Gor versus earth - Part 2

  • Tal dear reader,

    The start of a new week, time for another “ Gor versus earth” for you, this time about names.

    In my country (Belgium) when a child is born, he or she needs to be registered with a forename chosen by the parents (kept secret like a precious hidden treasure till the child is born) and is the surname the one of the father. (in most cases; nowadays it can bare the mothers' surname too)

    On Gor, among the Wagon People, the name is given to boys in the period between childhood and adult age after he has proven himself worthy to the community, (one who can handle the weapons of the hunt and war well)
    Unfortunately, there are little to no references in the Gor books what happens in civilized Gor, and when it is a girl.

    "It was said a youth of the Wagon Peoples was taught the bow, the quiva and the lance before their parents would consent to give him a name, for names are precious among the Wagon Peoples, as among Goreans in general, and they are not to be wasted on someone who is likely to die, one who cannot well handle the weapons of the hunt and war. Until the youth has mastered the bow, the quiva and the lance he is simply known as the first, or the second, and so on, son of such and such a father."
    Nomads of Gor Page 11

    We do now that Goreans also get registered by the following quote :

    "There is a difference, of course," I told her, "in the name Ilene you once wore, and in the name Ilene you now wear."
    She nodded, miserably. Her old name, her old identity, had been taken from her forever. Her new name, though in sound the same, was not her old. Between them there was a difference of worlds, a gulf wider than that dividing planets. Her old name had been hers as a free person, publicly registered, legally certified, historically identified with her throughout her life, until her capture by slavers."
    Hunters of Gor Pages 225 - 226

    A slave has no name; saving what the owner might choose to call her or him. And if so, it carried no dignity nor civil significance.

    "In the eyes of Goreans, and Gorean law, the slave is an animal. She is not a person, but an animal. She has no name, saving what her master might choose to call her. She is without caste. She is without citizenship. She is simply an object, to be bartered, or bought or sold. She is simply an article of property, completely, nothing more."
    Hunters of Gor Pages 148 - 149

    "So I would call her Ilene. But this was not her old name, though in sound it was the same. This was now a Gorean slave name. It carried no dignity nor civil significance."

    Hunters of Gor Pages 225 - 226

    Earth names are often given to a slave, not only because many earth names sound beautiful to a Gorean male, but also to discipline a slave, that she is not any better as a Gorean-bred slave than that of a barbarian slave of Earth.
    It Is also worth mentioning that on Gor the use of a free person's name is something that is allowed only between free persons, and never of a slave addressing a free.

    Then there is the matter of use names among the Free.

    Goreans are a superstitious lot — at least those of the Lower Castes, the use of a "real name" versus that of a "use name" is common on Gor.

    "The Goreans have a habit of not revealing names easily. For themselves, particularly among the Lower Castes, they often have a real name and what is called a use name. Often only the closest relatives know the real name. On the level of the First Knowledge, it is maintained that knowing the real name gives one power over a person, a capacity to use that name in spells and insidious magical practices. Perhaps something of the same sort lingers even on our native Earth, where the first name of a person is reserved for use by those who know him intimately and presumably wish him no harm. The second name, which would correspond to the use-name on Gor, is common property, a public sound not sacred or to be protected. At the level of the Second Knowledge, of course, the High Castes, at least in general, recognize the baseless superstition of the Lower Castes and use their own names comparatively freely, usually followed by the name of their city. For example, I would have given my name as Tarl Cabot of Ko-ro-ba, or, more simply, as Tarl of Ko-ro-ba. The Lower Castes, incidentally, commonly believe that the names of the High Castes are actually use-names and that the High Castes conceal the real names."

    Tarnsman of Gor, pages 58-59.

    Like many of us(if not all) I also use a “use name” , “Yahto” means “blue” ;the more “spiritual” meaning: “That I always may put a blue sky above my home” ( invented it myself many years ago but sound good not ? tongue-out ) an Indian native American name since I love the culture of the Indian native Americans, hence also my choice for the Red Savages on Gor.

    Feel free to share what your "use name" means and why you chose/were given that name smile

    Last but not least; I thank those who commented on my first “Gor versus Earth”.

    Till next Monday,



  • Adira of Alduras likes this
  • Adira of Alduras
    Adira of Alduras My Master calls me Adira, a Hebrew name which means 'the strong, the proud'. This girl is honored to be named this way. The name in my passport is used for authorities, contracts and with people who are related or involved to official things, like...  more
    May 14, 2019 - 1 likes this
  • Tsiskwa
    Tsiskwa I've had to think long and hard on how to respond to this topic. I know that many (most?) of the MyGorean community is European. As such, I'm not sure how many have ever even been to North America, much less actually met a Native American. Well, I am...  more
    May 17, 2019
  • Yahto Savage
    Yahto Savage Thanks for letting us know that on earth it is an offensive term. I only was referring to a group of people living in the barrens on Gor. No offence is taken :-)
    May 17, 2019 - 1 likes this
  • Tsiskwa
    Tsiskwa I will say that I think the concept of "use names" is interesting, and one that doesn't get enough attention in the books. Also, names for slaves. I love the quote from "Hunters" about Ilene.
    May 17, 2019