Word Origins

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Many of the names, titles and objects in the Wheel of Time books are taken from history or mythology. Here we present some examples.


Also the trolloc bands:

  • Ahf'frait: Ifrit, supernatural creatures in Arabic and Islamic culture
  • Al'ghol: Ghoul, a monster in folklore associated with graveyards and human flesh
  • Bhan'sheen: Banshee, from the Irish bean sídhe, a female spirit
  • Dhjin'nen: Djin, a supernatural creature in the Quran
  • Ghar'ghael: Gargoyle, a grotesque carved stone figure
  • Ghob'lin: Goblin, a legendary evil or mischievous figure
  • Gho'hlem: Golem, in Jewish folklore, a a living humaniform being made of clay
  • Ghraem'lan: Gremlin, a mischievous being that interferes with technology
  • Ko'bal: Kobold, an alternate word for goblin
  • Kno'mon: Gnome, a diminutive spirit from renaissance times
  • Dha'vol: Devil
  • Dhai'mon: Demon


  • Asmodean: Asmodeus, a demon
  • Anath: Western Semitic goddess of war and sister of Baal
  • Be'lal: A demon
  • Selene: A Moon goddess in Greek mythology
  • Ishamael: Ishmael, son of Abraham?
  • Ba'alzamon: Baal, a god or demon
  • Graendal: Grendel, a monster in the poem Beowulf

Words from Arthurian Legend

Stories from Earlier Ages

  • Mosk: Moscow
  • Merk: America
  • Elsbet: Elizabeth the first of England
  • Materese the Healer: Mother Teresa
  • Lenn: John Glenn, an American astronaut who returned to space late in his life
  • Salya: Sally Ride, a female American astronaut, though Salyut, the Soviet space station would also fit.


  • Algode: Algodon means cotton in Spanish, which fits the description of algode in the books.
  • Tamyrlin (and Amyrlin): Tamerlane, also known as Timur, a 14th century Mongol conqueror
  • Ogier: Ogre
  • Eelfinn/Aelfinn: Possibly "Elven"
  • Perrin: Perun, Slavic god of thunder and lightening, associated with beard, hammer and axe.
  • Ghoetam: Siddhārtha Gautama, the Buddha
  • Amaresu: Amaterasu, the Japanese goddess of the sun
  • Shivan: Shiva, a Hindu god
  • Shai'tan: The devil in Islam
  • Shayol Ghul: Sheol, the place of punishment for the wicked dead in Judaism
  • Asha'man: Shaman
  • Tarmon Gai'don: Armageddon, the end of the world
  • Aes Sedai: Aes Sídhe, a supernatural race in Irish mythology
  • Tuatha'an: Túath, an Irish word often translated as people or nation
  • Z'mai: A food grown in the waste, likely maize, which called Zea mays in botanical Latin
  • T'mat: A food grown in the waste, possibly tomato
  • Kaf: A black-coloured Seanchan drink, likely coffee, which is known as kaffe in Scandinavian countries