[LMB] Barrayaran names (was Minorities In Europe (And OnBarrayar...?)

Dan Tilque dtilque at nwlink.com
Wed May 3 08:31:02 BST 2006

Kalina Varbanova wrote:

> On 5/2/06, Dan Tilque <dtilque at nwlink.com> wrote:
>> Vorgustafson, as has been pointed out by others, is
>> Scandinavian. But "Vann" is the guy's first name, not a Dutch
>> patronymic.
> Oh. My error - I thought it was patronymic. As none of the
> other auditors
> are introduced by first name ("Lord Vorhovis", "Dr. Vorthys",
> "Lord Vann
> Vorgustafson", and "Admiral Vorkalloner") - it didn't make
> sense to me that
> he was an exception. You may be right, though. I think the
> patronymic was
> Van, not Vann...

Yes, the patronymic is spelled "van". And usually in all
lowercase letters.

Use of a first name with the title "Lord" often (usually?
always?) indicates that the person refered to is a younger son of
a count.[1] Remember how in ACC, Mark kept insisting that he be
called Lord Mark and not Lord Vorkosigan? He didn't want anyone
to think he was the Vorkosigan heir or even wanted to become the

Also note at the beginning of chapeter 3 of TWA, Miles is
awakened by a servant calling him Lord Vorkosigan. At first he
thinks the servant is mistakenly addressing him by Aral's title,
until the implication (Piotr died) sinks in.

So my deduction is that Vann Vorgustafson may be the younger son
of Count Vorgustafson. Or perhaps now the younger brother, if his
father is no longer living. Apparently none of the other Auditors
is the younger son of a count.

Dan Tilque

[1] This is an English practice, as we've discussed on the list
before. Nobility in other countries probably don't follow this

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