#worldbuilding #naming

World Names

I had an interesting thought about naming things today. I had a name I liked for my planet (Athos), but a crappy name for the continent where my campaign takes place (Loroth). And it occurred to me that I don’t actually need a name for the planet. Our own planet doesn’t really have a name. The Earth just means “the dirt”… i.e., this thing right here that we’re all standing on. Just like there’s no name for our local star, it’s just “The Sun”. There’s no real name for it, because there’s only one. You don’t need a name for something unless it’s to disambiguate it from others. Similar “the moon”.

So I used my world name for my continent, and just removed the reference to the world. Since this is a fantasy campaign, there’s no space travel, and the people on the world probably wouldn’t have a name for the planet. It’s not something they really talk about… if they did, it would just be “the world”. It doesn’t need a name, there’s only one.

Notably, if you have two moons or two suns, all of a sudden, you need names, because there’s more than one, and you need to differentiate. I don’t know if that would ever be the case for planets. Maybe in a binary planet system, but that’s really just like a moon. Unless you can go there, it’s still just a rock in the sky, and therefore easily differentiable from this rock you’re standing on.