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Name Info > What's in a Name? Warrior Name Do's and Don'ts

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message 1: by Peyton, Head Mod (new)

Peyton (pemhorse8) | 1479 comments Mod
Prologue: Understanding Warriors

It's rather disheartening to see roleplayers creating outrageous names (Carrotkit, Blueberryfang, Sneezeheart, and Scrabblepaw to name some randomly selected examples), no matter how "original" they seem to be. There's a very specific reason why Warrior cats are given the names they have, and it's much more obvious than people make it out to be.

For one, we'll start early on in Warrior lore. To be a warrior, a cat must be generous and must understand self-sacrifice, because the foundation of the Warrior Code is, essentially: The Clan comes first. If that fact is disregarded, it could be said that the cat is no longer a warrior, or doesn't understand the ways of warriorhood. This is the purpose of apprenticeship, to teach the warrior-in-training not only to hunt and fight, but to serve the Clan as a true warrior.

It isn't a good name that makes a warrior, but the character of the cat. However, with a good name, every other cat will know just how well they behave, or how highly revered they are in the Clan. This is why a Deathfang or Boneclaw is unacceptable. This disregards not only the warrior code, but reality (or rather warrior cat reality). We'll discuss this soon enough in the following chapters.

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A warrior is an honorable, respectable cat, and one of the best ways to represent that good reputation is a good name. Below are a few examples, before I show you just how it works.

Sandstorm: Sandkit undoubtedly describes a very pale kitten, an obvious name to give a pale ginger cat at birth. As Sandpaw grew up, she developed a very harsh and spiteful personality, which we can see is illustrated in her warrior name: Sandstorm. Sand, being rough, illustrates her personality in being both unfriendly and rude. So, therefore: Sandstorm is a pale ginger tabby, with a habit of being very snappy and blunt.

Fireheart: Firepaw, as Bluestar stated, was named for his fiery coat, that held the light of a blazing fire when the sun was upon it. His suffix, Bluestar also explained (somewhat, and not in-depth), represents his caring personality. He cared for every cat, every Clan, and made it obvious, even if it broke the rules of being a warrior. He wasn't afraid to support and take care of others, which meant he had heart, a very brave, and considerate heart. Fireheart, therefore, represents a dark ginger tom with a passionate personality.

But there are other options in naming a warrior. For example:

Goldenflower: This name describes two things, the cat, and the flower. The flower we know is yellow, and the cat we know is golden and very motherly. The double meaning is a step ahead of the former names, mentioning the cat and an object that represents them for what they look like, and how they behave.

This isn't a very common way to name warriors, because it is a very delicate process, but it can sometimes be the most highly revered and best ways to consider. (This is very similar to the names above, but don't get them confused. The former names describe the cat's appearance and personality separate, and do not denote a second image found in nature. -- Sandstorm could be considered iffy, but it denotes more her personality, as sandstorms don't occur in heavily forested or grassy areas like where the cats live.)

However, certain names only describe what the cat looks like...

Bluefur: A very simple, obvious name, very average and easy to remember. Names like these are the best of the best, denoting physical features only, and painting that solid image of what the cat looks like. This is undoubtedly the most traditional and canon way of making names, and though they do not immediately stand out, they are very much a name. Other cats with this sort of name: Darkstripe, Sorreltail, Graystripe, Redfur, etc.

Then, there are the special names.

Leafpool: Rarely are cats named after previous members of the Clan, but everyone knows that Leafpool was named after Spottedleaf and Leafdapple, and that her suffix came from finding the Moonpool. This is not always the best way to name your cat, because most often, events are not important enough to hold in regard, and past family members or loved ones will not be remembered once they're gone. To name a kit after some other cat is very selfish of the mother, whether or not the kit has qualities of that name.

See where we're going...? These are the most common naming behaviors, but not the only ones!


message 2: by Peyton, Head Mod (new)

Peyton (pemhorse8) | 1479 comments Mod
Prologue: Part Two


Legendary Cats

Everyone's heard of the legendary cat Clans, LeopardClan, TigerClan, and LionClan, and that cats do get prefixes from these particular cats. No, these Clans did not--and do not--exist where the current four Clans live (or lived, if you want to be technical with their current location at the lake by the books standards), and are merely myths that the cats tell. They're inspirational stories, sort of like nursery rhymes for kids today. We can safely assume that because leopards, tigers, and lions are all real cats, and that because domestic cats such as ferals have lineage in them, that the Clans would understand what they were.

It's completely acceptable to name your cat after one of these Clans, because they are not sacred or spiritual. Think of it as naming your little boy John, Abraham, or Matthew--if you catch my drift. They're good names for strong representation of ancestry and appearance, and work really well for traditional, canon cats.

SkyClan Cats

SkyClan was always known for naming their cats in an absurd fashion, or at least, in a way that was very different from the other four Clans. Names like Echosong, Cherrypaw, or Sharpclaw weren't oddities to them, so therefore that is why Firestar gave the new warriors of SkyClan such names. It isn't, however, a practiced tradition of the other Clans. It wouldn't be expected to see an Echo/suffix or Sharp/suffix in ThunderClan, WindClan, RiverClan, or ShadowClan.

Odd Names

Everyone knows that the series has its fair share of names that don't apply to these, and here they are, with their own explanations:

Brokentail/star: While many assumed that Brokenkit was named after his tail, this was made the more likely thing to assume after his warrior ceremony where he became Brokentail, which was bent like a broken branch. But the truth was, Yellowfang named him for the feeling in her chest when she left him with another queen, unable to raise him herself, because it felt like her heart was broken in two (cited from: Secrets of the Clans )

Talltail/star: It is completely possible that a kit can be born with longer legs and a noticeably longer tail. It wouldn't be a completely uncommon name or build to come from lean, agile cats like in WindClan

Crookedjaw/star: Originally named Stormkit after the storm he was born in, after an incident at stepping stones that broke his jaw, his mother had him renamed Crookedkit for his crooked jaw.

Clawface: We don't know if he was born in the Clan or not, but given he was a ShadowClan cat during the reign of a terrible leader, we can assume that he was not particularly Clan-born, and was possibly a rogue like many other ShadowClanners at the time as a Queen would not name a kit Clawkit.

Jaggedtooth: He was a rogue, and joined ShadowClan during a time when honor and respect was not relevant to them.

Leafpool: Named both for Spottedleaf and Leafdapple, Leafpool acquired her suffix from the discovery of the Moonpool. This is not the appropriate fashion for naming the average Joe of a cat.

Sneezekit: Cute, but this name doesn't have a place in traditionalism at all... I don't know what mother would fancy really naming her kit after a cold--what if the cold had aspired to greencough?

Pouncekit: Kits can't pounce during the time of naming, it has no physical meaning, and only sounds nice.

Runningwind: Read the above.

Rainwhisker: "Rain" is not an uncommon prefix, and is handy when it comes to describing a fluid blue-gray kit. The suffix in Rainwhisker's name most likely comes from dark, long whiskers.



Naming Generators

Do NOT trust these with ANYTHING. Whether it's the generator on the official Warriors site, or the one at Warriors Wish, do NOT use these. The combinations are very poor, and needless to say, they do not follow rules of traditionalism. Names from generators are also less personal and meaningful, and it is not suggested that anyone use them.



message 3: by Peyton, Head Mod (new)

Peyton (pemhorse8) | 1479 comments Mod
Chapter Before The Chapter: Cat Genetics


This isn't going to focus on cat genetics per se, but because there are a fair few odd cats out there with strange appearances, we'll shed a little light on certain things.

- Black cats cannot have blue eyes, unless there is some amount of white on them. The genetics for creating the white-eye gene is not found in solid black cats, and therefore, is not plausible. That means that, realistically speaking, Crowfeather is not a plausible character given his appearance.

- Tabbies can have blue eyes. It's not common, but genetics allow for it if the cat is of a certain breed. (Hawkfrost was a plausible character.)

- Violet eyed cats are extremely rare, even more rare than tortie toms. This does not make playing a violet eyed cat in the wild a common feat, or something that should really be considered. However, it is possible. (Violet eyed cats range from blue-violet hues to completely purple.)

- Tortie toms are rare and cannot live in the wild. They have very weak immune systems, and are sterile, and without human/twoleg care and medications cannot survive.


message 4: by Peyton, Head Mod (new)

Peyton (pemhorse8) | 1479 comments Mod
Chapter One: The Prefix

A prefix is the first word in a compound word, or a word made up of two words. A warrior's name is a compound word, not just one word on its own.

The prefix is usually the best, and easiest, place to start. At birth, or very shortly after (absolutely no longer than One week/moon) a kit is named. There are few presentable features for a queen to name her kit after, but there are two distinct options to choose from: Coat color or markings.

There are plenty of synonyms to use of every variety, and no one is restricted to naming their kit Bluekit if they have blueish fur. The prefix should represent the cat, and if they have an average future ahead of them, an average word may suffice. Other words that also denote the color blue can represent different things, but still present the obvious image of a blue cat.

Here, you can find just a few acceptable synonyms for the word/color blue:

Breeze
Heron
Jay
Slate
Stream
Brook

It is not likely that the kit will be named for personality traits, seeing as they are too young to develop mental qualities different from their siblings at one moon of age. (This also means that "wild" as a prefix is not acceptable. All kits are wild, being feral, so this does not denote their appearance or identify them as an individual. Not to mention, no kit is going to be "wild" enough to deserve that sort of name, anyway, because during the time of naming kits are not coordinated.)

Kits do not run, pounce, bounce, or otherwise move in a fashion different than their siblings--all kits squirm, all kits sleep, eat, and mewl. Like people, personality doesn't develop until they've been exposed to their environment. They will be named something that differentiates them from their littermates, and most likely, that will be their coat color or their markings.

Kits will also not be named based on their mother's wants. If their mother wants them to be a good hunter in the future, she shouldn't name them Stalkingkit in hopes of him or her aspiring to her want. If they were to become physically harmed or unable to become a warrior, their name would not apply to them. However, with a name denoting their appearance--which can't change--their name will always represent that aspect of them.

This also means that any "Hopekit"s or otherwise unacceptable names referencing not the kit themselves, but external activities, are out of the question. Sensibility tell us that every queen is hopeful of their kits, so this name stands for nothing. Every mother is instinctively loving and nurturing, so if your Clan is made up of murderers and rogues--first of all, expect that to be frowned upon due to the reality of that plotline--expect all queens to name their kits in a very fond fashion. No queen is going to purposefully disrespect their offspring, it's completely unrealistic and completely foolish.

So, we'll describe the kit's initial appearance with the prefix. We'll only use appropriate words to denote their stature, markings, colors, and not hopes, dreams, or wishes.

The prefix, however easy to pick for your kit, can sometimes be harder to pair with a suffix. Always remember what your prefix stood for when the cat was a kit, and that will undoubtedly make choosing a suffix easier. The prefix MUST stand for the cat in some way, and the suffix should always enhance that image.

Notes to consider: The prefix should NOT be a sophisticated, fancy word. Cats are very simple and to-the-point in their naming, and don't make a game or competition of it.


message 5: by Peyton, Head Mod (new)

Peyton (pemhorse8) | 1479 comments Mod
Chapter Two: The Suffix

Many people have a weakness in suffixes, more so than with prefixes. They're the hardest part of creating the name, and often require a lot of thought, patience and criticism. It seems like a lot for a silly name, but once more, the name is the cat. It represents the cat wholly, and any name that doesn't do the cat justice isn't much of a name. This is where the suffix is needed most, because it will finalize your cat.

This part is very tricky, and to help along the way, I'll give you an example using Black--.

Now that you have your prefix, we'll try singling other things out about our cat.

By the time the cat is named, they're around twelve-fourteen moons--depending on the circumstances. Younger cats are most likely going to be named something very simple and obvious, they're still young and prone to developing a deeper personality.

A young warrior just out of apprenticehood is likely to be named for a physical trait, such as coat characteristics. Graypaw was named a warrior at a very early age, and as we know, many of his opinions on life have changed throughout his years--any other name but Graystripe wouldn't fit him. Graystripe's gray stripe is a very noticeable physical feature, and every cat knows him for it--even if they know him for breaking the warrior code, too.

The suffix should denote the most obvious trait your cat has. We'll use examples like we did above.

Sandpaw became Sandstorm because she was a very rude, blunt cat. "Storm" represents that trait. Her personality, now that she's been developed as a character, has changed, but that aspect of her doesn't seem to have changed. Every cat still holds her in high regard as a powerful cat with a very smart and clever tongue.

Firepaw became Fireheart because every cat knew him as a kind and considerate cat. That was his strongest feature, and his most recognizable trait.

Goldenpaw was named Goldenflower for her motherly aspects, being a very kind and loving cat. The name wouldn't fit any other cat but her, as a queen that knows and respects her kits.

Bluefur, though wise and respected, was recognized by her fur. Almost always when some cat sees her they pay close attention to the color and detail of her dark, slate-colored fur.

Your suffix represents the cat as a whole, and sums them up. It completes their circle, and paints their final picture.

Black--- is a very simple cat. He has somewhat long fur, and a pitch-black coat. His eyes are dull and don't stand out very much, and he's built quite average for a warrior cat. The only thing about him that stands out is his black fur. He was named Black-kit at birth for it, and the only way to finalize the prefix's representation is to denote that physical feature as his suffix. So, we'll call him Blackpelt.

Notes to consider: The suffix should complete the prefix, describing what the prefix was meant to stand for. This means that no name is random!


message 6: by Peyton, Head Mod (new)

Peyton (pemhorse8) | 1479 comments Mod
Chapter Three: The Do 's (rap-up)

So, what are you expected to do in a name? What have you learned so far?

We've covered a lot of this already, but just to do a quick recap:

1) You'll represent the cat for what they are as a whole. Which means:

-- You'll describe their appearance (Bluefur)
or
-- You'll describe their appearance and personality (Goldenflower)
or
-- You'll describe their personality (Fireheart)

2) You'll respect the cat and honor them as a warrior to their Clan.

These are the biggest aspects in naming: Honor and representation. Those are the biggest, key points to keep in mind. I will repeat it constantly, in hopes that if it doesn't make sense now, it will.

There are small things to keep in mind, as far as grammar is concerned:

Names are compound words, so that means names like "Oneeye" will be hyphenated to separate the repeated letters, so it reads "One-eye". The Erins don't always do this, but that doesn't mean it's okay not to.


message 7: by Peyton, Head Mod (new)

Peyton (pemhorse8) | 1479 comments Mod
Chapter Four: The Don't s

What don't you do in a name? There are tons of things you don't do in a name.

We'll start small and work our way up--well, not necessarily, there's no starting small in the "don't" section. These are basic--but unwritten--rules. Some of them the Erins have said, some of them have been observed, but all apply.

1) The moon, sun, and stars are sacred to the cats. These objects--or variations of the objects--are not to be used in names.

The Moon, sun and stars are sacred! Its why Star is only allowed at the end of leaders names. This is a rule that I'll repeat over and over if I have to to get it across.

Examples of unacceptable names:

Moonfur
Sunclaw
Starkit

This also applies to names that expand on the above:

Lunarfur
Solarclaw
Eclipseheart
Crescentpelt

Eclipse especially is a no go. An Eclipse not only happens rarely, but when it DOES happen the result that it has on the warriors are catastrophic, so no sensible queen would name a kit after an event that leaves all shaking in fear.

2) Due to the fact that dreams are held in high regard, and are sacred in the ways of warriors, no variation of the word "dream" is to be used. This applies to the word itself, and synonyms or similar words (wish, hope, muse, desire, etc).

Examples of unacceptable names:

Morningdream
Dreamkit
Wishing-gaze
Musemind

3) Spiritual connotations--both in the human world and cat world--are not to be used. Words such as "spirit", "soul", and "angel" denote higher levels of being, an honor not worthy of warriors. This is only allowed for leaders through the use of "star" as a suffix, to represent their connection with StarClan.
Vicky has stated that "spirit", "soul", and other words similar would not make it primarily because of their human connotations with certain religions. Which means spirit and soul are twoleg words that warrior cats would not know about, despite contrary belief.

Examples of unacceptable names:

Spiritsong
Angelwing
Demonsythe
Soulflight

4) Words that tend to be seen as disrespectful in their literal sense are not to be used. Cats are literal in their naming, and do not use hidden messages!! This means that names that include words such as "hollow", any variation of the word "fall", "burning", "searing", "singed", "shattered", "twisted", "broken", or any word related to the aforementioned is not acceptable--especially in a name that is given at birth. Certain words (such as "torn", "broken", or otherwise) are acceptable as renames, but most are NOT.

Examples of unacceptable names in either situation:

Brokenheart
Twistedface
Hollowsoul
Searingkit
Fallenbird

Examples of acceptable names for a rename:
-- Cats that get renames must have been in life-threatening situations, otherwise the name becomes meaningless. Every cat tears a claw every now and then, so "Tornclaw" isn't an acceptable name change. Most cats that get renames are then sent to be an elder, because any situation that would then require a name change hinders the cat from performing duties.

One-eye
Brokenleg
Tornfur

This also means that yes, Erins, "Birchfall" is not really a respectable name. The name denotes a falling birch (which for one, does not represent the cat for anything--appearance, personality, event even, that might have had something to do with the cat--it's a completely random and purposeless name), a very bad sign/event in a forest.

You must consider the meaning of your name when applying such harsh, disrespectful words. They are absolutely not tolerated.

5) Jewels and semi-precious stones are not acceptable in names.

Silver and gold(en) are used because the terms for certain colorations and markings--technical terms--are actually "silver" and "gold", however, there are no markings classified as "jade", "ruby", "onyx" or otherwise. Secondly, the possibility of cats unearthing such rare jewels that aren't even found in the British Isles is an impossibility. Most stones must be mined for, and are found under certain conditions unavailable to the cats.

6) Remember that cats are not sophisticated!

If the kit is red at birth, they are not "crimson", "scarlet", or "blood". They are red, or ginger. Cats don't have dictionaries and thesauri, so most synonyms of words are unknown to them.

Examples of unacceptable names:

Scarletsky
Cobaltpaw
Jetkit
Burgundypelt

7) All Twoleg seasons are unknown to cat!

Therefore, an "Autumnspirit" is not acceptable, nor is a "Winterpelt". Seasons are referred to differently. This also goes for things such as oceans/seas, comets, and other things not commonly referred to in the books.

Examples of unacceptable names:

Summerheart
Oceanbreeze
Comet-tail

8) Animals found outside of the British Isles are not to be referred to.

It's hard to keep track of all the animals that don't live in Britain, where the cats are located, but if you don't know for sure whether or not they can be found on the island, WIKIPEDIA IT. That is the simplest answer, and you won't look like a fool. Here are some common animals that usually get placed in names, that are NOT native--or found on--Britain: Coyote, cardinal, and bear. This also goes for plant species, such as the orchid, olive, and ebony tree. Please do your research on a species before placing it in a name.

9) Everyone knows that Twoleg objects are not acceptable in names, that's obvious.

However, that sometimes doesn't seem to apply--or rather it gets overlooked. Many words don't even seem to have human origins or connotations, but they do, and are not acceptable. Many common words used in names, such as "mask" and "dance" are human words to describe things in nature, but are not natural occurrences.

People will reference the "mask" of a raccoon, or the "dance" of courting birds, but these words are not recognized by cats. This also goes for the obvious materials, such as "ink", "sword", "dagger", and various metals (for reasons, see rule five).


message 8: by Peyton, Head Mod (new)

Peyton (pemhorse8) | 1479 comments Mod
Chapter Five: The Image, and The Cat

Now that we know what the prefix and suffix are, what we can and cannot do, why not move on to actually forming the name for your cat. We know the basics, but can we make our own name now?

We'll want to create an image of the cat through the use of a name, and we'll want to represent them respectively.

Let's choose our cat.

Here we have a pale gray tabby she-cat, she's very lean and very fast. She's known mostly for being a good hunter, and is very maternal and considerate. At birth, we wouldn't know the last few things, but she would still be gray. So, what are some nice gray/related gray terms to describe a she-cat?

We could use...

Silver
Dove
Cloud
Mist/y
Ash
Smoke

That's not all, but some of the more common, appropriate ones. Let's use "misty", because she's very pale, and "misty" is also a very feminine word.

Now that we have our prefix for the cat, let's move on. She's grown up past her apprentice days, and Mistypaw is ready to become a warrior. We know she would have been a recognized hunter, both beautiful and fierce, but also for being a passionate, motherly cat. Is it safe to note her abilities in her name? Is she really better than the other cats at what she does? Most likely not, a twelve moon old apprentice wouldn't be more experienced than a forty-six moon old senior warrior.

Maybe recognizing her hunting skills isn't the best path. But, she is a beautiful cat, very pale and lean. Perhaps, if we denote her appearance a second time, she would be more recognizable at a Gathering. Let's see... Mistypelt is obvious, but then again, she is an obvious cat. It has a ring to it, but maybe that's not the right way to go. We can always go a step further, and encourage her beauty and particular mystique. Mistybrook could be appropriate, or maybe Mistyriver or Mistystream. They all enhance that basic appearance of her fur, and add a certain quality that says, "Yes, I am a she-cat, and I am very pretty."

That's the normal thought process to consider when naming a cat. Here are some questions to consider when making your name:

-- Do I have an acceptable prefix?
-- Does it make sense to be a name given at birth?
-- How does it represent my cat?
-- Can I match it with a suffix?
-- How should my suffix represent him or her?
-- Is it best to encourage their appearance, or personality?
-- Have I successfully described my cat?


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