#10 Unique Elf Surnames with Meanings | Dungeons and Dragons

When you're rolling up an Elf character in your Dungeons and Dragons game, finding the perfect last name can be a challenge! Here are ten name ideas for your next character - with their meaning in Elvish!

Lyath-tel - "belonging to a temple"

This name comes in two parts "tel" and "lyath".

The form "tel" can be seen in several places in Elvish, such as when talking about a group of people (e.g. ór-tel-quessir, "people of the

"Lyath" is the Elvish word for temple. 

This name is perfect for an Acolyte character. 

vantur Ravanor - "from the Forestland"

The first part of this name simply means "from". It is commonly used at the beginning of surnames derived from a place of origin. 

Ravanor is a pretty generic place name, especially if your character is a Wood Elf. 

tyr Vomira - "born to Vomira"

This is a matronymic name, that means it's dervived from your character's mother's name. Many cultures use matronymic or patronymics rather than set last names. For example, in Iceland you are known by your father's name. 

In the case of this character, their mother's name was Vomira. 

shan-Stakiaren - "branch of the House of the Beloved Star"

The Elves have many words for the heavenly bodies, each with their own implication. "Stakia" or "Stacia" can variously mean:  star, treasure, trove, gem, gold, blaze; sweetheart, beloved. 

The translation here is something like "Beloved Star" or "Treasured Ones".

The prefix, shan, is an Elven word that literally means "branch (of a tree)".however when used in names it refers to a member of a family (the branch of a family tree). 

The final element "ren" is the Elvish word for House or Clan.

This is a great name for an Elf with Noble Background. 

Gisirie - "of the guardians"

This is a great name for an elf who comes from a family with the Knight background. Or perhaps their kin are paladins. 

The Elvish word "Gisir (plu. Gisiae) means "guardian".

The name takes the rare sociative case, which means something like "with, in the company of". This is often used in situations of adoption, fostering, or even the foundation of a particular order. 

The family as a whole would be known by the plural form: Gisieii.

Maedran - "wind speaker"

Combining the words "mae" wind and "dran" speaker, this name could refer to a profession or be a nickname. If it's a nickname it could be something noble - or refer to the fact your character doesn't shut up!

Regardless, this is a great surname for a Bard character.

Amnesha - "tree friend"

The tree this name refers to is specifically an oak tree (amne). The suffix -sha, means "friend".

This is another great name for a Druid character.

Anogwinn - "moon guide"

The first part of this name is one of the Elvish words for moon. The second part means guide and comes from the Elvish word "gwin" meaning walkway, path. A gwinn is a pathmaker or a guide.

This is ideal for a High Elf character since they like to associate themselves with celestial objects.

Daanethun - "bright struggle follower"

Another translation for this surname could probably be "daredevil". The elves have the concept that some struggles make a person stronger while others only serve to harm. "Daan" (plural: daana) is the positive type, called "bright struggles".

Those who are followers of bright struggles look for adventure in all aspects of their life.

Artarhin - "dawn scholar"

"Artar" is the Elvish word for dawn. It means "new sun", though it can also translate to "new heights".

The second element is even more ambigious, as it has no true English equivalent. It can mean: collector, scholar, researcher. Or more broadly, a person who recieves something, usually an idea. The word can also be translated as "a welcome".
So while the name is translated as "dawn scholar" above, it could also mean "scholar of new heights" or "welcome to the dawn".

This name would be ideal for a High Elf character.

Drow Vocabulary | Family Terminology and Hierarchy

Drow Vocabulary | Family Terminology and Hierarchy

Zabrynn Lander ·

While drow are considered to be generally "chaotic" one thing that is common among their societies is a need for a hierarchy. Knowing where you stand amoung your peers and having them know where you stand is vital. This is especially true within the family unit, whether it is to present outward loyalty or simply out of respect. 

A drow family is typically based around the Matriarch, her partners and her children. A successful Matriarch (one who has been in power for a long time) might even have grandchildren. All members are under her power and, generally, dervive their status from her. There are exceptions to this, of course, successful daughters might become powerful priestesses or warriors. In those cases, their merits will add to the family's prestige. However, once a daughter has risen through the ranks, she is likely to either found her own house or eliminate her mother. 

The Matriarch

In drow, the term for Matriarch is Ilharess. It can also be translated to "Matron" or "Matron Mother".

The most superior of the Matrons might be called Valsharess, which is translated into "Queen" in the Common tongue (though it's not an ideal translation). 

When addressing a matron, people will usually add an extra word to show respect and status, akin to the English terms: "Lady" or "Mrs".

For this example the Matron has the name Netan

Netan-ec, "Matron Mother", used by most family members 

Netan-aun, "Matron Partner", used by the patron (her primary spouse)

Netan-tallar, "Lady, Senior", used by anyone of lesser rank. Note: if Netan worked for another Matron, she would be called Netan-tal. 

The Consorts

There are three types of consorts, or partners, a Matriarch might keep. 

Ilharn, "Patron", refers to the Matriarch's primary spouse. He lives in the Matriarch's house and under her power. He generally keeps the other partners under close watch. A patron must be male, unlike the other types of lovers a Matriarch can take. 

All members of the family, including the Matriarch, call him -aum. 

Jabbuk, "Master, Sir", refers to a lesser spouse or a concubine. A matron might have several of these if she is wealthy. They often bring valuable skills to the household such as skill at weapons or magic. 

The family will call him -virl, which simply means "male". 

Meanwhile the Matriarch will call him, -laul, meaning "lover".

Jabbress, "Madame", is the feminine form of Jabbuk. While signifanctly less common, a Matriarch might choose to keep a female lover.   

The matriarch would call her, -lau, meaning "lover". 

Parzdiamo, "Mistress", usually male, these are temporary lovers who are considered guests rather than full members of the house, even if they stay for several weeks. They have signifacantly less protection, but are able to move between houses - including their own home - more easily. Female members of a house can only take on aparzdiamo and cannot marry. Most parzdiamo are young male drow. 

The family will refer to these lovers much they would any male they speak to who is of equal or lesser rank, -uk. 

Meanwhile the Matriarch will likely called her parzdiamo, -om. 

All children born to the Matron are presumed to be the children of the Patron as well, regardless of how many lovers the Matriarch might take. 

The Successor

As the Matron's heir, she is generally addressed differently than her siblings. She holds the highest rank in the family after her mother. She always the eldest daughter. In this example, her name is Penore. 

Penore-vik, "Heir", used by her family

Penore-rin, "Lady", used by anyone of lesser rank. 

Within the family, her title is Ustli, "First Daughter". In a formal situation she might be announced Penore-rin, Ustli ē Netan-tallar, "Lady Penore, First Daughter of Matron Netan".

Children of the Matron

Birth order is very important within drow families so each child will be known by their order and gender. For example:

Ustlim, "First Son". His siblings call him -isn.

Drāli, "Second Daughter". Her siblings call her -ist

Occasionally, a Matriarch will adopt a daughter or son. Usually, a promising daughter from a lower rank will be adopted, with the Matriarch offering a son (or other valuable property) in exchange.  This is expecially common if the Matriarch has no living daughters. Their titles tend to be slightly different:

Drāzen, "Second Son". His new siblings would call him -or.

Llarbbyn, "Third Daughter". Her new siblings would call her -ol.  


If a matron rules for a long time, her daughters will grow into adulthood and eventually have children of her own.

Drow lives tend to be short and brutal but the average life span is about 400 years. Meaning that if a Drow matron had a daughter when she was about 200, she might still be alive by the time her daughter reaches that age as well. Additionally, drow have the potential to live a lot longer, so an elderly drow could have their own adult grandchildren. 

All grandchildren are numbered in birth order, regardless of their mother. The eldest is the eldest even if she was born to the second born daughter. 

Einli, "First (Grand)daughter". Her relatives would call her -int. While her mother calls her -min. 

Einlim, "First (Grand)son". His relatives would call him -int if he lives within the household or -in if he's moved to another. 

Drāmin, "Second (Grand)daughter"


Now you know the terminology Drow use with their family members! This can be super useful if you're roleplaying your Drow when they meet their family or an easy cultural "faux pas" for player characters to stumble into. 

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