Renaming Europe

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Patricia C. Wrede

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Feb 3, 2006, 10:09:37 PM2/3/06
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I'm currently in the middle of developing some alternate-history background,
for a book set in a very alternate mid-1800s U.S.-equivalent-with-magic, and
I find myself wanting very much to have plausible alternative names for
"Europe," "England/Britain," "France," "Holland/The Netherlands," "Spain,"
and possibly a few other major European countries, preferrably ones that
haven't been over-used already (like "Albion" for England), but at least
some of which are more-or-less recognizeable (like "Albion" and "Gaul" and
"Hispania"). I don't have enough linguistic or historical background to get
away from the really obvious myself, so...suggestions? Brian, Zeborah,
anybody?

Patricia C. Wrede


Joer...@yahoo.de

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Feb 3, 2006, 10:27:58 PM2/3/06
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Patricia C. Wrede wrote:
> I'm currently in the middle of developing some alternate-history background,
> for a book set in a very alternate mid-1800s U.S.-equivalent-with-magic,

Different for having magic - or is there also an important historical
difference, like alternative origins of the first European settlers?


and
> I find myself wanting very much to have plausible alternative names for
> "Europe," "England/Britain," "France," "Holland/The Netherlands," "Spain,"
> and possibly a few other major European countries, preferrably ones that
> haven't been over-used already (like "Albion" for England), but at least
> some of which are more-or-less recognizeable (like "Albion" and "Gaul" and
> "Hispania"). I don't have enough linguistic or historical background to get
> away from the really obvious myself, so...suggestions? Brian, Zeborah,
> anybody?
>
> Patricia C. Wrede

(Pseudo-) Classical? Britannia or Anglia, Gallia, Batavia, Iberia,
Germania or Alemannia?
Or you might take the names of (sometime) important provinces and
expand them over the whole area, just like "Holland" came to mean all
of the Seven Priovinces in common usage. Of course *you* should have at
least a vague concept why "Wessex", "Neustria" "Friesland" and
"Castile" became so important.

As a reader, I would vastly prefer names I can recognize as historical
or plausible developed from historical ones. Implausible renaming tends
to annoy me a lot.


BTW - given that for central European countires, the English languaghe
tends to use the Latin name (Bohemia, Moravia, Lithuania, Latvia etc.)
I wondered what the German name of the country called "Ruritania" in
English might have been - the one with the capital of Strelsau.

Jörg

David Friedman

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Feb 3, 2006, 10:33:52 PM2/3/06
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In article <11u86na...@corp.supernews.com>,

You might think about Arabic names for European countries. "al-Andalus"
is the obvious one. Western Europeans in general get referred to as
Franks--"Ferangi" is I think the usual transliteration. I don't know
about other terms, but they surely exist.

Or Latin and Greek terms for the relevant geographical locations.

--
www.daviddfriedman.com
daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/

Rich Weyand

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Feb 3, 2006, 11:02:38 PM2/3/06
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In article <11u86na...@corp.supernews.com>, "Patricia C. Wrede" <pwred...@aol.com> wrote:

For Spain, how about Iberia or a variation thereof?
For France, Aragon, Provence or one of the other old province names.

One suggestion is to look up the names of the countries in other languages,
like Allemagne for Germany, Pays Bas or Niederland for Holland, Angleterre for
England, etc.

To get these translations (and anything else for that matter) use:
http://www.worldlingo.com/en/products_services/worldlingo_translator.html

I just typed in the country name in English, then selected from English, and
to: whichever language I wanted.

I think Europe is going to be the hardest. It is in all languages Europa (the
English version is the German spelling). She was the mother of Minos, King of
Crete, by Zeus, who, in the form of a bull, carried her off. There is no
cognate in Latin/Roman mythology, so you can't just put in the Roman
variation. And it has been called Europa for a long long time.

Rich Weyand
Working title "Message Received" complete
WIP: untitled sequel

Patricia C. Wrede

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Feb 3, 2006, 11:36:51 PM2/3/06
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<Joer...@yahoo.de> wrote in message
news:1139023678.8...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

>Patricia C. Wrede wrote:
>> I'm currently in the middle of developing some alternate-history
>> background,
>> for a book set in a very alternate mid-1800s U.S.-equivalent-with-magic,

>Different for having magic - or is there also an important historical
>difference, like alternative origins of the first European settlers?

The current plan is to have the primary difference before 1492 be that the
various pre-historic attempts to colonize the Americas were unsuccessful;
thus, no Mayans, Incas, Aztecs, Mississippi Valley civilization, or Native
Americans of any sort. Up to that point, I expect differences in Europe,
Africa, and Asia will be due mainly to this world having magic, and I expect
to wiggle things so that things are moderately close to Real Life history.
The absence of an indiginous population in the Americas is obviously going
to have a significant impact on the way things develop during the
exploration and colonization period, and I'm still feeling my way through
how I'm going to finagle that to get to where I want.

Which is, basically: A North America in which the threat of Indians was
replaced by the threat of un-extinct megafauna, both magical and non-magical
in nature (mammoths, wooly rhinocerouses, terror birds, dire wolves, dragons
[what else would prey on mammoths and wooly rhinos?]). The U.S. was settled
and had a successful revolution and a civil war, but the westward expansion
has been slower and stalled for a while at the Mississippi for various
reasons. Nobody has yet mapped all the way to the Pacific (I'm thinking of
making California an island, the way it was depicted on early maps, but I
haven't decided yet); the Lewis and White expedition never came back (no
Sacajawea, plus did I mention that the Rockies are a favorite nesting ground
for dragons?) East of the Mississippi, the megafauna have mostly been
cleared out, especially in settled areas, though the backwoods parts of the
country are still pretty dangerous. (Suggestions for place names that can
substitute for Indian-language-origin names like Ohio, Chicago, Mississippi,
Michigan, etc. are also welcome...)

I know the "feel" I'm after; now I need to work out some plausible backstory
to get me there.

>(Pseudo-) Classical? Britannia or Anglia, Gallia, Batavia, Iberia,
>Germania or Alemannia?

Britannia is a bit too close to Britain, I think, but it might do if I can't
come up with something better. I'd forgotten about Iberia--that will work
nicely.

>Or you might take the names of (sometime) important provinces and
>expand them over the whole area, just like "Holland" came to mean all
>of the Seven Priovinces in common usage. Of course *you* should have at
>least a vague concept why "Wessex", "Neustria" "Friesland" and
>"Castile" became so important.

That gives me some useful ideas, too; thank you.

>As a reader, I would vastly prefer names I can recognize as historical
>or plausible developed from historical ones. Implausible renaming tends
>to annoy me a lot.

Well, that's why I'm asking. :)

Patricia C. Wrede


Patricia C. Wrede

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Feb 3, 2006, 11:42:34 PM2/3/06
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"David Friedman" <dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> wrote in message
news:ddfr-DA7AA3.1...@news.isp.giganews.com...

> In article <11u86na...@corp.supernews.com>,
> "Patricia C. Wrede" <pwred...@aol.com> wrote:
>
>> I'm currently in the middle of developing some alternate-history
>> background,
>> for a book set in a very alternate mid-1800s U.S.-equivalent-with-magic,
>> and
>> I find myself wanting very much to have plausible alternative names for
>> "Europe," "England/Britain," "France," "Holland/The Netherlands,"
>> "Spain,"
>> and possibly a few other major European countries, preferrably ones that
>> haven't been over-used already (like "Albion" for England), but at least
>> some of which are more-or-less recognizeable (like "Albion" and "Gaul"
>> and
>> "Hispania"). I don't have enough linguistic or historical background to
>> get
>> away from the really obvious myself, so...suggestions? Brian, Zeborah,
>> anybody?
>
> You might think about Arabic names for European countries. "al-Andalus"
> is the obvious one. Western Europeans in general get referred to as
> Franks--"Ferangi" is I think the usual transliteration. I don't know
> about other terms, but they surely exist.

Ferangi is too close to the Star Trek guys, I think. I like the idea of
using Arabic names, but coming up with a justification for why the
place-names in this time-line are of Arabic origin seems to me to be
difficult without making more changes to pre-1492 history than I'd like.
Post-1492...things could get very interesting indeed.

> Or Latin and Greek terms for the relevant geographical locations.

I'll add that to my list of possible sources.

Patricia C. Wrede

SAMK

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Feb 3, 2006, 11:47:17 PM2/3/06
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David Friedman wrote:
> You might think about Arabic names for European countries. "al-Andalus"
> is the obvious one. Western Europeans in general get referred to as
> Franks--"Ferangi" is I think the usual transliteration. I don't know
> about other terms, but they surely exist.
>
> Or Latin and Greek terms for the relevant geographical locations.
>
But don't, I beg you, use Ferangi.

SAMK

James Nicoll

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Feb 3, 2006, 11:56:22 PM2/3/06
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In article <11u8c5k...@corp.supernews.com>,

Did the Mongols have a collective term for Europe, aside
from "westernmost speedbump"?
--
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/
http://www.livejournal.com/users/james_nicoll

James Nicoll

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Feb 4, 2006, 12:01:33 AM2/4/06
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In article <PfmdnR7CO5L...@wideopenwest.com>,
Rich Weyand <wey...@rcn.com> wrote:

>I think Europe is going to be the hardest. It is in all languages Europa (the
>English version is the German spelling). She was the mother of Minos, King of
>Crete, by Zeus, who, in the form of a bull, carried her off. There is no
>cognate in Latin/Roman mythology, so you can't just put in the Roman
>variation. And it has been called Europa for a long long time.
>

What do Europe's neighbors call it? The Turks and such?

Bill Swears

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Feb 4, 2006, 12:14:35 AM2/4/06
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James Nicoll wrote:
> In article <PfmdnR7CO5L...@wideopenwest.com>,
> Rich Weyand <wey...@rcn.com> wrote:
>
>
>>I think Europe is going to be the hardest. It is in all languages Europa (the
>>English version is the German spelling). She was the mother of Minos, King of
>>Crete, by Zeus, who, in the form of a bull, carried her off. There is no
>>cognate in Latin/Roman mythology, so you can't just put in the Roman
>>variation. And it has been called Europa for a long long time.
>>
>
> What do Europe's neighbors call it? The Turks and such?

According to http://www.hazar.com/ , which claims to be a free online
english/turkish dictionary, Avrupa.

Bill


--
Bill Swears

Ever Inappropriate, always contrite, and now... Ironic! How cool is that?

David Friedman

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Feb 4, 2006, 12:17:26 AM2/4/06
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In article <11u8c5j...@corp.supernews.com>,

"Patricia C. Wrede" <pwred...@aol.com> wrote:

> Which is, basically: A North America in which the threat of Indians was
> replaced by the threat of un-extinct megafauna, both magical and non-magical
> in nature (mammoths, wooly rhinocerouses, terror birds, dire wolves, dragons
> [what else would prey on mammoths and wooly rhinos?]).

Have you read _1491_? I gather it's about current views of human
activity in the New World before Columbus.

I've seen it argued that the settling of the East Coast was made much
easier because the Indians had cleared the land--and then mostly died
from Old World diseases brought by early explorers.

--
www.daviddfriedman.com
daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/

Alma Hromic Deckert

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Feb 4, 2006, 12:18:38 AM2/4/06
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On Fri, 03 Feb 2006 20:14:35 -0900, Bill Swears <wsw...@gci.net>
wrote:

>James Nicoll wrote:
>> In article <PfmdnR7CO5L...@wideopenwest.com>,
>> Rich Weyand <wey...@rcn.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>I think Europe is going to be the hardest. It is in all languages Europa (the
>>>English version is the German spelling). She was the mother of Minos, King of
>>>Crete, by Zeus, who, in the form of a bull, carried her off. There is no
>>>cognate in Latin/Roman mythology, so you can't just put in the Roman
>>>variation. And it has been called Europa for a long long time.
>>>
>>
>> What do Europe's neighbors call it? The Turks and such?
>
>According to http://www.hazar.com/ , which claims to be a free online
>english/turkish dictionary, Avrupa.
>

I rather like THAT. It gives a sense of foreignness without being
alien.

Dorothy J Heydt

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Feb 4, 2006, 12:46:11 AM2/4/06
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In article <11u8c5j...@corp.supernews.com>,
Patricia C. Wrede <pwred...@aol.com> wrote:

>(Suggestions for place names that can
>substitute for Indian-language-origin names like Ohio, Chicago, Mississippi,
>Michigan, etc. are also welcome...)

For Chicago, keep in mind that the word means "skunk-cabbage."
French spelling of a Central Algonkian word something like
shka:k-wa, cognate with Eastern Algonkian ska:nk-wa, "skunk."
(-wa is a nominalizing suffix, you find it all through the
language.) In what language you're going to find a word for
"stinky plants" (I don't even know what skunk-cabbage looks
like), I leave up to you.

Dorothy J. Heydt
Albany, California
djh...@kithrup.com

Bill Swears

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Feb 4, 2006, 1:41:24 AM2/4/06
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How about New Geneva, since it's a city on a huge lake? It seems like
there should be more new Avropa names, if there weren't pseudo native
American names to use.

Rich Weyand

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Feb 4, 2006, 3:02:53 AM2/4/06
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In article <11u8c5j...@corp.supernews.com>, "Patricia C. Wrede" <pwred...@aol.com> wrote:
>(Suggestions for place names that can
>substitute for Indian-language-origin names like Ohio, Chicago, Mississippi,
>Michigan, etc. are also welcome...)

Look at the non-Indian place names: Detroit, Ft. Wayne, Superior, Marseilles,
Des Plaines, Joliet, Peru, LaSalle, South Bend, Lafayette, Little Rock, Big
Rock, Hinkley, Bloomington, Normal, Springfield, Sandwich, Ames, Davenport,
Rock Island, West Bend, Des Moines....

What you get is a lot of French cities, words and phrases, lots of English
cities, words and phrases, and some German, Swedish, Polish... ones as well.

Rich Weyand

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Feb 4, 2006, 3:08:45 AM2/4/06
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In article <Iu5E...@kithrup.com>, djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt)
wrote:

>For Chicago, keep in mind that the word means "skunk-cabbage."
>French spelling of a Central Algonkian word something like
>shka:k-wa, cognate with Eastern Algonkian ska:nk-wa, "skunk."
>(-wa is a nominalizing suffix, you find it all through the
>language.) In what language you're going to find a word for
>"stinky plants" (I don't even know what skunk-cabbage looks
>like), I leave up to you.

Ooo, I like this game. In French, skunk cabbage is chou de mouffette, while
smelly cabbage is chou malodorant.

Probably be spelled Choumalodorant and pronounced choo MAL duh rant.

(Note that Des Plaines is dez PLAINZ, Bourbonnais is bur buh NAZE, and
Marseilles is mar SALES)

Irina Rempt

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Feb 4, 2006, 8:40:45 AM2/4/06
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Joer...@yahoo.de wrote:

> BTW - given that for central European countires, the English languaghe
> tends to use the Latin name (Bohemia, Moravia, Lithuania, Latvia etc.)
> I wondered what the German name of the country called "Ruritania" in
> English might have been - the one with the capital of Strelsau.

Something like "Rauthern"?

Irina
--
Vesta veran, terna puran, farenin. http://www.valdyas.org/irina/
Beghinnen can ick, volherden will' ick, volbringhen sal ick.
http://www.valdyas.org/foundobjects/index.cgi Latest: 06-Jan-2005

Patricia C. Wrede

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Feb 4, 2006, 9:14:23 AM2/4/06
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"Rich Weyand" <wey...@rcn.com> wrote in message
news:iZidnYX3SMc2wnne...@wideopenwest.com...

> In article <11u8c5j...@corp.supernews.com>, "Patricia C. Wrede"
> <pwred...@aol.com> wrote:
>>(Suggestions for place names that can
>>substitute for Indian-language-origin names like Ohio, Chicago,
>>Mississippi,
>>Michigan, etc. are also welcome...)
>
> Look at the non-Indian place names: Detroit, Ft. Wayne, Superior,
> Marseilles,
> Des Plaines, Joliet, Peru, LaSalle, South Bend, Lafayette, Little Rock,
> Big
> Rock, Hinkley, Bloomington, Normal, Springfield, Sandwich, Ames,
> Davenport,
> Rock Island, West Bend, Des Moines....
>
> What you get is a lot of French cities, words and phrases, lots of English
> cities, words and phrases, and some German, Swedish, Polish... ones as
> well.

I'm expecting to use a bunch more French names. I've also been looking at
the kinds of what-happened-here names that quite a few towns in the West got
called. My current favorite is the town of Lost Chicken, but Dead Mule is a
close second. And that appears to be a universal system, not limited to
English -- the aforementioned "Skunk Cabbage," for instance, and the Grand
Tetons, and Aux Claire, Mille Lacs, and assorted other place-names.

The trick, I'm finding, is coming up with names that are sufficiently
different, but that don't cause a sort of cognitive dissonance when combined
in the same story with names that *would*, very likely, be the same, like
Washington and Virginia and Carolina. Of course, I can change those, too,
but then I really start to lose the feel I want. It's a delicate balancing
act.

Patricia C. Wrede


Patricia C. Wrede

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Feb 4, 2006, 9:18:55 AM2/4/06
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"Rich Weyand" <wey...@rcn.com> wrote in message
news:AtCdnVTSuvO...@wideopenwest.com...

> In article <Iu5E...@kithrup.com>, djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt)
> wrote:
>>For Chicago, keep in mind that the word means "skunk-cabbage."
>>French spelling of a Central Algonkian word something like
>>shka:k-wa, cognate with Eastern Algonkian ska:nk-wa, "skunk."
>>(-wa is a nominalizing suffix, you find it all through the
>>language.) In what language you're going to find a word for
>>"stinky plants" (I don't even know what skunk-cabbage looks
>>like), I leave up to you.
>
> Ooo, I like this game. In French, skunk cabbage is chou de mouffette,
> while
> smelly cabbage is chou malodorant.

What's French for "Big Muddy River"? That's the obvious thing to call the
Mississippi, which is going to be a fairly important feature in this book, I
think, but I can't quite bring myself to be so obvious as to call it that in
English.

Having grown up in the Chicago suburbs, I'm rather fond of the idea of
continuing to call the city after skunk-cabbage.

Patricia C. Wrede


Patricia C. Wrede

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Feb 4, 2006, 9:16:27 AM2/4/06
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"Bill Swears" <wsw...@gci.net> wrote in message
news:11u8e1l...@corp.supernews.com...

> James Nicoll wrote:
>> In article <PfmdnR7CO5L...@wideopenwest.com>,
>> Rich Weyand <wey...@rcn.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>I think Europe is going to be the hardest. It is in all languages Europa
>>>(the English version is the German spelling). She was the mother of
>>>Minos, King of Crete, by Zeus, who, in the form of a bull, carried her
>>>off. There is no cognate in Latin/Roman mythology, so you can't just put
>>>in the Roman variation. And it has been called Europa for a long long
>>>time.
>>>
>>
>> What do Europe's neighbors call it? The Turks and such?
>
> According to http://www.hazar.com/ , which claims to be a free online
> english/turkish dictionary, Avrupa.

That has distinct possibilites -- it's close enough to be recognizeable,
with some effort, but different enough to have the sort of alternate-history
feel I'm looking for.

Patricia C. Wrede


Erol K. Bayburt

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Feb 4, 2006, 10:21:49 AM2/4/06
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On Sat, 04 Feb 2006 04:02:38 GMT, wey...@rcn.com (Rich Weyand) wrote:


>
>I think Europe is going to be the hardest. It is in all languages Europa (the
>English version is the German spelling). She was the mother of Minos, King of
>Crete, by Zeus, who, in the form of a bull, carried her off. There is no
>cognate in Latin/Roman mythology, so you can't just put in the Roman
>variation. And it has been called Europa for a long long time.

Maybe leave "Europe" as the one unchanged name.

I was going to suggest cribbing from Aaron Allston's "Doc Sidhe"
novels for alternative European nation names (while noting that this
wasn't necessarily a *good* suggestion), and IIRC he left the name
"Europe" unchanged.

[checking] Yes, at one point one of the characters from the alternate
world makes the distinction: "Our Europe, not the grimworld Europe."


--
Erol K. Bayburt
Ero...@aol.com

Dorothy J Heydt

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Feb 4, 2006, 10:51:51 AM2/4/06
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In article <d6h9u1d56p4ekrq4d...@4ax.com>,

Erol K. Bayburt <Ero...@comcast.net> wrote:
>
>I was going to suggest cribbing from Aaron Allston's "Doc Sidhe"
>novels for alternative European nation names (while noting that this
>wasn't necessarily a *good* suggestion), and IIRC he left the name
>"Europe" unchanged.
>
>[checking] Yes, at one point one of the characters from the alternate
>world makes the distinction: "Our Europe, not the grimworld Europe."

Hm. But they way you tell it, "Europe" is still the name the
thisworlders give it. What do the grimworlders call it?

Keep in mind that throughout the Middle Ages and at least into
the beginning of the Renaissance, there was a word for "Europe."
It was "Christendom." Whether that would fit into Patricia's
world setup, only she can tell us.

Peter Knutsen (usenet)

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Feb 4, 2006, 11:14:29 AM2/4/06
to

Recognizability will go down, but you could name the realms after some
of the tribes that used to live there.

I tend to translate place names into modern equivalents in my alternate
history setting (e.g. York instead of Jorvik), though, same way I tend
to translate amounts of money into pounds of silver instead of bothering
the reader with the various arcane non-decimal currency systems.

--
Peter Knutsen
sagatafl.org

Kai Henningsen

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Feb 4, 2006, 10:09:00 AM2/4/06
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wey...@rcn.com (Rich Weyand) wrote on 04.02.06 in <PfmdnR7CO5L...@wideopenwest.com>:

> I think Europe is going to be the hardest. It is in all languages Europa
> (the English version is the German spelling). She was the mother of Minos,

I can't parse the parenthetical.

> King of Crete, by Zeus, who, in the form of a bull, carried her off. There
> is no cognate in Latin/Roman mythology, so you can't just put in the Roman
> variation. And it has been called Europa for a long long time.

What I never figured out is *why* it was called Europa. That certainly
wasn't the case during the time when the classical Greek and Roman
cultures were dominant - certainly not before Byzantium.

Kai
--
http://www.westfalen.de/private/khms/
"... by God I *KNOW* what this network is for, and you can't have it."
- Russ Allbery (r...@stanford.edu)

Peter Knutsen (usenet)

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Feb 4, 2006, 11:15:49 AM2/4/06
to
Patricia C. Wrede wrote:
> Britannia is a bit too close to Britain, I think, but it might do if I can't
> come up with something better. I'd forgotten about Iberia--that will work
> nicely.

Prydain?

--
Peter Knutsen
sagatafl.org

John F. Eldredge

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Feb 4, 2006, 11:37:33 AM2/4/06
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On Sat, 4 Feb 2006 05:46:11 GMT, djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt)
wrote:

>In article <11u8c5j...@corp.supernews.com>,

http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/ce/eek/veg/plants/skunkcabbage.htm

--
John F. Eldredge -- jo...@jfeldredge.com
PGP key available from http://pgp.mit.edu
"Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better
than not to think at all." -- Hypatia of Alexandria

Rich Weyand

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Feb 4, 2006, 12:52:58 PM2/4/06
to
In article <11u9dug...@corp.supernews.com>, "Patricia C. Wrede"
<pwred...@aol.com> wrote:
>I'm expecting to use a bunch more French names. I've also been looking at
>the kinds of what-happened-here names that quite a few towns in the West got
>called. My current favorite is the town of Lost Chicken, but Dead Mule is a
>close second. And that appears to be a universal system, not limited to
>English -- the aforementioned "Skunk Cabbage," for instance, and the Grand
>Tetons, and Aux Claire, Mille Lacs, and assorted other place-names.

And don't forget the ones related to animals. Things like Whitehorse or
Deerfield or Elkhorn. And since you still have the megafauna around, you can
have some fun with it as well. Dragonhorn, Mammothfield, etc.

BTW, I really like the megafauna. Adds a whole new dimension to a visit to
Mammoth Cave.

David Friedman

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Feb 4, 2006, 12:58:59 PM2/4/06
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In article <43e4d335$0$67260$157c...@dreader2.cybercity.dk>,

"Peter Knutsen (usenet)" <pe...@sagatafl.invalid> wrote:

> Patricia C. Wrede wrote:
> > Britannia is a bit too close to Britain, I think, but it might do if I
> > can't
> > come up with something better. I'd forgotten about Iberia--that will work
> > nicely.
>
> Prydain?

Is Albion too close too?

--
www.daviddfriedman.com
daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/

Rich Weyand

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Feb 4, 2006, 12:59:17 PM2/4/06
to
In article <11u9duh...@corp.supernews.com>, "Patricia C. Wrede"
<pwred...@aol.com> wrote:
>What's French for "Big Muddy River"? That's the obvious thing to call the
>Mississippi, which is going to be a fairly important feature in this book, I
>think, but I can't quite bring myself to be so obvious as to call it that in
>English.

grand fleuve boueux

Probably be anglicized into adj-adj-noun order grand boueux fleuve, and then
mangled:

Granbowflud.

Of course, Big Muddy is grand boueux, and there's no reason to include 'river'
twice (grand boueux fleuve river is big muddy river river). In which case it
would probably be something like:

Granbow River.

David Friedman

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Feb 4, 2006, 1:00:07 PM2/4/06
to
In article <43e4d2e5$0$67260$157c...@dreader2.cybercity.dk>,

"Peter Knutsen (usenet)" <pe...@sagatafl.invalid> wrote:

As you may know, the original pound, in the Carolingian monetary system,
was a unit of account for a pound of silver pennies.

--
www.daviddfriedman.com
daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/

David Friedman

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Feb 4, 2006, 1:01:53 PM2/4/06
to
In article <Iu66q...@kithrup.com>,

djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt) wrote:

> Keep in mind that throughout the Middle Ages and at least into
> the beginning of the Renaissance, there was a word for "Europe."
> It was "Christendom." Whether that would fit into Patricia's
> world setup, only she can tell us.

I don't think Christendom would have included Muslim Spain. Would it
have included Outremer? What about Abyssinia?

--
www.daviddfriedman.com
daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/

Cally Soukup

unread,
Feb 4, 2006, 12:35:11 PM2/4/06
to
Patricia C. Wrede <pwred...@aol.com> wrote in article <11u8c5j...@corp.supernews.com>:

> The current plan is to have the primary difference before 1492 be that the
> various pre-historic attempts to colonize the Americas were unsuccessful;
> thus, no Mayans, Incas, Aztecs, Mississippi Valley civilization, or Native
> Americans of any sort. Up to that point, I expect differences in Europe,

No maize. It was genetically engineered (by artificial selection) for
thousands of years to become the corn we know now. Originally, it was
teocinte, which has a much, much smaller head. I found a site with a
picture of teosinte next to a (very small) ear of modern corn:

http://www.learner.org/channel/courses/essential/life/session5/closer1.html

--
"I disapprove of what you have to say, but I will defend to the death
your right to say it." -- Beatrice Hall

Cally Soukup sou...@two14.net

Rich Weyand

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Feb 4, 2006, 1:03:47 PM2/4/06
to
In article <9nF2x...@khms.westfalen.de>, kaih=9nF2x...@khms.westfalen.de (Kai Henningsen) wrote:
>wey...@rcn.com (Rich Weyand) wrote on 04.02.06 in
> <PfmdnR7CO5L...@wideopenwest.com>:
>
>> I think Europe is going to be the hardest. It is in all languages Europa
>> (the English version is the German spelling). She was the mother of Minos,
>
>I can't parse the parenthetical.

Sorry -- extreme shorthand. Too extreme.

The name is in all languages pronounced Europa. The English version, Europe,
is the only one without three syllables, because it is the German spelling --
Europe -- which is pronounced as three syllables in German, but in English the
last e is silent. Every other language you look it up in, it's pronounced
Europa, even something as far afield as Turkish, which someone has supplied as
Avrupa, is still very close.

Alma Hromic Deckert

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Feb 4, 2006, 1:30:42 PM2/4/06
to
On Sat, 4 Feb 2006 17:35:11 +0000 (UTC), Cally Soukup
<sou...@pobox.com> wrote:

>Patricia C. Wrede <pwred...@aol.com> wrote in article <11u8c5j...@corp.supernews.com>:
>
>> The current plan is to have the primary difference before 1492 be that the
>> various pre-historic attempts to colonize the Americas were unsuccessful;
>> thus, no Mayans, Incas, Aztecs, Mississippi Valley civilization, or Native
>> Americans of any sort. Up to that point, I expect differences in Europe,
>
>No maize. It was genetically engineered (by artificial selection) for
>thousands of years to become the corn we know now. Originally, it was
>teocinte, which has a much, much smaller head. I found a site with a
>picture of teosinte next to a (very small) ear of modern corn:
>
>http://www.learner.org/channel/courses/essential/life/session5/closer1.html

Ooo, that's neat.


A.

Brian M. Scott

unread,
Feb 4, 2006, 1:31:12 PM2/4/06
to
On Sat, 04 Feb 2006 18:03:47 GMT, Rich Weyand
<wey...@rcn.com> wrote in
<news:Ob-dnfCedeMdcXne...@wideopenwest.com> in
rec.arts.sf.composition:

> In article <9nF2x...@khms.westfalen.de>,
> kaih=9nF2x...@khms.westfalen.de (Kai Henningsen)
> wrote:

>>wey...@rcn.com (Rich Weyand) wrote on 04.02.06 in
>> <PfmdnR7CO5L...@wideopenwest.com>:

>>> I think Europe is going to be the hardest. It is in all languages Europa
>>> (the English version is the German spelling). She was the mother of Minos,

>>I can't parse the parenthetical.

> Sorry -- extreme shorthand. Too extreme.

> The name is in all languages pronounced Europa. The
> English version, Europe, is the only one without three
> syllables, because it is the German spelling -- Europe
> -- which is pronounced as three syllables in German, but
> in English the last e is silent.

Except that the German spelling is <Europa>, not <Europe> --
which presumably is why Kai was confused.

[...]

Brian

Suzanne A Blom

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Feb 4, 2006, 1:33:57 PM2/4/06
to

Patricia C. Wrede <pwred...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:11u9duh...@corp.supernews.com...

>
> "Rich Weyand" <wey...@rcn.com> wrote in message
> news:AtCdnVTSuvO...@wideopenwest.com...
> > In article <Iu5E...@kithrup.com>, djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J
Heydt)
> > wrote:
> >>For Chicago, keep in mind that the word means "skunk-cabbage."
> >>French spelling of a Central Algonkian word something like
> >>shka:k-wa, cognate with Eastern Algonkian ska:nk-wa, "skunk."
> >>(-wa is a nominalizing suffix, you find it all through the
> >>language.) In what language you're going to find a word for
> >>"stinky plants" (I don't even know what skunk-cabbage looks
> >>like), I leave up to you.
> >
> > Ooo, I like this game. In French, skunk cabbage is chou de mouffette,
> > while
> > smelly cabbage is chou malodorant.
>
> What's French for "Big Muddy River"? That's the obvious thing to call the
> Mississippi, which is going to be a fairly important feature in this book,
I
> think, but I can't quite bring myself to be so obvious as to call it that
in
> English.
>
I thought the Missouri was Muddy Water & the Mississippi Big Water.


Glenda P

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Feb 4, 2006, 1:34:37 PM2/4/06
to
David Friedman wrote:

> In article <11u8c5j...@corp.supernews.com>,
> "Patricia C. Wrede" <pwred...@aol.com> wrote:
>
>> Which is, basically: A North America in which the threat of Indians was
>> replaced by the threat of un-extinct megafauna, both magical and non-magical
>> in nature (mammoths, wooly rhinocerouses, terror birds, dire wolves, dragons
>> [what else would prey on mammoths and wooly rhinos?]).
>
> Have you read _1491_? I gather it's about current views of human
> activity in the New World before Columbus.
>
Have you read _The Eternal Frontier_? The subtitle is An Ecological
History of North America and Its Peoples. It covers quite a lot on
conditions prior to the arrival of humans, and how humans affected the
ecology.

--
Glenda P

Brian M. Scott

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Feb 4, 2006, 1:34:44 PM2/4/06
to
On Sat, 04 Feb 2006 04:02:38 GMT, Rich Weyand
<wey...@rcn.com> wrote in
<news:PfmdnR7CO5L...@wideopenwest.com> in
rec.arts.sf.composition:

[...]

> I think Europe is going to be the hardest. It is in all
> languages Europa (the English version is the German
> spelling).

No, <Europa> is the German spelling; English borrowed the
word from French, which also has <Europe>.

[...]

Brian

Suzanne A Blom

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Feb 4, 2006, 1:41:30 PM2/4/06
to

Patricia C. Wrede <pwred...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:11u8c5k...@corp.supernews.com...
> "David Friedman" <dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> wrote in message
> news:ddfr-DA7AA3.1...@news.isp.giganews.com...
> > In article <11u86na...@corp.supernews.com>,

> > "Patricia C. Wrede" <pwred...@aol.com> wrote:
> >
> >> I'm currently in the middle of developing some alternate-history
> >> background,
> >> for a book set in a very alternate mid-1800s
U.S.-equivalent-with-magic,
> >> and
> >> I find myself wanting very much to have plausible alternative names for
> >> "Europe," "England/Britain," "France," "Holland/The Netherlands,"
> >> "Spain,"
> >> and possibly a few other major European countries, preferrably ones
that
> >> haven't been over-used already (like "Albion" for England), but at
least
> >> some of which are more-or-less recognizeable (like "Albion" and "Gaul"
> >> and
> >> "Hispania"). I don't have enough linguistic or historical background to
> >> get
> >> away from the really obvious myself, so...suggestions? Brian, Zeborah,
> >> anybody?
> >
> > You might think about Arabic names for European countries. "al-Andalus"
> > is the obvious one. Western Europeans in general get referred to as
> > Franks--"Ferangi" is I think the usual transliteration. I don't know
> > about other terms, but they surely exist.
>
> Ferangi is too close to the Star Trek guys, I think. I like the idea of
> using Arabic names, but coming up with a justification for why the
> place-names in this time-line are of Arabic origin seems to me to be
> difficult without making more changes to pre-1492 history than I'd like.
>
Actually, Arabic was one of the learned languages of Europe in our timeline.
That's how we ended up with all those star names like Algol along with
algebra, alogrithm & like that. I don't think it would take much tweaking
to have some European place names come up Arabic, maybe something in Italy
where the--damn I can't remember the name of the college--turn of the
millenium schools were oft multilingual with Arabic one of the languages.
Spain, of course, is another place with strong Arabic influence.


Brian M. Scott

unread,
Feb 4, 2006, 2:00:05 PM2/4/06
to
On Sat, 4 Feb 2006 12:41:30 -0600, Suzanne A Blom
<sue...@execpc.com> wrote in
<news:11u9t8j...@corp.supernews.com> in
rec.arts.sf.composition:

> Patricia C. Wrede <pwred...@aol.com> wrote in message
> news:11u8c5k...@corp.supernews.com...

[...]

>> I like the idea of using Arabic names, but coming up with
>> a justification for why the place-names in this
>> time-line are of Arabic origin seems to me to be
>> difficult without making more changes to pre-1492
>> history than I'd like.

> Actually, Arabic was one of the learned languages of
> Europe in our timeline. That's how we ended up with all
> those star names like Algol along with algebra, alogrithm
> & like that.

I think that calling it one of the learned languages of
Europe goes a bit too far. It was the language through
which a fair bit of learning reached Europe, but largely
thanks to the efforts of translators (e.g., at Toledo).
What happened is that a number of technical terms were
borrowed along with the associated technology/learning.

> I don't think it would take much tweaking to have some
> European place names come up Arabic, maybe something in
> Italy where the--damn I can't remember the name of the
> college--turn of the millenium schools were oft
> multilingual with Arabic one of the languages. Spain, of
> course, is another place with strong Arabic influence.

Indeed, Spain has a large number of place-names of Arabic
origin; I've a whole book devoted to the subject (M.A.
Palacios, Toponimia Árabe de España).

Brian

Michael R N Dolbear

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Feb 4, 2006, 2:07:09 PM2/4/06
to

Dorothy J Heydt <djh...@kithrup.com> wrote
[...]

> Keep in mind that throughout the Middle Ages and at least into
> the beginning of the Renaissance, there was a word for "Europe."
> It was "Christendom." Whether that would fit into Patricia's
> world setup, only she can tell us.

But Christendom was always politically rather than geographically
defined and was never co-extensive with Europe.

Thus Ceuta was included but not, before 995, Norway. Moreover what
about Jerusalem and Alexandria ? I don't think anyone would ever have
said "Jerusalem and Alexandria were never part of Christendom."

--
Mike D

Catja Pafort

unread,
Feb 4, 2006, 2:18:10 PM2/4/06
to
Patricia C. Wrede wrote:

> I'm currently in the middle of developing some alternate-history background,
> for a book set in a very alternate mid-1800s U.S.-equivalent-with-magic, and
> I find myself wanting very much to have plausible alternative names for
> "Europe," "England/Britain," "France," "Holland/The Netherlands," "Spain,"
> and possibly a few other major European countries, preferrably ones that
> haven't been over-used already (like "Albion" for England), but at least
> some of which are more-or-less recognizeable (like "Albion" and "Gaul" and
> "Hispania").

How would you feel about Loegre?

If you nudge history just a little bit in the right place, you'd still
have an Angevin Empire. I'd also recommend Friesland. All situated, of
course, in Occidentia.

(personally, I'm not keen on Neustria. Partly because it's floating in
my mind and I couldn't *quite* pinpoint it on a map in space and time.
[Austria survives to this day, of course])


And of course, if you want the other side of the world, there's always
Ulimaroa.

Catja

Patricia C. Wrede

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Feb 4, 2006, 2:22:23 PM2/4/06
to

"Cally Soukup" <sou...@pobox.com> wrote in message
news:ds2okf$3tv$1...@wheel2.two14.net...

> Patricia C. Wrede <pwred...@aol.com> wrote in article
> <11u8c5j...@corp.supernews.com>:
>
>> The current plan is to have the primary difference before 1492 be that
>> the
>> various pre-historic attempts to colonize the Americas were unsuccessful;
>> thus, no Mayans, Incas, Aztecs, Mississippi Valley civilization, or
>> Native
>> Americans of any sort. Up to that point, I expect differences in Europe,
>
> No maize. It was genetically engineered (by artificial selection) for
> thousands of years to become the corn we know now. Originally, it was
> teocinte, which has a much, much smaller head. I found a site with a
> picture of teosinte next to a (very small) ear of modern corn:
>
> http://www.learner.org/channel/courses/essential/life/session5/closer1.html

Potatoes, too -- I don't think they were subject to quite so much artificial
breeding, but the wild version isn't the massively-useful, easy-to-grow crop
that ended up being over-cultivated and crashing in the Irish Potato Blight.

Patricia C. Wrede


Patricia C. Wrede

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Feb 4, 2006, 2:25:48 PM2/4/06
to

"Peter Knutsen (usenet)" <pe...@sagatafl.invalid> wrote in message
news:43e4d335$0$67260$157c...@dreader2.cybercity.dk...

> Patricia C. Wrede wrote:
>> Britannia is a bit too close to Britain, I think, but it might do if I
>> can't come up with something better. I'd forgotten about Iberia--that
>> will work nicely.
>
> Prydain?

So far, I'm liking Angleterre for England, Iberia for Spain, Lusitania for
Portugal, and either Avrupa or Europe, depending on how the feel in the text
goes.

Patricia C. Wrede


Patricia C. Wrede

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Feb 4, 2006, 2:29:26 PM2/4/06
to

"David Friedman" <dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> wrote in message
news:ddfr-464E24.2...@news.isp.giganews.com...

> In article <11u8c5j...@corp.supernews.com>,
> "Patricia C. Wrede" <pwred...@aol.com> wrote:
>
>> Which is, basically: A North America in which the threat of Indians was
>> replaced by the threat of un-extinct megafauna, both magical and
>> non-magical
>> in nature (mammoths, wooly rhinocerouses, terror birds, dire wolves,
>> dragons
>> [what else would prey on mammoths and wooly rhinos?]).
>
> Have you read _1491_? I gather it's about current views of human
> activity in the New World before Columbus.
>
> I've seen it argued that the settling of the East Coast was made much
> easier because the Indians had cleared the land--and then mostly died
> from Old World diseases brought by early explorers.

Haven't read that particular book, but I'm familiar with the theory.
Figuring out a plausible, appropriate time-line between 1492 and the end of
the Secession War (aka Civil War in real life) is going to be tricky. I'm
probably going to have to spend more time on it that I really want to,
because while it's mostly "deep background" for the story, it's the sort of
thing where a casual throwaway reference that hasn't been properly thought
through could bring the whole suspension-of-disbelief thing crashing down in
an untidy heap.

Oh, well, if it's interesting enough maybe I can get another book or two out
of the same setting...

Patricia C. Wrede


Logan Kearsley

unread,
Feb 4, 2006, 2:32:38 PM2/4/06
to
"Rich Weyand" <wey...@rcn.com> wrote in message
news:PfmdnR7CO5L...@wideopenwest.com...
> In article <11u86na...@corp.supernews.com>, "Patricia C. Wrede"

<pwred...@aol.com> wrote:
> >I'm currently in the middle of developing some alternate-history
background,
> >for a book set in a very alternate mid-1800s U.S.-equivalent-with-magic,
and
> >I find myself wanting very much to have plausible alternative names for
> >"Europe," "England/Britain," "France," "Holland/The Netherlands,"
"Spain,"
> >and possibly a few other major European countries, preferrably ones that
> >haven't been over-used already (like "Albion" for England), but at least
> >some of which are more-or-less recognizeable (like "Albion" and "Gaul"
and
> >"Hispania"). I don't have enough linguistic or historical background to
get
> >away from the really obvious myself, so...suggestions? Brian, Zeborah,
> >anybody?
>
> For Spain, how about Iberia or a variation thereof?
> For France, Aragon, Provence or one of the other old province names.

Trouble with calling France 'Provence' is that Provence was a separate
country for some time. I can only see that working out if Provence manages
to conquer the rest of France, rather than the other way around.

-l.
------------------------------------
My inbox is a sacred shrine, none shall enter that are not worthy.


Patricia C. Wrede

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Feb 4, 2006, 2:35:31 PM2/4/06
to

"David Friedman" <dd...@daviddfriedman.nopsam.com> wrote in message
news:ddfr-4654F9.0...@news.isp.giganews.com...

> In article <43e4d335$0$67260$157c...@dreader2.cybercity.dk>,
> "Peter Knutsen (usenet)" <pe...@sagatafl.invalid> wrote:
>
>> Patricia C. Wrede wrote:
>> > Britannia is a bit too close to Britain, I think, but it might do if I
>> > can't
>> > come up with something better. I'd forgotten about Iberia--that will
>> > work
>> > nicely.
>>
>> Prydain?
>
> Is Albion too close too?

Albion would be perfect, except it's already been used too many times for
alternate-Englands for me to be comfortable with it.

Patricia C. Wrede


Patricia C. Wrede

unread,
Feb 4, 2006, 2:38:55 PM2/4/06
to

"Catja Pafort" <use...@greenknight.org.uk.invalid> wrote in message
news:1ha8kjx.1ay31fn1aongaeN%use...@greenknight.org.uk.invalid...

> Patricia C. Wrede wrote:
>
>> I'm currently in the middle of developing some alternate-history
>> background,
>> for a book set in a very alternate mid-1800s U.S.-equivalent-with-magic,
>> and
>> I find myself wanting very much to have plausible alternative names for
>> "Europe," "England/Britain," "France," "Holland/The Netherlands,"
>> "Spain,"
>> and possibly a few other major European countries, preferrably ones that
>> haven't been over-used already (like "Albion" for England), but at least
>> some of which are more-or-less recognizeable (like "Albion" and "Gaul"
>> and
>> "Hispania").
>
> How would you feel about Loegre?

Hadn't thought about going in that direction.

> If you nudge history just a little bit in the right place, you'd still
> have an Angevin Empire.

I don't want to have to nudge European history until 1492. It's going to be
enough trouble to figure out four centuries of alternate history; backing up
*another* 500 years or so is more than I really want to do.

Patricia C. Wrede


Brian M. Scott

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Feb 4, 2006, 2:43:33 PM2/4/06
to
On Sat, 4 Feb 2006 19:18:10 +0000, Catja Pafort
<use...@greenknight.org.uk.invalid> wrote in
<news:1ha8kjx.1ay31fn1aongaeN%use...@greenknight.org.uk.invalid>
in rec.arts.sf.composition:

[...]

> (personally, I'm not keen on Neustria. Partly because it's floating in
> my mind and I couldn't *quite* pinpoint it on a map in space and time.
> [Austria survives to this day, of course])

I've a bit of a weakness for it, thanks to Leslie
Barringer's Neustria cycle (_Gerfalcon_, _Joris of the
Rock_, and the wonderful _Shy Leopardess_) -- non-magical
fantasy set in a medieval Europe that isn't quite the one we
know.

[...]

Brian

Dorothy J Heydt

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Feb 4, 2006, 2:51:36 PM2/4/06
to
In article <lsl9u19ti9hsr9ls5...@4ax.com>,

John F. Eldredge <jo...@jfeldredge.com> wrote:

>>In what language you're going to find a word for
>>"stinky plants" (I don't even know what skunk-cabbage looks
>>like), I leave up to you.
>>
>
>http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/ce/eek/veg/plants/skunkcabbage.htm

Thanks. Oooh, it's a thermogene!

Dorothy J. Heydt
Albany, California
djh...@kithrup.com

Dorothy J Heydt

unread,
Feb 4, 2006, 2:54:43 PM2/4/06
to
In article <ds2okf$3tv$1...@wheel2.two14.net>,

Cally Soukup <sou...@pobox.com> wrote:
>Patricia C. Wrede <pwred...@aol.com> wrote in article <11u8c5j...@corp.supernews.com>:
>
>> The current plan is to have the primary difference before 1492 be that the
>> various pre-historic attempts to colonize the Americas were unsuccessful;
>> thus, no Mayans, Incas, Aztecs, Mississippi Valley civilization, or Native
>> Americans of any sort. Up to that point, I expect differences in Europe,
>
>No maize. It was genetically engineered (by artificial selection) for
>thousands of years to become the corn we know now. Originally, it was
>teocinte, which has a much, much smaller head. I found a site with a
>picture of teosinte next to a (very small) ear of modern corn:
>
>http://www.learner.org/channel/courses/essential/life/session5/closer1.html

No potatoes, then, either; they were also IIRC bred up from
little nubbly things. There should be all kinds of beans though.
I'm not sure what about tomatoes.

Patricia C. Wrede

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Feb 4, 2006, 3:01:49 PM2/4/06
to

"Brian M. Scott" <b.s...@csuohio.edu> wrote in message
news:ymb1vl1jt7ay.15...@40tude.net...

It's been a while since I re-read them, but I am *very* fond of those books
also. Though I'm not so sure about the "non-magical" -- a *lot* of what the
witches did was pretty clearly hallucination, but I thought there were one
or two spells that were at least arguable. Gosh, maybe I should read them
again and check... <goes off humming>

Patricia C. Wrede


John F. Eldredge

unread,
Feb 4, 2006, 3:32:15 PM2/4/06
to
On Sat, 4 Feb 2006 19:54:43 GMT, djh...@kithrup.com (Dorothy J Heydt)
wrote:

>In article <ds2okf$3tv$1...@wheel2.two14.net>,

You would probably have cherry tomatoes, since a first cousin to the
tomato plant, the deadly nightshade, produces cherry-tomato-like
fruit. I don't know if the tomato fruit is naturally non-toxic, or
whether artificial selection was needed. In most of the other
Solanacea, the fruit are poisonous, as is all of the tomato plant
except the fruit.

--
John F. Eldredge -- jo...@jfeldredge.com
PGP key available from http://pgp.mit.edu
"Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better
than not to think at all." -- Hypatia of Alexandria

Dan Goodman

unread,
Feb 4, 2006, 3:33:21 PM2/4/06
to
Patricia C. Wrede wrote:

>
> "Rich Weyand" <wey...@rcn.com> wrote in message

> news:iZidnYX3SMc2wnne...@wideopenwest.com... >In
> article <11u8c5j...@corp.supernews.com>, "Patricia C. Wrede"
> <pwred...@aol.com> wrote:
> > > (Suggestions for place names that can
> > > substitute for Indian-language-origin names like Ohio, Chicago,
> > > Mississippi, Michigan, etc. are also welcome...)
> >
> > Look at the non-Indian place names: Detroit, Ft. Wayne, Superior,
> > Marseilles, Des Plaines, Joliet, Peru, LaSalle, South Bend,
> > Lafayette, Little Rock, Big Rock, Hinkley, Bloomington, Normal,
> > Springfield, Sandwich, Ames, Davenport, Rock Island, West Bend,
> > Des Moines....
> >
> > What you get is a lot of French cities, words and phrases, lots of
> > English cities, words and phrases, and some German, Swedish,
> > Polish... ones as well.
>
> I'm expecting to use a bunch more French names. I've also been
> looking at the kinds of what-happened-here names that quite a few
> towns in the West got called. My current favorite is the town of
> Lost Chicken, but Dead Mule is a close second. And that appears to
> be a universal system, not limited to English -- the aforementioned
> "Skunk Cabbage," for instance, and the Grand Tetons, and Aux Claire,
> Mille Lacs, and assorted other place-names.
>
> The trick, I'm finding, is coming up with names that are sufficiently
> different, but that don't cause a sort of cognitive dissonance when
> combined in the same story with names that would, very likely, be the
> same, like Washington and Virginia and Carolina. Of course, I can
> change those, too, but then I really start to lose the feel I want.
> It's a delicate balancing act.

Have you thought of using dialects which could have become standard
languages?

"A shprakh iz a diyalekt mit an armey un a flot" ['A language is a
dialect with an army and a navy.']

--
Dan Goodman
All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies.
John Arbuthnot (1667-1735), Scottish writer, physician.
Journal http://dsgood.livejournal.com
Clutterers Anonymous unofficial community
http://community.livejournal.com/clutterers_anon/
Decluttering http://decluttering.blogspot.com
Predictions and Politics http://dsgood.blogspot.com
Links http://del.icio.us/dsgood

Dan Goodman

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Feb 4, 2006, 3:37:40 PM2/4/06
to
Rich Weyand wrote:

> kaih=9nF2x...@khms.westfalen.de (Kai Henningsen) wrote:
> > wey...@rcn.com (Rich Weyand) wrote on 04.02.06 in

> >> I think Europe is going to be the hardest. It is in all languages


> Europa >> (the English version is the German spelling). She was the
> mother of Minos,
> >
> > I can't parse the parenthetical.
>
> Sorry -- extreme shorthand. Too extreme.
>
> The name is in all languages pronounced Europa. The English version,
> Europe, is the only one without three syllables, because it is the
> German spelling -- Europe -- which is pronounced as three syllables
> in German, but in English the last e is silent. Every other language
> you look it up in, it's pronounced Europa, even something as far
> afield as Turkish, which someone has supplied as Avrupa, is still
> very close.

Here's what the Online Etymological Dictionary (http://etymonline.com)
says: 1603, from L. Europa "Europe," from Gk. Europe, often
explained as "broad face," from eurys "wide" + ops "face." Klein
suggests a possible Sem. origin in Akkad. erebu "to go down, set" (in
reference to the sun) which would parallel orient (q.v.).

Dan Goodman

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Feb 4, 2006, 3:42:55 PM2/4/06
to
Dorothy J Heydt wrote:

> Erol K. Bayburt <Ero...@comcast.net> wrote:
> >
> > I was going to suggest cribbing from Aaron Allston's "Doc Sidhe"
> > novels for alternative European nation names (while noting that this
> > wasn't necessarily a good suggestion), and IIRC he left the name
> > "Europe" unchanged.
> >
> > [checking] Yes, at one point one of the characters from the
> > alternate world makes the distinction: "Our Europe, not the
> > grimworld Europe."
>
> Hm. But they way you tell it, "Europe" is still the name the
> thisworlders give it. What do the grimworlders call it?


>
> Keep in mind that throughout the Middle Ages and at least into
> the beginning of the Renaissance, there was a word for "Europe."
> It was "Christendom." Whether that would fit into Patricia's
> world setup, only she can tell us.

I would say that "Christendom" referred to all Christian countries,
with the assumption that the center was Western Europe.

Then: "Europe" -- which took a while to be expanded east to the Urals.

Then: "The West" -- Western Europe, the US, and perhaps whatever that
small country north of the US is called.

"The West" now seems to include Japan. I wonder if it will expand to
include South Korea and India?

Dan Goodman

unread,
Feb 4, 2006, 3:45:16 PM2/4/06
to
Cally Soukup wrote:

> Patricia C. Wrede <pwred...@aol.com> wrote in article
> <11u8c5j...@corp.supernews.com>:
>
> > The current plan is to have the primary difference before 1492 be
> > that the various pre-historic attempts to colonize the Americas
> > were unsuccessful; thus, no Mayans, Incas, Aztecs, Mississippi
> > Valley civilization, or Native Americans of any sort. Up to that
> > point, I expect differences in Europe,
>
> No maize. It was genetically engineered (by artificial selection) for
> thousands of years to become the corn we know now. Originally, it was
> teocinte, which has a much, much smaller head. I found a site with a
> picture of teosinte next to a (very small) ear of modern corn:
>
> http://www.learner.org/channel/courses/essential/life/session5/closer1
> .html

Also no potatoes, no chili peppers (or green peppers, if I recall
correctly), and various other crops.

Dan Goodman

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Feb 4, 2006, 3:48:06 PM2/4/06
to
Patricia C. Wrede wrote:

>
> "Cally Soukup" <sou...@pobox.com> wrote in message
> news:ds2okf$3tv$1...@wheel2.two14.net... >Patricia C. Wrede
> <pwred...@aol.com> wrote in article
> >

> > > The current plan is to have the primary difference before 1492 be
> > > that the various pre-historic attempts to colonize the Americas
> > > were unsuccessful; thus, no Mayans, Incas, Aztecs, Mississippi
> > > Valley civilization, or Native Americans of any sort. Up to
> > > that point, I expect differences in Europe,

Remember the Aleuts and Eskimoes; something presumably happened
differently in Siberia.



> > No maize. It was genetically engineered (by artificial selection)
> > for thousands of years to become the corn we know now. Originally,
> > it was teocinte, which has a much, much smaller head. I found a
> > site with a picture of teosinte next to a (very small) ear of
> > modern corn:
> >
> > http://www.learner.org/channel/courses/essential/life/session5/close
> > r1.html
>
> Potatoes, too -- I don't think they were subject to quite so much
> artificial breeding, but the wild version isn't the massively-useful,
> easy-to-grow crop that ended up being over-cultivated and crashing in
> the Irish Potato Blight.

There were various other strains of potatoes, and if more than one had
been grown in Europe, the potato blight wouldn't have wiped them all
out.

Patricia C. Wrede

unread,
Feb 4, 2006, 4:12:29 PM2/4/06
to
"Dan Goodman" <dsg...@iphouse.com> wrote in message
news:43e50f92$0$13707$8046...@newsreader.iphouse.net...

> Patricia C. Wrede wrote:
>> The trick, I'm finding, is coming up with names that are sufficiently
>> different, but that don't cause a sort of cognitive dissonance when
>> combined in the same story with names that would, very likely, be the
>> same, like Washington and Virginia and Carolina. Of course, I can
>> change those, too, but then I really start to lose the feel I want.
>> It's a delicate balancing act.
>
> Have you thought of using dialects which could have become standard
> languages?
>
> "A shprakh iz a diyalekt mit an armey un a flot" ['A language is a
> dialect with an army and a navy.']

That would be extremely cool, but I have *no* linguistic background, and I
really don't think I could pull it off.

Patricia C. Wrede


Brian M. Scott

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Feb 4, 2006, 4:22:50 PM2/4/06
to
On Sat, 4 Feb 2006 14:01:49 -0600, "Patricia C. Wrede"
<pwred...@aol.com> wrote in
<news:11ua214...@corp.supernews.com> in
rec.arts.sf.composition:

>> [...]

I did hesitate a bit before writing that. Perhaps
'basically non-magical', which is also how I'd describe
Sutcliff's _Sword at Sunset_.

> Gosh, maybe I should read them again and check... <goes
> off humming>

<g>

Brian

Brian M. Scott

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Feb 4, 2006, 4:38:58 PM2/4/06