How to Name a Chiss
method of naming that I came up with can be confusing at a first read, so I am also going to be including pictures to visualize what I’m talking about. I will also include a tl;dr version for those who don’t care for lengthy explanations or just forgot a single detail in the naming. I will be using the name Mitth’raw’nuruodo, better known as Thrawn, as the example name for the explanation.
First off, there is what I will refer to as the root name. This is not an official term: just something that I’m labeling so that we can all be on the same page as I explain. The root name is comparable to given names like Bob or John. In the case of Mitth’raw’nuruodo, the root name is Raw. Note that it is found in the middle of Mitth and Nuruodo. This is important.
Secondly, there is the family name, which is the same as ours. This name goes in front of the root name, like in the real world Eastern naming order. In Thrawn’s case, it is the Mitth Family. Excuse the fact that Thrawn is adopted into the family: it’s a common occurrence in Chiss society.
Thrawn is also part of the Nuruodo Family. However, he has no actual relationship with them other than through his occupation as a military officer. The Nuruodo Family handles all military and foreign affairs matters within the Chiss Ascendancy, according to New Republic archives. To signify Thrawn’s affiliation with the military, the Nuruodo family name goes at the end. I’m calling this the occupation name.
Do note that the occupation name can be permanent if the individual is talented in his or her field of expertise. On the other hand, a Chiss can be removed from the family that is associated with this portion of the name through methods that have never been explained. Senior members of the military were documented to have dropped this portion of the name altogether upon becoming a senior member of the military. It’s unclear whether this applied throughout the ruling families or is exclusive to the military.
BREAKDOWN OF THE NAME
To break it down: the Chiss name consists of a family name, followed by the root name, and finished with the occupation name. Yes, Chiss formally refer to each other by all three names. The core name was traditionally used informally among close friends, family, and the like, consisting of portions of the family, root, and occupation name (see examples in “Notes to Consider”). Its purpose expanded when the Chiss Ascendancy were getting into contacting people outside their territories, since the formal Chiss name was difficult to pronounce to non-natives.
NOTES TO CONSIDER
The core name seems to consist of portions of all three names, though it is not an absolute rule. Examples include Mitth’raw’nuruodo (Thrawn), Brast’alshi’barku (Talshib), Ina’ganet’nuruodo (Ganet), and Fehlaaur’aitel’loro (Fehlaaur). All Chiss core names contain the root name.
Names of canon characters such as Shawnkyr Nuruodo do have a more “traditional” naming setup (Shawnkyr’s name is alternatively written as Shawn’kyr’nuruodo). It seems all Chiss names follow the family-root-occupation name format.
The above breakdown does contradict some Chiss, such as Chaf’orm’bintrano. In this name, the Chaf Family is noted to be centered around diplomacy, while the Bintrano Family remains ambiguous as to its role or function. Jer’Jo Cam’Co is also an oddball.
There are no instances where an occupation name is found where the familiy name is, suggesting that the occupation name is symbolic and not related to lineage.
The Chiss language is called Cheunh, while Minnisiat was used as the Chiss’ trade language. Outsiders typically learned Minnisiat instead of Cheunh, since the former was less difficult to pronounce.