#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.

DnD Alley

What is "Common" Elvish?

Zabrynn Lander ·

The Elvish this generator uses is called "Common Elvish". It is a fan-language developed as a supplement the TTRPG "Dungeons and Dragons"! It's made to be used in your world, for character and place names. Even titles. 

But that's the meta version of the story. What about in-world? A little lore never hurt anyone!

Common Elvish is a language spoken by almost all elves. It's orginal comes from the dawn of Elves themselves, though it has developed and changed since. It works as a lingua franca between the different Elven cultures. It is a language for trade, research, and history. 

But no elf would consider it to be their mother tongue. Every clan or culture of elves speaks a dialect of this language. Some are similar enough to be understood, without using Common Elvish. While others are enough changed that they are, at this point, seperate languages. A good example of this is Drow Elvish, itself full of various dialects. 

That being said, Elves will usually choose to name themselves in Common Elvish. There are exceptions, of course. 

Common Elvish is maintained through the generations, mostly unchanging, due to Elven reincarnation. Elves, in their trance (also known as reverie), often relive past memories. As children, these are memories of their past lives. Knowledge of Common Elvish often comes through the reverie, and it's expected a young elf will simply come to understand the language without being taught.

Of course, for the half-elves of the community, this represents a problem. They might find it frustrating how little information they are given. Since Elvish really have no culture of teaching Common Elvish. Most books written in Common Elvish assume an adult's reading comprehension. Thus, they might from that they must learn the language from bards or scholars outside their clan, who are usually members of other races - or half-elves themselves. So while their community might harbour no ill-will towards them as half-elves, they may still experience challenges and prejudice. 

When it comes to histories, songs and other records, Elves will use Common Elvish only for the things they deam revelant to others. Scholarship, for example, uses Common Elvish exclusively. The same goes for the magical or martial arts. 

However, when it comes to stories and knowledge relevant only to themselves, it is usally recorded in their own dialect. And often, no recorded at all. Instead, elves usually favour oral history. With their long lives, it makes far less sense to pen down information for prosperity. An elder elf, for example, is by their nature a library of information about their homeland. From the flora and fauna, to the weather patterns, to the individual history of the people who live there. This information they can directly impart, often through song, to new generation for hundreds of years. 

Why is this important? Well, outside of flavour - feel free to alter names the generator creates. It can just be a dialectal variation!

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