I drew this during the Leachtric storyline, when it was a liiiittle more on-point. (Getsunese major characters and reincarnation as a major theme!) But I’m tired of sitting on it until an equally on-point storyline comes around, so you’re just gonna get it now.
Leif: So how do Getsuska names work?
Thorn: Well, let’s take some of my Getsunese colleagues as examples.
Getsun culture has a lot of respect for reincarnation, so babies aren’t given real names for their first few years. In the meantime, they get cutsey little pet names that serve as placeholders.
Long-runners usually remember their previous lives by the age of five, at which point they’ll tell you their own adult names. (Among other things.)
Baby Olive: That outbreak is a direct result of the cuts in research funding from Senate bill 320.7, which is why I, Olive Romarin, voted against it.
First-time five-year-olds . . . still might be able to tell you something useful for the naming process.
Baby Artie: I don’t want a boy name, I want a princess name.
And if the parents don’t get any useful input by this age, they just give the kid an adult-name they like.
Baby Birch: I useta be a pirate ninja king!
Birch’s mom: All right, let’s call him Birch.
Olive: Once you’re an adult, it’s considered rude for anyone outside your immediate family to use your baby name. Even my parents in this life can’t use the baby name I had the first time around.
Artie: Some people find out the name of a past incarnation later in life — like I did, via heartsword. Back in Getsun, that would become your legal name. Here in Ceannis, you can choose to take it or not. I took it (sort of).
Artemisia –> Artie (didn’t want a girl name either)
It’s not as rude to use (or ask about) my prior adult name. It doesn’t have those “treating you like a baby” connotations. But if you didn’t know me at the time, it’ll come off as overly familiar.
Birch: Also! Some immigrant families will give their kids a mainstream local name and a traditional Getsunese name. In that case, the polite thing is to just use whichever one the individual prefers.
. . . I use my Getsunese name so little that I need a minute to remember what it is.