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Guidelines:Terminology

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Overview
Terminology is the means by which articles on Zelda Wiki are named. Most articles are derived from official terms.

Terminology

For conditional use of non-English terms, see the Nomenclature section below.

Terms are determined by two independent—but complementary—conditions:

  1. If a word is surrounded by differently-colored text in any officially licensed media.
  2. If a word is capitalized in any officially licensed media, to indicate a titular sense.

Both of these conditions respect the canon order. If a given word does not fit either condition, it is not applicable as terminology. If a term is present in English and a given piece of media has been confirmed to have been localized into a foreign language, the direct comparative instance of a term in English may be considered as a term in that language, even if it does not follow the two aforementioned conditions. If a term is not present in American English but exists in either British English or Japanese (in that order), it may be borrowed from those languages, provided they follow the two established conditions and are marked with the corresponding types on the Name template for British English and Japanese respectively where appropriate.

To determine the name or title of a character, enemy, boss, location, dungeon, or item in a game, the following hierarchy should be followed:

Character / Enemy / BossLocation / DungeonItem
  • On-screen introductory names/titles, text card name/title
    • Figurine/in-game collectible name/title, name/title given from companion "tattle"
      • Self-introduction
        • Reference to character/enemy/boss from other third-party

Names always take priority over titles through this hierarchy.

Terminology may occasionally change between multiple instances of a subject. In this case, the general term for the subject is drawn from the latest main-series title to meet the terminology conditions above. Remakes of a game fit within this condition and may supersede a prior main-series title, though ports of a title do not qualify. If no main-series title is available for a term, the canon order may be followed until an applicable term is reached. If a recurring subject of a term appears but goes unnamed in a given iteration, it is acceptable to borrow from the latest term applying to that subject provided that it is clearly established that it goes unnamed in the lead paragraph. Provided that these instances are properly tagged with the appropriate game in the Term/Plural templates and the Series name of a subject is kept up to date, the name used for a subject that lacks an official name in a given instance will automatically follow the Series name. However, if a term exists for a subject in a given article of media, regardless of the general term, it is applied in every instance regarding that iteration.

Partial omissions of terms (for instance, when characters say "the Ceremony" in reference to the Wing Ceremony}}), should not be taken as alternatives or replacements of the whole terms they belong to. However, if a term appears as an omission but places higher than the "full name" in the hierarchy above (such as "Graveyard" and "Kakariko Village Graveyard"), these are to be treated as two separate terms. In the event that a given name of a subject is later represented through partial omission of the original name, the original name should remain unchanged. For example, the location where Syrup is based in The Minish Cap is referred to as Syrup the Witch's Hut in-game, though in Encyclopedia it is referred only as the Witch's Hut. Though the name from Encyclopedia would normally take precedence, the in-game term is used instead because this is interpreted as a partial omission of a greater and equivalent term.

Names of articles should almost always be singular, while the lead sentence therein must be plural if more than one of the subject exists and the subject is not a character or boss.

When used outside of citations, all terminology must be capitalized. Similarly, partial omissions of a term must be capitalized (such as saying the Temple as short for the Temple of Time, or the Sword in lieu of the Master Sword).

The Goddess Collection

The Goddess Collection (composed of Hyrule Historia, Art & Artifacts, and Encyclopedia) are treated as equivalent to the games they cover and so should be treated as iterations of each represented game as of their respective release dates (January 29, 2013, February 21, 2017, and June 19, 2018). In these cases where books in the Goddess Collection are released after their games that they cover, names and terms should be derived from the latest applicable book (in order of Encyclopedia, then Art & Artifacts, then Hyrule Historia). If a remake of a game is released after any of these books, the names from the remake take precedence. For instance, Hyrule Historia was released in 2013 and so its names take precedence over the in-game names from Majora's Mask, which was released in 2000. Names from the 2015 remake, Majora's Mask 3D, take precedence over Hyrule Historia. However, names from 2018's Encyclopedia take precedence over those given in Majora's Mask 3D.

Being intra-canon material, books from the Goddess Collection represent the canon of each game they cover, and therefore all names and terms derived from them are representative of each game's canon. However, in-game names are not rendered non-canon by terms and names given in the Goddess Collection. Instead, the names and terms from the Goddess Collection are given precedence and in-game names that contradict these are treated as "also known as". In cases where contradicting names arise, only the names from the latest applicable source should be stored in Template:Term/Store. Other terms should be set as redirects with the Synonym template.

As books from the Goddess Collection are of a higher level of canon than guides and secondary material such as manuals, names and terms derived from the latter sources are considered non-canon if they are not represented in-game. To differentiate these non-canon names, they should be placed in Note templates after all relevant citations. As these names are still official, they should still exist as redirects with the Synonym template.

Nomenclature

The Nomenclature section is where all foreign terms or names of a subject and their meanings are recorded with the Nomenclature template. The etymology behind the American English name of a subject may be placed above the Nomenclature template, though all other languages must have their etymologies and meanings stored within the Translations pages with the Translation/Store template. In order to preserve the accuracy of these stored names and terms, the Translations pages are locked to only allow administrator access by policy.