This article describes the process of naming of persons, places and things in languages spoken by Romulans.

See also: Romulan language.


Romulan names are very personal, and are rarely used in their entirety in the company of outsiders to the society of the Romulan Star Empire. Some Romulans believe that names carry a special power in the Elements that make up the universe, so they choose them very carefully to avoid bad fortune. A Romulan might refuse to give someone their name, or at least be secretive about it, for fear that the knowledge would defer control of their luck to the person who knows it. Many Romulans have a self-chosen "fourth name" that they keep a secret all their lives, rarely revealed to others.

Personal namesEdit

Romulan individuals are usually given a common personal name, many of which are known to have specific meanings describing the person in question, such as "Ael", which means "swift & winged".

As Romulans pass the varous ranks and titles of their lives, they sometimes choose or are assigned changes to the long form of their names. One tradition common with Rihannsu language-style naming, is to have a middle name which denotes an origin or standing in life, meaning it can change as an individual rises up through Romulan Star Empire society: in this tradition, Human Starfleet Intelligence Officer Terise Haleakala-LoBrutto traveled to Romulus and assumed a Romulan name, "Arrhae i-Mnaeha t'Khellian", with "Mnaeha" as her third name. She later changed status from a servant of House Khellian and became a senator, and her third name changed to "Khellian" after she had taken on a new surname. (TOS - Rihannsu novels: My Enemy, My Ally, The Romulan Way, Swordhunt)


Romulan surnames were usually the official name of the family, or house, that a person belonged to. A person employed as a bonded servant would bear the name of the house they worked for, even if they were not related to the family that bore that name.


In Rihannsu variations of language, various titles were used as prefixes to the surname, and were used when an individual was being addressed formally. For example, Ael t'Rllaillieu was a member of the family line Rllaillieu whose personal name was Ael, and her gender-specific gender prefix was t'.

middle name prefixes
  • i' (full name address)
  • ir' (formal address without one or more other names included)
surname prefixes
  • (none, in familiar address)
  • t' (female)
  • tr' (male)
  • s' (group or individual in formal address)
prefixes used in various names
  • T' (usually for females)


Romulan place names usually characterize some aspect of the place in Romulan observation or belief. The names for their homeworlds. Are ch'Rihan and ch'Havran, meaning "of the declared" and "of the travelers". A military colony was referred to as Thieurrull, literally translated as "hell guard".

Starships and vehiclesEdit

Romulan starships may be named for places (D'deridex, Gal Gath'thong), people (Praetor Pontilus, Decius), qualitative characteristics (Bloodwing - an animal, Courser), or Romulan language terms, phrases, metaphoric representations and poetic verses (Glory Quest, Talla - "duty"). A great deal of Romulan ships are named after combat gear from history (Rea's Helm, Gauntlet, Pillion). Translation into Federation Standard sometimes renders Romulan ship names as Human mythological or Latin-based terms, either by coincidence or design, given that Romulan culture parallels some of Earth history's cultures in many ways (Infinitus, Phoenix).

Ships of the Empire's Romulan Star Navy are often registered with a name prefix. Around the 23rd century, most were registered with "ChR", short for "Ch'Rihan". Vessels classified as warbirds sometimes bear the prefix "IRW" ("Imperial Romulan Warbird") or "PWB" ("Praetor's Warbird"). By the 24th century, many ships were classified as "RIS" ("Romulan Imperial Ship"), although the "RIS" and "IRW" designations are sometimes used interchangeably on warbird vessels.

Ships of the mirror universe Romulan Republic are named in much the same manner, but with the prefix "RSE".

Most non-canon sources omit prefixes on Romulan ship names, although those that are based on canon vessels will usually use the "IRW" and "PWB" designations used in episodes. The Rihannsu series of book are the only source of the "ChR" prefix, with no instances of that prefix occurring anywhere else. The Starfleet Command game series is the only source of the "RIS" prefix to date, and in those references it is only used on ships in the last two decades of the 23rd century and the 24th century.
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