I AM IN NO WAY a linguist but that doesn’t mean creating words, along with a mythology and history for Nadirians, wasn’t fun. I wanted their culture to be unique, although reminiscent of other ancient civilizations. Nadirians have adopted many human ways and language but still use a few of their ancient words, such as wabana (the phase from a torpid state to fully functioning Nadirian upon rebirth). Their major gods (Het, Sha, and Ahmus) could easily be Egyptian (but they’re not) and titles for rulers (Shasati, Shasan, and Ahman) sound somewhat Arabic. Nadirian? Their race name comes from the world nadir which means opposite.
Another feature of Nadirian words which reflect how they have influenced this new world is through the use of compound words. The Select humans now live in Citydomes. The Nadirian torso is a Shellskin with a Lifecollar that becomes an Ironbone after death. And throughout the novels, Trinidad ride ironbirds and dragondrones. Having more fun with language, I smashed certain words together to create portmanteaus; Trinidad names two of her weapons Windiamond and Ghostinger. Other words represent important symbols: bioglyphs, lunaglyphs, and powerglyphs. Even my titles, which started as two words “Day Stealer” were quickly fused–Daystealer, Nightstealer, and Bonestealer.
Can you think of any interesting or funny portmanteaus or compound words?