It started because I needed to get DSL at my little California apartment for my job. That was during the tech boom in 2000.
Just after the DSL was installed, I realized I could buy my first and last name as a domain name and map it to the computer here in my apartment. Which seemed too convenient to be true, but I was pleasantly surprised.
One afternoon, I thought up something fun. This. Except I started making up the hobbit names.
Then Jane said I should use, um, real names.
Really? So she compiled hobbit names from the Lord of The Rings appendices.
I then placed a link to this page from my weblog.
And another elf name form in 2002 and millions of generated names and counting later, here we are.
Q: Will you sell this site to me? A: Really? Thanks for the offer, but I'm sorry. I thought about selling it when the traffic exploded. And, from nowhere, they contacted me via email. They had really big bandwidth, a good site, and they were, to my mind, the most suitable and timely web presence for this particular project. But they couldn't take it for various legal reasons and for those same legal reasons, I can't mention them on this site or in private, so don't bother emailing or asking me about them, but I can tell you they were fun to work with...
Q: Didn't you know that in the Tolkein-verse Elves don't have two names? I mean sometimes they do, but you've mixed up the Quenya and Sindarin dialects and besides I'm somewhat sure the author specified that a diaresis always occurs in an elven word that ends with the letter 'e'...(trails off) A: Ah. I see. Yes, yes. I understand. How ...good... of you to catch that. *backs away slowly, dials police*
Q: Will you make other name generators? A: Well...I doubt it, since currently I'm doing a bunch of other things and since this page is really, really old. But maybe, if I find a lull, enforced or otherwise, in my work life. :)
Q: How's it work? A: Compared to some of the other name generators out there, the algorithm is simple. I basically ask a real hobbit or elf what they think.