Inspired by the random name generator in Erny's Warlord: Battle in the Darklands I wondered what a name generator based on archeogaming and the historical period of Citadel Miniatures and Warhammer gaming I'm interested in (i.e. the glory days of 1st and 2nd edition) might look like.
So ignoring any other published texts, scenarios, boardgames (sorry Bilge Gutrot) or other mentions of Orcish characters, I decided to focus solely on the names given to Citadel Miniatures, and scoured catalogue collection and the Stuff of Legends to produce a definitive list of Old School Citadel Miniatures Orcs Names :
|Jun 1984||RR5 Harboth Black Mountain||Harboth|
|Jun 1984||RR5 Harboth Black Mountain||Yaskin||Forit|
|Jun 1984||C15 Orc||Shield Bearer|
|Jun 1984||C15 Orc||Bladebane|
|Jun 1984||C15 Orc||Cyclopse|
|Jun 1984||C15 Orc||Warlord|
|Jun 1984||C15 Orc||Maulman|
|Jun 1984||C15 Orc||Dwarfsmiter|
|Jun 1984||C15 Orc||Axe Killer|
|Jun 1984||C15 Orc||Maniac|
|Jun 1984||C15 Orc||Guardsman|
|Compedium 3||C15 Orc||Gashcog|
|Compedium 3||C15 Orc||Nazram|
|Compedium 3||C15 Orc||Bungerbol|
|Compedium 3||C15 Orc||Grigal|
|Compedium 3||C15 Orc||Nishrok|
|Compedium 3||C15 Orc||Gobstob|
|Compedium 3||C15 Orc||Brugzod|
|Compedium 3||C15 Orc||Tizog|
|Compedium 3||C15 Orc||Lutnob|
|Mighty Ugezod Death Commandos||Mighty Ugezod Death Commandos||Ugezod|
|Mighty Ugezod Death Commandos||Mighty Ugezod Death Commandos||Guzrod||Dogchild|
|Mighty Ugezod Death Commandos||Mighty Ugezod Death Commandos||Mormo||Jabberbinder|
|Mighty Ugezod Death Commandos||Mighty Ugezod Death Commandos||ushtug||the gut|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||C15 Orc||Kroglod|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||C15 Orc||Hagblad||the Maimer|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||C15 Orc||Barg||Brainbasher|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||C15 Orc||Graglob||Grinning|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||C15 Orc||Hoglod||Bone-breaker|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||C15 Orc||Glodbog||Crusher|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||C15 Orc||Garglod||Bow-Biter|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||C15 Orc||Egrod||Arrowchuker|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||C15 Orc||Kaglod||Chopper|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||C15 Orc||Owd||Glodger|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||C15 Orc||Holf||Stunty-sticker|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||c21 Boar Rider||Bodblat||Standardbearer|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||c21 Boar Rider||Garg||Stuntyspiker|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||c21 Boar Rider||Grodbol||Slicer|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||c21 Boar Rider||Tegrod||Skullhat|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||c21 Boar Rider||Gaglob||Chuckbolt|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||c21 Boar Rider||Nogzod||Bighat|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||c21 Boar Rider||Goglob||Bighat|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||c21 Boar Rider||Gegblod||Slasher|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||c21 Boar Rider||Bargog||Smasher|
|Aug 1986 Flyer||c21 Boar Rider||Crazgog||Stuntybelter|
|Dec 1986||C27 Orc Ballista & Crew||Bolbosh|
|Dec 1986||C27 Orc Ballista & Crew||Onefang|
|Dec 1986||C27 Orc Ballista & Crew||Gnashtor|
|Dec 1986||C27 Orc Ballista & Crew||Slaghead|
|Dec 1986||C27 Orc Ballista & Crew||Gubspor|
|Dec 1986||C27 Orc Ballista & Crew||Grimnose|
|March 1987||c21 Boar Rider||Axe Hacker|
|March 1987||c21 Boar Rider||Bulgnosh||Bigblade|
|March 1987||c21 Boar Rider||Dogface|
|March 1987||c21 Boar Rider||Spearscreamer|
|March 1987||c21 Boar Rider||Anzak||Archer|
So I left out Ugezods mates who aren't Orcs. Goblins, Ogres, Hobgoblins, Kobolds, are all quite different and deserving of their own enquiry, maybe next time lads.
Besides the nice pun - Yeraskin Forit ("You are asking for it" - a beating, that is), there's some obvious trends here - first names are largely two syllables , and last names are largely compound words consisting of two elements that usually refer to either an act of violence, an enemy or a weapon. The fore-name parts are highly reminiscent of Bill & Ben the Flowerpot men in full on swear mode, with lots of 'ob', 'lob', 'gl' which is quite in keeping with Tolkiens naming of Orcs which gravitates around the same sounds. The more observant of you will have noticed that the Spring 87 names have a very different set of syllables, much more focussed on the shaper 'k' and 't' sounds than the 'g', not sure why, but it's possible the person who was responsible for making up silly names for miniatures was changed.
It's interesting that Man and Dwarf (and the nickname for Dwarves 'Stunty') appears whereas Elf does not. There might be some significance in that - perhaps Elves are perhaps not seen as a 'worthy' foe, or perhaps the sector of Orcdom in question doesn't come into contact with Elves, Slann, Lizardmen or Hobbits. Uzlud Frogspiker would be fine name for a Lustrian orc. Again, there is a Tolkienism in that Shagrat could be a similar formulation, although I think the professor might shake his head at the suggestion that it's a compound word indicating bestiality with vermin.
Anyway, I built a table of the component parts of the published names:
|Forename A||Forename B||Surname A||Surname B|
You'll have noticed I haven't normalised the data. Indeed, items that have more frequency in the original name set have more frequency in the component data table, so some elements have a higher chance of appearing. Its not a perfect weighting (which would have to take into account the size of the dataset), but it will do, won't it.
Anyway here's a bunch of Orcy ne'er-do-wells generated from this list:
Nazrok the Smiter
Tiet the Axe
I've had to add in "the" to a couple of names to make them read better, but otherwise it's a pretty good emulation of a mid-80s Citadel Miniatures catalogue Orc nomenclature.
Rather than dice I've used the magic of modern random number generation built into Google Sheets to generate the list. And in fact you can do this too, by simply refreshing this page:
Or if the fancy-pants iframe above isn't working visit : Ye Olde Oldhammer Orc Name Generator
What I love about random generation is how they feed the creative response, much like random character generation in Dungeons & Dragons (3d6 in order or nothing). One can just imagine the mace-weilding leering stance of of Doggog Dwarfbasher, or the stooped, grinning gait of Banik Glodgehat underneath his patched-up leather helm, or the arrogant gesticulating of the Necromantic Orc Wizard who is Glodok Skullbinder.. They practically design themselves.
Occasionally the generator does produce something weird - Angbid Stuntylord for example. It's possible just to ignore it as being out of flavour, or perhaps it's an opportunity for backstory, maybe he's a slave-master with a retinue of Dwarven captives, or carries severed dwarf-heads on his standard or belt.
If you're interested in the nomenclature of the orc in gaming literature (and let's be honest, who isn't?) have a look at Zenopus excellent article on Gygaxian Orc Tribes names. Hmm...perhaps a ramble through the rulebooks of Oldhammer picking out tribal names... Oh yeah, and if the Ye Olde Oldhammer Orc Name Generator vomits up any particularly interesting, funny or inspiring names for you, I'd love to hear them.