Questions tagged [terminology]

Questions that want to know the technical or special terms used in a specific field.

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3 votes
2 answers

Is there an existing name for this hook-sword-like shortsword design? [closed]

I was looking to add this premise of a weapon for a character I'm writing. I remembered this style existed in Breath of the Wild as an Eightfold Blade. While it does have a hilt, it is only a very ...
froggodoggo's user avatar
7 votes
10 answers

What is a word for the arcane equivalent of a monastery? A place where magic is studied and practiced? [closed]

I'm trying to come up with the label of an isolated location on a floating island where wizards go to practice magic in peace. I've already come up with the name, Skytower, but Skytower what? Is there ...
Austin Ballard's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer

Terms for magical effects in the same vein as chemical reactions

Magic in my world is something that isn't explicitly explained but is measured and observed. Magic occurs from a consciousness with a positive or negative "charge" of magical energy. The ...
lilzedong's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer

Is there a correct way to describe delta-v for a relativistic spacecraft?

So if I have a spaceship that has an extremely powerful e.g. antimatter rocket (not FTL, relativity applies) and can accelerate up to say 60% of light-speed, then coast to Alpha Centauri, then ...
cometaryorbit's user avatar
8 votes
7 answers

Naming the "hand" of a humanoid bird

I'm creating a humanoid bird character. In essence, they are still human with the usual four limb package and upright walking. However, they have two wings on the back for flying, and the feathers, ...
Rewan Demontay's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers

Generic term for limb armor [closed]

Is there a generic term that encompasses the various types of limb armor together? I'm hoping there's a catch-all I don't know about that I could use that would describe the collective of bracers/...
watchwood's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
1 answer

Should I use "people" for non-human creatures with humane mannerisms? [closed]

I have an elf/fairy-like creature in my book called faeries, and I don't know what to call them in large groups. When I'm narrating, the word "people" sounds a bit strange to me since I ...
AnnWriter19's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers

Is There a Term for a Representative Democracy That Delegates Day-to-Day Decisionmaking to Voters? [closed]

Looking for a term: I am worldbuilding a government that elects representatives to positions of authority, but those representatives customarily refer day-to-day and big decisions back to the ...
James McLellan's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer

The Name of Samurai-like Force [closed]

Hi There, I've been suggest to ask here because of this I've been reading some article like definition of ninja and I've read the comparison with some force like samurai for the one thing that I'...
Ahmad Azwar Anas's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers

What do you call a person who studies, but does not perform, magic? [closed]

I want to distinguish between two types of magician. I'm going to provisionally name them magipraxists and magiologists, and my request is for more familiar terminology to replace my invented and ...
Aoeuid's user avatar
  • 274
10 votes
3 answers

Procedurally generating a galaxy's worth of names

Background I am investigating the practical utility and limitations of a procedural-generation-based naming scheme for stars and other notable or significant interstellar structures (e.g. nebulae, ...
rek's user avatar
  • 13k
5 votes
4 answers

What would the port of an airship be called? [closed]

Marine ships and boats have ports. Airplanes have airports. In scifi spaceships can have space ports. What would be the airship equivalent in a steampunk world where marine ships are still heavily ...
Lux Claridge's user avatar
4 votes
6 answers

Non-nautical term for space marines [closed]

Many science fiction stories describe soldiers who perform spaceship boarding/defense or planetary invasions as "space marines." This is by analogy to modern marines who historically specialize in ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 396
20 votes
7 answers

What is the best unit of measure for the time portion of a non-earth-bound light"year"?

The question, Reference to Earth in Intergalactic Universe illuminates the shortcomings of the term "light-year", which defines a distance by mixing the universally constant speed of light in a vacuum ...
Henry Taylor's user avatar
  • 68.8k
3 votes
2 answers

Cardinal direction names at a north polar moon base?

There's a human settlement at the north pole of the moon large enough to sustain expansion outwards for say 100 km in all directions. Humans like to think in terms of four principal cardinal ...
dhinson919's user avatar
  • 1,938
23 votes
7 answers

What would the Ancient Greeks call a wizard that can control life?

In this world set in an alternate Ancient Greece, science is combined with magic given from the gods. People who study healing arts usually worship Asclepius. There also is a cult that studies the ...
Vylix's user avatar
  • 10.9k
4 votes
1 answer

Is "programmable biosphere" a good synonym for "terraforming"? [closed]

Is "programmable biosphere" a good (albeit more technical) way to describe terraforming, or does the phrase imply something different? If something different, what would the difference be?
Max's user avatar
  • 49
5 votes
4 answers

What is a good title (name prefix) for a class of society that serves as both a civil servant and clergy all in one?

I have a class of people in my world known as "Guardians." They are extremely powerful in this world and have special abilities that are unrivaled by almost every other class of people. They use their ...
Olandir's user avatar
  • 710
3 votes
2 answers

Naval warfare jargon [closed]

I'm writing a story that could end up with a battle between a squadron of alien invaders and a present-day U.S. Navy carrier battle group, and I'd like to insert some appropriate chunks of jargon in ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 4,827
4 votes
5 answers

How does a sighted species explain that they can see

In a world I am building, there are two sapient species, named Ae and Be. Ae are tall but blind, while the Be are short and sighted. While it has been asked how a blind species would discover another ...
TrEs-2b's user avatar
  • 55.9k
5 votes
3 answers

Military reaction to an abandoned city

Info: I have a story idea that takes place roughly 100 years in the future where sea steads (ocean cities) exist. There are several different kinds of settlements, one of which is a Corporate City. ...
Devin's user avatar
  • 903
2 votes
1 answer

Is "Psychoactive effect" the correct term?

I'm trying to describe an effect (in this case, a magic spell) that affects the mind, similar to caffeine or alcohol, but not a "substance". I want to use the correct scientific language if possible, ...
Peter Chaplin's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers

Plutocracy 101 - Business Governance for Dummies?

A plutocracy is "a country or society governed by the wealthy", typically represented as a government made up of corporate interests. Simple enough to design and write, right? Nope! Turns out that ...
thatgirldm's user avatar
  • 1,012
5 votes
2 answers

What gender specific terminology should one use when talking about fantasy species?

A world that I work on has a number of different traditional fantasy species (or races) and we're getting a bit stuck with gender terminology for females. I've searched high and low on the web for ...
Allerion's user avatar
  • 1,275
3 votes
9 answers

What would be a politically correct term for "hominid"?

Aliens that look somewhat like humans probably wouldn't refer to themselves as humanoid or anthropoid. Is there a more generic term for beings who are bipedal, bimanual, and have a roughly human-like ...
Jacob Jones's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers

Classification system and measure of progress for science and technology branches and other areas of life

I'm working on modeling how a civilization can progress from some known state making conscious choices about the fields in which to apply its resources. Is there some good / theoretically sound / well-...
moonfly's user avatar
  • 163
21 votes
11 answers

Will computers be named differently in the future?

In a few science fiction settings, we can see computers being called differently. A terminal, a holosphere, a pad, anything techno-sounding. But from when computers were invented up until now, they'...
Sheraff's user avatar
  • 12.3k
12 votes
6 answers

Is there a technical term for a civilization that "eats" others to gain their knowledge, powers, etc.?

Is there any kind of technical term (and if not, can you think of one) for a civilization that “eats” others to gain their knowledge, powers, etc.? Such as… the Borg from Star Trek sort of did this, ...
Josh Zmijewski's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer

Why do the terms "large scale" and "small scale" seem to swap meanings? [closed]

Sometimes when someone says a map is "small scale", it seems to mean a map shows a small area, but the things are drawn large as a result, and other times it means the things in the map are shown much ...
smithkm's user avatar
  • 4,827