Wednesday, January 16, 2013

26 Village Names

Let's take another shot at this.   I used this chart:
 which is just a simplified version of this Wikipedia page.
I tried much harder to make names that, while plausible, are not the names of prominent places.  I mostly did this by doing Google and Wikipedia Searches.  I may have missed some.

I want one name for each letter of the alphabet, mostly for mnemonic reasons (more on this soon).  I also wanted variety in both sounds and geographic features, assuming some of these names would actually be placed on a map near features that match their name.  I also tried to be careful about puns and awkward sounds, being aware that players and DM's will actually be saying these aloud to each other.

Eventually I think it would be cool to have a similar list for other languages/cultures, especially those that are more commonly associated with our psuedo-medieval worlds.  So German, French, Italian-- maybe slavic languages next, even Hungarian, Spanish, Turkish, Arabic, Japanese.

The point is a small number of plausible names ready to go.  If you can provide names from one of those languages have at it.  In the mean time here's what I came up with:

Ashborough     (fort among ash trees)
Brey                   (hill island)
Caerdon            (hill fort)
Dunmouth        (bay fort)
Exeley               (clearing by water)
Finkirk             (holy church)
Gilworth          (ravine)
Holmden          (island hill)
Inverstead       (at the mouth of a river)
Jill's Green
Kelding            (people of the spring)
Langbury        (long, fortified enclosure)
Moss End        (in a swamp)
Nancarden      (ravine with stream and thicket)
Olchester        (old fort)
Polshaw          (wood by a lake)
Queensgate    (on a road)
Rutleigh          (woodland clearing)
Stanfield         (stony)
Tilly                 (hillock)
Ukney              (island)
Vale of Fearn  (valley)
Whelworth     (a mine)
EXeley-on-the-Wold (different Exeley by woods)
Yulcombe       (valley)

(Ashborough is there as a stand in for my own Fresno.  There's a 75% chance they'll steal your wagon if you visit.)

Anyway, I'd love to see you come up with 26 names of your own.  Maybe based on the area you live, your own constructed language, a different genre (like science fantasy or steam punk).


  1. This is a really cool idea. I love Kevin Crawford of Stars Without Numbers work, but I often feel like his name and place tables stumble into the problem of potentially immersion destroying familiarity and I think for the majority of gamers this would be pretty useful for non-Eurocentric and, hell, even non-Anglophone settings.

  2. I found this kind of name generator extreamly useful. I myself made a while ago a 'village name generator' for my game based in Spanish mythology (Ablaneda), but it could be useful for any Spanish-speaking place.

    Maybe I could do another one in the 26 names format.

  3. I made this name generator ( a while back. It's not perfect, and i've been meaning to update it for a while now, but it mostly works. For some reason, it generates 37 place names - i have no idea why i chose that number...

  4. @Nathaniel: I'm not familiar with his place names, but names are important. they encode a lot of data. Some of the ones above may sound too new or too big to be appropriate. It's hard to get it all right.

    @Khazike: That's cool. And Yes! Do 26, I'd love to have the list myself.

    @brink: The generated results look very good to me. Do you remember how you loaded it up? Want to provide your own 26?

  5. I gotten a lot of mileage out of that page too - and the welsh one.

  6. @Telecanter: I hope you like this: 26 nombres de aldeas.

    Also I excuse myself; earlier I made a mistake confusing the verbs to make and to do. It seems I'm not as good at writing English as at reading it.

  7. @Mr. Todd: Cool, want to try for 26 Welsh names?

    @Khazike: Sweet, copied. And no apologies, I can't write _or_ read Spanish.

  8. The code above just grabs a random prefix and sticks it with a random suffix (mostly -ham, because they're supposed to be hamlets). I got the parts from a bunch of places - actual names (both place and people's), words that sounded right to me, puns... I just fleshed it out a little to get one for each letter, here's 26:

    Linden Cross
    Moors End
    Ruddock Downs
    Toads Hollow
    Umber Hill
    Xill valley