One of my favorite parts of any new writing project is the process of character creation! Backstories, motivations, goals, and stakes – these all come together to make characters feel life-like and unique. Many of those core components can be symbolized by a character’s name, and I’m often asked about the meaning behind these names. In fact, character name meanings are one of the most common questions I get asked! So here dear readers is my gift to you: the stories and meanings behind the names in Chaos Looming. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I did creating!
Chinazor: “God Saves”
Onodugo: “A Position of Honor/Excellence”
Explanation: Nazor is actually short for Chinazor, and her full name is Chinazor Onodugo. In Nigeria, the Igbo people have a lot of names that begin with or include “Chi,” which means “God” or “Spiritual Being” depending on their religious affiliation. The name Chinazor translates best to “God Saves.” Given Nazor’s history living through the Nigerian Civil War, dying, and then ultimately being called to join the Legion and being reborn in Loren (not to mention the ups and downs she experiences in Chaos Looming), Nazor is a character in many ways defined by second chances. So all in all, I thought it was a fitting name for one of my favorite characters!
Inaba: Family Name, “leaves of the rice plant,” name of the daimyo of Mino
Sara: 沙 meaning sand. / 羅 meaning gauze, thin silk, Rome, arrange, spread out. Theme: (沙) ocean.
Explanation: In the Cross-Sea Lands, it’s typical for individuals to introduce themselves by their family name, then followed by their first name. Sara’s name invokes the spirit of a sea breeze, absolutely perfect for a cross-sea warrior!
Gaius: Happy / Rejoice
Flavius: Ancient Roman family name associated with a dynasty of emperors.
Explanation: Gaius’s family came to Loren during the Marian invasion over 200 years before the events of Chaos Looming. They’ve served honorably in the Bellatorio for generations, and Gaius wants nothing more than to live up to their legacy and prove his worth as a leader.
Landrianus: Landry as a boy’s name is of Middle English origin, and the meaning of Landry is “landowner”.
Marian: The Latin meaning refers to Marian as “Rose Petal.”
Explanation: In Chaos Looming, the Marian Empire is loosely based off of the Roman Empire in terms of history and aesthetics. In terms of naming, the Marian Empire is named after the Maurya Empire. It was a geographically extensive Iron Age historical power based in Magadha and founded by Chandragupta Maurya, which dominated the Indian subcontinent between 322 and 185 BCE.
Origin: Hebrew / Irish
Aaron: Hellenized Hebrew for “warrior lion,” Hebrew roots meaning “high mountain”, “mountain of strength”, “exalted”,”enlightened”, or “bearer of martyrs”.
Tiobraide: Established in the 13th century, the name means “well of the Arra,” a reference to the river that runs through the county. The river was named after the town of Tipperary, which comes from Tiobraid Árann, meaning “well of the Arra”; a reference to the river which flows through it.
Explanation: Aaron Tiobraide’s name reflects his proud roots as an uplander, the youngest member of a family whose inhabited the Lorenan riverlands for hundreds of years. He’s a leader amongst his people and in the Bellatorio.
Your turn! Comment below and let me know who your favorite Chaos Looming characters are!