OT - need your verbal ingenuity

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Wed Mar 9 19:01:14 EST 2005


Margaret wrote:

>This has nothing to do with DWJ, but I need help and this list is full
>of people who delight in wordplay, so:

She says why shouldn't she play too?


>The fantasy book I'm writing now is set in a sort of alternate-Scotland,
>with half taking place in the Orkney Islands and half in a capital city
>which I've named Caudebec and which looks like Edinburgh but has the
>society of Regency London. I don't have any trouble, mixing and matching
>Orkney placename elements for those locales, but the French are giving
>me trouble (naturellement). France exists only on the fringes of the
>novel - there's nothing set there, but I have people saying things like
>"She will expect me to disccuss Parisian opera and French fashions!"
>
>So....I'm trying to think of alternate names for Paris and France that
>will convey the message "I'm talking about France, but this is an
>alternate-world setting so it's not really France" and I'm blanking out.
>Any suggestions would be welcome.

"La Gallique" is DWJ's suggestion.

I'm not sure why the Old Alliance between Scotland and France should
preclude the French in your world having a word that meant "celt" as the
basis for the name of their country; in fact I'd've thought it was quite
appropriate.

Me, I wonder why not Bourgundie or Bourgundia?  the Burgundii had most of
that part of the continent for a while, and the Francii were in a smaller
section at the same time, so it'd be quite reasonable for the other bunch
to have ended up on top -- and Burgundy sounds French enough to get the
idea across.  Or one of the possible derivations from "Francii" that isn't
the soft-c France, but the hard-k alternative: Frankia, Francadia,
Frankardie?

I like Philip's "Lutece", but it doesn't immediately bring Paris to mind to
me, not for several bewildered seconds.

DWJ again: Paris is named after a similar God to London's, a fire-god who
had a massive temple where Notre Dame is now, and Lumen would be just like
them, pre-empting the idea of enlightenment.  It may not immediately sound
Parisish but does it need to? she asks...

(She ought to have gone to bed an hour ago.  Lord help Manchester, is all I
can now say, she will not be happy when she gets there.  I hope they have
laid in several quarts of black coffee.)

Minnow


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