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It's no secret that I love Tolkien's Matoran Dictionary. There's so much effort put in, and it adds so much both to canon and fanon. It's even a good part of the reason I took a linguistics class this year. And now that I have a background in linguistics, I appreciate the effort put in all the more (not to mention understand it more).

Through the years since I was introduced, I've been reading through examples and trying to engineer and reverse engineer names for my characters in the dictionary. Now, I'm no Tolkien, but I think it's about time I compile it, more for me than for you. I'll try to keep it updated as I go.


Adera |n.cmpd.| curious, lit. "wild mind" [adera < atu-ra, from atu "mind, will" and ra "wild, uncontrolled, violent"]

Angaru |n.cmpd.| (Kanohi) splitting, lit. "intending to reflect beings" [angaru < an-gavi-ru, from ān “being, individual”, gavi "reflection; variation" and ru "orientation; oriented toward; intention"]

Aponica |n.cmpd.| lit. "She of the North (steady) Star" [aponica < ai-po-niki-ka, from ai "he/she/it", po "elemental stone", niki "(individual) star", and ka "power, force, ability"] character of Toa-Niretta

Ara(i) |vn.| striving, struggling; climbing [arai < a-ra-i, from the verbal complex ra-ya "to strive, struggle; climb" with splitting+displacement of the verbal particle ya]

Arkahna |n.cmpd.| (Kanohi) tension, lit. "hidden application of force" [arkahna < ar-ka-nua-a, from the split particle ār (ar...a) “applied, application (of)”, ka "power, force, ability", and nua "hidden, unseen, secret"]

Avarax |n.cmpd.| 1. (archaic) greater than light, lit. "application of command to light"; 2. (modern) humbled by light, lit. "application of light's superior command" [avarax < avo-ar-rex, from avo "elemental light", ār "applied, application (of)" and rex "superior command, upper echelon" (variant of orix)] character of Llortor

Avganae |n.cmpd.| lit. "light of the waves" [avganae < av-ganae, from av "elemental light" (variant of avo) and ganae "waves, lit. 'proliferating water'"]

Boju |n.cmpd.| sprout, sapling [boju < bo-ju from bo "elemental plantlife", and ju "weakened"]

Damir |n.cmpd.| engineer, lit. "oriented toward engineering/organization" [damir < dami-ir, from dami "organization; engineering" and ru "orientation; oriented toward; intention"] character of Toa-Niretta

Eltanin |n.cmpd.| lit. "seeker of heavenly courage/leadership" [eltanin < el-ta-ini-an, from el "finding, seeking/searching; detection, sense", ta "elemental fire", ini "star(s)", and an "being, individual"] character of Llortor

Irohka |n.cmpd.| highest ability/potential, lit. "on the edge of potential" [irohka < i-rho-ka, from the particle ī- “to, toward" (endpoint) rho "line, edge, boundary", ka "power, force, ability; ability, (creative) potential"]

Jotu |n.cmpd.| fine craftsmanship, lit. "result of strategy" [jotu < jo-tu, from  “strategy, tactics; pattern” and tu "spirit/essence; result of process". Variant forms: yotu]

Kife |n.cmpd.| risk-taker; assassin, lit. "biting iron" [kife < khi-fe, from khi “sharpness, harshness, biting” and fe "elemental iron"] character of Llortor

Kihore |n.cmpd.| (Kanohi) avarice, lit. "uncontrollable hunger for wholeness" [kihore < kē-vor-rei, from kē "wholeness; regeneration, restoration", vor "hunger, energy-draining", rei "wild, uncontrolled, violent" (Skakdi variant of rī)] mask from Llortor

Maggi |n.cmpd.| flood (informal) [maggie < mai-agai, from mai "up, upward, above" (variant of mi) and agai "elemental water" (variant of ga)]

Magahki |n.cmpd.| example, exemplar, lit. "measurement of rising importance" [magahki < mai-gar-hiki, from mai "up, upward, above" (variant of mi), gar "weight; importance", and hiki "piece/part/portion of something; measurement, extent"]

Nashiru |n.cmpd.| lit. "oriented toward the silence of the sea" [nashiru < ni-shai-ru, from  “(liquid) protodermis; sea, ocean”, shai “silence; mute, quiet” (variant of she), and ru "orientation; oriented toward; intention"]

Odetsuka |n.cmpd.| southern psionic power [odetsuka < odui-atu-su-ka, from odui "south (cardinal direction)" (variant of uduino), atu "mind, will",  “living, active” (variant of sau), and ka "power, force, ability"]

Ona |n.cmpd.| lit. "much stubbornness" [ona < one-na, from one "firm, steadfast; earthy, foundational" and na "many, multiple"] character of Toa-Niretta

Onuku |n.cmpd.| foundation, lit. "central earth" [onuku < onu-uku, from onu "elemental earth" and uku "middle, in the midst of"]

Ourus |n.cmpd.| wanderer [ourus < a-rus, the verbal complex rus-ha "to roam" with splitting+displacement of the verbal particle ha]

Pakoi |n.cmpd.| power/energy sapper [pakoi < pi-ka-ui, from pi "agent, perpetrator; creature", ka "power, force, ability", and the possessive particle ui]

Pakoire |n.cmpd.| (Kanohi) imitation, lit. "snatcher of power" [pakoire < pakoi-rei, from pakoi "power/energy sapper" and rei "wild, uncontrolled, violent" (Skakdi variant of rī)] mask from Elphin-Zephyr

Rus-ha |v.| roam, lit. "ride freely" [from rus < ra-us, "free steed" and the verbal particle ha]

Savitar |n.cmpd.| (Kanohi) application of lightning [savitar < sa-vo-ta-ar, from sa "hungering, desiring", avo "elemental light" (variant of vo), ta "elemental fire", ār "applied, application (of)"] mask from LegoMetal44

Sladar |n.cmpd.| flatterer, lit. "application of pleasing empty noise" [sladar < se-la-de-ar, from se "empty, emptied out, drained" (variant of ze), la "good, excellent", de "elemental sonics", and ār "applied, application (of)"] character of Toa-Niretta

Sureka |n.cmpd.| humility, lit. "not desiring power/ability" [surek < sa-uru-ka, from sa “hungering, desiring”, ūr(u) “un-, negative, not”, and ka "power, force, ability". Variant forms: Surek]

Tabaris |n.cmpd.| haunted by the past, lit. "spirit of a weighty home" [tabaris < ta-ba-reis, from ta "spirit, being, essence", ba "elemental gravity", reis "home, nest, safe place" (-s modified form of rei)] character of Sir-Iggs

Tamaya |n.cmpd.| optimist, lit. "rising spirit" [tamaya < ta-maiya, from  ta "spirit, being, essence" and the verbal complex mai-ya "to rise"] character of Toa-Niretta

Thaera |vn.| wrestling, lit. "struggling fiercely" [thaera < tah-ara, from tah "fierce, rash, brash" (variant of ta) and ara(i) "striving, struggling; climbing"]

Virse |n.cmpd.| silent scholar [virse < vhiso-or-sha, from vhiso "scholar", or "word, unit(s) of communication" and she "silence, muteness; whisper"]

Yotun |n.cmpd.| fine craftsman [yotun < yotu-an, from yotu "fine craftsmanship" (variant of jotu) and ān “being, individual”] character of Llortor
  • Listening to: Pyre Soundtrack
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:iconthemugbearer:
TheMugbearer Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Tolkien's helped me and Demi to come up with a whole bunch of names for Technorealm actually. <3
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:iconvahki6:
vahki6 Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2017  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Guess we'll have to add this to the dictionary !
Nice work, Didn't knew you liked Tolkien's work too, it helped me to name some masks of mine.
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:icon0nuku:
0nuku Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
I didn't know you were a fan either, glad to see there's plenty of love for that great project.
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:iconelphin-zephyr:
Elphin-Zephyr Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is awesome!! :D
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:iconsilvakthemocist:
SilvakTheMocist Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
If I could really get into Tolkien's dictionary and do this, I would. It adds so much detail to the names of your characters and I love it! I usually get names for my characters from words in Maori, Latin, Finnish (for G2 Zerec characters) and a couple other languages to give the names that "authentic" feel, although I do make up names sometimes too (my Self-MOC himself being an example)

I wonder what my characters' names mean according to the dictionary....
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:iconsilvakthemocist:
SilvakTheMocist Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Probably just gibberish

But I'll definitely look into this
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:icon0nuku:
0nuku Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
I agree, I love the depth it gives to otherwise random or stolen names, and it really helps the world feel real. As long as you've got some of the basic sounds in there, translating any name isn't that hard. Sometimes you have to stretch a little (for example, Ourus and Kihore, both completely made up as far as I know), but if you play with some combinations for long enough you'll end up with something you like. I'd be happy to help if you want it. :)
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:iconmonarth:
Monarth Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
These are very good =)

I should probably use this more often, but I did find once dig a meaning for Monarth's name with the dictionary.

Monarth |n.cmpd| many plains resonance [monarth < mo-na-arthra, from mo "plains, broad expanse of land", na "many, multiple", arthra "echo, resonance"]
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:iconpohretra:
Pohretra Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow. I had no idea about this.
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:iconlol-pretzel:
Lol-Pretzel Featured By Owner Edited Oct 26, 2017
I've been putting together the same thing for a lot of my own characters. It's great to see others doing the same! I especially like your reasoning out for Kihore. 

I've only got a handful so far but here's the one I did for Gringat himself :)

Gringat |n.cmpd| lone genius [gringat < gar-ini-ngu-atu, from gar "weight, importance", ini "high/elevated; star", ngu "alone", atu "mind"]
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:icontoa-niretta:
Toa-Niretta Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So interesting. Still no clue how it works though :B
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:iconmonarth:
Monarth Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
Well, if you don't mind, I had a go with your username.

Niretta |n.cmpd| spirit of home [niretta < ni-rei-ta, from ni "one who (personifying article)", rei "home, nest, safe place", ta "spirit, being essence"]
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:icon0nuku:
0nuku Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
That actually sounds really good. I've just been dissuaded by Nireta already being in the dictionary, but as she pointed out last night, a second t can make a difference :P
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:icontoa-niretta:
Toa-Niretta Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Huh, well then ^^;
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October 25, 2017
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