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83432 No. 83432
#Discussion
How do I come up with good pony names?
Unspoiler all text  • Expand all images  • Reveal spoilers
>> No. 83441
Here's some for free.

Candycane (for a mare)
Horseapples (for a peasant)
Swordbutt (for a soldier)
Gelato (for a prince)
Gelatine (for a princess)
>> No. 83442
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83442
>>83441
>Swordbutt
>> No. 83448
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83448
>>83442

He got his cutie mark after an unfortunate night of drinking and medieval LARPing.
>> No. 83450
Well... Ponies buck, right? And they have no hands, right?

And now I'm going to go sit in the corner...
>> No. 83451
But seriously, for pony names, most of them usually describe the character's special talent (i.e. Rainbow Dash is named because she's good at flying and leaves rainbows behind), general appearance, personality, or is just a pun. They tend to not be human names, usually nouns, plays off of idioms and turns of phrase, etc.
>> No. 83472
[adjective] [noun] is too easy but works most of the time.

It would be interesting to see more [verb][noun/adjective] (with no space in-between), i.e. Fluttershy.

[abstract noun] is Stu territory.

[compound noun] (i.e. Rainjacket) provided it's nothing too pretentious or grandiose, would be fine.
>> No. 83484
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83484
If you're having lots of trouble, steal names from GI Joe or Transformers.
Thundercracker, Starscream, Soundwave, Hot Shot, Sideways, Cross Country, Jinx, Scarlett... for example. If you need generic background pony names, check my little wiki: http://mylittlewiki.org Something should jump out.

Never, ever, ever try to force a last name on a character outside of the Pie family. The Apple family have a name theme that starts with Granny Smith, (who is originally a Smith, not an Apple). Families seem to be named along themes, not last names. (Rarity is unique, Sweetie Belle is also unique)

Never use John or Alex. Ever.

Compound Names should be related concepts, avoid adjectives: Apple Bloom is okay; Sticky Taffy is a stretch; Iridescent Ribbon is too far.

That said, baby ponies are named by their parents based on things they do or the way they appear. This is also a clear sign of their future cutie mark because they are acting on an instinctive level. Pound Cake appears to be abnormally strong and seems to like to 'pound' things, it's a clear indication that his cutie mark may be related, when he figures out how to use it effectively, in the future.

Think like a parent. Do they only like eating sweet flowers? Maybe Honeysuckle, Anise, or Cornflower. Do they seem to be oddly attracted to candles and fire places? Cinder, Torchlight, Flicker, Sparky, etc... Do you understand where I'm going here?

Bon Bon probably ate a whole lot of Bonbons. Twilight Sparkle's horn probably glowed around Dawn and Dusk when she was a baby. Applejack probably stumbled into the hard apple cider when she was young. If you have an idea of who the character was, you'll have an easier time coming up with a name for who they are.
>> No. 83485
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83485
So you've got an OC and you need a name? How about Bloodknight? Death Puncher? Raven Orecheco? How about no?

Pony names follow the following conventions:

Adjective: Something pleasant, for the love of Celestia. e.g. Rarity, Sunny,

Adjective + Noun: Again, something pleasant or mundane e.g. Sunny Skies, Cloudy Days, Minty Rest

Noun: Straight up noun also work well, as do compound nouns e.g. Sand Paper, Cirrus, Apple Pie

Non-gerund Verb + Noun: Following the same convention as Adjective + Noun e.g. Rainbow Dash, Cloud Kicker, Twilight Sparkle.

Some sort of Pun: As awful as you're willing to put up with e.g Davenport, Allie Way, etc.

There are exceptions, as there are always exceptions. But use good sense. human names are generally right out, and if you can avoid using cliched fantasy type names like Raven, Destiny, Night, the better off you'll be.
>> No. 83490
>>83484
Isn't Rainbow Dash's middle name Miriam? I remember something about that...
>> No. 83493
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83493
But what if my OC isn't a pony? How do I name them then?
>> No. 83494
>>83493
Griffins get badass-sounding names. Like Grizelda/Gilda.
>> No. 83496
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83496
>>83494

Yes, I was surprised that some non-pony characters (most of them at least) have, shall we say, "human" names (Gilda as you mentioned, but also Angel and Wynona). That was something that rang my bell.

But I agree with Minty's perspective: Give them a name that reflects their special talent or similar. If not, some noun or adjective (or combination of both) sounding cute/fitting enough works fine.
>> No. 83501
>>83496
And if that fails, reverse engineer the etymology of the name to attempt to give a nationality from whence to give other names of that race, fail horribly, crumple the whole thing up, realize that it actually kind of works, and then go from there.

It's how I got "Gilda" to be "German," at any rate.
>> No. 83502
>>83494

And if the griffon in particular isn't a badass?
>> No. 83503
>>83502
Then you, sir, are doing "two-hundred pound mixtures between nature's greatest land-and-air-based predators" wrong.
>> No. 83507
>>83494
I always thought that an important consideration for griffon names was that they start with 'g'.

>>83502
Then you might have an interesting premise for a story, or at least an interesting potential character.
>> No. 83508
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83508
>>83507
>all start with G
Yeah... that would be silly... and stupid...

>passive-aggressive, "Badass characters aren't good characters" quip
False. All good characters are badasses. It's just a matter of what they're badass at.
>> No. 83512
>>83508
>>83503

So wait...by that logic Fluttershy is a badass, but a griffin without a badass name is not a badass because they're supposed to be lion-eagles, so...?

Eh, we're getting off topic anyway.
>> No. 83514
>>83512
I mean, sure, it's completely out of character, but she did kick that bear's ass.

For something a bit meeker (read: in-character), she basically stood up to the force of Chaos with brutal honesty, forcing him to abandon his wishy-washy game to directly control her mind.

So... in that sense, she's the most badass out of the main six.


And when I say "badass" name, I mean something strong-sounding but not necessarily cliche. Throatripper? Badass, but cliche. Tom? Not cliche, but not badass, either. Richard, now that's a powerful-sounding name, but frankly, you're going to get enough flak writing about gay griffins without saying, "Oh, yeah, this one really loves Dick."
>> No. 83515
>>83508
Wow. So that's what her whole family looks like. Just by reading the story it's a bit difficult to get a good picture of it beyond 'extremely dedicated example of quiverfull childbearing'.
>> No. 83516
We've had all of one named griffon on the show, unless I'm missing something, and you can't extrapolate from a single point. Doesn't work. That's science for you, kids.

That said, a quick Google tells me that Gilda is probably Germanic in origin, and that it probably means "sacrifice." (Although a couple sites quote it as Celtic and meaning "servant of God.") If you want to riff of old Germanic names, another quick Google can help you there. Wheeee.
>> No. 83517
>>83515
I can't think of a way to name-drop all of them at once, so I just subscribe to the social theory of "cliques," and assume the family's big enough to start forming sub-groups that have their own dynamics and friendships. That way, Gilda can, theoretically, only have three sisters that she's "close with" out of that mess, and the rest are like, "cousins you kind of see at events but don't really get to know."
>> No. 83518
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83518
>>83514
And thus, Richard, the gay griffin was born.

>pic kinda related? I don't know, I find slightly funny.
>> No. 83519
>>83516
>Science
Art != Science
>> No. 83523
>>83516
Gilda actually means 'gilded', as in 'gold on the outside but not all the way through', which ties back to the episodes thesis of Gilda seeming nice but really being just a big jerk. But my source is saying that's coming down out of old english, so we may be looking at different gildas.

Also it starts with G and 'Gilda Griffon' is just the kind of alliteration that MLP tends to like, so working with g names doesn't really see like too great of a logical leap.

>>83517
Fortunately, you don't actually need to bring them all up, since individually they don't play much into the story. I think I remember Gilda sorrowfully missing a sister at one point (Gretchen?), but mostly she seems to miss 'community' a lot more than family or any individual members.
>> No. 83524
>>83523
Oh, yeah, I mean, for all of the problems I have with that story, I definitely don't wish I had gone with more "Oh, I wish I had spent more time with Giselle, my sister that was ten years younger than me" lines.
>> No. 83525
>>83519

Still, saying that "because one name was like this all names must be like this" is kinda...I dunno. Same goes with zebras and whatever, and I have no idea what you'd name a mule.
>> No. 83526
>>83525
I'm just saying what I did to get a nationality for the name, the fact that they all ended up as duosyllabic "G" names has to deal more with her father being a self-righteous ass than anything. For example, there are other griffins in (my version of) her tribe named things like Daniel and Stephen... other Germanic names, but not "G" names.
>> No. 83528
>>83525
It's not 'must be'. If you can get a story into the air that's got a griffon named Luther, than by all means, do so. It's just a pattern that fits with the tone of the original source material. Zecora is Swahili for zebra, and she was going to speak fluent Swahili, right up until they failed to find anyone that could speak or translate the language, so going with Swahili names for other zebras would seem to be a logical thing to do. Same thing, really.
>> No. 83529
>>83490

No.

Wherever you saw that,it was fake.
>> No. 83530
>>83529
Non-canon name used in Fair-feathered Friend, by Bobcat, which got a fanon status for a short period and can still be seen appearing from time to time.
>> No. 83531
>>83514
She was giving it a massage. It was totallly in character.

>>83529
>>83530
Ah, okay.

>>83528
You learn something new every day.
>> No. 83540
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83540
>>83432
> How do I come up with good pony names?

>>83493
> But what if my OC isn't a pony? How do I name them then?

Fer the love of... This is My Little Pony. So you're going to go for a naming pattern most likely and stick to it.
Taking the Gilda example, where as Nick went with a series of names all starting with G, I went with a name structure where Gilda isn't actually her name, but the closest sounding name that ponies could pronounce. Which is how I was running around with her younger brother Barry which just leads to...

Anyways, keep it consistent. Spike, a dragon raised by ponies, seems to have a pony name. So other Dragon names can be as D&D as you wanna go. Zebra can either start with Z or go with Swahili, again, based on how far you want to work the system. (Google is your best friend)

Go back to the characters origin. A zebra adopted by Golden Harvest will probably have a vastly different name then one who's been fighting lion men on the savannah their entire life.

As for humans, still avoid John and Alex. Those, while decent names in reality, in fiction are pretty much filler names that are supposed to be changed into something believable once you're out of rough draft phase.
>> No. 83544
>>83540
>Spike, a dragon raised by ponies, seems to have a pony name.
Hmm, I take it to mean something more malicious and part of dragonlore. Like the spikes some have on their backs. I tend to think of them being named after various parts like claws, teeth, breath (fire/frost breath yo), etc. That's just my take though, and the name I have for my dragon is pretty anti-climactic imo.
>> No. 83552
I too have a tough time naming ponies. Sometimes I go very simple. Sometimes I use human or human-themed names, but only when they're clearly meaningful or punny (for example, a jeweler named Jules, which is a name I used so DON'T JACK MY IDEA, HOMIE).

Really, just pick a distinctive attribute of the OC, and make a pun out of it. The more clever/obscure the pun is, the better. But blatant eye-rollingly-bad puns are great too. As long as it's memorable and distinguishable, you're doing good.
>> No. 83554
Names, names. You probably shouldn't take my advice on this. Rather than looking into languages and stuff, I just make up nonsense words that sound vaguely African for zebras and nonsense words that scrape out of your throat for dragons (who haven't been named by ponies - the ones who have get pony-style names or pet/thing-style names (Winona, Angel, Tom, etc...)). And the griffons get Germanic/Russian/Norse/cold Europeanish place names.
>> No. 83567
>Rather than looking into languages and stuff, I just make up nonsense words that sound vaguely African for zebras and nonsense words that scrape out of your throat for dragons

Aww, where's the fun in that? Half the fun of using another language in your work is to actually use bits of real languages. Just tossing some syllables together seems like such a wasted opportunity, especially when there are all kinds of easy online translation tools for just about any language you'd want to use.

Besides, transliterating Starswirl the Bearded into 'Steoraspinan Gebyrd' by way of a helpful old english translator is a joy unto itself.
>> No. 83600
Personally I just take a blank sheet of paper and write down everything (name) that comes to mind when thinking of the character. Then interchange freely till I come up with something good and maybe completly different.

For non pony names I take a list of names fitting for the culture, write every name I like down and then interchange syllabies freely till I got something that sounds good to me.
>> No. 83615
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83615
> mfw unflattering Bonbon pic still lingers on the front page of /fic/

I think people get hung up on names too much. If coming up with names can't be made into a fun exercise, it should be ignored and left for later.

Something I especially think people obsess over is naming their characters *precisely* after what it is they do for a living, or their talent, or personality, etc. I mean, there's "Cheerilee" - what does that have to do with education? Also, "Sapphire Shores?"

Provided a name isn't annoying or pretentious, it shouldn't be fretted over. For being such a trivial and superficial aspect of a story, character names should take a proportional amount of creative energy to invent. Sure, "what's in a name" quoth Juliet, but names are icing on the cake, and coming up with a name that *perfectly* echoes the theme, foreshadows the character's fate (etc) should be secondary to having a story to begin with.

Just how many of the in-show characters have names that weren't fan-generated? Hint: it's greater than the number of characters that don't have lines in the show. It's on places like the main MLP page on Wikia, Equestria Daily but especially the chans where ideas for names of background characters are discussed. The best names that the community can come up with typically float to the top and stick. Why mention this? It's just important to remember that if OC names don't seem as creative as the names of preexisting ponies, an author shouldn't worry about it, because they're competing with the whole community in the name-creation game.
>> No. 83660
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83660
>>83615
>> mfw unflattering Bonbon pic still lingers on the front page of /fic/
>mfw you bumped it with an even less flattering Bonbon pic

The way I see it, names are dependent on race of the parents. For example, earth ponies, like Applejack, Big Macintosh, Pinkie Pie, and Carrot Cake, tend to have more down-to-earth names, following a special talent/occupation or color-noun structure. Or, in the case of the Cake babies, the such and such of their parents. Pegasi are somewhat similar, though with names like Rainbow Dash, Spitfire, Fleetfoot, and Cloudkicker, instead of color-noun, it's color-verb or noun-verb or adjective-noun. Unicorn names like Rarity, Twilight Sparkle, Trixie, and Moondancer follow similar structures, but are more abstract. Naming after personality like in the cases of Fluttershy, Hoity Toity, and Sweetie Belle seems to happen in the case of all three.
>> No. 83663
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83663
>>83660
> hits Ctrl-U
> searches for tripcode
<span class="postername"><a href="mailto:sage"></a></span><span class="postertrip">!Bonbon.jUE</span>

Nope.
>> No. 84684
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84684
Hrmm...
There. Threads fixed.

Bumping because it's still a good, fine thread.
>> No. 99798
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99798
And ponies we shall be
for thee celestia for thee
The power hath descended from thy horn
that our hooves may swiftly carry out thy command
so we shall flow a river forth to thee
and teeming with apples shall it ever be
In Nomini Ponies et Fiili et Spiritus Sancti.
>> No. 99806
When I'm stumped on what to name a character, I call on alcohol. Oatmeal Stout, Espresso Stout, Bur Bon, Hef Eweizen. I don't worry that they don't match a character's personality or job because how often does that happen in real life.
>> No. 99813
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99813
>>99806
Bur Bon, I like that one.

You know, that's actually a pretty good way of finding names. I've had to name a host of pony pirates/kidnappers recently, and in my silliness, I named one of them Jangle.

Though, in hindsight, Jangle -> Jangle Feta -> Jango Fett, which is sort of related because he's a kidnapper, and because background pony clones.
>> No. 99824
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99824
>>99806
Yeah, I mean you don't always see Carrot Top working as a farmer. Also, this pony has a ball of yarn on her haunch yet works in a weather factory. The same should go for names I think.

>>99798
Thank you for bumping this thread. 'Tis a good thread.
>> No. 99828
Usually you just need to keep on jotting down words, and eventually something will pop up. Try searching up elements or parts of a whole that have catchy names

I named a guard Galea (Roman soldier helmet)

or you can translate a word (Nocturnal -> Nocturna)

or find another word related to it. (Discord -> Dissension)

or mix it up a bit (Discord -> Dissension -> Dissenso)
>> No. 99829
>>99828
By mixing up, I meant by finding the word that relates to it then translate it.
>> No. 100608
take two words that describe your pony, find obscure synonyms, related words, or cool root words for them

Blue, Weather Pony

Azure Storm

Music oriented, curly hair

Harmony Swirl

Anything following a similar formula really
>> No. 117563
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117563
Leaving this one here again. Because names are hard and important.

I still am in the camp that Ponies should be named based around things they do as babies. That or something stupid their parents decide. Because it should always be the parents fault in some way.
>> No. 117566
Heh. Names, eh? Here's the names I've used for original characters:

>unnamed protag
>Green
>unnamed protag
>Blue
>unnamed antag
>Charter

I think it's too easy to waste time and overthink names when, in the grand scheme of things, they don't really matter. A name's a name, and often don't mean anything other than simply being a name.

While writing, I'll normally just put some placeholder in with curly brackets, e.g., {Protag}, so that I can do a find-and-replace later. You're more likely to have something clever strike you while you're writing the character, anyway. Thinking about names before the story is a waste of time and energy.
>> No. 117569
Anyone want to share their thoughts on these names?
Aces High: A pegasus stallion blessed with uncanny luck and a glib tongue that gets him into more situations than even his luck can pull him out of.

Silver Lining: An optimistic pegasus mare with a knack for making the best out of a bad situation. Brother to Aces High. Silver's talent tends to pick up the slack when her sibling's fortune fountain runs dry.

Verith: A sultry female zebra that acts as Zebrican ambassador while moonlighting as a double-agent for Equestria. Verith's charm is as attractive as her promises are hollow and what can't be acquired with words is assigned to her bodyguard for aggressive retrieval duty.

Xco: A burly male zebra warrior, his life is spent protecting Verith's and carrying out her instructions. He tends to make up for Verith's incessant idle chatter with stoic silence.
>> No. 117571
>>117569

Aces High, Silver Lining, and Verith are all good.

But Xco...I feel like there's a vowel missing between the X and C...
>> No. 117601
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117601
>>117569

"Aces High" certainly connotes the traits that you've described. If I were reading a story about that character, though, I feel the name would lead me to erect a mental barrier between him and me, preventing me from seeing him as a sympathetic character. This is because "Aces High" also connotes a sort of Han Solo character, a gambling, drinking, vice-ridden alpha for whom everything works out well, because of his irrepressible charisma and extensive network of connections. On the one hand, I can't help but like him, but on the other hand, he disgusts me and I'd really like to see him get what's coming to him.

>Silver Lining: An optimistic pegasus mare with a knack for making the best out of a bad situation. Brother to Aces High.
>mare
>brother

Besides that issue, I feel this name is a bit heavy-handed for someone who's merely optimistic. I feel like Silver Lining is rich (silver) and well-dressed (lining). I think he—it is a masculine-sounding name, in my opinion—probably tends to gain from others' misfortunes. Maybe he inherited his fortune upon a relative's unexpected death. Maybe he's like the common caricature of Mitt Romney working at Bain Capital, and profits from failing companies or something.

But Silver Lining, just for someone who can make the best out of bad situations, seems like overkill, like beating the reader over the head. Like if Twilight Sparkle was named Magic Sparkle. That's just my opinion. though. But it also seems depressing in a fridge-logic kind of way, because Silver Lining as you've described her seems to depend on bad circumstances existing in order to be able to use her special talent. I'm not sure I'd want to be in that situation.

Verith sounds like verity, which of course means truth. But yours is a dissembling, untrustworthy character. I'm not sure if you intended that irony. Another thing that comes to mind is that the boss from Pokemon XD was named Verich, an obvious portmanteau of "very" and "rich". I don't know why that's important. Anyway, "Verith" certainly is slippery, but I'm not sure it's sinister enough for your purposes. Personally, I'd save "Verith" for some OC forest nymph or goddess, playing off "verdant" and "viriditas" (and even more obscurely, "veriditas").

Xco: I have no idea how to pronounce this. That's a problem, because the sound of words is important in creating connotations. Also, lol, it's remotely possible that someone might mistake this for a reference to straightedge hardcore. But there's one good thing about this name: there's no question in my mind that it belongs to a fearsome male zebra.
>> No. 117606
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117606
>>117601
Aces: That's pretty much how I was imagining him, actually.

Silver: I changed the gender halfway through writing it. I was pretty much just doing this to test the waters for Aces but figured I 'ought to whip up a few more to make my post seem more substantial. It would appear as if I forgot to fix part of it >_>.
The idea was that Aces relies on his luck, while Silver makes her own.

Verith: I spat out a name and came up with a thin backstory. No meta in that name, despite your rather impressive deconstruction (I almost wish I had put more effort into it now). Her name's closest inspiration is the Viera race from Final Fantasy. For zebras I choose the lesser-used consonants to start them off (v, x and z tend to be the most popular amongst zebra OCs).
I wasn't really going for sinister with her. Think uppercrust Catwoman but instead of stealing jewels she steals information.

Xco: It's an old name I came up with my character for playing (the original) Knights of the Old Republic. The full version was Xco Harth. Funny that you would say its pronunciation is a mystery, since the general rule for Jedi seems to be the more difficult it is to say their name, the better.
I say it like "eX-Co"
>Also, lol, it's remotely possible that someone might mistake this for a reference to straightedge hardcore.
I'm afraid I don't understand what it is you're saying here.
> But there's one good thing about this name: there's no question in my mind that it belongs to a fearsome male zebra.
That's what I was aiming for.

>>117571
How about Xaco (zay-Co) or Xyco (zye-Co)
The latter almost sounds like "psycho" with how I imagine it. Perhaps that would work with a different character.
>> No. 117607
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117607
>>117606

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straight_edge#X_symbol
>The term is sometimes abbreviated by including an X with the abbreviation of the term "straight edge" to give sXe.[44] By analogy, hardcore punk is sometimes abbreviated to hXc.
The straightedge association was just something that came to mind immediately for me because I associate with people who are involved in that. It's probably not something you need to worry about.

And because I feel like butting in:
>xyco
Sounds like a toy manufacturer. (Tyco, xylophone)

>saged b/c tfw no gf
>> No. 117608
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117608
>>117607
>saged b/c tfw no gf
So many abbreviations...
On an unrelated note, why is abbreviate such a long word?
>Sounds like a toy manufacturer. (Tyco, xylophone)
Stop that. You're ruining my names.
>> No. 117616
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117616
My own thoughts on pony names--as I've given almost no thought to non-pony names--are divided by tribe, and based on rough patterns from the show.

For earth ponies, I like to keep to foodstuffs. Applejack, Apple Bloom(s), Pinkie Pie, Carrot Cake: all of these are foods (and a drink). Yes, even Apple Bloom; keep in mind that we're speaking of ponies. So for earth pony OCs I could see Plum Blossom or Bobbin' Dill.

Pegasi seem to go by terms related to flight/speed/weather. Cloud Kicker. Rainbow Dash. Fluttershy. So I'd go with something like Boreal or Nosedive.

Unicorns seem to be named after relatively abstract concepts (Rarity, Blueblood, Jet Set and Upper Crust, etc.). I'd use something like Lucid or Chivalry.

As an added bonus, "Baby Cakes" has shown that the tribes can interbreed and produce foals of other types, so if you love a name (say, Bobbin' Dill) but need to slap it on a non-earth pony (say, you need a unicorn) you can simply say he was born to/adopted by earth ponies if anyone asks why your naming conventions seem inconsistent. [Innocent grin.]

>>83484
>>83485
>>83540
I'm liking these posts!
>> No. 117665
>>117616
My headcanon says that names are almost pre-destined. Only way to really explain some of the ones that wouldn't be obvious when they're born, like Fluttershy. Or perhaps their names are changed when they get their cutiemark, like a coming-of-age thing in some tribes where a boy doesn't earn a name until he has his first successful hunt.
>> No. 117684
>>117665
Fluttershy wouldn't...
I dunno...
Say when she was as old as Pound Cake, Fly pretty weakly? Maybe a flutter or so? And be prone to hiding behind things? As if she was shy? A Shy Flutterer so to speak?
>> No. 117702
File 134612338492.png - (129.28KB , 646x650 , 3db.png )
117702
>>117684
Well, that's the thing. Babies are tend to be named when the mother is holding them in the hospital for humans, so unless we apply some sort of alternative, there's no reason for her to be named that. It's not something that would be immediately apparent. Granted, if we ever find out what her parent's names are, that might answer it (since it could be a sort of family tradition thing like the Apple clan).

I prefer my headcanon regardless, because then I can address the whole "fate vs. freewill" subject.

>Pic 'cause I like it
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