There are a number of different systems of personal names in the Lendosan Confederation. The most common of these is that associated with the Lendian language (spoken in most of Lendia and Piolsa), but various minority groups also have their own systems. Some are highly elaborate, although are generally shortened to something equivalent in length to a Lendian name.
Names in the Lendian language tend to have only two components - a given name (which comes first) and a family name (placed last). It is rare (but not unheard of) for Lendians to have a middle name.
The given name is chosen by parents (or, in the Paspalhis region, by grandparents) upon a child's birth, and is generally chosen from a selection of common names based purely on aesthetics. It is rare for a name to be chosen because of its meaning or origins, or because of association with something. It is also very rare to name children after anyone who is still alive, although it is not particularly uncommon for children to be named after someone dead. Children will not usually be named after someone in their family, however, and will almost never be named after one of their parents. For a parent to name their child after themselves is seen as extremely arrogant. There are different sets of names for males and females.
Someone's family name is the same as the that of their older parent. It does not usually change if a person is married. Usually, the name changes slightly depending on whether the person is male or female - for example, a male might have the surname Imbrio, while a female would have Imbria. On the whole, the male version of a name ends in "o" and the female version ends in "a", but this is not always the case.
Lists of the more common first names and surnames are available.
Names in Rabel have changed considerably over the years. Originally, all Rabelis had three names - the first was a given name, the second was their father's given name, and the third was their mother's given name. This system has essentially died out, however, and been replaced with the Lendian method (see above). The name of the younger parent was dropped, and the name of the older parent hardened into an inherited surname. Because there was no suffix added to parent's names (like "-son" in Ingallish), Rabeli now has the interesting quality of there being no difference between the set of possible given and family names - almost all names in Rabel can be found both as a given name and as a family name.
Most Rabeli names originally had meaning in the Rabeli language, and although these meanings are usually lost now, some names are related to modern words (which they still resemble). There has also been considerable borrowing of names from the larger Lendian language - the name Petaru comes from Pedro, for example.
Names in the Patricianate of Rioch can be extremely complex. All standard Riochan names contain six basic components - a given name, a chosen name, a ritual name, two family names, and a patron name. The given name is chosen by parents at a child's birth, and is changed twice in the child's life (once when they turn twelve and again when they turn sixteen). The chosen name is picked oneself when one turns twenty. The ritual name is invented by the person out of ancient Riochan words (generally consisting of two or three components). The two family names are taken from the family names of the two parents. The patron name is a modified form of the chosen name of the person's patron (who is chosen at age eighteen).
Publicly, Riochans will be known by their chosen name and their patron name, in that order. Friends and partners will address them by their chosen name. Blood relatives, however, will continue to use the given name. The ritual name is considered private, and is only told to people who Riochan culture demands be given access to it. It is used only in important traditional ceremonies.
The core name is followed by a significant "trail" of other assorted names and designations. Many of these give information about the person, and while they are considered "names" in the Riochan sense, there is debate over whether they should be considered names in the Lendian sense. Two of these names are the cast-off given names - a person's given name is changed twice, meaning that they have two names that were once used but which are no longer current. These are placed at the end of the full name (with the youngest name last), each preceded by the Riochan words for "who once was".
An example of a Riochan name (with all plain-language phrases translated) is below.
Tavos Kiran Suldarin Kulamon Rosalor Vorent the Cautious from Kamril on Romolor, who is married to Daura Saurisor from Illandri on Denderor, whose sign is Karaunon, whose goal is security, who aspires to help, who scorns greed, who once was Yoros, and who once was Namader.
Naturally, most of this would not be given except in very formal situations, but it nevertheless constitutes a Riochan citizen's officially recognised name. In practice, the individual would be called Kiran Vorent in general usage, Kiran by his friends and his partner, and Tavos by his blood relatives. The name Suldarin, being the ritual name, would not be publicly known.
Ranhi names were once relatively complicated, but now are essentially identical in form to Lendian names (that is, there are two names, the first being a given name and the second being an inherited family name). The only significant divergence is the fact that females may choose to use either their father's family name or their mother's family name, while males must follow the same conventions as with ordinary Lendian names. Most Ranhi names have literal meaning in the Ranhi language, although in modern times, many people on Ranha have names that originated in Lendian.
Names in the Kha language are usually far more complicated than names in other cultures, although much of this is to do with the fact that their names are "extensible" - that is, they can be added to as much as people wish, with the length of the name limited only by the Kha language itself.
The "foundation" of the Kha name is made up of four parts - the family name, the person's place of birth, the given name, and a label indicating which (if any) Kha deity the person (nominally) serves. They are used in the order given here, with a prefix in front of the birthplace and Following names. This basic name is regarded as being the closest equivalent to a "full name" in other countries, although much more information can be added (see below). In common usage, however, just the family name and the given name are used. Friends will use just the given name, although explicit permission is always required for this. It is extremely rude in Kha culture to use just a person's first name without their permission, and unless the speaker is a foreigner (and thus does not know better), doing so will be treated as an insult. In traditional Kha society, it was considered a crime.
Many other things can theoretically be added to a Kha name, ranging from a person's hobbies to clothing size to favourite movies to pet ownership. A Kha name is essentially regarded as a verbal description of the person it belongs to, and so in theory, the full name includes every single detail about them. In practice, of course, only a few additional details are ever actually used. The most common of these include a person's age, marital status, and their job. Other fairly common possibilities are their political affiliations and the name of their partner. Any (or all) of these can easily be included or omitted depending on circumstances - people will introduce themselves with whatever aspects of their name they judge are relevant in the circumstances.
Lendosa has a number of other ethnic groups living within it, some of which have retained their own naming conventions. Among the various types of names are Chakrazipangi, Neoliliani, Estontetsan, Ulani, and Gronkian. While these will always be transliterated (if need be), Lendosan convention requires that they be kept in their original order.
A noticable feature of Lendosan society is the heavy use of titles and rank names. While the Lendian language has equivalents of terms such as "Mr.", "Mrs.", and "Ms.", they are seldom used - they are more commonly found as honorifics than everyday terms. Instead, most Lendosans will be referred to either with the generic "Citizen" (eg, Citizen Torres, Citizen Lamanda, or Citizen Stento) or with a more specific title (similar to the way in which military officers are referred to as "Colonel" or "Lieutenant", not "Mr." or "Ms.").
There are a great number of possible forms of address in Lendosa. Particularly significant are the "official" titles, which are those titles that the government will recognise when dealing with people. People may choose to use others if they wish. The officially recognised titles are categorized into orders of precedence, so that if a person has multiple titles, it can be determined which should be given precedence in official matters. For example, a retired army colonel who serves as a senator would be eligible to use either Colonel or Senator, but for official records, Senator takes precedence.
Examples of well-established titles include Citizen, Worker, Senator, Consul, Mayor, Professor, Teacher, Lecturer, Manager, Accountant, Engineer, Researcher, Doctor, Nurse, Lawyer, Judge, Tribune, Artisan, Pilot, and any military, police, security, or intelligence rank. Many others also exist.
The Lendosan Confederation now no longer has any noble or aristocratic titles in official use, but some are still retained by those who once held them. Also, some member states of the Confederation (especially Piolhosa) retain their own aristocracies, and hence their own titles. Most noble titles are presented here for reference only, and for finding proper translations of foreign titles.
There are two basic systems of aristocratic title in Lendosan history - the Royal and the Imperial. The Royal system is the older of the two, and is based on that employed by the various small kingdoms that once existed throughout Lendosa. The Imperial system, on the other hand, was instituted by Emperor Ravamiro Talriez, a general who seized power from the Lendian Republic (which had overthrown the traditional kingdoms). The Imperial system borrowed some aspects of the Royal one, but also implemented a number of changes and modifications. There are few traces of the Royal system surviving in modern Lendosa (the Empire being much more recent), but the Kingdom of Piolsa (one of the Lendosan Confederation's member states) has a monarchy based around it.
It must be remembered that while many Lendosan titles have direct equivalents in other languages, the usage can be considerably different.
Most of the old nobility had been stripped of their titles when the Lendian Republic was established (with the exception of a number of progressive nobles who had actually backed the revolutionaries or who had otherwise supported goals compatible with the Republic). Emperor Ravamiro, attempting to secure his position, created a "new aristocracy", mostly consisting of former non-nobles (typically people loyal to him from his years in the army). The structure of Ravamiro's aristocracy was somewhat different from the old Royal order, with Ravamiro ressurecting titles and ranks that had not been used for centuries.
Ranks of the Imperial nobility are described below.
- Emperadoro or Emperadora (generally translated as Emperor or Empress). The Emperor of Lendia was supposedly appointed by the Imperial Council, an elected body established (as the Republican Council) by the new Lendian Republic following the Revolution. In actuality, however, the Council's ability to excercise this power varied depending upon the situation - on two occasions (Ravamiro and Carigo), the Council had very little choice in the matter, while on the remaining three (Virantoro, Tandisto, and Xavier) the Council was able to exert more influence. The level of power wielded by the Emperor was also determined by his strength relative to the Council. In practice, the eldest son of the previous Emperor would assume the throne, but this was not written into law, and could theoretically be blocked by the Council.
- Premero or Premera (both generally translated as First). The Firsts were extremely powerful nobles, answering only to the Emperor. They outranked all nobles other than the Emperor, including the Emperor's heir. The position of First had existed under several historic monarchies, and was restored to current use by Ravamiro in order to consolidate his hold on power. Ravamiro believed (as the ancient kings had believed) that appointing a small group of capable, loyal, and powerful followers to key positions would ensure his dominance. As such, Firsts were established in the cities of Gloria Libertatis, Solaris, Riva, and Olasano. Ravamiro soon found, however, that he was unable to control the Firsts, and they soon became a major hinderance to his rule. In particular, Druso Lorentino, the First of Riva was particularly dangerous to Ravamiro, and in terms of power, was considered to be the Emperor's equal for a time. The rank of First was abolished when the Imperial Council regained dominance in its struggle against the Emperor, although the individual Firsts retained much of their power.
- Princio or Princia (generally translated as Prince or Princess). In Imperial times, the titles of Prince and Princess were given to all members of the Imperial family (excluding, of course, the Emperor and his wife). The definition of "imperial family" was officially established to be "the children and grandchildren of any emperor, and all those that they marry". Princes and Princesses were considered to be senior to any noble but the Emperor or a First, but were not regarded as having use of that power until they reached the age of twenty (and even then, not without the Emperor's stated approval). Unlike most other nobles, Princes and Princesses had no intrinsic duties (although they could be given duties by the Emperor, or by a First with the Emperor's permission).
- Marquio or Marquia (generally translated as Marquis or Marchioness). The position of Marquis had not existed in Lendosa for a long time, and was never an actual rank (instead being a title given in addition to the royal rank of Earl). As in other languages, the title comes from the mostly obsolete word March (in Lendian, Marca), meaning "borderland" or "frontier province". A Marquis was originally intended to be a noble assigned to control and guard those regions of a country which were further from the capital, and this was how the term was used in ancient Lendosa. Under the Empire, it was brought back as a term for a noble tasked with administering the various Provinces into which the Empire was divided. Officially, a Marquis was answerable to the nearest First (see above), but in practice, the disputes between the Firsts and the Emperor meant that Marquises often had to choose between the First and the Emperor himself. Whether a particular Marquis followed the Emperor or the local First was often not entirely clear, as most of the Marquises were unwilling to take the risk of openly giving unconditional support to either.
- Condeo or Condea (generally translated as Count or Countess). Originally, this title had not been used for nobility in historic Lendosa, existing only as a translation of the rank in other countries. Emperor Ravamiro, however, introduced the term as an actual position, giving the Counts control over the smaller political divisions of the Empire (either cities or districts). Each Count was answerable to the Marquis of the province in which this city or district was located.
- Senro or Senra (generally translated as Lord or Lady). Under the Royal system, a Lord had been given specific responsibility for something - often a small town or a military unit. In Imperial times, however, the title became more general, being given to various people as an honour. Many government offices had the title of Lord attached to them, with anyone appointed to them automatically receiving the honour.
- Don or Dona (generally not translated). This title also existed under the Royal system, and was given to people for a number of different reasons. Under the Empire, it became (like the title Lord) a general honorific given to those that the state deemed worthy. As with Lord, certain governmental positions automatically warranted the gift of this title.
The older Royal system of titles, however, used different terms. Because the Royal system lasted for a longer period of time, and was used in several different countries, it had more variation than the Imperial system.
Basic ranks of the Royal nobility are described below.
There were a number of other titles which were occasionally used, but which were not found in the majority of countries and so are sometimes difficult to classify. They are given below.
- Reino or Reina (generally translated as King or Queen). The king was the highest position in the aristocracy, and sovereign of the country. Lendosan kings were quite similar to kings elsewhere, but there were nevertheless a number of important difference. One significant feature of the Lendosan kings were that they were constitutionally bound from a very early period - in many countries, kings remained absolute monarchs for some time, but Lendosan kings were bound by rules and regulations. This was primarily due to the power weilded by the Firsts (see below). Lendosan kings never claimed that their rule was part of a divine order (the so-called "divine right of kings" that many other nations believed in). Succession laws in the most kingdoms originally mandated that the king's oldest son should inherit the throne, but in some places, this was later changed to an arrangement where the monarch was selected from among the old king's children, with the various Firsts (see below) being the voters.
- Princio or Princia (generally translated as Prince or Princess). In Kingdoms, the title of Prince could be given to the children and grandchildren of ruling monarchs. In other circumstances, a Prince could be the monarch of a sovereign Principality. In the former case, the exact details of who could receive the title were not fixed, with the decision being largely left to the ruler (later kingdoms, however, adopted more precise definitions). It was also unspecified as to whether princes had any specific responsibilities - this was another thing determined by individual kings. Princes were considered superior in rank to all nobles other than a king or a queen, but this was often a technicality (particularly until the prince came of age).
- Premero or Premera (both generally translated as First). A First was an important noble that existed in various larger Kingdoms before the Plague. In contrast to the Imperial system, the Royal hierarchy placed a First below a Prince or Princess, but this was rarely true in practice. Firsts were often extremely important, and in some kingdoms, were often the primary holders of practical power. Many kings, in fact, were unable to control them, and each First functioned with a high degree of autonomy - at times, the king was little more than a ceremonial figurehead for whichever Firsts happened to be in the strongest position. A First was essentially the ruler of a major city and the territory surrounding it. They were theoretically appointed by the king, but in actuality, each First selected his or her own successor. Upon occasion, a particularly powerful Duke (see below) might be granted the status of First, or the successor to a particularly weak First might be confirmed as a Duke rather than a First - there were usually no fixed constraints the number of Firsts.
- Duquo or Duqua (generally translated as Duke or Duchess). Originally, all the small monarchies were ruled by leaders known as Dukes. Some retained this title, but others, upon growing larger, "promoted" themselves to Kingdoms. In these states, the title of Duke was given to a noble who ruled a significant city and the surrounding terrirory. The specifics of whether a city was important enough to warrant a Duke varied over time. In large states, the rulers of the most important cities might be given the rank of First (see above), not Duke, although it was possible for nobles to move from one rank to the other as they (or their cities) gained or lost importance. The rank of Duke was hereditary, although could theoretically be revoked by the king. In monarchies without Firsts, Dukes were the highest ranking nobles outside the royal family itself, and played a considerable role in administration.
- Perovano or Perovana (no direct literal equivalent, although perovano is often translated as Earl. The term Earline or Earless, while probably an artificial coinage, is sometimes used to translate perovana). An Earl was a noble who was below a Duke in status, but who was not actually subordinate to a Duke (unlike many other nobles). Earls were placed in control of towns or regions that were not significant enough to constitute a Duchy but which were distinct enough not to be included in whichever Duchy was nearest. The number of Earls often as the boundaries of political divisions changed, and it was not impossible for nobles to be moved from one category to another as the situation shifted. The rank of Earl was usually hereditary.
- Barono or Barona (generally translated as Baron or Baroness). Barons were usually subordinate to either a Duke or an Earl, and were responsible for the administration of part of the Duchy or Earldom that they served. Typically, there was one Baron responsible for administering the region's capital city, and a variable number of Barons administering other towns or districts in the region. The rank of Baron was hereditary, but could be withdrawn by the region's ruler with the permission of the King or a First. There were a very small number of baronies which, for one reason or another, were not under the control of a Duchy or an Earldom, and answered directly to the Emperor - most such baronies were located on small islands, being too small to be a separate Earldom but too far away to be joined to an existing one. Such barons generally enjoyed a high degree of autonomy.
- Senro or Senra (generally translated as Lord or Lady). In the time of the kingdoms, a Lord was a minor noble given a specific responsibility. There were a number of possible roles a Lord could have - often, they were placed in control of a small town (subordinate to a Baron), were given control of a small military unit, or were assigned to assist and advise a more senior noble. The title of Lord was not intended to be hereditary, but eventually became so.
Don or Dona (generally not translated). Under the Royal system, the title Don could be acquired in a number of ways. As well as being given to the non-inheriting children of minor nobles such as Barons and Lords, it was awarded to non-nobles who performed significant service to the crown. In particular, successful generals, competent advisors, and notable artists would be named Dons. The title was inheritable by any direct decendant of the original awardee who was born before the awardee died.
- Arduquo or Arduqua (generally translated as Archduke or Archduchess). This was the title taken by the rulers of the two Alvaronian (western Piolsan) monarchies of the post-Plague era, Regasia and Ocassa. In foreign relations, the title was considered to be inferior to kings and princes but superior to all others.
- Granduquo or Granduqua (generally translated as Grand Duke or Grand Duchess). This title was used by various smaller monarchies which considered themselves too important to be mere duchies but not important enough be be principalities or kingdoms. The title was used in Melhoria, Recuna, Xoxina, and Caeria. It was also sometimes accorded by the rulers of these four countries to the rulers of Regasia and Ocassa, who claimed the slightly higher title of Archduke.
- Altosenro or Altasenra (generally translated as Highlord or Highlady). This title was used in some countries as an alternative to ranks such as Baron, Earl, or even Duke. It was given to those rulers who were not considered "true" nobility, having received their position by appointment rather than inheritance. It was generally used to placate "true" nobles who resented their titles being extended to "commoners". In other countries, however, this convention was not used - either commoners were appointed to normal aristocratic rank without problem, or commoners were simply not appointed to rank at all.