Internal Games Workshop Naming Document

We just got ahold of GW’s own guidelines for naming units, details within! Very real and not fake!!


This document is not to be viewed, shared, written, copied, disseminated, or manhandled by non-Citadel Employees. Any personnel found to have aided, facilitated, conspired, or otherwise used any synonym to do so will be terminated immediately and found in breach of contract.

All writing staff should use the guidelines found within this document for purposes of naming any future units created for Warhammer 40,000 © : a Game of Far-Future Combat in the Dark Millennium, unless instructed otherwise by a manager or marketing professional. Deviation from these guidelines on the basis of creativity, uniqueness, or sensibility will not be tolerated. By following the guidelines set down in this document, we create a more unified world for our players to purchase inhabit and open up their wallets hearts and minds to the boundless opportunities to buy our product buy our products.

Space Marines

As Space Marines are our flagship product, consistency in naming scheme is of the utmost importance. As such, these guidelines must be followed to the letter, even more so than those for other factions.

Codex-Compliant Units and/or Generic Units

Open up Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words to a random page. Select the first noun you see at random; that is the name of the new unit. If no nouns are visible, or they are too difficult to spell, instead add one of the following modifiers to an existing unit’s name: Assault, Heavy, Scout.


  • Callipygialists, the new Adeptus Astartes troop choice armed with fast-reaction power armor.
  • Heavy Devastators, carrying the most powerful weapons the Imperium can produce.
  • Inscientors, the watchful eye of the Imperium’s front lines.

Non-Compliant Units for Specific Chapters

Determine what single word or quality sums up everything that the chapter stands for. Select one synonym for that word or concept, preferably in an ancient language. Select a second synonym for that word or concept, preferably in a different ancient language. Do not worry that you do not speak those languages, no one else does, either.


  • (Theme: wolves.) Lupus Wolffangclawtooth
  • (Theme: blood.) Sangua Fourhumours
  • (Theme: flying.) Caelum Soarius
  • (Theme: bats.) Verspitilio Handwing

Chaos Space Marines

Stop whatever Thrash or Death Metal CD you are currently listening to. We know that it is 2021, but you are definitely still using CDs. Roll a d12 (we know you have one of those handy as well) and consult the track listing for the CD. Take whatever verb sounds most threatening from the track name corresponding to your roll on the d12 and make that into a noun profession.


  • “Ninefold Deviating from the Ways of God” –> Deviators
  • “Consumed by the Devil’s Taint” –> Consumers
  • “Bloodtrocuted” –> Bloodtroductors

Chaos Daemons

For Nurgle Daemons, simply combine the two grossest words you can think of (or that you can look up on the internet) with the third-grossest word you can think of.

Example: Barfpuke Sluicegater

For Khorne Daemons, just repeat the word “blood” and a horror monster until you feel you are too scared to go any further.

Example: Bloodghast Sanguzzler

For Tzeentch Daemons, combine the word “change” with any synonym for throwing.

Example: Changepitcher

For Slaanesh Daemons, just combine random syllables until you have some unpronounceable nonsense.

Example: All’asteymendertp’bie

Astra Millitarum and/or Adeptus Custodes

Combine two very British-sounding words in Latin together, ensuring that they sound exactly like a spell that Harry Potter might fail at casting and get laughed at by his classmates and also Snape.

Example: Vaximillius Demonstrat

Adeptus Sororitas

Think of what the nun at your reform school would have told you is the key to understanding the grace of Jesus, and then make that into a profession. Bonus points if it is also the name of a medieval torture device.

Examples: Pionites, Parrilliers


Take a regular word and just add some fuckin’ Hs to it wherever, man. Just go absolutely wild with them, slather them on there like it’s goin’ out of style. Try to make it sound slightly Egyptian.

Example: Phrenetekh Stalhkher


For vehicles, combine four of the most onomatopoeic words you can think of, preferably in the form verbnoun nounnoun. For infantry, just spell the name of a Space Marine unit very, very badly.

Vehicle Example: Krushrunner Zazzthunk

Infantry Example: Skouts


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Just think of literally any nautical-ish word and slap that onto a suit. Oh and make sure you use a fancy-sounding military numeral designation as well, especially if it uses numbers that wouldn’t exist in the Tau language.

Example: YXV-199 Humpback Whale


Option 1: Fake Latin words for a position of office, with “fex” added to the end

Option 2: Any gendered insult you can think of.

Examples: Praetorefex, Caesarifex

Example: Virago, Martinet


About abusepuppy

AbusePuppy is the one who has been ruining 40K for everyone this whole time. He is also searching for the six-fingered man and is one of the three people who know the secret recipe for coke (not the soda, the illegal drug.)

11 Responses to “Internal Games Workshop Naming Document”

  1. Reecius
    Reecius January 20, 2021 10:44 am #

    Loving the sassy AP articles, lol

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    Jace January 20, 2021 12:31 pm #

    This was actually amazing.

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    kaixaukyr January 20, 2021 1:39 pm #

    perfectly normal for the fire caste to name their stuff after water creatures that went extinct thousands of years before the tau developed language on a planet no tau has ever visited

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      Sir_Prometheus January 20, 2021 6:10 pm #

      The tau don’t pick those names, imperials do.

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        Jace January 20, 2021 8:20 pm #

        perfectly normal for the imperium to name a specific races stuff after water creatures that went extinct thousands of years before and likely have no records of because of age of strife?

        I think the joke holds up well enough 😀

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          Zweischneid January 20, 2021 11:10 pm #

          Not unique to Tau.

          Primarchs and the Horus Heresy and even descriptions of the Emperor were supposed to be fables and myths. Vastly exaggerated tall tales distorted through 10.000 years of religious and authoritarian propaganda.

          Yet suddenly when they started publishing HH stuff, it was all literal and accurate to what happend.

          Custodes were an imperial guard regiment stationed on terra protecting the palace (known for tall helmets and no shirts) and some unsubstantiated rumours of being perhaps slightly “more-than-human”, suddenly in 2016 or 2017 they were ret-conned int literal Transhuman superwarriors dwarfing even Space Marines.


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            Ohlmann January 21, 2021 12:52 am

            That’s because at first the grimdark was a satire of fascists fantasy, similar to judge dread.

            When they pivoted to actually unironically glorify it instead and cast the empire as the best thing that ever happened to human, they also changed theirs superstitions to facts.

            Each single point where the imperium used to be inefficient and bad at have been retconned in humans being awesome in. It’s now pretty much a fanfiction of a fascist state.

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    Michael Hall January 21, 2021 4:58 am #

    Brilliant work 🙂

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    RossMM January 21, 2021 11:23 pm #

    I already knew what callipygian meant, so on that basis I’ve just submitted my application to join GW’s IP team

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy January 22, 2021 10:09 pm #

      You are clearly a man of culture, then.

    • Avatar
      Jace January 23, 2021 3:40 pm #

      On the back of this I actually looked up the words, even better

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