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Etymology Of Character Names

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  • Etymology Of Character Names

    Perhaps this has been debated before, or elsewhere, however I find this an interesting topic for a poll and discussion:

    I've always wondered how Mr. Moorcock comes up with the names for the characters in his stories. Are they inspired by historical figures? Are they supposed to conjure images in the readers' minds? Or, are they completly random inventions of Mr. Moorcock's imagination? Above is a poll listing several possibilities. What is your opinion?


    Mr. Moorcock, please feel free to set us straight at your convenience....
    \"No, I think Space is a dimension of Time. My theory is that Time is a field and that Space exists as an aspect of Time.\" Michael Moorcock

    \"All I know about anything is \"I wasn\'t. I am. I will not be.\" Michael Moorcock

  • #2
    :) I voted other. My theory is it might be all of the above simultaneously. :lol:

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    • #3
      What can I say? Itآ´s the name of someone born in Melnibonأ© ;-p

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      • #4
        I vote other as well for pretty much the same reason as Grey Mouser.

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        • #5
          The word 'Elric' itself transates as 'white ruler' (Prefix El-generally meaning white as in 'Elvis' old as in 'Elwin' or highborn- 'Eli', ric translating as 'ruler') Also Ulric translates as ruler of wolves. Perhaps this is the answer?

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          • #6
            Forever The Stranger.....thanks for posting. That's very interesting. What is the root of these meanings/translations? Is it Latin? Where did you find this info.?
            I think it very likely to be the answer if things are as you say. Good work.
            \"No, I think Space is a dimension of Time. My theory is that Time is a field and that Space exists as an aspect of Time.\" Michael Moorcock

            \"All I know about anything is \"I wasn\'t. I am. I will not be.\" Michael Moorcock

            Comment


            • #7
              "What's interesting is that my original inspiration for Elric is Zenith the Albino (see the Savoy website for instance). In English that's Zehnith
              the Albeeno. In American it's Zeenith the Albayno..."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MJR
                Forever The Stranger.....thanks for posting. That's very interesting. What is the root of these meanings/translations? Is it Latin? Where did you find this info.?
                I think it very likely to be the answer if things are as you say. Good work.
                I have a mini pocket book of boys names on my desk. Highborn is hebrewish, I think the others are norse. Personally I am in favour of the 'white ruler' translation because Ulric definitely translates as 'Wolf ruler' White-Wolf geddit? :D There's also the 'Elf-ruler' theory, but I find that unlikely as there is almost always an f in all the 'elf' prefixes. Glad to have helped.

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                • #9
                  McTalbayne --very good point!


                  check this out:

                  "Zenith's crimson-irised eyes were reflective. He stood there long of leg and broad of shoulder, immaculately dressed, groomed to perfection, cold as an icicle; and dangerous; transcendently dangerous."
                  The second title in Savoy's new Millennium book line, Monsieur Zenith the Albino is a rare gem from the golden age of the pulps. This novel by Anthony Skene has been out of print—and virtually unobtainable—since 1936.

                  Introduction by Jack Adrian / Foreword by Michael Moorcock
                  Numerous illustrations by the original Zenith artists from Union Jack and
                  Detective Weekly

                  "Monsieur Zenith is an albino. Craving excitement because it brings forgetfulness; thrust into crime by his abnormality, by his illimitable egotism, by the caprice of his recalcitrant nature, he finds himself involved in the quest for a mysterious something on the finding of which life—and more than life—depends.
                  Indifferent to gratitude or reward, asserting—and, perhaps, believing—that he seeks only the final diversion of the damned, to dice with death; threatened on the one hand by the police, and, on the other, by political chicanery, this strange creature crashes through.

                  Monsieur Zenith is the strangest, most bizarre, character ever devised in thriller fiction."

                  Original jacket notes


                  http://www.abel.net.uk/~savoy/HTML/zenith.html
                  \"No, I think Space is a dimension of Time. My theory is that Time is a field and that Space exists as an aspect of Time.\" Michael Moorcock

                  \"All I know about anything is \"I wasn\'t. I am. I will not be.\" Michael Moorcock

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As long as we're talking about other books, check this-

                    They have pierced the wall of time
                    And let the flood of centuries pour
                    Down in torrents of abused past
                    And future follies. Nor
                    Can the wit of man dam up
                    This foul stream, polluted
                    With History's excrement,
                    Channeled now in convoluted
                    Ways, cross-currented with tide,
                    Ebb and neap, with storm
                    From which only few can hide.


                    Vale was standing on Elric's shoulders, reaching for clumps of deep red cherries on the upper boughs when he thought he saw a wavering in the air. He went rigid with fear.
                    'Danger?' The Viking might speak bad english, but he knew body language well.
                    This is from the beginning of an Anne Mcaffrey short story, published in 'The Girl Who Heard Dragons' (1994)

                    What caught my eye was the use of the name. Perhaps Elric is an actual norse name, rather than being derived from others, or maybe Mcaffrey was borrowing the name as tribute? This should be interesting...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Found this at another web site describing Monsieur Zenith The Albino:


                      "Introduction by MICHAEL MOORCOCK, acknowledging that this character was the inspiration for ELRIC OF MELNIBONE."


                      ''I have frequently spoken of my enthusiasm for Zenith the Albino, whose exploits and reputation inspired my own fictional character, Elric of Melnibone."
                      \"No, I think Space is a dimension of Time. My theory is that Time is a field and that Space exists as an aspect of Time.\" Michael Moorcock

                      \"All I know about anything is \"I wasn\'t. I am. I will not be.\" Michael Moorcock

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                      • #13
                        Doesn't Elric mean "elf king"?

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                        • #14
                          Doesn't Elric mean "elf king"?
                          It could...I know that in Anglo-Saxon that would be Aelfric (the ae is supposed to be an "ash" but I'm not good with using special characters) or Aelfrice. I imagine that in most forms of North Germanic it would be the same or similar. Can't say much for west or south germanic though. Perhaps in Gothic or some related language it would Elric. I know that the name Alvin is derrived from AS for "Elf Friend"--Aelfwine.
                          "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
                          --Thomas a Kempis

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            origins of Elric

                            Coming to this late,but: I thought Elric was a title of the god Odin, who in his role as a shaman was an ancestor of the Harlequin character MM often refers to.Think this is referred to in EM Welsford's The Fool. Also wondered since MM also edited or contributed to a mag called Eldritch Dream Quest, if the name might have been suggested by the word "eldritch". Thats certainly what Elric is!

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