
  • Sínchitima – covered in maize
  • Qáuminta – magnetic
  • Qéracuacui- on a boat
  • Tohuópix – turtle-like
  • Xáxtima – covered in clouds
  • Xól – blue
  • Yemóra – orange-red
  • Zizítl – sparkling

Religious name: This name is chosen by priestesses when you are first brought to the temple after you are born, written down in the temple books, but not revealed to you until you declare your chosen name.  After it is revealed to you, you keep it secret; the only people who are culturally acceptable to tell this name to are a) priestesses and b) life partners, and many people do not elect to tell the latter.  If you are on a nójeqara, however, then you announce this name to anyone.

Religious names are basic, non-human nouns:

  • Ájat – proud thing
  • Áuxili – water lily
  • Áuxon – peaceful thing
  • Chíma – chalk
  • Éseja – wind
  • Érui – owl
  • Hácara – sharp thing
  • Jácratl – scythe
  • Jáutima – weapon
  • Jimára – flower
  • Líx – river, stream
  • Móro – kind thing
  • Qét – quiet thing
  • Quíratl – knife
  • Sáj – cold thing
  • Sánapra – hawk
  • Tlayátl – glowing thing
  • Xíma – soft thing
  • Yáumatl – lizard

Here are some examples of typical full names, then:

  • Salímaquin yén-Jásac-tláy Írima Ástlal
    (from-Salímac nine-Flying-rising Reflecting Star)
  • Áuchiqayatin áyra-Zeránquira-c’uot Xól Sánapra
    (from-Áuchiqayat eleven-Full.of.blood-falling Blue Hawk)
  • Mácronin póx-Queláma-tláy Chárohua Cuóspatl
    from-Mácron twelve-Growing-rising Bronze Mountain

If you, as a South Eresian person, are asked your name by anyone but a priestess, you tell them your place name, your date name, your chosen name and then, instead of your religious name, you say nójan (“wanderer”).  If you are a child, you say your place name, your date name and then say álin (“child”).  If you are on a nójeqara, you omit your place name and date name, and tell people your chosen name and religious name.

I’m happy to give people South Eresian names, if anyone cares.  Tell me your date of birth, place of origin and preferred chosen name, and I’ll translate it for you.  Feel free to send this stuff in a PM on the ZBB if you’d rather not post it publicly.


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