Mahrazh Oma Chomokhoon

No Dothraki this week—in fact, everyone around our khaleesi seems to be dropping like flies. And no dragons! Things are looking grim.

Speaking of today’s episode, it was awful quiet around the internet today. Or was that just me watching the episode late on account of Mother’s Day? Anyway, I thought this episode was outstanding—perhaps the best of the series. There were some changes, but I liked all the changes that were made. A controversial highlight for me was Jaime killing Alton. What a scene! First we get all this backstory and rapport, and then he busts out on Alton like a trained serial killer. I liked this, because, quite frankly, Jaime was too likable. We’re supposed to dislike him up to this point (at least a bit). Even pushing Brann out the window the dude was likable! This was a good twist.

Oh, but a note on realism: How’s he going to surprise somebody in a cage that’s visible from the outside?! How are we supposed to believe he hid from that guard who came in in plain sight? Did he forget he was there? Those Northmen…

Since we’ve got nothing else going on today, I thought I’d go over how names work in Dothraki. There’s not much to it, as I wanted to remain maximally faithful to the books. We’ve got a handful of male Dothraki names and, unless I’m missing one, two female names (Irri and Jhiqui) that come directly from the books. Of those names, the male names end in -o and the female names end in -i. I took these as male and female name suffixes, respectively, with names becoming animate nouns. But what do they suffix to?

This is where I got to have some fun. The name suffixes are kind of like the agentive -k suffix, only with a bit of a broader interpretation. Using the male suffix as an example, -o will mean something like “He who is x“, “He who does x“, “He who is characterized by x” or “He who is similar in some way to x“, where x is a root.

One thing I picked up directly from the book, though, is the preference for names stressed on the second syllable. By naturally reading the names, most that are three syllables long are stressed on the second syllable, and one way this is achieved is by doubling the last consonant (part of what inspired the stress system of Dothraki), as in “Cohollo”. As a result, even though a doubled consonant ordinarily makes a difference in meaning, in names a doubled consonant is often used purely to get the stress on the second syllable of a name with more than two syllables. The practice is so common, though, that doubled consonants are used even in disyllabic names just because, at this point, it makes the name sound like a good name.

So let’s look at some names we know and how they’re formed:

  • Drogo < drogat “to drive” (i.e. “he who drives”, or “driver of beasts”)
  • Irri < irra “trout” (i.e. “she who is like a trout”)
  • Kovarro < kovarat “to stand” (i.e. “he who stands”)
  • Qotho < qothat “to be loyal” (i.e. “he who is loyal”)
  • Jommo < joma “salmon” (i.e. “he who is like a salmon”)
  • Zollo < zolat “to be exceptionally small” (i.e. “he who is exceptionally small”)

That’s about the long and short of it. Dothraki don’t shy away from names that refer to one’s physical appearance or temperament, and also take names from animals or objects whose characteristics a parent desires their child to emulate. Here are some potential Dothraki names:

  • Hliziffo < hlizif “bear” (i.e. “he who is like a bear”)
  • Halahhi < halah “flower” (i.e. “she who is like a flower”)
  • Qanno < qana “black stork” (i.e. “he who is like a black stork”)
  • Tehinni < tehin “breed of horse” (i.e. “she who has reddish/brown hair like a tehin“)
  • Vrelo < vrelat “to leap” (i.e. “he who leaps well”)
  • Zali < zalat “to hope” (i.e. “she who hopes”)
  • Chako < chakat “to be silent” (i.e. “he who is silent”)
  • Emi < emat “to smile” (i.e. “she who smiles”)

Those with doubled consonants above can be made into singletons, and those that are singletons can be doubled. Anyway, that’s about the run of it. You can use the strategies above to create your own Dothraki name, if you wish, or (even better) Dothraki names for your cats, accompanied by pictures of them looking ferocious! To get some more roots, take a look at the vocabulary list over at

Next week, Episode 8! Boy, this season’s going to be over in the blink of an eye…

Posted on May 14, 2012, in Episode Recaps and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. Looks like you’re only using nouns and verbs as roots. Can adjectives be used too? If so, my Dothraki name is Jono (he who is shut).

    This is memzi (she who chirps like a bird) giving achralo (he who smells) what for.

    (Hope the html works)

  2. Thanks for explaining how names are formed in the Dothraki language. I breed Scottish Kyloes (cattle) and always try to find a name in Scots Gaelic that fits either their personality, color, temperament, etc. It just so happens that I breed horses as well. Since the Dothraki are horselords, I think it would be brilliant to give them names similarly constructed in the Dothraki tongue . . . now if I can just talk my sister (and partner) into it! :-) Thanks again!!
    P.S. And thank you for giving the world this beautiful new language, Mr. Peterson. What an achievement! And what a lovely legacy you leave, for all of us who love George R.R. Martin’s books!

  3. is currently down because the Learn Navi server that hosts it has failed to power up after a reboot. Nothing has been lost but they say it may take up to a week for the server to get back up since they need to ship it for someone to work on it.

  4. So, my IRL name means “light” or “bright”, so it looks like that might make my Dothraki name “Shekhikhi”? I feel like that is super cute and I’m not sure how I feel about having a super cute Dothraki name.

    Alternately… how would you make “dei” into a feminine name? Would you just leave it as is?

    Alternately alternately, is there a word more specifically meaning “bright” or “clear” that I just can’t find on the cached vocab list?

    (I have no pets to name so I am taking naming myself a little too seriously.)

    • Here are some options. First, you can do Shekhikhi or even Shekhikkhi, but you could also build it off the word for “sun” and get Shekhi or Shekkhi.

      There’s a word for “bright” that I’m rather fond of: Rahsan. The female name would be Rahsani, unless you wanted it stressed on the penultimate syllable, in which case it’d be Rahsanni.

      Another possibility is the word dil which means “shiny” or “flashing”. The female name would be Dilli.

      Let me know what you pick!

  5. Athvezhvenar!

  6. I was looking through the dictionary to find a name for myself and tried making random names to see what sounded pretty. I stumbled upon the word “yol” and the fact that, if I did it right, a name meaning “he who is born” would be Yolo/Yollo amuses me far more than it should.

    While I am here, I thought I would ask about something I was wondering, it’s a bit random though. I know that the Dothraki don’t have surnames, instead using the ‘Blank, son of Blank’ or ‘Blank, daughter of Blank’ title. I was wondering what the translation into would be?

    • It would be X ki Y-(s)i. Assuming the name is a Dothraki name and ends in -o or -i, you’d add -si to the end of the father’s name, and add ki before the father’s name. If the father’s name begins with a vowel, ki becomes k’ and attaches directly to the name. Thus, if one’s father was named Oggo and the given name was Yollo, it would be Yollo k’Oggosi.

      Also, though the Dothraki would only use father’s names, there’s no reason one couldn’t use one’s mother’s name. For example, I’d probably go by Devo ki Sandisi. (My mother’s got a true Dothraki name: It fits the phonotactics, and it already ends in -i!)

      • Hmm, what would the Dothraki romanization of Ingemar be? Especially the /ng/ which is the [ŋ]-sound. It doesn’t seem right to romanize it as [ng] so would it just become an [n]-sound perhaps? I was thinking perhaps it might work with [nn], forming Innemar?

        • Hate to tell you, but I would romanize it Ingyemar, with the [g]. The velar nasal is much more important than the lack of [g], as I see it.

          • Hmm ok, so the combination of a dental nasal followed by the /g/ makes the n sound velar as well?

            What is the glide for? Wouldn’t it be more accurate without it? Or is it the the whole /ngy/ combination that mimics the velar nasal?

            • Of course. Nasals always assimilate in place to a following consonant (that’s pretty standard). As for the y, that’s what I heard when I heard you pronounce your name. :) Maybe it was a hear-o.

            • Ya, it was probably a hear-o. I guess when you go from a [ŋ] to an [e] it can sort of sound like a [j] in between depending on how well you enunciate.

              Well, that means my name fits really well in Dothraki since the romanization would be Ingemar. Even down to the correct vowels and the trilled r.

      • And it would be the same if the child was a daughter rather than a son?

        Also, thank you for the quick response!

        • Yes, it’s the same. The phrase doesn’t mean “son of” or “daughter of” literally. “Drogo ki Bharbosi” means something more like “Drogo by Bharbo” or “Drogo because of Bharbo”

          • Right. The preposition ki enjoys other uses, such as reintroducing the agent of a passivized verb:

            1. Anha addriv haz mahrazhes. “I killed that man.”

            2. Haz mahrazh nem addriv. “That man was killed.”

            3. Haz mahrazh nem addriv k’anni. “That man was killed by me.”

  7. I just spent far too much time making a bunch of Dothraki names… Thanks for the evening entertainment!
    I’ve never learnt another language before, especially a conlang, but I’m enjoying it immensely, so thank you! I’m sure I’m getting loads wrong, but that’s the fun of trying!

    I did notice that ‘she who pleases’ would be Allayafi/Allayaffi(?), which makes me happy because it’s (coincidentally?) similar to Alayaya, who is obviously in the business of pleasing!

    I’m considering Charolli for my Dothraki name, because my proper name means ‘listener’, thought it was quite a nice link. I like the idea of a name from messhihven as it describes me pretty well! Would it be Messhihveni? Messhihvi?

    In response to an old post, Rahsanni is a lovely name!

  8. Thank you for this lovely wiki about names…My daughter and I scanned the Dothraki dictionary for a suitable moniker for our latest feline rescue. “Zheanna” or ‘the skinny one’ is quite appropriate, atho’ this may not be the case after a couple of good weeks of food, some vitamins, and supplements for a nursing mama cat. Now the challenge is to name her babies…one smoky male, two silver tabbies, one tuxedo, and one with black spots – whom we lovingly call “Spot” – his personality is something else!


    • Very good on the cat rescue! I hope Zheanna bulks up on you. I know from personal experience that not being able to hold a good weight for a long time can have serious health effects.

      For a name, have you considered ‘Havzi’, which simply means ‘cat’? There is also ‘Vizhadi’ for ‘silver’. For your spotted kitty, you could use ‘Haj’ or ‘strong’, or ‘Hajolat’ ‘to grow strong’. I wonder if David has cooked up a Valyrian word for ‘cat’ yet?

      • I need to think on his name…he’s the one kitten that HANGS onto momma despite anything and everything else. He almost bullies the others…and I have the feeling that he’ll be the fearless one when his eyes open. I think we need a name that echoes “boldly going where no kitten has gone before”…or “hanging off the Balls of The Great Stallion”….

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