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Stefan's Florilegium


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placenames2-msg – 8/11/10


Origins and meanings of SCA placenames. Some of the stories behind them. This is the second of two such files.


NOTE: See also the files: Branch-Names-art, placenames-msg, placenames3-msg, SCA-hist1-msg, SCA-stories1-msg, child-stories-msg, you-know-msg, border-stories-msg, Hst-SCA-Fence-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



Note: This is the second of the 3 placenames-msg files in the Florilegium. I am still looking for the stories behind the SCA group names not given in these files. If you know the story behind a name not given in these files, please send me an email with the group name and story so that I may add it to these files.





Subject: Re: ANST - Moving to Ansteorra, eh?

Date: Thu, 19 Feb 98 07:22:52 MST

From: Baronman at aol.com

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG


Came from the Barony of Cour Eneui (the Heart of Boredom) Des Moines, Iowa.

You can't believe how true that name is.  Stuck around here for twelve


Guess all the RIGHT people live in this Kingdom.


Baron Bors of Lothian



From: "Elizabeth Zagula" <ezagula at srv.net>

To: <stefan at texas.net>

Subject: Re: Coron-Artem-art

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 20:32:37 -0700



As far as how the Barony of One Thousand Eyes got it's name....Well, the

barony covers all of southeastern Idaho from just inside the Wyoming

border, up to the Montana border, and down to the Utah border.  All of this

is prime potato country.  Way back in the days of incipient shirehood,

someone decided to be the Shire of One Thousand Eyes in honor of the

numerous eyes on the many potatoes around here.  Now, of course, we do not

admit to that and the Peacock with it's many feathered eyes is the baronial

device and symbol of the barony.  The peacock is just slightly more

heraldicly correct and regal than the spud!





Subject: Re: Kingdom names

Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 10:02:57 -0500

From: Richard Tucker <nitecrawler7 at worldnet.att.net>

To: Stefan li Rous <stefan at texas.net>


Origin of the name "Namron"  (no shit, I was there)


In the very first days, before the Barony, before the Shire, before the

Insipid Shire, there was the Group. (AS 9) Included in the group were

the Fogels, who had a highschool age daughter. Daughter went to football

games as a cheerleader. (the importance of this will be revealed)  the

cheerleaders occupied the far side of the stadium in those days, so as

to be better visible to the cameras in the pressbox. During the halftime

festivities, when the band was manuvering, the six tubaswould array

themselves in a row along the back line (facing the pressbox) with cloth

covers over the bells, each containing a letter, the combined effort

spelling NORMAN (while facing the pressbox).  when the band turned to

play for the student seats, (facing away from the pressbox) the tubas

tended to turn in place, the covers now spelling NAMRON, and Daughter

being a bit of a whiner, insisted the group name be Namron, and the

adults gave in to shut her up, and the name stuck.


HL Charly the Bastard   the Last Dworf in Ansteorra



Subject: Oldenfeld (Trimaris) name history

Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 00:41:07 EDT

From: BastetKat at aol.com

To: stefan at texas.net


   You may already know this one, but Oldenfeld is located in the city of

Tallahassee, Fl. Tallahassee is Indian for "Old fields", thus the translation

to old English "Oldenfeld". Further, we are located in Leon county, so of

course we chose a lion as our heraldry...

   (Our Kingdom's triskele supposedly comes from the hurricane symbol, but I

can't verify that one!)


   Lady Judith



Subject: Re: Oldenfeld (Trimaris) name history

Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 15:05:36 EDT

From: BastetKat at aol.com

To: stefan at texas.net


   Actually, I'm pretty sure about the Triskele. The name Trimaris

definitely refers to our penesular status, and the hurricane symbol is

basically a triskele. I learned this from Master Morric Haast, who has been

around in Trimaris forever.

   In addition, our shire chose a couchant lion to represent our laid-back



In Service, Judith



Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 21:52:29 -0400

From: Bonne <oftraquair at hotmail.com>

Subject: Where in Atlantia, was SC - My last word on Feast-o-crats


Buckston-on-Eno, Windmasters' Hill  (Durham, NC)

Durham was built because of [the company of] Duke Tobacco, Duke Tobacco

was founded by James B. Duke = "Buck" Duke; therefore Buck's Town on the Eno (River).  Cool, huh?


As for the derivation of Windmasters' Hill, it is something to do with men

trying out some flying contraption near the sea.


Bonne de Traquair



Subject: Re: SCA vanity license plates

Date: Fri, 28 Aug 98 03:23:50 MST

From: "sheydel at bellsouth.net" <sheydel at mail.bna.bellsouth.net>

To: "Mark.S Harris (rsve60)" <rsve60 at email.sps.mot.com>


> Any idea where the name of Glaedenfeld came from or what it means?

> Stefan li Rous


Glaedenfeld derives (I am told by Baron Akim Yaroslavich, our founding

member) from the Anglo-Saxon for "field of flowers". I was also told

there is a reference in Tolkien to the same term.


Your Obedient Servant,

Lord Edmund Cavendish

Shire of Glaedenfeld, Kingdom of Meridies

(Steve Heydel)



From: james koch <alchem at en.com>

Organization: alchem inc

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: SCA Place-names

Date: Sun, 18 Apr 1999 00:39:57 -0400


> Where do we get the names of our Kindoms/baronies/shires/etc?

> Lord Erec L'Claire


"Pentwyvern" was named by a Ouija board, or so I am told.

Jim Koch(Gladius The Alchemist)


From: moondrgn at bga.com (Chris and Elisabeth Zakes)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: SCA Place-names

Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 12:19:54 GMT


An orbiting mind control laser caused lorderec at aol.com (Lord Erec) to write:

>Where do we get the names of our Kindoms/baronies/shires/etc?  


There is no one source. Usually the group makes up a name that pleases the majority of the folks there, run it past the herald's office to make sure it follows their rules, and then they go with it. Frequently, names are based on the mundane location of the group. The East Kingdom is on the east coast of the U.S.; the Middle Kingdom is midway between the East and West; Atenveldt, which started in Arizona, means "sun plains"; Ansteorra, which started in Texas, means "lonestar"; Trimaris means "three seas", it's is at the juncture of the Atlantic Ocean, the Carribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Sometimes the names are puns or in-jokes. The barony of the Stargate is Houston Texas; Namron is Norman (Oklahoma) spelled backwards; the College of Grey Gargoyles is the University of Chicago (which has lots of gargoyles as decorative motifs on the buildings); Boise Idaho(potatoes) is the Barony of One Thousand Eyes; Des Moines Iowa iscalled Coeur d'Ennui (heart of boredom) etc.

      -Tivar Moondragon


C and E ZakesTivar Moondragon (Patience and Persistence)and Aethelyan Moondragon (Decadence is its own reward)moondrgn at bga.com



From: powers at cis.ohio-state.edu (william thomas powers)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: SCA Place-names

Date: 19 Apr 1999 13:43:01 GMT

Organization: The Ohio State University, Department of Computer and Information Science


Well having named a shire; I chose one that I liked!  I like the names having some sort of link to the area so I can remember where the heck they are; so when it came time to choose a name for the shire in Fort Smith I held my breath and turned blue until everyone else agreed to name "Smith Keep"  (yes the fact that I am a blacksmith and that the shire was founded in my living room one New Year's eve with my wife as the first seneschale did make things easier...though the shire of Hangman's tree did suggest itself too)


wilelm the smith



From: Edouard d'Avignon <splatter at bigfoot.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: SCA Place-names

Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 17:10:06 GMT


"Thescorre" is an anagram for "Rochester" in upstate NY





From: "M.Dwayne Herron & Anne R. Martens" <blackknight at erols.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: SCA Place-names

Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 22:33:17 -0400

Organization: Silver Heron Industries


Lord Erec wrote:

> Where do we get the names of our Kindoms/baronies/shires/etc?

> Lord Erec L'Claire


When the now legendary Shire of Ashental (Geneseo, NY) was being named,it was originally to have been Achental.  However it was rejected by the College of Heralds because there was a place called Achen in Germany,and 'tal' means 'valley of'.  So we burned it to the ground (the letter,not the town) and we were registered as Ashental.


Diablu, Black Knight of the East



From: greycat at idt.net (Greycat Sharpclaw)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: SCA Place-names

Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 07:43:32 GMT


There is an allegation that Lord Erec wrote:

> Where do we get the names of our Kindoms/baronies/shires/etc?


Depends on the mood of the naming meeting.  I was there when Worcester, Mass. was named "Von Sosse" (German for "of sauce") because it was the Worcester-Shire. It's since been renamed...


Lord Emrys Cador

Barony of Settmour Swamp

East Kingdom



From: "Lyle H. Gray" <gray at cs.umass.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: SCA Place-names

Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 09:13:23 -0400


Greycat Sharpclaw wrote:

>Depends on the mood of the naming meeting.  I was there when

>Worcester, Mass. was named "Von Sosse" (German for "of sauce") because

>it was the Worcester-Shire.


It's since been renamed...Twice...

Current name is "Quintavia", meaning "five roads".

Lyle FitzWilliam

Bergental, East



From: Marcus MacFarlane <ClanLaird at HoTMaiL.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: SCA Place-names

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 06:30:53 GMT


Here in the Northern Wood of the East's Royal Forest of Rusted Woodlands, we made an attempt to go Incipient (since then we may become a Canton if the Barony polls pull through). Our Incipient Meetings met in the local Library and we got our hands on a Gaelic Dictionary and started thumbing through it while people started spouting Mundane and Scadian Features.  We realized we were on the border of what was soon to be Aethelmearc with a branch of the Apalachian and Catskill Mountains on one border and Bear Mountain on the Hudson Border with a rolling valley in between. Realizing that we would be a border Shire we looked it up and 'Tearmann' came up, and with the surrounding Mountains we looked that up and got 'Cruachan.' Thus was born the Incipient Shire of Tearmann Cruachan.


SATIRE NOTE:  Our Seneschal to be was none other than the Cheiftain Laird of Clan Campbell who perked up at this wonderful name when it was said.  Turned out that 'Cruachan' is the Clan Campbell Battle Cry and as Cheiftain Laird of the Clan, he had no objection to the name.  Strangely, he had nothing to do with looking up the name nor did he push anyone to vote for it.


Marcus MacFarlane

Cheiftain Laird of Clan MacFarlane

ClanLaird at HoTMaiL.com



From: "Anthony J. Bryant" <ajbryant at indiana.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: SCA Place-names

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 02:33:07 -0500

Organization: Indiana University, Bloomington


Lord Erec wrote:

> Thank you all for your replys.  Interesting that there was no talk of period

> naming practices......


No one said it overtly, but there's plenty of period naming practices there. Geographical features (Middle Kingdom, Trimaris). Common in mundane world; look at Cleveland, Chunguo ("middle kingdom" aka China). Physical features (An Crosaire = The Crossroads, South Keep = the southernmost shire in Trimaris). Again, Cleveland, Des Plaines, GrandsTitons. Translations or modifications of existing names (Cleveland -->Cleftland, Tallahassee --> Oldenfleld). Trafalgar from Tarif al-Ghar. London from Londinium. Named for the founders or in honor of someone (Smith Shire as mentioned before, Mathom's Trove) Coopersville. Pennsylvania. Franklin Station. There are many perfectly period names out there. There are some weird mundane ones, too. My favorite is in N. California, Coalinga (pronounced koh LING uh). It was a stop on the railroad line,and was coaling stop A. Hence, coaling A, or Coalinga.





From: moondrgn at bga.com (Chris and Elisabeth Zakes)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: SCA Place-names

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 12:30:31 GMT


An orbiting mind control laser caused Marcus MacFarlane <ClanLaird at HoTMaiL.com> to write:

>Here in the Northern Wood of the East's Royal Forest of Rusted Woodlands, we

>made an attempt to go Incipient (since then we may become a Canton if the

>Barony polls pull through).

>Out Incipient Meetings met in the local Library and we got our hands on a

>Gaelic Dictionary and started thumbing through it while people started

>spouting Mundane and Scadian Features.


One warning: this method can be dangerous, if you don't know the language, or run the name past someone who does. I live in Bryn Gwlad (Austin TX) which, according to the Welsh dictionary means "hill" and "country". In Welsh, however, the meaningis "the land of the unspecified, personified hills." (It *should* havebeen "Bryn Dir".)


       -Tivar Moondragon




From: hrjones at socrates.berkeley.edu ()

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: SCA Place-names

Date: 21 Apr 1999 17:46:10 GMT

Organization: University of California, Berkeley


Chris and Elisabeth Zakes (moondrgn at bga.com) wrote:

: One warning: this method can be dangerous, if you don't know the

: language, or run the name past someone who does.

: I live in Bryn Gwlad (Austin TX) which, according to the Welsh

: dictionary means "hill" and "country". In Welsh, however, the meaning

: is "the land of the unspecified, personified hills." (It *should* have

: been "Bryn Dir".)


There are any number of constructions that could have had the idiomatic meaning "hill country". I'd tend to translate "Bryn Gwlad" more as "country hill", though.




Heather Rose Jones         hrjones at socrates.berkeley.edu




From: "Christopher Straughn" <oxsnard at concentric.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: SCA Place-names

Date: 21 Apr 1999 16:27:15 PDT


There is an allegation that Lord Erec wrote:

> Where do we get the names of our Kindoms/baronies/shires/etc?


The shire of Oldenfeld in Trimaris was named after the town its located in: Tallahassee. It seems Tallahassee is Creek for Old Field and the founding membersthought/may have been right ??? that Oldenfeld was Middle English for oldfield.





From: "Anthony J. Bryant" <ajbryant at indiana.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: SCA Place-names

Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 17:53:04 -0500

Organization: Indiana University, Bloomington


Brian M. Scott wrote:

> Cleveland is named for Moses Cleaveland.  <Middle Kingdom> does not

> strike me as a period place-name in that form, and it's not clear that

> <Trimaris> is, either.


Given on Cleveland. I thought it was a referral to the local cleft in the geography. As for middle kingdom, tell it to China (Chunguo ="middle kingdom") and Mediterranean ("Middle Earth!!!???") Sea. If it weren't English, it might sound better to our ears. Heck, most people I know say "Midrealm" anyway. As for Trimaris, how about "Cinque Ports"?


> > Physical features (An Crosaire = The Crossroads,

> > One would have to determine whether such a place-name is actually

> compatible with period Gaelic place-naming practice. I assumed that they had.

> > Translations or modifications of existing names (Cleveland -->

> > Cleftland,

> > <Cleftlands>, actually.  Not a period place-name construction. Hey, it beats Rivendell...

> > Tallahassee --> Oldenfleld).

> > Is that <Oldenfield>?  It would be better as <-feld> or, in late period

> <-field>.


No, its "feld." Tallahassee is the local (Seminole?) term for "the oldfields (where we used to live but don't live anymore)." Theparenthetical, I'm told, is the actual connotation of that particularword OLD, as opposed to the old-not-new OLD. (More than you want toknow, eh? I was the Oldenfeld herald for a while... Way after the group was established, however.)




From: albion at holyrood.ed.ac.uk ( Andrew Casson)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: SCA Place-names

Date: 22 Apr 1999 12:28:09 GMT

Organization: Edinburgh University


Lord Erec wrote:

> Where do we get the names of our Kindoms/baronies/shires/etc?


It's a while since we did this, so my memory may be off, but...


har: cold (also a play on Haar, the usual name for sea-fog in these parts, but unfortunately an OOP borrowing from Dutch).

pele: castle, tower (Peel/Pel/Pele).

stane: stone, rock.Hence cold-castle-rock, with suggestions of sea-fog, a good descriptionof Edinburgh.


Wolfgang Adolphus Jager        

Seneschal, Harpelestane        

(Dominic Hunter, Edinburgh)



From: Sweetlady <sweetlady at my-dejanews.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: SCA Place-names

Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 03:10:03 GMT


forlornh at aol.computation (ForlornH) wrote:

>When the now legendary Shire of Ashental (Geneseo, NY) was being named,

>it was originally to have been Achental.  However it was rejected by the

>College of Heralds because there was a place called Achen in Germany,

>and 'tal' means 'valley of'.  So we burned it to the ground (the letter,

>not the town) and we were registered as Ashental.


When the Utica/ Rome NY group wanted to split from the Barony of Delftwood(Syracuse, NY) people wanted to show a connection with the Barony and also aconnection with Utica/ Rome. So it was decided on Copper (RevereWare Headquarters in Rome) and Tree (tree - wood) --- Shire of Coppertree. I know this isn't period but there were several "older" SCAdians working on this name.IMHO, I would think that Orion's Gate (army base Ft. Drum, Watertown, NY) is so called because Orion was a warrior and Watertown is on the St. Lawrence Seaway (Gate-way to the Sea).





From: "Harold D Sherman" <HALFRED at prodigy.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: SCA Place-names

Date: 25 Apr 1999 17:42:13 GMT


As one of the founding members concerned, (Echegaray of Shadow Valley atthe time), I confess to this. The research involved was taking the name ofone my favorite novelists, Zoe Oldenbourg, and attempting to convert it tomean "Old Field". Clearly not the best method, but I'd love to know if Icame at all close to a period construction.  


Christopher Straughn <oxsnard at concentric.net> wrote:


> The shire of Oldenfeld in Trimaris was named after the town its located in:

> Tallahassee.

> It seems Tallahassee is Creek for Old Field and the founding members

> thought/may have been right ??? that Oldenfeld was Middle English for old

> field.

> Christoff


Subject: Re: [Fwd: Florilegium files for May]

Date: Tue, 11 May 99 19:51:36 MST

From: martian at iwvisp.com

To: "Mark.S Harris (rsve60)" <rsve60 at email.sps.mot.com>


>Lord Stefan li Rous

>PS: What is the story behind the Naevehjem name? I'd love a message

>on it's origins and/or meanings for my placenames-msg file. I'm

>also curious about Neb Kaires Tevesu. What culture and time is it

>from? Japanese? Middle Eastern?


   We're based in a "company town" for the Naval Air

   Warfare Center, China Lake, where we develop and

   test weapons and aircraft for the Navy.  We wanted

   the name Nibelheim (where small dark elves make

   weapons of destruction), but couldn’t get it passed

   because it's a "real" place.  So linguists among us

   searched other Norse sources and came up with

   Naevehjem (Fist Home)...We're called the Navy

   Hamsters by the Barony of Dun Or (Golden Tower)

   down South of us...We call them the Dun Oreos.


   Kaires is an ancient Egyptian name.  Neb means

   Lord in that language...Tevesu means "son of Thebes."



Subject: Meaning of Bonwicke

Date: Tue, 08 Jun 99 09:35:08 MST

From: Bjorn Lochlannac <bjorn at odsy.net>

To: "Mark.S Harris (rsve60)" <rsve60 at email.sps.mot.com>


Greetings Lord Stefan,


My understanding on the meaning of the name Bonwicke is that it means  Good



Bon being French for good and Wicke being Saxon for place.


Bjorn Lochlannac

Herald for the Barony of Bonwicke



Subject: Place names

Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 03:48:32 EDT

From: DUCORBEAU at aol.com

To: stefan at texas.net


The now defunct Canton of Caldera Keep in the Barony of ltavia, Kingdom of

Caid was so named because it was founded in the jacuzzi at the apartment of

the first Senescal of the canton, and the jacuzzi water was hot enough to

remind us of the Caldera or Cauldron of a volcano.


Lady Morgaine FitzStephen

Founding member and first Exchequer

of Caldera Keep



Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 11:41:28 -0400

From: Lisa.Crumbley at kctcs.net

To: stefan at texas.net


** I saw this section of your placenames portion of the Florilegium.  It is

quite out of date.  I guess the stories aren't though.


The  Shire of Dragonsmark is still active in the Lexington area.  The

college version (on the University of Kentucky's campus) is Dragon's



There is another Kentucky shire called Aurea Ripae it is located in

Owensboro and governs part of the Middle and all of the Western part of the

state. Aurea Ripae is latin for Yellow Banks, which is what Owensboro was

originally named.  We even pull more Kentucky history into our device.  The

indians called Kentucky the Dark Bloody Ground, due to all the blood that

had been shed here during various wars.  Our device has the river flanked by

gold banks surrounded by a blood red background.


Erinn of Aurea Ripae

(mka Lisa Crumbley)



Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 00:31:44 EDT

From: <LadyDarcy at aol.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Neat Shire Names!


ravenleaf at juno.com writes:


Greetings, especially to Rhianwen!


Where is this place?  Has a lovely name!  What does it mean?

>      East Kingdom; Shire Coill Tuar





::grins and feels all special because she was "singled" out...::;


I asked one of my shire-mates if she knew what it meant, since I do not...


She believes it to be something along the lines of "Wooded Meadow"..but isn't

exactly certain.


Shire Coill Tuar is located in Newburgh, NY....  45 minutes north of west

point, 60 miles north of  NYC, 1.5 hours south of Albany and ten minutes from

either Poughkeepsie or Beacon!    ::grins::





Subject: Re: [SCA-CHR] How to use a deputy?

Date: Thu, 07 Oct 1999 22:00:39 MST

From: Howard & Jennie Cosham <IZZYANDHAVELYARD at prodigy.net>

To: sca-chroniclers at midrealm.org



I'm actually Vard's neighbor from two Baronies north (Bright Hills, the

Baltimore Area), and I have the same problem.  I actually have a deputy,

but she lives in our canton, Spiaggia Levantina, on the Eastern Shore of

Maryland. (That's the peninsula on the east side of the Chesapeake Bay,

by the way.  So Spiaggia Levantina means "The Eastern Shore" in



                               Izzie (Baroness Isabel of Biconyll)

                               Chronicler, Barony of the Bright Hills



Subject: Spiaggia Levantina

Date: Fri, 08 Oct 1999 21:05:44 -0400

From: Howard & Jennie Cosham <IZZYANDHAVELYARD at prodigy.net>

To: stefan at texas.net


Dear Lord Stefan,


       Hi!  Glad somebody was interested in that little aside.  I wondered

about that when I wrote it.


       Several members of the group who formed the Canton had Italian

personas. One of the members had an Italian grandmother, and asked her

how to say "The Eastern Shore."  He made sure it wasn't "The East Coast"

or "The East Bank" or something, as that wouldn't be quite right.


       As an aside, many members of Atlantia (in which Kingdom we live) have

taken to calling it "Spaghetti Lasagne" since they have trouble

pronouncing it.


                                       Thanks for your efforts,




Subject: Placenames

Date: Fri, 08 Oct 1999 12:14:25 -0500

From: Wes Will <wwill at siu.edu>

To: stefan at texas.net


I know of the evolution of 2 names, being involved in their creation to a greater or lesser extent, and at least some of a third.


1)     The Shire of Perilous Journey in the Kingdom (then Principality) of Drachenwald.


Perilous Journey was named because of it's location inside then-Communist East Germany. To approach the city by land, you had to pass through one of a very few checkpoints at the East - West border, present appropriate paperwork, and then drive through East Germany on a specific road; which one depended upon your starting point at the border.  If you made any wrong turns on the way, well, you were liable to be arrested as a spy and detained for awhile.  If you made the trip in too short a time, the Allied Forces guards at the West Berlin end stamped your papers, wrote you a speeding ticket, and then passed you on into the city.  Too long a time, and they sent out search vehicles to patrol up and down the road until they either found you, or the East German government reported your incarceration somewhere, usually in some remote village a long way from where you were supposed to be.


By air, the trip is even more fraught with peril.  There were three "Access Corridors" extending across East German airspace from Berlin to West Germany.  Flights to the Divided City were scheduled in advance by a committee in Berlin, and their exact particulars were approved.  If an aircraft leaving from either end of a designated corridor were to stray out of the confines of that protected space, they were liable to be shot down or forced to land by East German or Soviet fighter aircraft.  Frequently, MiGs buzzed by our transport planes while we were in transit into or out of the city.  It could get pretty hairy at times because occasionally they would fly close enough to the C-130 or C-141 to get a good look at the centerfold pictures that the pilots would hold against the cockpit windows.....


All in all, it could get to be quite the Perilous Journey.


2) The Shire of Eternal Wind, Misawa Air Base, northern Japan, Barony of the Far West, West Kingdom.  Currently in abeyance due to lack of members and officers. Sigh.


I started that Shire in 1984, so I would have some other Mediaevalists to play with during my tour in the Great White North.  (Most folks think the tropical Okinawan jungle is what Japan looks like.  As a matter of fact, in large part it's quite a cold and snowy place!  At Misawa, we averaged 12 feet of snow a year, and one year we almost doubled that.)


After a protracted series of discussions, we convinced the base commander and weapons safety officer that heavy combat SCA-style was less likely to produce injuries than playing football.  (I armoured up, handed the base team quarterback a hunk of rattan - he had to get someone to hold his crutches, since he had torn his knee about half off in a game the previous Sunday - and let him whack at me awhile....)


Once that battle was over, we had to choose a name.  Before getting official permission, it didn't seem worthwhile to think of a name which might be wasted effort anyway, so we just called ourselves by the epithet we were known by to most of the base and local Japanese population: "those mediaeval nuts".  After a long period of dithering over several choices, we submitted "Three Swamps" (after the city, Misawa, which reportedly means "3 Swamps").  Shortly, the West Kingdom Herald informed us that "Three Swamps" wouldn't fly because of a conflict with "Three Rivers".


Undaunted, we attempted to get "Shire of Divine Wind" through the system, but it came back in less than 2 months; they didn't find a Kami Kaze Shire at all funny for some reason.  So, we bowed to the inevitable and switched to "Eternal Wind", which passed through the system without a hitch. Since there was always a stiff breeze at 45F or less coming off of the Northern Pacific around those parts, it seemed to fit fairly well, too.


We thought Kami Kaze was a better match, though, since a small hunk of Siberia was only a couple of stone-throws away, and indeed you could see some of the former Soviet-controlled Kuryl Islands from one of our remote antenna sites.  We considered ourselves a "lunch-break" stop on any Soviet contingent's way to the rest of the hemisphere if hostilities broke out.  Anybody who would go or stay there had to be a bit looney, right?


3) Shire of Far Reaches, the Midrealm.


This is my current home Shire, and the evolution of it's name is easy.  It's simply a descriptive, and an accurate one, too.


When the Shire was founded in the late 70's, there were no groups at all less than 5 or 6 hours' drive away.  By the time it was officially named in 1981, there were a few groups a touch closer, but it was still quite the haul to an event.


Far Reaches is located in the hinterlands, the tail-end of Illinois, down in the corner of Meridies, the Middle Kingdom, and Calontir.  It's a LONG way from here to ANYTHING in the "mainstream" of the Midrealm.  There are no peers (of any sort), nobody of any great "importance" ever came here or comes from here.  Pretty much no-one knows who we are or what we do, if they even know that we exist at all.  Almost nobody comes this far into the boondocks unless they're visiting a personal friend.


We're the farthest you can go away from anything that "counts" (or dukes or laurels or pelicans or knights) in the Midrealm, and still say you're in the Midrealm.  Therfore, "Far Reaches".  Simple, eh?


Eoin Caimbeul

Currently of the Shire of Far Reaches, The Midrealm.

Once of Perilous Journey, Drachenwald,

and also formerly of Divine Wind, Kingdom of the West

(among many other places.....)


MKA Wes Will

Formerly "Staff Sergeant Will, USAF",

now just another computer geek at SIU Carbondale.



Subject: RE: wanted: stories about SCA placenames

Date: Fri, 8 Oct 1999 12:25:03 -0500

From: "Denise Horton" <jacinth at mail.ev1.net>

To: <stefan at texas.net>




I have been to your site a number of times, and find something new each

time I look... this is no exception; the page on SCA placenames was

pretty interesting!


Funny enough, we have just celebrated an anniversary in Raven's Fort,

and there has been much mulling over our history.


Original proposed name:  Tallen Trod

Interim name:  Ames Dunam (they tried Ames Brigadoon, but that didn't

   go over with the College of Heralds) ;)

Final Name:  Raven's Fort


In Huntsville, the favored son is General Sam Houston.  Now Sam was

friends with the indians, and to them he was known as the Raven.  Thus,

we have Raven's Fort.


As I wrack my brain, I recall a few other tidbits...  our device:

Per fess embattled argent and gules, a raven close to sinister sable

and a plate within a laurel wreath Or.


Basically a red crenelated wall with a hole in it, and a raven floating

above it.  The infamous "Hole in the Wall" as it were.  I almost can

picture parting the bushes (laurel wreath) to get in... although that

part is my imagination and not substantiated by any of the stories (not

to mention that we are supposed to have a wreath, and that was probably

the most aestetic place to put it).  There's probably more to this



Our supporters:  A red bull... signifying the cattle that live on our

permanent site, and a black frog... which goes back many years to the

Ansteorran/Outlandish War, where the warfrogs made an appearance (where

the fighters were determined "not to croak").


The ground/base of the acheivement: A trilithion... like the ones of

the stone circle at our site.


Lady Jacinth de Warwick

Barony of Raven's Fort

Kingdom of Ansteorra



From: "Mark.S Harris" <rsve60 at email.sps.mot.com>

To: <sca-chroniclers at midrealm.org>

Sent: Friday, October 08, 1999 10:57 AM

Subject: [SCA-CHR] wanted: stories behind SCA placenames


> As an aside, Baroniess Isabel wrote:

> > I'm actually Vard's neighbor from two Baronies north (Bright Hills, the

> > Baltimore Area), and I have the same problem.  I actually have a deputy,

> > but she lives in our canton, Spiaggia Levantina, on the Eastern Shore of

> > Maryland.  (That's the peninsula on the east side of the Chesapeake Bay,

> > by the way.  So Spiaggia Levantina means "The Eastern Shore" in

> > Italian.)


Except that Levantina is not the Italian word for "eastern"....


OK.... Our first Canton meeting was the first meeting after the merger of

Flaming Forge and Dragonford. There was much discussion of what should be

the name of the new entity.. My suggestion of Dragon Forge was eventually

accepted by all.


Ivanor of Sighty Crag, Chronicler, Barony of Dragonship Haven, Pursuivant,

Canton of Dragon Forge.


Carolyn Boselli, Host, SCAdians on Delphi (delphi.com)



Date: Sun, 10 Oct 1999 10:37:11 -0700 (PDT)

From: Jeff B <marcocaprioli at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: Fw: SC - My first attempt at hyppocras

To: Stefan li Rous <stefan at texas.net>


The name Stan Wyrm, that of my shire, is the old English for <stone

dragon>, the shire having gained the name from the preponderance of

dinosaurs and other fossils in the area, even though fossils were

thought in period to be the places where lightning had struck the





Marcello Caprioli                 Jeff Gdog Gdo

Shire of Stan Wyrm                Great Falls MT




Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 06:38:05 MST

From: Marcus Burnham <oburnham at NICKEL.LAURENTIAN.CA>

Subject: SCA Place Names

To: "Mark.S Harris (rsve60)" <rsve60 at email.sps.mot.com>


The Shire of Brennisteinn Vatn (mka Sudbury, Ontario) is Icelandic for "sulphurous lakes" or "sulphurous pools". It was taken because Sudbury is a major centre for nickel mining and smelting. For a long time the area was desolated by the sulphurous fumes produced by the smelting process and it is still possible to see the molten slag being poured in fuming incandescent rivulets some nights.


Hope that does not put anyone off visiting us,



Wilfrid of Sweflingham                      Never fire at Wil!!



Subject: Re[2]: SC - Russian dishes

Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 09:24:51 -0500

From: Chip <jallen at multipro.com>

To: Stefan li Rous <stefan at texas.net>


> I'm also curious about your "Shire of Easaraigh". Do you know which

> language that is in? I might guess Scottish.


Exactly. It is in Scots Gaelic.


> And do you know what it means or any of the history behind it's

> selection?


It means "the pool at the base of the waterfall" which are plentiful

within the borders of our shire.  It's history takes a little

explanation. Our shire used to be named Ezaret (pronounced

EZ-uh-ray). Origins for this name are unknown to me.  As the result

of some unfortunate political strife (before I joined, I'm happy to

say) the group self-destructed.  One of the few surviving members (now

our Seneschal) speaks many languages, among them Scots Gaelic.  In his

search for a new name for the shire, he happened upon Easaraigh

(pronounced Essary).  Being very similar (and a real word), it stuck.

The transition is still being made (we have many people using the new

spelling, but the old pronunciation).  We just hosted a moderately

successful event, so hopefully our name will be spread further.

Thankfully, almost everyone in our admittedly small group are friends

outside the group as well.  Political grief is almost nonexistent for

us. We often use the phrase 'New name, new people, new shire'.


Iyad ibn Bisharo, Shire of Easaraigh, Kingdom of Meridies

Chip Allen, Cookeville, TN



Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 13:52:28 MST

From: Todd Sumpter <sumpter at k-town.de>

Subject: RE: [SCA-CHR] copies of Chroniclers Handbook?

To: "Mark.S Harris (rsve60)" <rsve60 at email.sps.mot.com>


Greetings Lord Stefan li Rous,


   Our fair shire is located on the edge of the  beautiful Rein River

Valley, in Kaiserslautern Germany.    Our name, which is German,

Veilburgen means many castles, which there are many 'burgs' and

'Schloss' located here either in ruin or rebuilt to their former glory.

Our kingdom is known as Drachenwald, "Dragon Forest".   This upcoming

weekend we are attending an event that is being held in a winery and

former castle.  We are now looking at another castle to hold a shire

event in February.  What a grand event it is, when held in a castle that

is as old as our SCA period era.


   At the upcoming event this weekend, there shall be told the old

stories of our Kingdom, if I find out where exactly our shire and

kingdom names come from, I shall happily inform you post haste!


In Service to Vielburgen, Drachenwald

Chronicler of Auf die Burgen

Calibrid of the Horse



Date: Tue, 09 Nov 1999 11:02:12 MST

From: DUNHAM Patricia R <Patricia.R.DUNHAM at ci.eugene.or.us>

Subject: RE: wanted: stories behind SCA placenames

To: "Mark.S Harris (rsve60)" <rsve60 at email.sps.mot.com>


Stefan, here are a couple of corrections/additions to Shara's information

about AnTir place names, from back in '91...



Adiantum: ... part of the botanical name of the founding baroness's favorite

PLANT - the maidenhair fern, very typical of this area (writing from

Adiantum, in 1999)  Baronial device is a two-headed bear in a laurel wreath

-- when the heralds rejected the initial submission of a "banana slug

rampant" (native fauna), they tried again with a "joke" submission based on

a two-headed teddy bear, mascot of another of the founders, and THAT the

heralds liked!


Three Mountains: originally tried to register as "The Barony of the

Mountains" but heralds rejected as too general. So the baron looked out his

window and saw three mountains (Mt Hood in OR, St Helens and Adams in

Washington). Resubmitted as "Three Mountains"

and it passed. (Known recently as "2 1/2 Mountains" after St. Helens



Wastekeep: Hanford Washington - site of mundane nuclear waste facility


Dragon's Lair: Bremerton Washington, home of US Naval "dragons", esp. those

that go under the water


Seagirt: Victoria BC -- definitely on an island, so "sea-girt"; had to get a

dispensation from "tre-girt-sea"!




Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 22:18:45 MST

From: "Shannon D. Duncan" <odhran at arkay.net>

Subject: Re: Shire of Easaraigh

To: "Mark.S Harris (rsve60)" <rsve60 at email.sps.mot.com>


> > Subject: Re[2]: SC - Russian dishes

> > Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 09:24:51 -0500

> > From: Chip <jallen at multipro.com>

> > To: Stefan li Rous <stefan at texas.net>

> >

> > > I'm also curious about your "Shire of Easaraigh". Do you know which

> > > language that is in? I might guess Scottish.

> >

> > Exactly.  It is in Scots Gaelic.

> >

> > > And do you know what it means or any of the history behind it's

> > > selection?

> >

> > It means "the pool at the base of the waterfall" which are plentiful

> > within the borders of our shire.  It's history takes a little

> > explanation.  Our shire used to be named Ezaret (pronounced

> > EZ-uh-ray).  Origins for this name are unknown to me.


However, they are not unknown to me and it requires a bit *more*

explanation than is provided here by my honorable friend, Iyad ibn

Bisharo. "Ezaret" was the mispronounciation of "easaraigh"--which the

original founders had thought was French.  It remained unchallenged from

'82 until '99, when I took the original Gaelic, found the documentation

and petitioned our Herald to officially submit it.


> > As the result

> > of some unfortunate political strife (before I joined, I'm happy to

> > say) the group self-destructed.  One of the few surviving members (now

> > our Seneschal) speaks many languages, among them Scots Gaelic.  In his

> > search for a new name for the shire, he happened upon Easaraigh

> > (pronounced Essary).


Concerning the political strife, I was not here during it--merely the

confidant of the main two "combatants(?)".  Having got both their sides

(numerous times), then having got a few more accounts with a crowbar and

lots of elbow grease out of spectators that were no longer playing, but

were still living in Cookeville, I pieced together what happened.  It did

self-destruct, but I wasn't there.


> >  Being very similar (and a real word), it stuck.

> > The transition is still being made (we have many people using the new

> > spelling, but the old pronunciation).  We just hosted a moderately

> > successful event, so hopefully our name will be spread further.

> > Thankfully, almost everyone in our admittedly small group are friends

> > outside the group as well.


The transition is indeed still being made, but I don't expect it will ever

fully stick.  As for the spread of the name, that will happen as it may, I



> > Political grief is almost nonexistent for

> > us.  We often use the phrase 'New name, new people, new shire'.


This is an oversimplification.  There is little political grief where the

populace (made up of mostly new people--this much is accurate from

above) can see it, but it most certainly is there.  It's just not as

evident, much to my chagrin.  I would like to eradicate it--however, that

would mean eradicating memberships as well.  No way.  The politics that do

exist can be controlled--with enough presence of mind and intestinal



> > Iyad ibn Bisharo, Shire of Easaraigh, Kingdom of Meridies

> > Chip Allen, Cookeville, TN

> > jallen at multipro.com


*neigh* I do speak Scottish Gaelic, as well as pieces of several others,

but I'm not as much of a language god as Chip portrayed me.  I merely do

what I can to make sure people understand that getting along is paramount

in the struggle to keep our Shire together and growing and any hindrance

to this end...well, let's just say I'm not having any of that.


If you have any other questions, let me know and I'll try to answer them.


I remain the humble servant of Meridies and Her Crown,


Odhran mac an Aba,

Fear-riaghlaidh na h-Easaraigh,

Rioghnachd Mheiridies



Shannon D. Duncan,

Seneschal of Easaraigh,

Kingdom of Meridies



From: Conallwolf at aol.com

Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2000 07:05:26 EST

Subject: Re: Asking Permission

To: stefan at texas.net

In 1992 the shire was known as "Ezaret" (Ez-u-ray), which I believe I was

told was French and having to something to do with the sun and/or its rays.  

I left the shire for a few years and wandered abroad, and was told that

shortly before I returned in Dec. of '98 that the name had been changed to

"Easaraigh" (Essary) which is similar, but more reflected the largely Celtic

makeup of the local populace.  Easaraigh is Scottish Gaelic for "the pool of

water at the bottom of a falls", or so I'm told by our local scholars of

language.  This is especially appropriate as there are a great number of

waterfalls around this region, and in fact our area is known for such

scenery.  Our central town is located in middle Tennessee on the western edge

of the Cumberland Plateau (or Great Meridian Plateau, if you prefer), where

rolling hills and farmlands rise into the mountains.  Hope this is helpful.


    Conall mac Dubhdara

    Hospitallar for the Shire of Easaraigh

    Kingdom of Meridies


    William C. Russell

    Cookeville, TN



Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 13:29:52 EDT

From: CBlackwill at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Honeycomb (confectionary) - question to the list


bsusan at corp.earthlink.net writes:

> And what city do you live in Balthazar?


> Eleanor  


Bakersfield, California.  The armpit of the Western World.  Our city motto

should have been:  "Bakersfield...Where Lizards come to Die."  


Balthazar of Blackmoor

(just as a point of reference...'Blackmoor' is my personal in-joke, and

relates to the forests of black oil rigs which spot the landscape in my area.

Our Shire was once known as Darkwell...we changed it to Wintermist because

of all of the dense, impermeable fog we get for about 3 months out of the

year. Just FYI)



Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2000 08:27:20 -0600

To: stefan at texas.net

From: Joan Nicholson <gryphon at carlsbadnm.com>

Subject: Re: SC - placenames


Do you have the Shire of Caer Mithin Halle?  It was named the "Castle of

the Hidden Halls" after Carlsbad Caverns some twenty miles south of here.





Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2000 09:54:56 -0600

To: stefan at texas.net

From: Joan Nicholson <gryphon at carlsbadnm.com>

Subject: Re: SC - placenames


>What language is this in? Middle English? Gaelic?

>  Stefan


Derivations are: "Caer" Welsh for "castle/fort"; "Mithin" is Middle

English(Saxon) for hidden/concealed; "Halle" is the Middle English for

"hall."  Name and device are registered and have been for years.  I was the

founding seneschal.





From: "Phil Anderson" <urizen at clear.net.nz>

To: stefan at texas.net

Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2000 22:14:07 +1200

Subject: Re: SC - placenames


From my Southron Gaard pages



"Southron Gaard" is generally said to mean "Southern

Guard/Guardian/Guardpost". The name is reflected in the tower on

the barony's arms, the name of its newsletter (From the Tower) and

the title of its herald (Tour d' Or, or Golden Tower). It is not clear

precisely why the name was chosen; there may be a connection

with the fact that "Caid" is said to mean "fortress" in Arabic. It has

been pointed out that the Barony (then Province) of Nordwache,

established the year before Southron Gaard, has a name meaning

"North Guard", and the arms of several other Caidan groups feature



However, the name dates from very early on (prior to September

1982) and, given the very limited contact with central Caid, it's not

clear who would have known of these things at that time. An

alternative explanation, given by Thorvald Wulfaersson in an article

in the Tenth Anniversary (May/Jun '92) issue of FTT, is as follows:


"Of the naming I could tell. How many and lyrical were the names

proposed, but finally in Norse style was chosen the simplest. We

called Byzantium "Micklegard", the Big City. We would call

ourselves Southrongaard, the Southern City."



Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2000 09:11:46 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler at chesapeake.net>

Subject: Re: SC - placenames--OT


Our barony is Dun Carraig, which is Scots Gaelic for stone or hill fort. We

chose the name because Calvert County, where many of us reside, is composed of a

number of hills and cliffs, particularly Calvert Cliffs, an ancient repository of marine life from several prehistoric epocs...and, more recently, the site of a nuclear power plant!  Our arms include a cross bottony (the one with three little buds on the end of each arm), and are red and white.  The Maryland state arms include a cross bottony on a quartered field of red and white, the cross being counterchanged.  This relates to the fact that the counties that comprise our barony were the first areas that were settled by Europeans in Maryland.





From: Collette <collette at impulse.net>

To: "'stefan at texas.net'" <stefan at texas.net>

Subject: RE: Permission please

Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2000 11:21:34 -0700


I have heard that our Shire's name comes from the fact that the surrounding

hills are composed mostly of diatomaceous earth.  Carreg Wen is Welsh for

White Rock and fossilized diatoms are white.  Now that you have raised the

question I shall do some digging (ahem!) and try to find out the story

behind the naming.  This group just had its 17th anniversary and I have

been a part of the group for the past ten years, so I was not privy to the

decisions that led us to our name.  I believe I shall have to track down

founding members and quiz them as to why we have the name we do.  It will

make a good "investigative article" for our newsletter.  When I have the

full story I will send you a copy.


Lady Collette Vittraria

Chronicler for the Shire of Carreg Wen


mka Collette

Christel Illusions

Fine Art Glass Etching & Stained Glass

collette at impulse.net



Subject: stuff :)

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 10:11:17 -0700

From: Claire Galibois <galibois at ualberta.ca>

To: stefan at texas.net


A note for the Florilegium.  I was talking to one of the "old" SCA

members in my area, and asked her about the history of the name

'Veraquilon.'  Apparently the original name was Aquilon (North wind),

and the papers were filed with that name, but there were hold-ups.  I

don't know how the process works, but the papers were mailed in to

the appropriate place and a few years later the name still hadn't

been approved.  Then another (canton?) took the name, and had it

approved while ours was still in the works.  So rather than lose the

name entirely, the members at the time simply changed it to

"VERaquilon" or "TRUE North wind."





Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2001 09:04:45 -0700

To: stefan at texas.net

From: Claire Galibois <galibois at ualberta.ca>

Subject: Re: stuff :)


>What kind of group is this currently? A shire? A barony? And where?

>The name is not that familar to me, but then I mainly know of the

>big baronies in other kingdoms.

>     Stefan


The other group (Aquilon) went belly-up three years later.  After

Veraquilon was approved, though...


Veraquilon is a canton of(?in?) the barony of Borealis, in the

principality of Avacal.  Edmonton area, mundanely. Borealis covers

most of northern Alberta.





Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Elfsea

Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2001 03:02:54 -0500

From: "Stephen Macthomas" <macthomas at ev1.net>

To: <ansteorra at ansteorra.org>


Aerin, I believe you're thinking of Fyreamptewealde, the original name of

the Canton of Gate's Edge.  It means "fire ant mound" in Old English, IIRC.

(Whether my memory serves or not, it's plain to see why the name changed.)


Stephen Macthomas

Gate's Edge



Subject: [Ansteorra] Groups Original Names

Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2001 11:23:28 -0500

From: Burke McCrory <bmccrory at oktax.state.ok.us>

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org


>While we're on the subject of original names for our local branches, I'd

>love to hear about others that went through some name changes during their

>history, as well as what the names mean.  I know that Bryn Gwlad was not

>always Bryn Gwlad, for example ... <grin>

>Stephen Macthomas

>Gate's Edge


Well here in the North I know of several,

Wiesenfeuer was originally Ebonfeuer (Black Fire)

Moonschadowe was Mona Sceaduw (which is Moon Shadow in Old English)


Sir Burke



Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Groups Original Names

Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2001 11:47:38 -0500

From: "David R. Hoffpauir" <env_drh at shsu.edu>

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org


Ravens Fort had two names:


Tallen Trod (tall tree)

Ames Dunham (beats me, just remember there was a cross cultural mix in words

that the heralds wouldn't pass)


For a definitive answer ask Michael of Twin Cedars (SCA membership #1500).

He's been in Ravens Fort since the last ice age, I think.





Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Elfsea

Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2001 10:50:48 -0500

From: Darius and Monica <dmriney at earthlink.net>

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org


While I was Herald in Elfsea I chanced across the Petition to raise said group

to Baronial Status, the name is describe there to derive from the number of

small lakes in the area so "Elf" for small or diminutive and "Sea" for all

the lakes.




Rhonda Hays wrote:

> Some time ago, there was a discussion on our local list about traditions. I

> recall from that one of the reasons why Elfsea is so named is because Fort

> Worth some of the surrounding areas of Tarrant county sit on what was once

> under water.  Fossil Creek is an example of what you can dig up around here.

> We live in NE Parker County, next to Tarrant and have a "drop off" which

> runs the length of our six acres. We have found all sorts of shells, from

> the small ones to some rather large (6" wide") ones, clearly all from

> under the water.

> Our overly large ponds we like to call lakes are mostly the result of the

> Corps of Engineers dealing with the Trinity River, and one rather flood

> prone creek.

> Where the "Elf" part of that came in, I don't recall.

> Lady Medb Liath



Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Groups Original Names

Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2001 13:06:02 -0500

From: "kdw" <kdw at ztel.com>

To: <ansteorra at ansteorra.org>


David, I was at the populace/household meeting on the night we chose to go

with raven's fort..


here goes..

I was 8 years old, we had been in Ames Dunham for just under two years. My

mother or Daffyad was the schen. at the time ( don't remember who) AD had

been submitted to the College but was turned down due to the fact that the

words are two different lang.  Someone smarted off and said why don't we

just use the English form then... everyone agreed and it was so decided and

off to pizza hut we went...





Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Elfsea

Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2001 20:49:52 -0500

From: Candace/Elyssa <elyssa99 at swbell.net>

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org


If I remember correctly, Adler and Crystalline (two of the founding members

of Elfsea) once told me that Elfsea was originally called Elvesmere (I am sure

I spelled it wrong) which at some point became Elfsea and was so named because

of the many lakes in the area (man made or otherwise) They were like mini seas

hince the name Elfsea. Elf meaning small and sea an acronym for the lakes.


I hope this helps. My ex Sir Lance has also confirmed this story.





Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Elfsea

Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2001 22:37:24 -0500

From: knotwork at juno.com

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org


OK, here's a bit of name history for our group here in Abilene.  At least

three attempts were made to start a group here.  I don't know much about

the first, but I was here for the second and third tries.  In the late

'80s, we tried to form a group, and wanted to call it "Utdaar,"  because

we felt really isolated -- i.e. "out there."  Our resident Medieval

scholar decided the pun wasn't appropriate, so he found a word with

similar meaning and we dubbed the group "Daarginds."  For reasons better

not explored here, the group failed to thrive and eventually the

incipient shire of Daarginds was dissolved.  Fortunately, the third

attempt was the charm, and Mendersham was formed.  The name is a play on

"Tailor Town" because Abilene is located in Taylor County.  Our

newsletter is called "The Seamy Side," our local service award is the

Silver Needle, and our device is a semi of needles on a blue background,

all in keeping with the theme.


I am way behind on my e-mail, but if it hasn't already been told, the

naming woes of the group in San Angelo is also very interesting, but

would best be told by one of their own.


HE Joanna Montgomery



Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Elfsea & group histories

Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2001 01:04:25 -0500

From: "Aunt Dwen" <auntdwen at us.inter.net>

To: <ansteorra at ansteorra.org>


Greetings from Baroness Ceridwen:


    I've been enjoying the thread about the history behind names for groups

in this fair land.  As we fast approach another coronation, it seems like a

good time to review the history of Ansteorra and her many local traditions.

I offer this rememberance of the formation of the Shire of the Wastelands

for your amusement.


    The Shire of the Wastelands (Enid/Fairview, OK) was formed in Spring of

1993.  The original intention was to become a Canton of the Barony of

Wiesenfeuer, but since our borders were not contiguous, we were advised by

the BOD and the Crown that we had to become a Shire.  The name "Wastelands"

is based on a cartoon of the late Master William Blackfox and the perception

that northwest Oklahoma is somewhat...barren.


    At the time the Shire of Wiesenfeuer began its quest to become a Barony,

HL. Malaki was its seneschal.  In a conversation with then Crown Mikael of

Monmouthshire, Malaki suggested the boundaries of the barony include all

territory west of I-35 and north of I-40 (basically the northwest quadrant

of OK).  While, for obvious reasons, this did not come to pass, Master

Blackfox immortalized the exchange in a cartoon with the punchline of, "A

Waste is a terrible thing to mind."


    The populace of the Incipient Shire of the Wastelands, knowing full well

that we grow the wheat that feeds the world, embraced the concept of wheat

for our device (three crossed golden shafts of wheat on a blue field). The

Gleaner became the name for our newsletter in honor of all the huge

"Gleaner" combines that come through here on harvest.  Baron Don James

Navarre found a sickle which became the stand for our Shire's device, and

for many years our Arts and Sciences competition was "Wheat in Any Medium."


Baroness Ceridwen Tir Gwastraff

House Wizard's Keep

Chronicler of the Wastelands



Subject: Re: Rokkehealden, why? Where from?

Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 12:03:43 -0500 (CDT)

From: James Mcadams <jmcadams at interaccess.com>

To: Nicolas Steenhout <vavroom at bmee.net>

CC: "Mark.S Harris (rsve60)" <mark.s.harris at motorola.com>, jmcadams at interaccess.com


According to Elaine, "Rokkehealdon" is a Gaelic term for

"Stone Hold", or Stone Keep, etc.   I know that one of the early

members was Kull of Stonehold, and a little bit of checking in an

English-Gaelic dictionary shows that Rok and Dun can translate as

"Rock" and "Fortress" respectively.




  Jim McAdams                        |      Do,

  jmcadams at interaccess.com           |       or Do Not.

  630-859-6902                       |      There is no "Try".   - Yoda




From: "Linda Kelley-Nordlund" <lakotaginger at hotmail.com>

To: stefan at texas.net

Subject: Re: Your shire's name

Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 00:07:46 -0600


>This is the first time I've heard of your Shire. Do you know what the

>name came from? Or what it is supposed to stand for or why it was



>   Stefan


Yes, the name is German.  It means Eagles water.  We have a very large body

of water here and eagle statuaries. We are located in the middle of the

Outlands with the largest land mass in our Kingdom at this time.  We are

trying to help others in the further part of our Shire to form their own

Shire.  Best of everything, and enjoy your birthday with good friends.


Lady Catelin O'Kelley

(Linda Kelley-Nordlund)

Shire of Aarquelle



Subject: Dun Carraig heraldry

Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2001 13:22:12 -0500

From: Elaine Koogler<ekoogler at chesapeake.net>

To: "Mark.S Harris (rsve60)" <mark.s.harris at motorola.com>


No problem.


The name, Dun Carraig is Scots Gaelic for "stone fort"...and is derived

from the large archaelogical site in our area, Calvert Cliffs...lots of

shark remains, etc., buried in the cliffs...also there is a large Scots

population in southern Maryland.


The device, "Per chevron gules and crusilly bottony argent and argent, a

cross bottony within a laurel wreath gules" is an adaptation of the

Crossland arms on the Maryland state arms...I might add the only state

arms in the US that are truly heraldic! The Crossland arms are

"Quarterly gules and argent a cross botton counterchanged".  So you can

see where the adaptation came in.


Our badge is "(fieldless) a seadog rampant to sinister gules".  I guess

we're like all other Atlantian groups and, because of our location on

the Chesapeake Bay, tend to migrate to nautical heraldry.


We have one Order, the Order of the SeaHawk, "gules three wings in pall

argent".  The other name for the seahawk is osprey...and this is a prime

location for those wonderful birds.


As we have a large transient population, we have an award/order we give

to those who are leaving us, The Company of Wayfarers of Dun Carraig,

whose badge is "a compass star argent surmounted by a cross bottony






Subject: Place names and group history

Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2002 11:37:03 +1100

From: JTStewart<jtstewart at optusnet.com.au>

To: "Mark.S Harris"<Mark.s.Harris at motorola.com>


Hi there.

I heard you are interested in how groups got their names.

This is the story of the group where I started in the SCA.


We were a war gaming group in the Latrobe Valley, which is about 80 to 90

miles East of Melbourne, Australia.  We changed the group name from The

Latrobe Valley War gaming Association to Ohtar En Moria Roleplayers

Association when our interests turned more to roleplaying.  That is

supposed to be Elvish for Warriors of the Black Pits.  The Latrobe Valley

has enormous quantities of brown coal just under the surface and so there

are several major open cuts where the coal is mined to make briquettes and

electricity. This small area provides 90% of the electricity for the state

of Victoria.  We ran Australia's first free form D&D roleplaying convention

called King Con at the Moe High School in 1984.  We had contact with a

gaming fellow in Melbourne who had recently become involved with a group of

people who actually fought one another with swords and things.  So we asked

if they would like to put on a display.  James the Sinister and Braddock

MacCarrum came and fought with fiorfinn Hrolfsson as the Marshal.  We

thought the SCA looked like great fun so we decided to start a group.


There are about four major power stations within about 30 miles so where

ever you go in the Latrobe Valley you can usually see either power station

chimneys and their smoke or high tension power lines going to

Melbourne. It seemed obvious to us that we should base our shire's name on

this major factor of life in the Latrobe Valley.  When you travel to the

Valley from Melbourne you reach the last range of hills (called the Haunted

Hills) and as you reach the top of the last hill you see a lovely scenic

view of the valley and the top of the brown haze that fills the

valley. Thus was born Dark Skies in the Crown Principality of Lochac  as

part of West Kingdom, a shire based in the modern world town of Moe,

Victoria, Australia.


Unfortunately jobs in Melbourne lured away some of the shires members

(including myself) and after about five or six years the group folded.






From: Ron [eirik at hot.rr.com]

Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2002 5:51 PM

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org

Subject: RE: [Ansteorra] The Shore of Middleford (was Too many events?)


Theron Bretz said:

> Sorry, but every time the title of this thread pops up, I crack

> up.  I mean, isn't Middleford landlocked?

> Luciano


Actually there are two lake shores within 6 miles of where the majority of

us folks in Middleford live. The name came from the fact that we had a river

flowing through the middle of the Shire with a ford.





From: Kim <nyxiz at shaw.ca

Date: Tue Apr 8, 2003 3:08:15 PM US/Central

To: StefanliRous at austin.rr.com

Subject: [Fwd: Re: shire] Resending this as requested on the list.  



Harrows Cross was chosen because the research was already done for the name, no one felt fussy, and it sounded very cool. I picked it (because that's really what I did) because Gleichen had so many churches it seemed rather humourous (Harrow means temple or shrine, and wherever a church put a large cross was a landmark, so it's essentially Temple's Big Cross), it sounded cool, and I had already documented it.


Sad, but true. At least there were no fights about it!






From: "Brown, Elizabeth" <BrownEli at Berkeleyprep.org>

Date: Tue May 27, 2003  7:07:50 AM US/Central

To: "Stefan li Rous" <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>

Subject: RE: Author of the anonymous article on Pride in the Florilegium


> PS: Do you know the history or reason behind your shire's

> name?


Fiach Ogan is gaelic for Raven's Wood.  Originally the shire was

populated almost exclusively by members of an early period Irish

household called Dun Tir.  The personal device of the house leader (Duke

Aaron) is the raven - hence Raven's Wood.





Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2003 22:48:38 -0400

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] viking alphabet OT/OOP

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


On 27 Aug 2003, at 22:23, Avraham haRofeh of Sudentur wrote:

> 45. Then did Phil take the cookpot away from the fire, and he did add

> milk and the sauce from the western shire.


Shouldn't that be "sauce from the Shire of Worcester pronounced 'Wooster'"? :)





My husband, while a student at WPI, was one of the founding members of

the local SCA shire.  He was present at the historic meeting during which

the new group was dubbed the Shire Von Sosse (German for "Shire of

Sauce"). After all, it was the Worcester Shire.


Brighid ni Chiarain *** mka Robin Carroll-Mann

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom



From: Patricia Collum <pjc2 at cox.net>

Date: Thu Aug 28, 2003  8:58:51 AM US/Central

To: StefanliRous at austin.rr.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] SCA group names


My group, Barony of Sundragon first met at Estrella Park (past and currrent

site for Estrella War). This is in Goodyear, Arizona. To get to the park one

passes Goodyear Airpark, the occasional home of the actual Sundragon- the

Goodyear Blimp! Our 20 year anniversary is this October, 2003.


Lady Cecily de la Warde

Barony of Sundragon

Kingdom of Atenveldt



From: Dyan Ford <dyanford at txucom.net>

Date: Thu Aug 28, 2003  11:44:42 PM US/Central

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Ansteorra] Re: Fossil memories


>>>So, considering how thinly the SCA was spread in AS VI, how did you hear of the SCA?

What do you see as having changed the most since then? What stands out the most in your memories of the SCA in the last thirty years?



Oh Boy,  what a set of questions! Let's see how I can answer....


First, I 'heard of the SCA in college, in the back of the book 'The Broken Sword' by Poul Anderson <sigh>.  From what I recall, it mentioned a group of  people who spent their summer vacations near Chicago, playing 'medieval'.  I remember telling my roommate than I was going as soon as I got out of school & got a job -- that was in 1969.  (I _still_ have yet to attend Pensic!)


In 1972, I decided that if I couldn't get to Chicago, I'd try to find like-minded folk in the Houston area.  So, I hand-lettered a 'recruitment' poster & posted it at a local Comics Convention.  An old friend, JL3, saw it & asked why didn't I just join the group that was already in Houston.  I almost freaked, demanding more info.  He said that a group had formed some months earlier but had only 3 three people. He offered to make some calls & see about setting up a meeting -- which he did.  We all met on the next Sunday to try to restart the Barony, 7 in person & 2 by proxy.


And since the group (then known only as 'The Barony in Houston') needed a name, we proceeded to debate possibilities.  In those days, groups were often named for a predominant local landmark.  Well, we sure didn't want the Bayou Barony!  So I thought of NASA and suggested 'StarGate' because a reporter had earlier dubbed Houston as the Gateway to the Stars.... everyone seemed to like it so the name stuck.  The device became a nine pointed star with 3 greater points for the original founders & 6 smaller points for the rest of us -- and 1 point was 'supposed' to be a 'binary' because JL3 was the only married founder (at the time) & we wanted to include his Lady (which she now denies --- hey, that's how _I_ remember it! )


As to how has it changed..... oh, there are not words to properly describe the differences!  I mean, this was years before the Texas RenFaire, & we _lived_ the joke of "Are you in a Play?".  No one took us seriously and communications with others in the SCA just didn't exist -- the nearest groups were Draconia (Baton Rouge, LA) to the East and the Atenveldt Barony/Kingdom (Tempe, AZ) to the West.  In those days, there were only 4 Kingdoms & Atenveldt extended from the southern Atlantic States across to the border of California.  I remember how we struggled to find references and information about historical practices.  We truly did 'wing it' and things were accepted for the 'effort' involved in the making, not the 'historical accuracy' that is demanded today.   The Dream was almost a tangible thing in those days & anyone who even made the attempt was welcome to play.  I truly miss some of that 'tolerance'.


As to the most 'Memoriables' ... I'm afraid I'll have to put that into an article or something.  The email would be much too long!  And this email has become too long also!  Thank you for your patience.


Shanahan the Fey, MLA, OLA, OMS, Starholder



From: Signora Apollonia Margherita degli Albizzi <apollonia at bellsouth.net>

Date: Mon Sep 8, 2003  8:08:15 PM US/Central

To: Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>

Subject: RE: Your new group's name


Our canton has been around for over three years now.  We first tried to pass

the name "Sarum Henge" as we are located mundanely in Salisbury, NC, and are

a sister city to Salisbury, England.


Sarum did not pass, as it is not a period place name.  "When returning the

name of Ailith of Sarum in November, 1997, Jaelle of Armida, then Laurel

Queen of Arms wrote: 'Unfortunately, Sarum is not the OE name for Salisbury,

but rather is a ghost name.  In manuscripts the Latin Saresberia was

abbreviated to something that looks rather like Sa4.  This was 'merely an

early manifestation of the medieval scribe's habit of abbreviating such

letters as ended in a horizontal stroke by means of a vertical stroke

through this', but because the resulting symbol (represented here by 4)

'frequently stands for rum', the abbreviation has been improperly extended

to Sarum (Johnson & Jenkinson, 67).  The contemporary form of the name cane

be seen in William de Salesberie (1115) and Robert de Salisbyr' (1273).

Clearly Old Sarum must then have been called something like Old Salisbury;

Old Sarum seems to be an antiquary's name for the older ruins, based on a

misreading of the medieval records.'"


The element "Henge" in this context is also cause for return.  In period

place names it appears only in Stonehenge.  None of the many other stone

circles or other stone formations in Britain use this term in period.  The

modern Archeological term "henge" used for a prehistoric ritual circle

appears to be a mid-20th century creation from the name of Stonehenge

itself, as the Oxford English Dictionary does not list the word with this

meaning. ("Henge is defined there as a period word meaning the innards of a



So we resubmitted our name as Sarum Tor.  Again, the name did not pass

because of the Sarum element.  So we decided to go with Salesberie instead

of Sarum, as we all think that actually living in a town in the US named

Salisbury is cool, and voted for Glen as our town is nice and green, and

there is a large Scottish population in this area of the US.


Salesberie Glen has actually passed the Laurel King of Arms; unfortunately,

our paid membership also dropped from about 8 to 4.  We need 5 or more.  So

we'll be incipient for a few more months, until I make sure people have





Signora Apollonia Margherita degli Albizzi


Seneschal of the Incipient Canton of Salesberie Glen

Kingdom of Atlantia



From: "Darlene D. Bolesny" <fantasy_author at att.net>

Date: October 18, 2004 8:08:57 PM CDT

To: stefan at florilegium.org

Subject: Group Name History


Hiya! Alsinda here, the one at KWAR who was telling the story about how our incipient shire's name got changed from Nord du Lac to Northover.  First, here is what our herald had to say about it:

For Nord du Lac, I documented "nord" and du Lac as period place-name elements and located a parish in Canada and an area in Switzerland named Nord du Lac to show present usage and numerous examples in AS and Middle English of "East of the/South of the" formation to show that it was a period-type formation.  Unfortunately, our rules on group names had gotten more stringent:  I had not shown "East of the/South of the" as a period formation in French: neither of my French examples had been a legal name in period.  The parish was post-period; the area in Switzerland has been called that for centuries but has never been recognized as a legal name for the area.


Northover is well documented as two Anglo-Saxon place name parts from a Dictionary of AS place-name elements.  The formation "East of the/South of the" is quite common in AS.


My comments:


When I first joined our incipient shire, it was still Nord du Lac and they were still searching for a French example which fit the "direction/of the lake" type format.  Well, I have a friend who is a French national (Bruno), and so I asked him about it.  He immediately replied, "The French never name anything like that!"

And as I thought about it, I realized that even in the two years of college French which I took at Tulane, we were taught to give directions in French without using the compass points.  You might say "go two blocks, then turn right" but never "go north, then turn east"!  I asked Bruno about that and he said that the French actually do sometimes give directions using compass points, but it's not very common.  But what I thought was most funny was the way Bruno ended our conversation about it.  He proclaimed, "Naming something like that is a very British thing!  No, the French would never do that!"  Too funny.  And yes, he is correct, it is a very British thing to do, as Lord Colm was able to easily document when we switched to Northover.  Northover had been our second-choice name and was very quickly approved once we quit searching for a French example of Nord du Lac!


So now we are Northover, and while we were very fond of Nord du Lac, Northover is quickly growing on us.  I believe that one of the nicest things was that this name change did not effect our device - it has also been approved and works very well with either name:


                   Alsinda de Rochabaron, mka:

                   Darlene D. Bolesny



From: "Darlene D. Bolesny" <fantasy_author at att.net>

Date: October 18, 2004 10:38:41 PM CDT

To: 'Stefan li Rous' <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>

Subject: RE: Group Name History



So, another heraldry/history question. How/why did you all choose that

particular device?



That one is fairly easy for me to answer.  The blue and white stripes at the

bottom represent Lake Pontchartrain.  The gold thing in the middle is a

compass to designate that we are "north" of the lake.


Here people often talk about where things are in relation to the water that

surrounds us.  One either lives on the "northshore" or the "southshore" -

which is speaking about the lake.  New Orleans is south of the lake.  I

actually live on the 'southshore' while my incipient shire is on the

'northshore.' Then, in the city of New Orleans, people also talk about

living on the "eastbank" or the "westbank" - which is speaking about the

Mississippi River that runs through the city!  Yes, it can get quite

confusing for newcomers.


And of course, the laurel leaves are the laurel leaves.  But that is what

our device symbolizes to us and it does work with either name as we were (in

poor French) 'north of the lake' or in better English, Northover [the



Alsinda de Rochabaron, mka:

Darlene D. Bolesny



From: Adriana <adriana_riverhold at yahoo.com>

Date: November 10, 2004 11:39:10 AM CST

To: Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>

Subject: Re: Florilegium


--- Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com> wrote:

> PS: I've not heard of your shire before. Do you know the history of

> how the name was selected and why?


Ok, here is my memory of what happened, please consider it unofficial.

Rio de las Animas is the result of a long struggle, and not really

satisfactory, but something had to be done.


We started the shire in 1995, as "Lost Souls" because of proximity to

the river in Durango CO called Rio de las Animas Perdidas.  This was

rejected as "too Halloweeny". Then followed a number of versions of the

river name. with documentation efforts. Las Animas Perdidas was my

personal preference.  At one point "rio" was rejected as not being a

place name component.


After seven or eight years of work, including extensive help from a

lady in a neighboring barony, the kingdom wanted the matter settled,

and we were at last made official as Rio de las Animas, shire of the

River of Souls.   We still often call ourselves the Lost Souls.





From: "Elisabeth B. Zakes" <kitharis at gmail.com>

Date: August 17, 2006 7:46:42 AM CDT

To: Barony of Bryn Gwlad <bryn-gwlad at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Bryn-gwlad] The problems of Welsh translation


Yes, someone looked in a Welsh-English dictionary, found two words

that translated to "hill" and "country" and made Bryn Gwlad, not

stopping to think about grammar or more exact meanings. Bryn Dir would

be, from what I've been told, the more accurate translation.


Aethelyan Moondragon


On 8/16/06, Robin Craig <robinec at cox.net> wrote:

> Well, to be truthful that is how we became Bryn-Gwlad which was meant to

> mean 'hill country' and instead translates to something more like  

> 'some unspecified hill over that-away'.

> Or at least that is what I had heard.

> -Robin Anderson of Ross



From: Robert Fitzmorgan <fitzmorgan at gmail.com>

Date: September 25, 2006 3:32:13 AM CDT

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] history of SCA placenames


On 9/25/06, Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com> wrote:

> On Sep 22, 2006, at 1:16 AM, Robert Fitzmorgan wrote:

>>      My first event was the High Nord Invitational in Nord as Das

>> Strom (later changed to Northkeep) in October 1985.

>>      Somewhere I have pictures of myself marshaling the first

>> tournament I ever saw.


>> Robert

> Nord? Nord -> Northkeep?

> I don't think I've heard about that before. Did "Nord" get turned

> down by the heralds? Or did the populace just decide to change the

> name?

> Stefan


The way I learned it Nord as das Strom was supposed to be Norse for

North of the storm, a reference to our being north of Namron.  It was later

found that the correct translation would be "Nordlicher Strom", (almost

certainly misspelled),  Nobody much cared for being Nordlichers so it  

was changed.





From: Marc Carlson <marccarlson20 at hotmail.com>

Date: September 25, 2006 12:30:11 PM CDT

To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] history of SCA placenames


> StefanliRous at austin.rr.com Nord? Nord -> Northkeep?

> I don't think I've heard about that before. Did "Nord" get turned

> down by the heralds? Or did the populace just decide to change the

> name? Someone want to tell me the story of this for my Florilegium

> placenames-msg file?


I'll tell you *a* story.  I won't say it's *the* story.


> Nord? Nord -> Northkeep?

> I don't think I've heard about that before. Did "Nord" get turned  

> down by the heralds? Or did the populace just decide to change the  

> name? Someone want to tell me the story of this for my Florilegium  

> placenames-msg file?


The name Nord-aus-das Strom (North of the Storm) for the Tulsa, OK  

group first appeared the Sable Star, the Ansteoran Principality  

Newsletter in 1977.  The shires first newsletter was called Strom  

Winds, and there are no known extant copies, darn it.  The name was  

later changed to Nordlische Sturm (same meaning, more or less).  Why  

it was named that is said to be a commentary on political events  

elsewhere. (For the record, whoever it was who was complaining about  

the Society being more political the SCA has pretty much always had  



There were numerous suggested revisions for the name once it was  

officially chartered in 1981 (mostly since political commentary  

regarding other groups was thought to be not really an appropriate  

basis for a groups name).


The name Northkeep was passed in 1984.  I think the meaning of a safe  

fortress in the North of the Kingdom is still present, but without  

the tacky other connotations, so people were much happier.





From: Kevin Varner <kvarner at austin.rr.com>

Date: September 25, 2006 4:29:49 PM CDT

To: faolon <faolon at plaiddragon.net>, "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA,  

Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] history of SCA placenames




In 1984, I arrived in San Angelo (Goodfellow AFB) from Drachenwald and found

no SCA group in the area. My lady and I obtained a packet from the Kingdom

Seneschal on how to start a group. Little beknownst to us, on the other side

of town at Angelo State University a similar effort was taking place.

Apparently our letter arrived first and Mistress Ariela (sp?) directed them

to get in touch with us. In the end a small contingent from ASU and military

got together to form the Incipient Shire of Three Lochs (based on the 3

so-called lakes in the area).


We probably should have registered as a

College as the BOD expects those to shut down periodically (student

schedules and all) and my Army teaching schedule mucked up things for a

while, but we persevered. We had many problems due to fluctuating

populations and trying to maintain a full slate of officers. We held several

events, many of them in conjunction with Black Lake. Our first event was

"co-sponsoring" an event with the then Shire of Bonwicke. I believe it was a

war with the Outlands (I've slept since then and low on sleep now) at the OC

Fisher Reservoir. When Aerin and I left in 1988 they were looking better, but

still reaching. They had some troubles in 89/90, but overcame them. I am

glad that they have made it.


As to the name--the College of Herald made us jump through I do not know

how many hoops. We went from Three Lochs to Trelochs to Treloch. (All

supposedly in the interests of language continuity.) When I left it was

still Treloch.


I hope this helps and that my memory hasn't gone out the window.


HL Duncan MacConacher

2nd Seneschal of Treloch (San Angelo, TX)


> Ok I actually have a question for anyone who remembers.

> See, when I first started out in the SCA Trelac had a different name and I

> was wondering if anyone new what the other name was?

> Now as I remember (and my memory is sometimes based on bad information.)

> the "active" shire was being disbanded for reasons I never quite knew, but

> people in the region still wanted a shire there and some moved to San

> Angelo and thus Trelac was born.

> Now at the time this was happening myself and a friend joined the SCA but

> mostly played seperately from the shire so the full story was never really  

> brought to light.

> Can anyone help? This was around '88 or '89 time frame.

> Faolon



From: "maireg at sbcglobal.net" <maireg at sbcglobal.net>

Date: September 25, 2006 8:49:50 PM CDT

To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] history of SCA placenames


<<< I remember it [the Shire of Trelac] being called something else but it does not come to mind easily anymore, too many head shots, I suppose, but will ask around. I am sure that someone here in Lovely Bonwicke will know.

Chiang >>>


As I remember, it was Stamdonshire in... '93-ish, when I started playing

there. It was still incipient then, too, I think the name change came

shortly before we managed actual Shire status.





From: Burke McCrory <bmccrory at tax.ok.gov>

Date: September 25, 2006 5:53:24 PM CDT

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Ansteorra] Ansteorran History   "Did You Know?"


Since we seem to be talking about history and facts from ages past I

though I would start an email called "Did You Know".  I have put some

interesting and obscure items here but I do expect the list to grow

as others add to it.




Did you know that:

The original name for Wiesenfeuer was Ebenfeuer which means Black Fire.


That the original name for Mooneschadowe was "Moonshadow, Land of the

Crying Wind" (rejected by the heralds as it had too many letters)


Currently Oklahoma is the only state in the SCA that has no shire in it.



[See the rest of these in the Anst-hist-msg file. - Stefan]



From: HerrDetlef at aol.com

Date: September 25, 2006 10:27:01 PM CDT

To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] history of SCA placenames - wne / why the  

second "r"


Incidentally, the Old English phrase "an steorra" simply means "a star" or

"one star".  "eo" is an Old English diphthong, and is pronounded as one  vowel.


In Middle English the word "steorra" experienced the characteristic

inflection weakening, and the diphthong was replaced orthographically with the

similar sounding "e"...often becoming "sterre", then going into Modern English  as "starre"....but the loss of the inflectional ending resulted in the current

spelling of "star".  "An steorra" is properly pronounced "ahn STAY oh rah"  or

even "ahn STAIR ah", but the pronunciation of the kingdom's name seems to

have become set in stone.  The primary stress seems to have been fixed on a

vowel that, in the Old English period, was the weak half of a dipthong.   The

reference is to an entry in 1066 in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, where notice  is

given to a star, "unique and singular" (think our motto "Unicus et Singularis"), that portended the Norman invasion of England.


In a message dated 9/25/2006 9:47:26 PM Central Standard Time,

dontivar at gmail.com writes:


At 01:10  PM 9/25/2006, you wrote:

>> Jay Yeates jyeates at  realtime.net

>> speaking of the history "placemenames" ... some of us  silverbacks were

>> discussing the old days at our weekly communal dinner yesterday, and a

>> question came up ... exactly when/why did  the kingdom name get the second

>> "r" tacked onto it ?????  our  oldest documents (popular and official) that

>> we still hold use the  original spelling of "ansteora"

> I have been told that the  change occurred when the principality  

> became a kingdom.

> (and I bet folks thought I just couldn't type  :) )

> Marc/Diarmaid


The original name (when we first  became a region of Atenveldt) was

Ansteorra. When Sir Sean became Prince,  he decided to change the

spelling to Ansteora (and the name of the  newsletter from "Black

Star" to "Sable Star".) Prince Randall changed it  back to Ansteorra,

and there was a fair bit of joking that Prince Simonn  would spell it



Just think, if we'd kept up that  tradition we'd now live in



-Tivar Moondragon



From: nweders at mail.utexas.edu

Date: September 26, 2006 8:23:32 AM CDT

To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Ansteorra Digest, Vol 5, Issue 90


> Bryn Gwlad was originally called Paiscumbre (no, I don't know what it

> means or why it was changed--that was before I lived here.)


         Paiscumbre was supposed to be French for Hill Country.  It was

started by Sir Andelion du Axegarth and Lady Augustina von Shugar and

comprised largely of students from the Greenbriar School.  Sadly, they both

because inactive in the area (one moved, one dropped out) and the group

fell into inactivity though people still lived here.  It reformed and

because more active when Vargskol started being around and I believe that's

when the name changed.  For a great while, it was filled with a variety of

interesting characters (Gwilym the Smith and his wife Dail, Brenda the

Potter, Robert Simon Fraser and Dupre Starfire to name a few.).







From: Dionycis at aol.com

Date: June 4, 2007 11:53:45 PM CDT

To: StefanliRous at austin.rr.com

Subject: Re: Web site questions


Lord Stefan -

The Shire of Champclair lives in a bit of a pun. The arms are in heraldic terms expressed thusly: "Per fess azure and vairy Or and azure, in chief a sun within a laurel wreath Or." What this means simply is that two thirds of the shield is in a "vairy" field.  The design vairy relates to the design created by squirrel and other animal pelts hung to cure during the middle ages. The pun, it would seem, relates to our current times geographical area, known as, yup, you guessed it, Fairfield. Sounds a lot like Vairy Field. The rest of the arms translates as center top a sun inside a laurel wreath and they are both gold. For a picture of the arms along with the heraldic description go here -


Who gave us our name and how is well before my time. I believe the Shire of Champclair is well near if not beyond 20 years old. I would have to ask Caiterina nic Shaemus as she was "alive" at the time of our naming.

Megs -



From: Marit <mymayhem4 at yahoo.com.au>

Date: April 12, 2009 6:54:19 PM CDT

To: StefanliRous at austin.rr.com

Subject: Re:  Lochac group names


You asked how different groups got their names.

The Shire of Agaricus was so named at a meeting to decide its name when one of our members noticed that the original borders for the shire covered every mushroom farm in the area.  Agaricus is latin for mushrooms.  Agaricus was founded January 20, 1984.

Marit the Wanderer

(founding seneschal ret.)


From: Marit <mymayhem4 at yahoo.com.au>

Date: April 13, 2009 10:40:46 PM CDT

To: Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>

Subject: Re: Lochac group names


The original Agaricus device had 5 mushrooms representing the original 5 households in the shire. (Sable 5 mushrooms (2,2,1) Argent a laurel wreath Or)

When the borders were expanded to include Wollongong the number of mushrooms was reduced to 4 and a phoenix rising was added to the centre. (Sable between 4 mushrooms argent a phoenix rising Or flamed gules and a laurel wreath Or)





Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2009 18:38:27 -0700 (PDT)

From: CatalinadeGata <gatan_oz at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] How did the groups within Lochac get their


To: the SCA Lochac mailing listThe Shambles <lochac at sca.org.au>


Incipient Canton of Aachenfeld:


When forming we had a few requirements for name, Easy to say, spell and can be yelled across the war field as well as 'start with A' (Over here the Parent barony is Aneala and the sister Canton is Abetridwr) We went through quite a few names before we landed in Germany and found Aachen. Satisfied the criteria, it was a spa town, germany known for its drinking (The device has a goblet) and became the name voted upon for the group.


Seneschal for the Incipient Canton of Aachenfeld



Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 16:22:26 +1300

From: lgd14 at paradise.net.nz

Subject: Re: [Lochac] How did the groups within Lochac get their


To: Donald Campbell <actrealdon at hotmail.com>,    "The Shambles, the SCA

        Lochac mailing list" <lochac at sca.org.au>


For a comprehensive history of Southron Gaard see:






Date: Wed, 30 Sep 2009 02:19:14 +1000

From: "Lenehan" <lenehan at our.net.au>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] How did the groups within Lochac get their


To: "The Shambles, the SCA Lochac mailing list" <lochac at sca.org.au>


Rowany is easy.  In the early days, before we joined the SCA, when we were

the Society for the Current Middle Ages, we called the group around Sydney

the Kingdom of Cumberland.  When we decided to join the SCA we had to

change. Several alternatives were mooted and, at an event held at the fist

Rowany site (but not the first Rowany Festival - the dates of these are all

wrong) we voted.  Maletur came second - it had 2 votes and everyone else

voted to call the place after Our Founder - Rowan.


Stormhold, of course, was named for its Weather.


River Haven for its most noticeable geographical feature.


Ynys Fawr is Cymric for 'Big Island'.





Date: Wed, 30 Sep 2009 18:53:44 +1030

From: joy walker <clanscotia at hotmail.com>

Subject: [Lochac] Group Names - Bordescros

To: <lochac at sca.org.au>


<<< Everyone knows the story behind Rowany's name, but apart from a few

educated guesses (Politarchopolis, Bordescros, Southron Gaard), >>>


Bordescros is the name that we ended up with, but it was originally very tentatively 'Thistlewich' however that didn't last long once we got serious about growing when we then changed it to Borders Crossing.    The idea behind this name is fairly obvious, as we are the crossing point for the boundaries between NSW and Victoria from one end of our shire to the other, and there are quite a few bridges.


However there was a long period of time trying to argue why this should be able to be documented, and so that we didn't delay becoming a Shire any longer, we settled on 'Bordescros' as being the closest that we could get approval for and its meaning rather suited our group as well.   We did get told by afew people afterwards that we should have kept fighting and may have succeeded in the end - maybe that is a battle for another day.


That is why you will frequently hear 'The Crossing' particularly on the warfield, or as a toast at our feasts.


The colours for our device (purple green and gold) are drawn from the colours that surround us on a daily basis, but some have more than one interpretation.   The fretty ground is invoking the whole idea of multiple crossings.   The purple came from a combination of thistles, pattersons curse and grapes all of which abound in our region, the green came from the wonderful fields and plants around us, and the gold from the sun and the canola fields.    If you can find a  high point at the right time of year you can almost see the device all around you.   Sadly we weren't able to get the grapes onto our device.



Cairistiona inghean Raghnaill

(who was here at the beginning)



Date: Thu, 01 Oct 2009 11:29:17 +1000

From: Del <del at babel.com.au>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] How did the groups within Lochac get their


To: "The Shambles, the SCA Lochac mailing list" <lochac at sca.org.au>


<<< Everyone knows the story behind Rowany's name, but apart from a few educated guesses (Politarchopolis, Bordescros, Southron Gaard), I haven't been able to find the history behind the names of the other groups around Lochac. >>>


Aneala comes from the gaelic "an eala" meaning "the swan" as there are

lots of them in and around Perth.




The Anealan device depicts two swans heads over a demi-sun.




Inverted, it is two black socks hanging on a washing line, seen up

against a white fence with the sun coming up over the fence.  We did

think about making the chief barry to represent a picket fence but it

made the device very "noisy".


We're not sure whose the socks were, nor how recently (or if) they got






Date: Fri, 2 Oct 2009 09:05:17 +0000

From: Tony Swallow <tony_swallow at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] How did the groups within Lochac get their

        names?..... St Basil and Bosenberg

To: <lochac at sca.org.au>


The College of St Basil the Great....


Memory is a bit fuzzy but to my recollection there were a bunch of us sitting around discussing "cool" names when I believe it was Cynewulf of Wincestire (mka Jon Addisson) who suggested Basil, as this leads itself to puns with Basil Brush, Boom Boom as well as faulty Towers, a broken tower been the college device.... Come to think of it I think that parallels were drawn between myelf and Basil Faulty as far as the Manic rushing aound was concerned.


The Shire of Bosenberg went through a couple of name options before I told the story, as it was told to me by my ex-boss Jochen Heller, of a pass through the hills near the village he grew up in called "boeseneck" which means "the bad corner. Named after the robber baron who lived in the castle and looted travellers as they came around the corner.....


We couldnt get "Boeseneck" through but Boesenberg did get through. Thus the name means something like "the Bad/miscevious/troublesome/cheeky hills. Whiche fits Boesneberg to a t


Your Humble Landsknecht

Jochen Schwalbe



Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 21:02:14 +1100

From: Paul Sleigh <bat at flurf.net>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] The Shambles - in the stone!

To: "The Shambles, the SCA Lochac mailing list" <lochac at sca.org.au>


Estel Talroval wrote:

[after the posting of a photograph of a narrow, medieval street in London. "The Shambles" is the nickname for the Lochac mailing list - Stefan]


<<< So is that how these Shambles got their name? >>>


Yes. Balrog, aka Peter Bismire (son of the owners of the original

Festival site), came up with the name. The rec.org.sca newsgroup, which

served a similar purpose for the SCA as a whole back when people knew

what Usenet was, used to be called The Rialto, after a bridge in Italy

that was a meeting place for people all over that part of the world.

The Shambles in York was similar, although more rowdy and involving more

raw meat and shouting, so Balrog reckoned it was a good name.  It hung

around as a running gag for a long time, but when I was List Boss I

promoted the name pretty widely, and other people took it up and now

it's pretty ubiquitous.


History: it's not just for Laurels!


: Bat :



To:    Gleann Abhann (mail list)

Subject: Re: SCA placenames

Posted by: "Kristen Praiswater" spellsinger28 at yahoo.com

Date: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:02 pm ((PST))


I didn't see Gleann Abhan either.  I live within that kingdom in a barony called Seleone, it's on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  As far as I know it means Sea Lion.





From: Gen <gendorleans at gmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Gleann Abhann] SCA placenames

To: gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com

Date: Saturday, January 16, 2010, 9:45 AM


Gleann Abhann means "River Valley".





From: Rovena <rovena at hughes.net>

Date: January 17, 2010 4:00:04 PM CST

To: Stefan li Rous <stefanlirous at austin.rr.com>

Subject: Re: [Gleann Abhann] SCA placenames


Greetings Your Lordship.


I was around when we were formed and am going by my memory.


Gleann Abhann is, I believe, Irish.  The Scottish spelling is close.  


River Valley is the Mississippi River Valley because that river runs straight thru the center (more or less) of the Kingdom and all the other rivers drain into it.  


The choice of red and black was pretty much cut and dry.  There was much debate between the use of the ram or the fleur de lis; in the end, the fleur de lis was determined to be too  singular in its cultural  influence.  


To:    Gleann Abhann (mail list) <gleannabhann at yahoogroups.com>

Subject: Re: SCA placenames

Posted by: "izibella at bellsouth.net" lofton50 at bellsouth.net izibella at bellsouth.net

Date: Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:37 pm ((PST))


Wyrmgeist means dragon ghost.





From: Rovena <rovena at hughes.net>

Date: January 18, 2010 4:00:50 AM CST

To: Stefan li Rous <stefanlirous at austin.rr.com>

Subject: Re: [Gleann Abhann] SCA placenames


Stefan li Rous wrote:

<<< Greetings Rowena,


Thanks for the clarification on Gleann Abhann.


By "the fleur de lis was determined to be too  singular in its cultural influence" do you mean that it was too specifically French? Or too connected to just New Orleans? or something else? >>>


Too French and too connected to football.


<<< No, I don't have anything on the history or the name of Loch Bais. The easy way to check this, which is what I did, was to start at the top page of the site and use the search function found there. Nothing at all was found for "Loch Bais".


Where is this shire? >>>


Mundanely, Loch Bais is Natchitoches, LA, which is a college town.   I was there on that porch when the name was selected.  Most of us were newbies but we had a knight and his wife there as well.  Those two ( the knight and his wife) tried hard to steer us towards traditional names.  Sir Godfrey kept asking questions about the town's history and geography in an effort to find a good and unique name. The long time residents kept telling the newer residences some of the history of the town.  Originally the town got it water from the Cane River but the federal government had insisted they build a lake to provide a more stable source of water.  Whenever you build such lakes there are certain organisms that are in the water at first but die out as the lake is established - - except not there.  Lake Sibley's organisms never died out and each each the water bill would have the warning that pregnant women and small children should not drink the water.  This led to someone jokingly suggesting the name "Lake of Death".


The knight and his good wife said that the heralds would never approve such a morbid name and to keep trying.  We moved on but stories kept being told about Lake Sibley and especially about things that had been found floating there over the years.  One such item had been a hand.  The rest of the body had never been found and the hand was too badly decomposed for fingerprints.  Our Norman seneschal-to-be went to the library and did a word for word translation of Lake of Death into Gaelic and got Loch na Bais.  Everyone kept telling us the name would never pass due its morbidness.  We submitted with a copy of the water bill with the warning on it and a newspaper article citing the finding of the severed hand.  We explained that the Celtics often named placed based on the history of the land.  Our device was a skeletal hand rising out of the water holding the laurel wreath.  Needless to say, we got our name and device with the only change being the dropping of "na" which was not needed. Examples one could cite are Loch Ness and Loch Lomond.





Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2010 20:12:04 +1100

From: Paul Sleigh <bat at flurf.net>

Subject: Re: [Lochac] Lochac placenames was Changes to the Current AoA


To: "The Shambles: the SCA Lochac mailing list"

        <lochac at lochac.sca.org>


On Mon, 2010-01-25 at 02:27 -0600, Stefan li Rous wrote:

<<< I have two placenames-msg files in the Florilegium where I try to  

capture the history and meaning behind various SCA group names. >>>


Here's one for you, then:

http://flurf.nfshost.com/batpage/NamingOfTheShire. It's the story, in

rhyme and somewhat embellished, of how Politarchopolis finally got its

name past the College of Heralds.  They knew for years what they wanted.

Only the spelling changed as they came up with better approximations of

historical plausibility.  The legend that the final name means "City of

Left-Handed Fishmongers" is, of course, completely true.


: Bat :


PS For the benefit of anyone who hasn't heard the name spoken, the

pronunciation is /pol-IT-uh-COP-uh-l'ss/, rhymes with Acropolis or




From: ealdredsca at aol.com

Date: June 2, 2010 8:16:24 PM CDT

To: stefanlirous at austin.rr.com

Subject: Re: How to donate?

As for Coldedernhale:

I checked your site and found only one reference to Coldedernhale. The writer knew it was a pun but I don't think he knew the full story. (http://www.florilegium.org/files/STORIES/Branch-Names-art.text)

We are in centeral South Dakota. The name "Coldedernhale" comes from two Old English words; "colde" and "dernhale". Colde means cold. Dernhale means a hidden lowland place that is along a river. Since the major city in the shire, Pierre, lies along the Missouri River and our state is known for being colder than ... during the winter, the name fits in many ways.

Our website has a map link under the About page. We stretch from the North Dakota to the Nebraska border through the center of the state, about 200 miles. The entire region has MAYBE a poplulation of 35,000 so we have a pretty small group.

http://www.coldedernhale.org/ - About Us. There you will find a history and map link.

The Northshield site has a picture of our shield (http://www.northshield.org/Branches/Display.aspx?ID=29) The animal looks like a hippocamp to me. It was supposed to be a Yale (http://www.theoi.com/Thaumasios/Eale.html) but the person submitting the design didn't do enough fact checking :))


Ealdred of Malmesbury

AKA Dawson Lewis



From: SPaterson <sjpaterson at eastlink.ca>

Date: July 21, 2010 7:44:36 AM CDT

To: StefanliRous at austin.rr.com

Subject: meaning of place names


Barony of Ruantallan - "piece of land jutting into the ocean"  the largest land mass of Ruantallan is a peninsula, the province of Nova Scotia.

Crown Principality of Tir Mara (East Kingdom Canada)  Celtic: Land on/of the Sea

Bess Darnley


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org