Aesir Naming Conventions and Language

A name as much meaning in Aesir society as a name is bound to fate or the wyrd. With actions comes greatness to a name, and with legendary names from ages past. To an Aesir a name implies nobility, it implies freedom, and it implies origin.

Art by SirLemoncurd


The Name Ceremony

In the Holds to name a person is to acknowledge them as having a soul and as a place among their fellow men and women. Only slaves are not given this right and their names are seen as placeholders in the same light as one names a favored pet or cow. In the Naming Ceremony the Thegn of the Kyn comes forward and douses the child with water blessed by a Volvar. Members of the Kyn then gift the child’s family with “name-gifts” as the name of the child is proclaimed to the heavens. In this act the Gods accept the child and the rules of law are applied to the child as a full member of the Aesir race before all to see.

Double names or names with double meaning when given to a child were said to increase their luck against the harsh goddesses of fate themselves, the Norns.


The Forename

In the Holds the Forename (Firstname) is the basis of central identity. It gives a sense of what hold one hails from and possible the kind of man you are. Names are chosen to inspire meaning in their children based upon looks, attitude, and supposed destiny.


The Aftername

The Aesir do not have Surnames like other races, instead they identify using what is know as the Aftername. Afternames generally refer to either a name identifying the mother or father of the individual, or a title they have earned through their own fate.

Lineage names or blood-names generally identifies the father of the child. These can be broken down into the following setup:

  • Male names take the format of Skaldisson or Skaldison (son of Skaldir).

  • Female names take the format of Skaldidottr.


The endings of the name morph when applied:

  • -i becomes -a (Oli to Olason)

  • -a becomes -u (Greta to Gretuson)

  • -nn becomes -ns (Orlann to Orlansson)

  • -ll becomes -ls (Ketill to Ketilsson)

  • -rr becomes -rs (Geirr to Geirsson)

  • -r becomes -s (Grimr to Grimsson)

  • -ar becomes -a (Ragnar to Ragnason)


The Byname

A final option for naming within Aesir society is earned by others and then given to the person based upon their actions, their attitude, their appearance, their legend, or their relationships. This is the Byname.


Examples of Bynames:

  • Snorri Blackfist | Snorri is a smith who has darkened hands.

  • Ragnar the Savage | Ragnar is a savage fighter.


Languages of the Holds

The people of the Holds all each speak four related languages bound by the common ancestral language of the Aesir and Vanir Immortal tribes. Over time the split between the Holds and their distinctive subcultures led to a change in language. With the trade language of Hanelska uniting them all or the usage of the ceremonial ancient tongue of the ‘gods” themselves.


The languages of the Holds are:

  • Aldska – Language of the Gods and their Priests (Old Norse)

  • Vanska – Language of Vanaland (Swedish)

  • Alfanska – Language of Alfland (Norwegian)

  • Svarska – Language of Svartland (Icelandic)

  • Jotska – Language of Jotunland (Danish)


The languages of the Holds are distinctive enough that the usage of their home tongue in their byname easily identifies their origin.

  • Jonas Varghjarta – Vanalander (Wolf heart)

  • Jonas Ulvhjerte – Alflander (Wolf heart)

  • Jonas Ulfurhjarta – Svartlander (Wolf heart)

  • Jonas Ulvhjerten – Jotunlander (Wolf heart)