#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.

how to create an elf name for dungeon and dragons character

How to Create an Elf Name for DnD

Zabrynn Lander ·

In Dungeons and Dragons, Elves are given a "child name" when they are born, then they choose a name once they come of age (around 100 years old). 

Of course, many elves will find themselves in a transitionary stage where the people they knew, who were not at their naming ceremony, may know them only by the child name. So let's talk about how your Elf character can introduce themselves.

There are three elements to an Elf's name. 

Personal / Chosen Name

This is the name an elf gains when come of age. Depending on the community they are from, this might be part of a large ritual or may simply be a thing that happens over time with the elf informing their friends and family of their new name as they meet. Regardless, a chosen name often speaks volumes about the Elf who bears it. Have they taken the name of an ancestor? Have they reused a name they bore in a previous life? Or have they created something new and unique for themselves? Perhaps they wish to speak of their ambitions or the virtue they prise most. 

Want to create your own unique name? Try the generator!

elf name generator


Child Name

The next element will be their child name. Of course, once an elf reaches a certain age, this will be omitted since everyone will know them by their chosen name. 

There are a couple different ways to indicate a child name. 

Hir, means 'once'

Chyr, means 'having been'

and Ahn, means 'before'


Surname / Clan Name / Place of Origin

Depending on where an elf is from, they might have a surname or they may choose to be known for where they are from. Some elves might even go by the mother's name (elves tend to be matrilineal). 

Terms to add to a place name (generate a place name here!)

Vand or Vantur means 'from'

Tel, means 'related to, belonging to'

 [suffix] ie, means 'with, being with' (rare!)

Terms to add to a clan or mother's name:

Tyss, Tyr 'born to'

Tel, means 'related to, belonging to'

Sum, means 'child, daughter' + [prefix] i, means 'of'

Va'e, means 'son' [prefix] i, means 'of'

Shan, means 'of [a clan]' literally, 'branch'


Here are some examples:

Aera hir Ama tel Ravanór

"Silver Moon once Flower of Forestland"

Kasinmīr chyr Holtha va'e i'Arsian

"Honour Blessing, having been Precious Child, son of Arsian (Sunbrook)"

Iugrun ahn Ion shan Ryrumren

"Cascading Wilderness, who was Dew before, branch of the Jade Meadow Clan" 


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