Some of Vulcan’s oldest and most revered occupations are reflected in the names of its people. A similar custom exists in many of Earth’s cultures. Surnames such as Smith, Cooper, Taylor, Weaver, and Wright all come to mind from the English tradition. From the Vulcan fishing villages on the coasts of the Voroth and Thanor Seas, names such as T’Pavis (t’sai pa’visu = “lady around the nets”) and T’Velar (t’sai fel-ar’kadan = “lady rower”) were popular.
Other names sprang from markets and bazaars: Prisu (prisu = “braider”), Oratt (oradasu = “honorable spinner”), T’Mor (t’sai mor = “lady of the leaf”),1 T’Mar (t’sai mahr = “market lady”), and T’Kiha (t’sai ki’haf = “basket lady”). One name of particular interest that has survived from the great desert bazaars is T’Neithan (t’sai nei-pseth-thon = “lady of the dry-seed measure”). The weight of one hundred cholla seeds was used as a standard measure up until the First Dynasty. The precise and fair weighing of trade goods was regarded as a sacred occupation, as was farming. One who could bring forth food from barren soil was highly regarded indeed. Solor (solek-tor = “one who works the soil”) is one of the names that comes to us from the farming traditions.
Those who could build sound structures and keep encroaching dunes at bay were also well respected. Kovar (kov ar’kadan = “stone-worker”), Suvok (su-vok = “person of the level/a mason’s apprentice”), Sefor (sef + tor = “dune-maker/shaper”), and Varen (aber + in = “one who raises up/a builder”) are some of the oldest names from the construction trades. T’Vish (t’sai vishizhukel = “lady of the foundry”) is likewise a popular name from the skilled trades.
From the courts of kings and warlords come names such as Lhai (leshu hai-fan = “standard bearer”), Vareth (var ithag = “story expert”), Suter (su-terseht = “insignia-person/a herald”), Stepn (svep-dvinsu = “doorkeeper”), Sarissa (s’a’rs’a = from the dance/a dancer”), Sybok (svai-bah-ker = “master of the bloom-garden”),2 and Vorealt (vohris-ryll-torsu = “slow ryll-player”).3
Temple traditions have yielded an equally impressive array of personal names. A few examples include T’Rel (t’sai reldai = “lady of the priestess”), T’Ra (t’sai ho-rah = “lady of ritual”), Sarda (sa-reldai = “priest”), and Ladok, an interesting name from a phrase that means “here serves honorable god,” la dvin-tor oekon.
Perhaps the most fascinating of what could be considered occupational names is one which survives from Surak’s time: Skamandros (skamau mamut-rushan = “attracts conversion aid”). The “conversion” in reference here is the reformation begun by Surak. Skamandros was one of Surak’s confidents and often served as his bodyguard. He took the name in honor of Surak. His given name was Ayhan (vai yon = “holy fire”).4
And speaking of Surak’s time, there are many Vulcan names which bear witness to troubled times. I’ll take a look at those in my next post.
1”Leaf” is thought to be a reference to tea or herbs.
2 Literally “bloom-garden;” “master” is implied.
3 Ryll is another word for ka’athaira, the traditional Vulcan lute.
4 Sherman, J. & Shwartz, S. (2004). Vulcan’s soul, book one: Exodus. New York: Pocket Books.