Monday, February 1, 2010

Pellatarrum: the meaning of the name

Talking about the seasons is taking longer than I'd like, so this is a quick placeholder.

Pellatarrum is a world of consensus: the four elder races of Elf, Dwarf, Orc and Dragon each tried to push their own version of paradise when re-creating the Material Plane, and the end result was a compromise that everyone hated equally. It looks, to quote my friend Trollsmyth,
"Very much like public housing: designed by committee to a set of standards that overlap maybe only 75% with the actual needs of the folks who are living there, who then trashed the place in their frustration."
So it should really come as no surprise that the name for the place is a portmanteau word. Its full and proper name is correctly rendered as:

Pellardinae (Elvish, "This beautiful thing")
Tarrummaachen (Dwarven, "Crafted with toil")
Ch't!ath!auth Sth'meke!z (Draconic, "Home to all")
Shakrakugh ( Orcish, "Orcs.")

So yeah, that last part didn't really sit well with the other three races once they found out what it meant, and Draconic's use of dental, lateral, alveolar and palatal clicks (which could only be properly expressed with a cleft tongue anyway) made its contribution nearly unpronounceable by all but the Elves.

It didn't take long for the last half of the name to be dropped, and from then it was a simple matter of linguistic drift for "Pellardinae Tarrummaachen" to become "Pellatarrum", which roughly translates as "This thing we made," "We did it" or, with the right inflection, "It's our fault." This last translation is immensely popular among the Dwarves.

(Bonus points to anyone who can guess the real-world origin and meaning of the name. And I know who I told, so no cheating! :P)


  1. Ah the wondrous politics of it all :-D

    Well pella could mean skin and tarrum makes me think of tarry so... something like 'restraining skin'?

    I don't know I'm probably talking rubbish :-P

  2. I have two widely diverging theories.

    1. It's a greek/hebrew mishmash meaning "the Exalted stone/rock" from the Greek "Pélla" (stone/rock) and the Hebrew "Tarum" (exalted).

    2. As a giant fuck you to all of us Erin decided to use a phrase from the sort of obscure and multilayered turkish insult "I'll open a champagnebottle in your moms pussy" where the final word is pronounced sort of similar to "pellatarum". Well, more like "patlatarim", but close enough =P

  3. @Bunny:

    1. Your mishmash theory is correct but your languages are wrong. However, I think your answer is awesome and I might in the future claim that was my plan all along.

    2. I must know the rest of that Turkish phrase.

  4. 1. Well, pellardinae seems like greek/latin. And tarrummaachen is either german or yiddish (while tarum can be hebrew), "machen" being an inflection of the german "to make/do"
    But that's as far as I can guess.

    2. Well, the phrase goes something like "anunnah amunah champanya patlatarim" (sp?).
    Well, that's sort of how it's pronounced.

    I'm fairly sure that patlatarim is neither mother or pussy (that part of the information is provided in one or both of the first words, this derived from an extensive experience of being insulted by foulmouthed acquaintances of turkish origin while in high school) and obviously champanya means champagne.

  5. I thank you, Bunny.

    If folks haven't figured it out in a week I'll post the shocking(!) true story.

  6. If it had been "Pellaturam" I would have had a different theory =P
    If we write Pellaturam backwards we get "Murratallep"

    Marut & Aleph.

    Aleph (first letter of the word Emet, Truth) was the letter that was used to bring the mythical "golem" to life.

    Marut is of course know as one of the classes of Inevitables, the Marut representing the inevitability of Death.

    Thus. Life and Death symbology, artificial being creating, D&D nerding and low level "haha it's hidden" all mashed into one!

    P.S: Yes, I'm doing this because I should be doing something practical but I'm really procrastinating instead. ^_^


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