The meaning of the Discworld names

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The meaning of the Discworld names

Postby Foul Ole Ron's Smell » Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:31 pm

Have you ever thought about the meaning of a name you spotted in Pterry's books? I bet you have. Some of them are obvious (Bloody Stupid Johnson), some mean nothing (Boris) but there are loads of really interesing cases.

Let me start with my favourite: Sto Lat. "Sto lat" is a Polish song. It means "100 years" and is sung to wish someone 100 years of life for his/her birthday. Meanly joyful unless you're 99. ;)

Do you remember any names that may have any interesting meaning, reference or background?

I'll give you more examples later.
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Postby Tonyblack » Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:41 pm

Well I always thought that Sto Plains was like 'stop lanes' - those escape lanes you sometimes get on a very steep downward hill. :)

I know I've said before that Llamedos is 'sod em all' spelled backwards. This is a reference to the fictional town in Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood; Llareggub - which is 'bugger all' backwards.

Koom Valley - the Welsh word for a valley is cwm, which is pronounced koom. :D

In Pyramids, one of the bullies in the Assassin's Guild is called Flimoe. In Tom Brown's Schooldays, there's a bully named Speedicut. Fly-mo and Speedicut are both brands of lawnmower.
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Postby Bees » Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:12 pm

Not a name meaning but I went to an event run by Epic Games studio. Their game engine is called the Unreal engine and the event was called Unreal University. I only kept telling people I was going to Unseen University. :roll:
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Postby Foul Ole Ron's Smell » Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:30 am

Tonyblack wrote:Well I always thought that Sto Plains was like 'stop lanes' - those escape lanes you sometimes get on a very steep downward hill. :)

I know I've said before that Llamedos is 'sod em all' spelled backwards. This is a reference to the fictional town in Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood; Llareggub - which is 'bugger all' backwards.

Koom Valley - the Welsh word for a valley is cwm, which is pronounced koom. :D

In Pyramids, one of the bullies in the Assassin's Guild is called Flimoe. In Tom Brown's Schooldays, there's a bully named Speedicut. Fly-mo and Speedicut are both brands of lawnmower.


Nice, especially those spelled backwards. :)

More from me:

Willie Hobson, a second hand horse dealer from "Going Postal" may be a reference to a real person called Thomas Hobson - a carrier, delivering mail between Cambridge and London and renting horses in 16th and 17th century.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Hobson

Stanley Gibbons - a weird pin-loving boy from "Going Postal" might be a reference to Stanley Gibbons Group, a company dealing with stamp collecting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Gibbons

Mort - this is a clever one, not only a nice dimunitive of Mortimer but also meaning "death" in French.
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:24 am

Stanley is interesting is that we learn his surname is Howler.

Gibbons and howler monkeys are both primates. :D
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Postby Foul Ole Ron's Smell » Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:34 am

Tonyblack wrote:Stanley is interesting is that we learn his surname is Howler.

Gibbons and howler monkeys are both primates. :D


Right, my mistake. Nevetheless the link is correct. :)
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:35 am

Foul Ole Ron's Smell wrote:
Tonyblack wrote:Stanley is interesting is that we learn his surname is Howler.

Gibbons and howler monkeys are both primates. :D


Right, my mistake. Nevetheless the link is correct. :)
:lol: I was agreeing with you and supplying more evidence. :wink:

There's a mention in Going Postal that Stanley was raised by peas. Peas is an anagram of apes and there's a sort of joke there that he's the opposite to Tarzan. :lol:
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Postby Foul Ole Ron's Smell » Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:45 am

Tonyblack wrote:There's a mention in Going Postal that Stanley was raised by peas. Peas is an anagram of apes and there's a sort of joke there that he's the opposite to Tarzan. :lol:


So true. :) But wasn't it Stanley who killed the assassin in GP when he, to put it mildly, got mad? ;)
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:02 am

Slightly off topic, but have you noticed how many characters there are in Discworld named Ron (or Ronnie or Ronald)? :D
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Postby Foul Ole Ron's Smell » Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:16 am

Tonyblack wrote:Slightly off topic, but have you noticed how many characters there are in Discworld named Ron (or Ronnie or Ronald)? :D


Not yet as I'm half way through the DW series but i definitelly will now. :)
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Postby raisindot » Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:14 pm

Foul Ole Ron's Smell wrote:
So true. :) But wasn't it Stanley who killed the assassin in GP when he, to put it mildly, got mad? ;)


Nope. Wasn't him who finished him off. He got a good 'un in, tho'! :)
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Postby raisindot » Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:17 pm

Always wondered where the name "Moist Von Lipwig" was a play on Ludwig Von Beethoven.
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Postby LilMaibe » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:21 pm

The 'von' just means 'of' (and it was 'van beethoven', basically the same, but I'm an hopeless nitpicker...)
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Postby ChristianBecker » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:30 pm

raisindot wrote:Always wondered where the name "Moist Von Lipwig" was a play on Ludwig Von Beethoven.


I thought he had a wet false beard.
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:39 pm

I once read about this guy and was convinced that there must be a connection to Discworld. :D

I'm pretty sure there's a connection between the Pendle Witches and, not only Discworld, but Good Omens as well.

There were in total thirteen Pendle Witches: Alizon Device, Elizabeth Device, James Device, Anne Whittle, alias Chattox, Anne Redferne, Alice Nutter, Katherine Hewitt, John Bulcock, Jane Bulcock & Isobel Robey were the ten hanged at Lancaster gaol.

Elizabeth Southerns, alias Demdike, died in Lancaster Gaol awaiting trial, but was nevertheless considered to be a witch on the basis of evidence already given. Jennet Preston, who lived just over the Lancashire border, was tried in Yorkshire and hanged at York in 1612. Finally, Magaret Pearson was found guilty of witchcraft at Lancaster, but not murder, and received a sentance of one years imprisonment.


I'm thinking Agnes Nitt is based on Alice Nutter.

I'm sure you've all worked out the joke behind Dil the embalmer in Pyramids. Dill pickles.
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