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Elric's Last Name? (surname)

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  • Elric's Last Name? (surname)

    Mr. Moorcock, (and other Elric experts out there,)

    Thank you for your most excellent novels.
    Almost all of which I've read at least three times.

    However, I have a rather silly question, one that may well be in the books that I simply passed up:

    What is Elric's last name? (or the name of his family in general?)

    I know it's "Elric of Melnibone", but is Melnibone his surname?

    Thank you,
    - CD

  • #2
    The closest things to surnames that I've known Elric to have were assumed names: Zodiac, von Bek (it was implyed in WWS that this was so), and Sadricson. Beyond those, I do not know of any hereditary surname he may possess.

    Mike (or anyone else), have any insight on this?
    "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
    --Thomas a Kempis

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    • #3
      Well, I suppose Melnibone is his surname. It's not that long since we were all called Eric of Marylebone or somesuch, after all. Sadricson is his Anglo-Saxon surname, as given in MM's Multiverse, as you say Everking.
      I don't think the Melniboneans used 'son of' however.

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      • #4
        Is having a surname not really a concept that applies more or less exclusively to our Western thinking? Isn't giving surnames an administrational device that was introduced, I suspect, by the very practical Romans? Would an entirely different world, a different species other than humans of a certain civilisatory level come up with such a system? Would Melniboneans have doorsigns with Mr & Mrs Soandso? I am really not sure, please someone correct me if I err...
        Google ergo sum

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        • #5
          I don't think you can really limit to western civilazation. The Chinese and Japanese (possibly the Koreans as well?) all have a long history of surnames-that-aren't...their "surnames" are family names and serve the same purpose as ours, but actually come before their given names when written or spoken, so "sur" isn't really all that accurate (this true of Hungarian too, now that I think of it).

          I know that in English the surname was introduced by the Normans. Prior to that the Anglo-Saxons would occasionally use a lineage designation (bearn Aelfrice, Aelfricesun, whatever) but this wasn't really a surname and wasn't part of everyday use; it was just used as a way to let people know who you were descended from to avoid any abiguity of personage (if you read the Anglo-Saxon text "the Battle of Maldon" there are several good examples of how this was used in the Wessex dialect from which modern English decended). Other than that people were refered to by just their given names or by some nickname; "Eric the Red," and "Harald Harأ°rأ،أ°i" even though Norwegian, are good examples of this. The other way people would be known is by their profession; thus we get a whole slew of modern surnames like Baker, Smith, Wheeler, Cooper, etc. My maternal gradfather's family, who were Austrian, are teh Geisbauer's which can be rough translated to "Goat Farmer" or "Goat Herder." Of course, there is also the "so-and-so of such-and-such" format too. My paternal gradmothers family were traditional "von Meysembourg," being from small Luxembourger village of Meysembourg.
          "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
          --Thomas a Kempis

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          • #6
            Thank You!

            Thank You Mike, and everyone else who have both read or responded.

            I've always been a huge fan of Mike's work since I first started the series in 1993, and love the idea of having an author's forum available. Wow!

            I'm looking forward as always to the next journey, and happy to have that small part of the puzzle fit into place,

            - Calin Day, Chicago, USA

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by EverKing
              I don't think you can really limit to western civilazation. The Chinese and Japanese (possibly the Koreans as well?) all have a long history of surnames-that-aren't...their "surnames" are family names and serve the same purpose as ours, but actually come before their given names when written or spoken, so "sur" isn't really all that accurate (this true of Hungarian too, now that I think of it).
              Yep. Took me a while to get used to writing my name the other way around when I moved to Hungary. Here the last name is called "leading name" while the first name is called "Christian name". Doesn't matter that I'm Jewish, I still have a Christian name here! :lol:

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              • #8
                I think in the future we will all just be known by our screen names. :D

                Comment


                • #10
                  I remember somewhere Mike used an alternate spelling of Zodiac (Zcnewzebec or some such, I be in a hurry as usual). I'm sure Elric used surnames as he desired depending on the context or multiverse aspect he was in. I kinda like Elric Silverskin.
                  Miqque
                  ... just another sailor on the seas of Fate, dogpaddling desperately ...

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                  • #11
                    Miqque:
                    I kinda like Elric Silverskin
                    Elric: the hero who knows his onions.

                    This surname origin business; the way I heard it was that they came in when the population got so large you had three Johns and two Williams in every village. For clarification, you'd pick a characteristic to differentiate 'em. William Short and William Long; John Baker, John Fletcher, John Smith.

                    When this all started, some people would have more than one surname. John White of Ilford, named to distinguish him from John Black, the two having differently coloured hair, would go to Romford, where their two Johns were named for their professions, John Farmer and John Smith, and find he was referred to as John Fletcher.

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                      Well, I suppose Melnibone is his surname. It's not that long since we were all called Eric of Marylebone or somesuch, after all. Sadricson is his Anglo-Saxon surname, as given in MM's Multiverse, as you say Everking.
                      Made me wonder though - are the 'family' of Dyvim Tvar using an honorific title, family name or job description?

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                      • #13
                        I loved all the books and never really noticed Elric's last name.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by McTalbayne
                          I think in the future we will all just be known by our screen names. :D
                          :lol:

                          Perhaps we should adopt English corrupted Native American format for names. I think I might be known as Hammers On Keyboards.
                          The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

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                          • #15
                            LOL Berry! :)


                            I was once known as Runs In Circles

                            "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                            - Michael Moorcock

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