Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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On naming fictitious countries

Over on rasfc, a thread mentioned German compound words that could be split in different places and depending on where you split them, you ended up with different meanings.

Which reminded me of the name of the kingdom in my fantasy world...

I invented the name many many years ago when I was about 15. Not knowing any better at the time (and remember the Web and Google were still many years in the future), I found a list of placename elements and bunged a couple together to make "Baradel" from "bar" - country and "adel" - noble. The fact that these elements came from entirely different languages didn't deter my 15 year-old self one little bit. Oh, no! :)

However... more recently I have been asked whether the name was derived from Tolkien's Elvish and means "star tower" ("barad" (tower) + "el" (star)) and one of my students wanted to know why my email address contained the phrase "pretty bread" (Welsh "bara" (bread) + "del" (pretty)).

I suppose I should just consider myself lucky that it didn't turn out to mean something rude. :)

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