What's in a Name?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Arkimus Prime, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. Arkimus Prime

    Arkimus Prime You shall not pass!

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    So... what does make a Transformers name?

    We get iconic ones, like Optimus Prime, Megatron, Slipstream, and others, but why not just alien-sounding names? And why do names like "Black Airachnid" make sense, but not names like "Beetlecon" or "Dinotron?"
     
  2. Gaastra

    Gaastra Well-Known Member

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    When I read the title I thought this was about the uk comic story of the same name!
     
  3. Arkimus Prime

    Arkimus Prime You shall not pass!

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    Nope.
     
  4. Subdurmal

    Subdurmal Well-Known Member

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    Letters?

    Did i win?

    But to seriously answer your question i think it all comes down to marketing. The cartoons are made to sell merchandise. The cooler the name the better chance of a sale i guess
     
  5. Blam320

    Blam320 Assembly Inventor

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    It's "Blackarachnia," or "Airachnid," not "Black Airachnid."

    They're two completely separate characters despite sharing the spider motif.
     
  6. Primeultra

    Primeultra Well-Known Member

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    Slipstream....iconic?
     
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  7. Agamus

    Agamus Not an Iguana

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    To me the best ones have one or more indirect meanings in them that relate to the character: "Grimlock" from "grim" or "grimace" and "lockjaw", "Megatron" from "megaton" and "neutron", "Drift" from rōnin (lit. drifter) and "drift racing", "Bumblebee" cos' he's little and yellow, etc. etc.

    Generic names like "Beetlecon" and "Dinotron" don't describe anything about the characters or contain any epic wordplay, it's just very straightforwardly what they turn into.
    That's actually a good example of what I mean. "Slipstream" is a term relating to aerodynamics, alluding to the fact that she's a jet, that also shares a lot of letters in common with Starscream, who she was originally a clone of. It's even possible the first part of her name comes from a "slip", as in the women's clothing item.
     
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  8. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Well-Known Member

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    I like to think Transformers' names are like military (or astronaut) nicknames. You know, given to them by their comrades because of their actions, traits, or even their appearance. Some of them are more flattering than others, just like real-world nicknames. And some are more obvious than others. But I like to think all of them are personal and have a story behind them. There's even some evidence for this being 'canon', in the Bumblebee movie. Bumblebee only has a serial number until Charlie nicknames him Bumblebee, and he sticks with it. I like to think this is the case for all Transformers, some just got their nicknames earlier than others.

    Of course, the real-world explanation is that they need cool names to sell toys, and to be instantly memorable. I know some adults who still mess up R2-D2 and C-3PO's names. But no one forgets "Bumblebee" or "Optimus Prime".
     
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  9. Arkimus Prime

    Arkimus Prime You shall not pass!

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    "Iconic" may not be the right word there. Maybe "Memorable" is a better fit.
     
  10. Arkimus Prime

    Arkimus Prime You shall not pass!

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    That's a great explanation, actually. Thanks.
     
  11. Arkimus Prime

    Arkimus Prime You shall not pass!

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    Sorry. Got the two mixed up.
     
  12. Ikkstakk

    Ikkstakk Well-Known Member

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    We had a Dinotron.
     
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  13. Arkimus Prime

    Arkimus Prime You shall not pass!

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    Ha! Nice catch. Now, is there a Beetlecon?
     
  14. Venixion

    Venixion Evil Dust Bunny-con

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    9/10? Obviousness.
     
  15. Ikkstakk

    Ikkstakk Well-Known Member

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    There's a Beetle.
     
  16. Primeultra

    Primeultra Well-Known Member

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    I would say that it’s a fitting name, but iconic?

    I guess we just have different personal definitions of what the word iconic means
     
  17. Agamus

    Agamus Not an Iguana

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    Well, iconic compared to Beetle.
     
  18. Primeultra

    Primeultra Well-Known Member

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    Like I said we just have different definitions for the word, because I don’t see it being iconic compared to beetle either

    To me just being better fitting or better sounding doesn’t equate to iconic
     
  19. Arkimus Prime

    Arkimus Prime You shall not pass!

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    Exactly.
     
  20. ErickCruz

    ErickCruz Well-Known Member

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    Some names just fit the character perfectly: Optimus Prime. Megatron. Starscream.
    Others (IMO) not so much, for example I couldn't associate Jazz with a Porsche. If he was some other vehicle like a Cadillac or Mercedes then I think it would have fit better.
    Prowl has predator connotations so for an Autobot it doesn't fit quite well, but as a Decepticon name it would have been perfect.