View Full Version : Meaning of characters' names

January 6th, 2004, 07:00 AM
Since I enjoyed looking at the orgin and meaning of Redwall names web site, I decided to reseach some names of Redwall characters in name books that I have. Here are some that I found, and the language it is from, and the meaning.

Martin: Latin, warlike
Matthias: Hebrew, gift of God
Mariel: English, bitterness
Tess: a forum of Teresa, Greek, harvester
Jabez: Hebrew, born in pain

Feel free to add to this list.

January 6th, 2004, 04:29 PM
Y'know, I had a whole bunch of name origins stored in my brain. Ah well. So far...
Lousewort (rat in The Long Patrol): lousewort is a flower, or weed with a flower. Either way...:D

Nora the Rover
January 7th, 2004, 06:46 PM
Brocktree: Derived from the Celtic word Broc, meaning 'badger'.

Eulalia: A Celtic, (I think...), war cry meaning 'victory'.

Ballaw: Based on an old Scottish name, that's all I really know about it.

Alot of the other names are based on flowers, trees and plants, (Their Latin or English names), such as:
Brome: A type of wild wheat
Cornflower: Pale blue flower, also known as bluebottle.
Celandine: A yellow flower with spear-shaped leaves.
Teasel: A thistle-type of wildflower.
Clary: A purple wildflower.
Bryony: Flower.
Nightshade: Poisonous nocturnal flower.
Tansy: Flower.
Alkanet: Flower.
Yarrow: A tall white or yellow clump flowers, medicinal.
Juniper: A small, gnarled tree with bright, blue berries, coniferous.
Hypericum: Latin name of St. John's Wort.
Sage: Herb.
Rose or Rosie: Usually reddish-pink flower with thorns.
Basil: Herb.
Thyme: Herb.
Twayblade: A type of grass, although I'm not exactly sure.
Pasque Valerian: Both names are herbs, usually used in healing.
Columbine: Flower.
Bistort: A flower, can also be used medicinally.
Honeysuckle: Flower.
Harebell: A form of bluebell, Scottish.
Clematis: Latin name of a flower.

Alot of the other names are of Latin origin, but I think I'll just stop here for now...

January 7th, 2004, 07:05 PM
Glad you liked my site rowanoak! :) I added a whole bunch of names yesterday so check it out.

Oooh, *copies down stuff from noras list* I have some of those already, but some of those I don't. And eulalia! How could I forget that one? Gosh, I have scads more I need to define.

hmm...Sratches head* Maybe I should start adding the origins of the normal names too, Like you have down rowanoak. You guys think I should do it?

January 7th, 2004, 07:22 PM
Anyway, some of the neat ones I've found are:

Ceteruler- A crowd of badgers. So ceteruler is the ruler of badgers.;)

Urth (Urthstrype, Urthrun, Urthwyte) Urth is the godess of fate, and badgers are always mentioned as being fated creatures.

Gingivere- Gingi obviously comes from ginger, and vere means, true or The true in Latin. Gingivere was pretty loyal.

Apodemus- Scientific name for Old World field mice

And when it comes to naming character after plants, I've noticed thta BJ seems to be careful sometimes at what plant the names them after. For example:

Pasque and Valerian are used for healing. Pasque was the healer in the Long Patrol.

Now we have the hedgehogs. This is interesting. It seems whenever he names hedgehogs after plants and stuff he always uses plants that have some sort of spikes to them. For example Urtica is the genus nettles belong to. Nettles are spikey. Then there Nettlebud the hedgehog as well. Bistort has cylindrical spikes of pink flowers. And so on....

When I looked up Celandine in the dictionary it the flowers were described as "showy." Clendine the squirrel was rather showy herself.;)

Also, I've noticed that the uses plants/ flowers he uses for names often grow in England.

I love it when authors like BJ are clever with names and their usage.:)

January 8th, 2004, 11:53 AM
Urth (Urthstrype, Urthrun, Urthwyte) Urth is the godess of fate, and badgers are always mentioned as being fated creatures.
I think it is also intended as a kind of pun for "earth", considering I seem to remember a mole name beginning with that also.

Of course any of those that have "normal" names also have a meaning:
Bryony- Actually a flower.
Muriel, which has very strong similarities to Mariel- Sea-bright.
Matthias- The apostle chosen to replace Judas Iscariot. The name of several Hungarian kings who made book reform in their kingdom.
Methuselah- The longest living person in the Bible, dying at the age of 969. The grandfather of Noah.
Russel, possibly leading to Russa- Means little red one. (She was a little red squirrel)
Bella- Beautiful, although I am mystified as to why that fits that particular character.
Gael, (or is it Gaol?)- A prison, which links to his imprisonment.

January 8th, 2004, 05:51 PM
Oooh, I hope you or Nora mind if I use some of the ones you guys listed that I don't have.

Do you have any idea which language Russel is from Keyla?

Nora the Rover
January 8th, 2004, 06:53 PM
It's fine with me if you use the stuff. :)
A few other names...

Martha: Latin name. There's also a Saint Martha, a woman who fought and killed a dragon bare-handed.

Lepus: Latin name of hares.

Lutra: Latin name of otters.

Dunfreda: I believe it's a Scandinavian name.

Keyla: Celtic, based on either Cai, Key, or Caol, meaning keeper of the keys, rain, or joy.

I'm in a bit of a hurry at the moment, so I've got to go, but I'll post more later.
A good site for looking up origins and meanings of names is http://www.20000-names.com/

Martin the Warrior
January 8th, 2004, 11:59 PM
This is a very interesting topic. It reminds me of the time someone criticized The Long Patrol's pass-a-long because we used "real" names like Daniel, Alfred, Alison, Cornelius, and the like. Brian, he maintained, never used "real-world" names. When I asked him about Matthias, Luke, Martin, Methuselah, Constance, Mortimer, etc.-- surprisingly, he still insisted those were made up.

In any event, one name origin I haven't seen mentioned here is Asmodeus. Since Brian himself commented on the origin of the name in the extra footage for episode #8 of the Redwall television series, I'll just quote him.

Like the name 'Asmodeus'. I was looking in the Bible... it had the names of Satan... all the names of Satan. It had... eh... Lucifer, Beelzebub, Lord of the Flies, Prince of Darkness. And then it had 'Asmodeus'. And I thought, 'Isn't that a wonderful name for a snake, with all those S' in it?' Asssssmodeusssss. So, that was a name I found.

January 9th, 2004, 11:52 AM
Glenner, apparently it is French.
I'm very happy to hear my name has a meaning or two. I'm not sure which I prefer, although "keeper of the keys" could be fun one to put in my sig. one day.

January 10th, 2004, 04:20 PM
No one's mentioned this...Cluny is an abbey in France. Brian claimed he had no idea, and that Cluny was supposed to sound like looney, or something. Erk.
I think it crossed the line from irony, to freaky omen...OF DOOM.

Slagar the Cruel
January 10th, 2004, 06:51 PM
I used to have a short list of name-origins (as well as other "hidden origins" of parts of the Redwall books, such as the hares being based on RAF pilots Brian knew), but I can only remember a few that haven't been mentioned... Gonff is based on the Yiddish word for "thief", Mellus is part of the scientiffic name for badger, and Reynard (as in Chopsnout) is French for "fox".

By the way, here's the Ask Brian question mentioning the Cluny-Abbey connection...

31. I recently looked up 'Cluny' in the American Heritage Dictionary, and discovered that it is a town in east central France. It features an Abbey founded in 910 AD, the home of an influential religious order (!). Is this where you got Cluny's name? It's pretty ironic. (Jennifer Burdoo, Manhattan, Kansas)

I thought Cluny sounded a little like Looney and as he is a mad type that seemed to suit him. It wasn't until some time later that I found out about the Abbey in France. It did seem a little spooky to me too!

Nora the Rover
January 11th, 2004, 04:33 PM
Here's a few more:

Luke: Derived from the Greek name, Lucanas.

Joseph: A biblical name, meaning 'God increases'.

Viola: Latin name, meaning 'violet'.

Sam/Samuel: 'God listens'

Constance: Latin name meaning 'constant', or 'steadfast'.

Serena: Derived from the word 'serene'

Divinia: Italian name meaning 'divine'

Ben: Nickname for Benjamin, a Hebrew name meaning 'Son of the right hand'.

Beau: From nickname, meaning 'handsome'.

Sarobando: From what I've heard, the name is derived from some sort of dance.

Jess: Either derived from Jessica, a Hebrew name meaning 'he sees', or from Jesse, a hebrew name meaning 'wealthy'.

Germaine: An old Teutonic, (German), name meaning 'armed'.

Mariel StormRider
January 11th, 2004, 07:29 PM
Martin- literally meaning "a warrior". Same as Matthias

Methuselah- oldest person in the Bible, hence Methuselah is the oldest mouse in Redwall

Mara- (hebrew) meaning bitter

Brocktree, Brockhall, ect- Brock is the latin word for badger

Verdauga- Verd means grean in Latin and auga means eyes, Verdauga Greeneyes

Lutra- latin for otter

Mortimer- Mort means death in Latin.

Luke- bright

so those are the ones I know off the top of my head. I'm not sure if they've been mentioned before, but oh well.

On another note, I love the two possible meanings for my name. BJ might have based Mariel on Muriel because the meanings sea and bright are perfect for her. Bitterness also works pretty well because in a sense, she was bitter at what Gabool the Wild had done to her. Okay, so maybe she was a little more than bitter, but you get my idea. I also remember on a Ask Brian, he said he had chosen Mariel's name because it reminded him of a bell, so there's always that.

January 16th, 2004, 04:16 PM
Was Sylvaticus the old Abbess in Loamhedge? Sylvaticus is part of the scientific name for some mouse or another, I believe. So is Apodemus, if it hasn't been mentioned.

January 20th, 2004, 10:59 AM
Does Triss (Trisscar) have any meaning or is it just a pretty name.