Hi, I'm Leng!

Writer of fantasy-adventure web stories.

Names from my WIP

Today I want to talk about how I derived the names for the characters of my current WIP (tentatively titled The Malicious Wind). The world of this story is largely inspired by precolonial Filipino culture. But because the setting isn't exactly the precolonial Philippines from our world, I chose names that are based on Filipino words but with some letters altered.

Today I want to talk about how I derived the names for the characters of my current WIP (tentatively titled The Malicious Wind). The world of this story is largely inspired by precolonial Filipino culture. But because the setting isn't exactly the precolonial Philippines from our world, I chose names that are based on Filipino words but with some letters altered.

Names based on Tagalog words

There are two groups in my story that are derivatives of the Tagalog peoples: the Katamans and the Dayungans.

People

Name Basis Meaning
Sano sana hope/wish
Anina aninag to perceive / be visible
Bunawi buhawi hurricane
Angtara taray snobby
Kabi gabi night
Yiling hiling hope/wish
Matiban matibay durable

Places

Name Basis Meaning
Katam katamtaman mediocrity
Dayung daungan bay
Kunting gunting scissors
Masagan* masagana plentiful
Angbun ambon drizzle
Liman lima five

* Masagan is a city in Gila, which is not Tagalog-based. I gave it this name back when the city was situated in Dayung. After I moved it to Gila, I was already quite fond of the name, so I didn't change it. I came up with an in-story explanation about it being renamed after its annexation.

Deities

Name Basis Meaning
Karingal dangal honour
Hasik hasik sown/planted
Likubay lakbay to travel / journey
Digmaran digmaan battle

Precolonial Philippine ethnic groups each had their own set of pantheons, which makes the single existing pantheon in my story a bit of an anomaly. However, I might have the opportunity to explore the faith and spirituality of others groups once the story broadens to the other islands.

Names based on Kapampangan words

The chiefdom of Gila is based on the region of Pampanga.

People

Name Basis Meaning
Aklin akling echo
Makeni mekeni beckon

Places

Name Basis Meaning
Gila magilas agile / adept /clever

Names based on Cebuano words

The Gamhanan Isles are inspired by Cebu and surrounding islands.

Unlike Tagalog (of which I'm a native speaker) and Kapampangan (which I've heard my father's side of the family speak since I was young), I have very little exposure to Cebuano. I found out the meanings of these words through Google translate, so if you're Cebuano and you think something's off, let me know!

People

Name Basis Meaning
Danihon kamadanihon charming

Places

Name Basis Meaning
Gamhana gamhanan mighty

I keep a dictionary of all the names while I worked on my story. Looking at the tables in this post, I realize just how many things I removed since my first draft. There are many more Gilan and Gamhanan characters and places jotted in my dictionary.

For those of you who have read a version of my story, what do you think now that you know the meanings behind the names? Do any of them surprise you? I put a lot of thought into most of them, but there are a few that I snatched out of thin air just because they sound nice.

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