In the opposite mode the Malleus Maleficarum talks about someone who was protected from demonic influence because he'd heard a sermon about the name of god and was meditating about it on his way home from church - just meditating about god's name was enough to protect him. If you're of a mindset to believe in curses etc. If you're of a rationalising mindset it makes accounting for some mysterious deaths a lot easier within their culture. Why did young adult Y die but not old adult Z. Today we'd talk about acquired immunity protecting from the 'flu after WWI say for Y and Z , or EBV being an immunosuppresant causing glandular fever and much more common in young adults but without or despite that sort of knowledge saying "Oh Y must have revealed her secret name" gives a handle for rationalising it away.
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There's lots of fun and games with hunting for it like that There is another series that uses the concept of True Names, though i cannot remember who it is by or what the books are called Time for a google search. Susan Cooper and her The Dark is Rising series utilize the concept of true names, if I remember correctly, as well as an ancient language which holds power. The final Promethea , or the final chapter of book five, deals a lot with a potted history of magic, and the ideas both ancient and modern that thinking about things requires a name for them, thus, at first, language was a magical act.
There's quite a bit more to it and the whole series is well worth a read, but that bit particularly resonated with this thread. Shit, I've been waiting for that. It's not only out, I've read it! Go - buy, read! In the Alison Croggon series they also talk a lot about true names and ancient languages with power. When I think of the concept of an ancient language being the language of magic , I can't help but think of the medieval Catholic Church as a real-life example. Most common names also have deeper meanings in older languages, leading would-be parents to carefully choose a child's name.
Another fantasy series which uses the "true name" concept is the mascot of this group-- Andre Norton's Witch World. Would that that were true! We'd have no female Madisons, far fewer Camerons do you really want to call your child 'crooked nose'? But still. Some of the things I've found neat are to go delve back into some of my more favorite books and look up the unusual names I've seen for minor characters..
Seems the authors have taken care for those names to get as much effect as possible.. I've seen the name 'Ahern' in two different novels I've read, and the meaning of the name is 'horse lord', and it fits both characters.. Well, it's 'Lord of the Horse' in Irish, but it's apparently 'sexy' in Japanese So it's hard to be absolutely sure which meaning fits which character on every occasion Mmm, yes, though it's almost exclusively Lord of the Horse when I see it..
Jan 23, , pm. I remember when I was little and I was always hearing "Never accept candy from a stranger, and never give them your social security number". I had no idea what a social security number was but I imagined it was like the "true names" in fairy tales.
I was all worried about the people who were in charge of "Social Security" whatever that was knowing it. The UK has National Insurance numbers as an equivalent and while we don't throw them around liberally they don't get used for ID purposes for banks or anything like that there's almost nothing someone could do maliciously with an NI number alone anyway what, are you going to pay my pension credits for me? While they aren't supposed to be used for ID, all banks and most utilities require their use.
Unfortunately, it's relatively easy to do harm to someone's credit if given access to the Social Security number. Yes, I do understand that. I am just baffled by the mixed messages that sends - don't give it to people, but give it to people if you want anything done. For similar reasons, I'm always surprised at the secure shopping websites and over-the-phone purchases that insist I give the three-figure security code that's printed on the back of my credit or debit card - that's supposed to be guarded but if you have to give it out to everyone how exactly is it secure?
And don't start me on "I'm not signing my credit card so that cashiers will have to ask me for ID" I read a lot of US-based blogs and LJ communities. It's been a while since I've read them.
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I'm pretty sure other books of hers may also involve names having power, but not as much as the quartet. However, I don't think any of them involve a true language, only people's names. It was a special name only the cat knew. Names are very important in a lot of cultures, they're just so prevalent in Celtic myth that that's where they show up, but to have power over the Eldritch peoples you had to know their true name, and it was easier for them, especially the Unseelie Court, to have power over you if you let them know your true name..
So many fantasy writers tend to derive a lot from Celtic myth and culture which is why it shows up with those roots so often..
This has many forms and tropes, but they all have the exact same underlying elements. Some works seem to apply these to objects, or ideas themselves, but they ultimately stem from people and more generally sentient beings. Still, the idea does seem to show up in one form or another in many fantasy books. I've listed a few of the best-known examples of this trope dating back to centuries before the idea of a "trope" was even in circulation. This is by no means an exhaustive list. For thousands of years, religious Jews have avoided speaking the name of God.
In the Jewish Encyclopedia , it is suggested that all Hebrew proper names are 'true' names, more than simply labels, but saying something about the essential nature of the named person:. Like other Hebrew proper names, the name of God is more than a mere distinguishing title. It represents the Hebrew conception of the divine nature or character and of the relation of God to His people. It represents the Deity as He is known to His worshipers, and stands for all those attributes which He bears in relation to them and which are revealed to them through His activity on their behalf.
A new manifestation of His interest or care may give rise to a new name. So, also, an old name may acquire new content and significance through new and varied experience of these sacred relations. And Wikipedia tells us a little more about the practice of not speaking the name of God:. Egyptian mythology. As mentioned by Mithrandir , the concept of a person's true name granting power over them appears in tales of Egyptian mythology from thousands of years ago.
Isis frequently schemed against Ra, as she wanted her son Horus to have the power. In one myth, Isis created a serpent to poison Ra and only gave him the antidote when he revealed his true name to her. Ra now feared Isis, as with his secret name revealed she could use all her power against him and have Horus take over the throne.
Traditional folk tales. The well-known folk story of Rumpelstiltskin revolves around this idea: the miller's daughter rashly promises her first-born child to the strange little man, and he will only allow her to keep the child if she can tell him his name. From this translation :. I am glad that nobody knew That the name I am called is Rumpelstiltskin! The TV Tropes page entitled "I Know Your True Name" lists Ursula le Guin's Earthsea series as the Trope Codifier - the work which, while it wasn't the first to use the idea, was more popular than preceding works and provided the template for most or all later uses of the trope.
He saw that in this dusty and fathomless matter of learning the true name of each place, thing, and being, the power he wanted lay like a jewel at the bottom of a dry well. For magic consists in this, the true naming of a thing.
The True Name | Yu-Gi-Oh! | FANDOM powered by Wikia
So Kurremkarmerruk had said to them, once, their first night in the Tower; he never repeated it, but Ged did not forget his words. And still the lists are not finished. Nor will they be, till world's end.
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- The concept of "true names";
Its words lie hidden and changed among our Hardic words. We call the foam on waves sukien : that word is made from two words of the Old Speech, suk , feather, and inien , the sea. Feather of the sea, is foam. But you cannot charm the foam calling it sukien ; you must use its own true name in the Old Speech , which is essa. No one knows a man's true name but himself and his namer.
The Gift of Your True Name
He may choose at length to tell it to his brother, or his wife, or his friend, yet even those few will never use it where any third person may hear it. In front of other people they will, like other people, call him by his use-name, his nickname - such a name as Sparrowhawk, and Vetch, and Ogion which means 'fir-cone'. If plain men hide their true name from all but a few they love and trust utterly, so much more must wizardly men, being more dangerous, and more endangered.
Who knows a man's name, holds that man's life in his keeping. In fact, although it's best known from her Earthsea quartet, le Guin had used the same idea in some of her earlier stories, lesser-known precursors set in the world of Earthsea. The Rule of Names , a short story published four years before A Wizard of Earthsea and available in full as a PDF here , seems to be the first le Guin work to introduce her idea of true names:.
There are two, and they're the same on every island in the world.
What Is Your True Name?
What's one of them? Why is that the rule? The children were silent. The sheep bleated gently. Underhill answered the question: "Because the name is the thing," he said in his shy, soft, husky voice, "and the truename is the true thing. To speak the name is to control the thing. Am I right, Schoolmistress? So much for fantasy, but the same idea also crops up in science fiction. Clarke , we can see an intermediate step - a literary Archaeopteryx, if you will - between the ancient religious idea of the holy and powerful "true name of God" and the idea of true names as they appear in modern speculative fiction:.
Indeed, the very idea is something like blasphemy. There is always a last time for everything. It was surrounded by this captivating scenery that I met with sixth-generation reindeer herder Juha Kujala and his year-old son Oskari at their family farm near Ruka, more than km north of Helsinki. They led me through the wooden gates and I was immediately surrounded by curious reindeer; some sniffed and nudged at my handbag in hope of finding a snack. Oskari laughed and began to introduce me to the herd.
The bond between Oskari and the herd has been passed down from grandfather to father, now to son.