|This article is about the current version of DF.|
Names are what individual creatures are known by. Creatures in civilizations that can speak are given names upon birth; most other creatures must be given names by such a civilization. Any creature that receives a name becomes a historical figure, which means the game will keep track of it as it loads (and offloads) the world.
Every member of a civilization has at least two names: a first name and a last name, which are given at birth, and are quite random. Unlike most real names, neither name is inherited from the parents.
The first name typically is a single word of the civilization's language. It appears that first names are limited solely to nouns. A creature's first name is never translated in-game, unlike all other names. The second name is a compound of two words in the creature's language. It appears that the words can be any two, though Noun-Noun, Adjective-Noun, and Verb-Noun appear to be the most common pairings. The second name is translated to English in several places, such as looking at the creature's profile screen. Words relating to the creature's civilization's selected symbols are more likely to appear in the creature's second name.
Pets and working animals are given names when they are adopted. These names are identical to the standard names of the civilization their owner belongs to. Unlike real life, pets are never renamed if they become the property of someone else. Only pets belonging to the player's fortress are named, but not the working animals of traders.
Creatures from civilizations who cannot speak will not have names at all, unless they have been given one by other civilizations, and those who can only speak in utterances will likewise have untranslatable names that appear to be gibberish.
Dwarven first names
Dwarven first names come from a combination of symbol sets as defined in the raw files entity_default.txt and language_SYM.txt.
- 175 Dwarf names = (ARTIFICE ∪ EARTH) \ (DOMESTIC ∪ SUBORDINATE ∪ FLOWERY ∪ NEGATOR ∪ NEGATIVE ∪ UGLY ∪ EVIL)
|Name||Literal English Translation|
When a creature scores five notable kills (typically creatures belonging to a civilization, but also any creature that has scored a notable kill itself), it is given an epithet by its civilization. The epithet is most often two names, but can also occasionally be one, though each of these names can be a compound word. The words appear to be selected somewhat randomly, leading to epithets that translate as gibberish, such as "the Hardy Ring-Cobra of Dashing". On occasion, the epithet can be surprisingly apt. The epithet is translated in the same places the creature's second name is translated.
Animal and megabeast names
Animals who are not pets can gain a name by acquiring notable kills or becoming an enemy of a civilization. The language of the animal's name is determined by the civilization that named it, though the relationship is not always straightforward--a wild crundle that kills an elven-named forgotten beast at a dwarven site may receive an elven name, for instance. Most animals who acquire a name in world generation do not ever acquire additional ones, though it is possible. Animals can acquire multiple names more frequently either in fortress mode by killing your dwarves, invaders, or uninvited guests, or in adventurer mode by killing your adventurers or members of their parties.
Megabeasts acquire names in an unusual fashion - all megabeasts have at least one name and typically more, up to four. Unlike other creatures, megabeasts do not have a parent civilization, and instead appear to gain their original names from the first civilization they have contact with. In most cases, they gain epithets from conflict with others - ergo, megabeasts with only one or two names have likely led uneventful lives.
Other names/False identities
On occasion, your dwarves will decide to give names to the creatures inhabiting the area around a fortress. It appears that only creatures who can talk will get names; additionally, the creature must remain on the map for an extended period of time, usually limiting the namings to creatures that inhabit chasms, bottomless pits, and underground rivers and pools. However, any creature that can speak, such as a snailman who has become stuck in a ditch, can be given a name. Other than that, the impetus for naming creatures is murky - some creatures are named after only a few seasons, while others may go unnamed for decades. It may be that a creature must be in the preferences of a dwarf (*) to receive a name, or the naming may occur randomly.
(*) elf, human
Some creatures assume false identities, usually for nefarious purposes - currently, these are agents and vampires. They usually can't be confronted in fortress mode, but when they die, their actual name will be displayed in the unit list. In adventure mode, if you correctly call out a vampire, they will reveal their identity. You may also assume multiple false identities yourself, if you wish to game the rumor system. In Legends mode, all historical figures are displayed under their real names. Interrogation can also reveal any false names the target knows, either their own or those of other members of organisations they're a part of.
|"Name" in other Languages