#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.

Take Your Name Game to the Next Level | How to Make Fantasy Place Names

Take Your Name Game to the Next Level | How to Make Fantasy Place Names

Zabrynn Lander ·

Place names don't come from nowhere.

When people give a name to a village or a river or a mountain range, it usually has a meaning behind it. That might be a description of the place, a reference to the people living there, or something more reverant (referencing a god, for example). 

Many places in England or the USA are called "New" Something. Newcastle, New York, etc. 

Or a place name might relate to its location: Berwick-upon-Tweed means "barley farm upon the River Tweed". 

A lot of place names in England get their origin from the person or people living there. For example: Kenilworth (meaning: enclosure of Cynehild) and Hastings (meaning: the settlement of Heasta's people)

So what does that mean for your worldbuilding?

Something that really makes a fantasy world feel alive is the names of the people and places within it. That doesn't mean you need to create a whole new language! Instead, creating a list of vocabulary you can use for your place names (and a few "common" names too!) can help make your world come alive. 

Here's an example list of words with their equivalent in my own fantasy language "Asterian":

  • River, rasu
  • Cave, vomu
  • Kingdom, Country, gardu
  • Ditch, nigaulu
  • Forest, reli
  • Woods, sey
  • Hill, arlu or vovu
  • Lake, mennu
  • Garden, tedzmu
  • Gully, ey
  • Mountain, storru
  • Field, rru
  • Farm, zamu
  • Spring, mgualearru
  • Port, damnva

(for more inspiration see here)

Your list should probably be a lot longer than this, but it's a jumping off point. Combine these terms with the names of your word's deities, words for common animals (for example "pig farm"), and boom you have yourself a list of place names you can use for your fantasy that feel authentic and consistent. 

Tip: all languages have a set of sounds that they use. This is called a "phonology". Here's some resources to help you make a phology for your list (remember, go for the ones who can pronounce yourself!)

What everything sounds like

Generate a random phonology

So you have a bunch of words but you're looking for inspiration?

Check out my place name generator here


Here's an example!


@dndalley #stitch with @dndalley #conlang #dndalley #fantasyworldbuilding #fantasyplace #fantasylocation #dndelves #dndelf #dndhomebrew ♬ original sound - Zaz

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