de Ruh (de_ruh) wrote,
de Ruh
de_ruh

What's a "Ruh" anyway?

It has occured to me a few times as I'm out there in the LJ communities posting my comments that maybe, just maybe, people actually wonder and care what the heck my screen name means. If you are one of those people, well, then I suppose this entry is for you!

If you ask Wikipedia what the hell a Ruh is, you'll likely find that it's "an Arabic word meaning spirit." That is not why I chose it.
If you then ask Wikipedia for Ruh (disambiguation), you'll get a relatively short list of people with the last name, and you'll find out that RUH stands for Royal United Hospital, which is located in Bath, England. That is also not why I chose it.

So, you take a step back. You ask Google. You'll read about the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. That isn't it either. You'll be told about all the places in your area that might, in some way, be whatever you meant when you asked Google to look up "Ruh." Nope, safe bet says that's not it.

Reading on, Google might suggest that you're looking for Scooby Doo. At this point, I would like to point out that "Ruh," in this case, is "roo" and not "r-uh." So, no, it isn't a Scooby Doo reference.

You will meet quite a few more people with the last name Rug, hear more about organizations with the initials RUH, and learn phrases from various languages using the word ruh. These are all, you guessed it, not it.

No, by the way, it's not a cleaver miss-spelling of the Winnie the Pooh character's name, no is it a reference to the animal kangaroo.
No, history nerds, it is not a reference to the Rus, though the association does make it all the more awesome to my nerdy little heart.

By Google page 20, you're tired of seeing the same stuff. Nope, you haven't found it yet. You click over to the image search. Maybe that'll give you a clue. After finding a vast array of unrelated images from belly dancers to weight lifters to Dr Gregory House, you'll likely give up that method too.

You see, the problem is that I've borrowed part of a name. The missing piece you're looking for is Edema. So, you search Edema Ruh, and suddenly Google is your best friend again.


I am a huge fan of Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller books, and his protagonist was born into an Edema Rug troupe. The Edema Ruh, comparible to the Roma  or Romani of eastern Europe, are nomadic entertainers. Never heard of them? Think of gypsies. Until recently with realtiy shows like My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, most of the English speaking world hears "gypsy" and thinks of the Disney portrayal of Esmerelda and her troupe from the Hunchback of Notre Dame. That is exactly what "Ruh" is supposed to mean, in this case. Old-world circus train style caravans of entertaining (singing/dancing/acting) vagabonds. That is why I chose the name. I love the idea of that culture, and in another life, I'd like to be born Romani.

Alright, so now we know why "Ruh," but why "de Ruh?"
In French, anything that is de something is of something. Therefore, de Ruh means of Ruh or of the Ruh.
French surnames preceded by de often denote nobility.

I chose to use both meanings. In reality, my family heritage traces back to royalty in Scottland, Ireland, France and Finland.

So, there you have it.

...and I've successfully wasted a good half-hour.
Tags: edema ruh, names, patrick rothfuss, ruh, the name of the wind
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