Previously, we saw how nature has been revered in Vulcan names. In addition to the totem animals of tribes, names such as Stonn (stonn = “antler”), Tuvok (tu va’khen = “way of the mountain raptor”), T’Lara (t’sai lara = “lady blue desert bird”), and S’laron (s’lara-yon = “from the blue firebird”) show a reverence for wildlife. Likewise, the wind was respected for its strength, the seeds it carried, and the relief it brought from the heat. The element arev (“desert wind”) appears in several names: Evoras (arev-vohris = “desert breeze”), Aravik (arev vik = “well of the desert wind”), T’Ara (t’sai arev vakh = “lady bold desert wind”), Evekh (arev ekhlami = “surrounded by desert wind”), and Surev (s’uralaun arev = “from the singing desert wind”). The element salan (“wind”) as in T’Sala (t’sai salan = “lady wind”) was also used in naming traditions but less often.
Thunder occurs infrequently on Vulcan, but when it struck in ancient times, it must have been a terrifying force – painful to sensitive ears – to comprehend. Names such as T’Rama (t’sai rahm vakh = “lady thunder”) and N’Evran (nei arev-rahm = “seed of the desert thunder-wind”) pay homage to this natural phenomenon. Some scholars believe that the word for “thunder,” rahm, might have originally referred to the rumble of an earthquake or volcano.
Phenomena of the celestial realm did not escape Vulcan notice or fascination. The name element yel (star) is still common today. Selon (s’yel-yon = “from the star-fire”), Selik (s’yel’iki = “from the soul of the star”), Sorel (tsoraya-yel = “star cache”)1, and Selek (s’yel-ekon = “from the star-god”) are some of the oldest recorded Vulcan names, as is T’Pau (t’sai pau = “lady corona”). Other names also reference light: T’Shael (t’sai s’ha’gel = “lady from the light”), T’Hen (also rendered T’Hain, from ha’ge-igen = “lady sky-light”)2, and the curious name S’harien (s’harr-igen = “from the tail of the sky,” an expression thought to refer to the phenomenon of a sun pillar).
Vulcan personal names also point to a pantheon of prehistoric gods. Like many cultures on Earth, it was considered sacrilegious to take the name of a god or goddess. One was, after all, a servant of the divine. Examples of these names include T’Nedara (t’sai Natara = “lady of Natara,” god of water), T’Kosa (t’sai Khosaar = “lady of Khosaar,” a god of war), T’Gra (t’sai Gratan = “lady of Gratan,” a desert spirit), Serevan (s’Reah-van-kal = “from Reah’s ceremony,” a goddess of death and loss), and Refas (Reah-vash = “Reah’s terror” – a favorite among the te-Vikram brotherhood).
From the temple traditions come the names T’Sanik (t’sai sa’nikh = “lady from out of the Eye”)3 and T’Vria (t’sai vre-ha = “lady life-vessel”). But no name is more mystical than T’Plana-Hath (t’sai pla-nahan-a’Tha = “lady return-thinking to the direct experience of the Universe”). The only bearer of that name was the head of a school of Vulcan historians during the Sudocian Wars. Her History of Logic remains a standard text in Vulcan universities. Surak was one of her pupils.4
Next week, I’ll wrap up our study of Vulcan names with a list of the most common personal names and their meanings.
1 An early expression for “galaxy.”
2 i.e., a light in the sky, not an overhead window.
3 A reference to T’Khut, Vulcan’s sister planet.
4 The way of kolinahr: the Vulcans. (1998). Culver City, CA: Last Unicorn Games, p. 15.