Surely Halflings don't call themselves "Halflings"

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MJZ
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Surely Halflings don't call themselves "Halflings"

Right? I mean, "halfling" is clearly a term humans have given them - seeing as elves are only a foot, or over two at most taller than they are. I know in the Forgotten Realms they're called the "Hin." Thus far I've just been using the subrace names, but they must have some sort of name for their kind on a whole?

Could we create one if it doesn't exist?

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GamemasterWriting Team Member
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They do and we will not be changing it.

Same thing with Dwarves.

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MistiteToranite
Joined: Apr 12 2006

while halflings might be the official name for the race, and when discussing races thay may well call themselves halfling I suspect the way that halfling family/clans work they are more likely to consider themselves a proudfoot or willowweed or whatever clan they are before a member of the species at all.


MJZ
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Sure, same goes for elves, with family names. But I was looking for a racial name. Elves are still elves, they have a racial name. It's hard not to require a racial identification when you're running around with orcs, brownies, half-ogres, humans, etc.


L's post sounded quite final so I'm not trying to push the issue, but I can't say it makes much sense to me. Why would a "halfling" call himself a halfling? He's a whole-ling in his opinion, just as much as a human is in his. Humans don't call themselves "halflings" just because giants exist. I'm not trying to say it should be changed, I'm just expressing my confusion. :P


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AeridiniteRofireinite
Joined: Feb 12 2007

I share your confusion. It is obvious that you see things from your own race's eyes and not another's. Besides, 'Halfling' has always sounded quite derogatory, if you think about it (same goes for 'Dwarf', obviously). Oh, well. At least we have the sub-race names to rely on.

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AeridiniteAngels Guild MemberDorandite
Joined: Jun 4 2006

I have played dwarfs on many servers. I have two here. I have never thought of being called a dwarf as a negative. Dwarfs as far as I can tell throughout the servers take pride in their race, their clans and their gods. Being a dwarf is what they are and they take pride in it. Frankly I have never seen anything derogatory about it.


Some envy perhaps from the lesser races but never derision. ;)


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DruidGrannochianMistite
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Ah, but you see, these names are merely symptoms of the hegemonic oppresion at the hand of humans. This externally imposed framework has become so ingrained, that these liminalized groups can no longer see themselves outside of the human context, but must compare themselves to what they subconciously see as the norm. ;)


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Rofireinite
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I've always considered it a language thing. The word for Halflings in Common is "Halfling," so that's what they are called in Common. Among themselves they may not have a word for the broader collective, so they may have just adopted "Halfling" for it. "Let them have their silly names for things. They are going to die soon. Let's not confuse them with new words. The air is thin up there, you know."

"Dwarf" referred to beings in Norse myth before it was ever applied to real life little people, so I'm not sure how that could be an insult when considered in the 'proper' chronological order.

MJZ
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Gulnyr wrote:
"Let them have their silly names for things. They are going to die soon. Let's not confuse them with new words. The air is thin up there, you know."


This is exactly the attitude my character's been taking to it. ;)


But I don't think saying it's a language thing makes much sense - the term "half" is still there, and if you're the norm in size for your own race, you wouldn't call yourself a "half"-something. It's not same as half-orc/ogre/giant.


I agree about the dwarf word. But still don't see how or why a lightfoot/ghostwise/strongheart would call their own race "halflings." Such differentiating names are given to other racial groups, not ones own - eg, Sea elves call surface humanoids "the breathless," they don't call themselves "the breathful," or something. That's what I don't understand. A lightfoot is the right size for a lightfoot - calling his kind "halflings" would infer they measure themselves through human standards - which doesn't make sense to me. O.o


I demand a racial evolution timeline! Or...I could make one! :D


(joking)


If the Common word is "halfling," then we still need a "halfling" word for it - which wouldn't include the word "half." ;)


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Hobbits, anyone? *shrugs* probably along the same lines as the word drow around here anyway...


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LucinditeMistiteGamemasterWriting Team Member
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They're not hobbits, no. I never really saw it as too much of a problem, because the word halfling is not in their own language. And when it comes to translation ears, I often assume that rarely are there direct word to word translations - halfling may just be spitting out the word for what halflings call themselves, because the word 'halfling' does not actually exist in their language.


Most racial groups simply call themselves People or Folk or Children, or some more flattering name in comparison to others, eg "the beautiful," "the smarter-than humans," but in their own language - and in common it is whatever the common name for them is.


Gnomes, halflings, and dwarves are all Children of the Earth, for example, though it's a broader label.


(Or yeah, they could call everyone lightfoot except for when they're not. Something.)


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DruidGrannochianMistite
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Quote:
Hobbits, anyone? *shrugs* probably along the same lines as the word drow around here anyway...


Just a note:

Hobbits is entirely a Tolkienian term (perhaps derived from hobs or hobgoblins, etc.), and probably is still copyrighted, whereas drow is probably either a corruption of dwarrow (the plural of dwarf in old english), or the Scottish trowe (troll), or the Irish drow, (a type of fomori), or some other British isles variant, but in any case has a clear folklore etymology.


MJZ
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Acacea wrote:
...halfling may just be spitting out the word for what halflings call themselves, because the word 'halfling' does not actually exist in their language.


Shall I just go with that, then? Use the letter-replaced words for "halfling" with the ear, and tell myself that it doesn't contain the word "half?"


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Aeridinite
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May as well since it is a moot point...


MJZ
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It's not a moot point! There's nothing hypothetical about it - this issue arises for me all the time, and not just me - at least one other person who posted here shares my confusion. If it were mootable I wouldn't have bothered making a thread about it.


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AeridiniteIlsarian
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Oh they go by many names... Smurfs, Lemmings etc etc


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CorathiteIlsarian
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I never thought halfling as in half of a ling, or really anything to do with half at all. It was really just a name to call a species to me, although like any race, I guess you can have the negative title as well as the normal. I'm not sure if that has anything to do with the actual word though.
"Oh, Joe? He's a human."
"Humans..." - Most likely snapped, mumbled, grumbled, or sighed in Elven ;)

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One of the many joys of being an Elf is the occasional "Humans..."

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Layonara AdministratorDruidFolianiteGamemasterLucinditeWriting Team MemberXeenite
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The very simple answer is this:

The official name for Halflings is some word in their language that translates into "Halfling" in Common. As has also been said, Halflings are tribal/communal in nature, so they may identify themselves via some other distiction.

It's not that the Halfling language does not contain the word "half", but rather that Halflings don't refer to themselves as "half" of anything. In fact, if you ask them, they're all the right size.

Something similar can be said for all the other races.

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Allrightie, while the official name of the race is and will remain halfling, I'm willing to consider a name they call themselves (but none of the other races would use it, so we/I don't want everyone just calling them by their own name all of a sudden, they're Halflings :)

(and note the "willing to consider", no promises!)

MJZ
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Quote:
but rather that Halflings don't refer to themselves as "half" of anything. In fact, if you ask them, they're all the right size.

This is precisely what I meant. :)

And that sounds great, Ed - it's just what I was looking for! Thanks for the consideration.

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Umm...maybe I'm misunderstanding the lore of Layonara a bit, but also couldn't we think that since it's believed by some that the dragon gods created the humanoid races of Layonara, that it was they that designated Halflings as Halflings, perhaps after previously creating Humans? That would actually make sense to me.

-----
Dragon god one: "Behold! My newest creation! Small, and stealthy, able to slip in places your larger Humans can't. But, what should I call them?"

Dragon god two: "Indeed, a fine creation, probably one of our best. Hmmm... they are about half the height of those Humans, why not call them Halflings?"

Dragon god one: "Right on! Halflings they are then!" *turning to the newly created and awakened Halfling* "Go now my little one and wreak havoc across the world with your irrepressible self! And know I name thee Halfling." *maniacle laughter*

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Haha! You are too funny for this world, Nehetsrev.


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Quote:
-9500
Speculation is that the first non-dragon Races started to appear. Many believe that the dragons and Dragon Gods created these races.

A quote directly from the Layonara Timeline found on LORE to help support the idea behind my previous post. *winks*

----
Dragon god convesation continued:

Dragon god two: "Oh! What's that there you're working on?"

Dragon god one: "You like that? It's a variation on the Gnome design, I call it a Svirfneblin."

Dragon god two: *looking completely dumbfounded* "Why?"

Dragon god one: "Why not? I was feeling a little silly when i started work on that one, so I gave it a silly name." *shrugs*

Dragon god two: "Ooookay..." *pause* "Say, I'm noticing a trend here. You're making your creations smaller and smaller aren't you?"

Dragon god one: "Indeed! I'm glad you noticed! I call it 'miniturization'."

Dragon god two: "Riiiight..." *shakes it's head on it's long scaley neck* "Yappan, you're crazy, you know that?"

Dragon god one: *smiling proudly over his ever-increasingly small creations* "Yes, I am, aren't I?"

So in futures now long forgotten, it came to be known that miniturization was perfected by Yappan...which was often mis-pronounced with a 'J' sound at the beginning....

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Quote:
Umm...maybe I'm misunderstanding the lore of Layonara a bit, but also couldn't we think that since it's believed by some that the dragon gods created the humanoid races of Layonara, that it was they that designated Halflings as Halflings, perhaps after previously creating Humans? That would actually make sense to me.

-----
Dragon god one: "Behold! My newest creation! Small, and stealthy, able to slip in places your larger Humans can't. But, what should I call them?"

Dragon god two: "Indeed, a fine creation, probably one of our best. Hmmm... they are about half the height of those Humans, why not call them Halflings?"

Dragon god one: "Right on! Halflings they are then!" *turning to the newly created and awakened Halfling* "Go now my little one and wreak havoc across the world with your irrepressible self! And know I name thee Halfling." *maniacle laughter*

Oh nice :-)

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Aeridinite
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Nehetsrev wrote:
...it came to be known that miniturization was perfected by Yappan...which was often mis-pronounced with a 'J' sound at the beginning....
... :p *interprets that as a joke.*


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Quote:
Just a note:
Hobbits is entirely a Tolkienian term (perhaps derived from hobs or hobgoblins, etc.), and probably is still copyrighted, whereas drow is probably either a corruption of dwarrow (the plural of dwarf in old english), or the Scottish trowe (troll), or the Irish drow, (a type of fomori), or some other British isles variant, but in any case has a clear folklore etymology.

An added bit of linguistic trivia... using "Dwarves" as a plural first came into being in Tolkien's writing, all the while before they were referred to as "Dwarfs" in Norse and Medeival tales. D&D uses the plural term "Dwarves" however, and these days only hardcore purists use the original term "Dwarfs".

Also, "Duergar" is a direct child of the term "Dvergar", or the dwarves of the Norse mythology. Of course there is much debate as to the nature of Norse dwarfs... they seem to be synonymous with the "Dark Elfs" in old Norse tales.

Just a few nerdfacts you can use if you want to hit on that cute myoptic anime girl drinking ovaltine.

PS: Rakish Feiwallen is the first drow to sponsor the politically correct term "Subterranean Mistonian".

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Lawsuit!


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