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How to pick a name

As a newcomer to the SCA you will hear people introducing themselves by what they call their SCA name..or by a name..then later they will say..oh..mundanely my name is............... So the first thoughts that will come to mind are..oh dear..I need to pick a name.

This section is to hopefully relieve some of that pressure to jump in an pick your name..and also to help you through the process. Many of you will already come to the SCA with a particular time period or place that you are passionately in love with..this will make your process easier. Or, perhaps you already have a name in mind and you want to see if it works.

There is a wonderful article on picking names at the St Gabriel's site ( which is a fabulous resource for names and heraldry ) "Choosing a Society Name: Hints for Newcomers " and it goes through the entire process on researching and chosing a name.

The one thing we would like to stress is you can pick any name you would like and use it. It does NOT have to be registered with the SCA College of Arms, nor does it have to be proper to your persona or even period. It is in bad taste however to use an entire name someone else is already using.

That being said, if you chose to pursue a documentable name, and by that I mean a name that can document to the time and region you are wishing it to, and you want to have it registered so that it is "officially" all yours, then going through the channels is the way to do it. A word of warning..the process is very long, over a its not something to be done on a whim. Try out your name, see if you really like it what you will want? Do you think you will get bored with it or hate it? While many many people do change their registered name after they have been in the SCA for a number of years, those same people will tell you how difficult it is to get people to call you by your new name.

Below are a number of links to the main SCA sites that are good jump off points for your research ...good luck !

Society Heraldry Page

St Gabriel's Academy Library

Medieval Names Archive

What is an SCA name

Brief Introduction to the History of Names

Given Names Not Suitable for SCA Usage

East Kingdom Heraldry Page ~

East Kingdom Submission Forms~

Disclaimer: This is the Newcomers Page for the Shire of Hartshorn-dale of the East Kingdom of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.  The maintainer of this page is Lee Ann Posavad.  It is not a corporate publication of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. and does not delineate SCA policies. In cases of conflict with printed versions of material presented on this page or its links, the dispute will be decided in favor of the printed version.
This page last modified March 21, 2003.