- "Chiss names are difficult for many species to properly pronounce. I suggest you address me by my core name: Thrawn."
- ―Mitth'raw'nuruodo, to Anakin Skywalker
A core name was a shortened name used by Chiss when speaking to individuals of other species, who were often unable to pronounce the full Chiss name. When meeting Jedi General Anakin Skywalker on Batuu, Mitth'raw'nuruodo of the Chiss Expansionary Defense Fleet suggested using his core name of Thrawn. Core names were also used among Chiss in all but the most formal settings, and were even used in some formal settings after initial introductions with one's full name.
Most Chiss names were multi-syllabic and consisted of three distinct parts, as in "Mitth'raw'nuruodo". The first part, before the first apostrophe, represented the Chiss family to which the name's bearer belonged. The second part, between the two apostrophes, was the person's given name. The third part of the name, after the final apostrophe, represented other social factors.
|Family name||Given name||Social factor suffix||Full name|
Core names were composed of the final part of one's family name, all of one's given name, and the beginning of one's social factor suffix, without interleaved apostrophes. Because a Chiss's family name formed part of their core name, individuals' core names would change upon their rematching into a new family. The sky-walker navigators and flag officers of the Chiss Defense Force did not belong to any one Chiss family, but rather to the "family" of the Chiss Ascendancy. In those cases, the names were two-part and were not abbreviated to core names.
|Full name||Core name||Citation|
Names without a family component
Upon promotion to flag rank (commodore and higher), Chiss officers were stripped of their family ties and name, being officially recognized as "The Ascendancy is your family". Similarly, Force-sensitive Chiss children were taken from their families of birth to serve as "sky-walkers", and were likewise treated as having no specific family. Those individuals' names were two-part instead of three, and were not abbreviated to a core name.
Name changes over time
Changes from rematching
An example of a name that changed over time is Mitth'raw'nuruodo, born as Kivu'raw'nuru "Vurawn". Vurawn was made a merit adoptive of the Mitth family, thus changing his name to "Mitth'raw'nuru" and his core name to "Thrawn". Eventually, some time after being promoted to Senior Commander of the Chiss Expansionary Defense Fleet, Mitth'raw'nuru became Mitth'raw'nuruodo, but his core name of "Thrawn" was unchanged. Similarly, the sky-walker Al'iastov was adopted into the Mitth family, thus becoming Mitth'ali'astov and gaining the core name "Thalias". 
Promotion to flag officer
Another Chiss whose name changed over time was Admiral Ar'alani, born Irizi'ar'alani "Ziara". Ziara was a Blood member of the Irizi family. Upon her promotion to Commodore, Supreme Admiral Ja'fosk declared that Senior Captain Irizi'ar'alani was no more, and in her place arose Admiral Ar'alani. Ar'alani reflected that the same had once happened to Ja'fosk, and Patriarch Mitth'oor'akiord told Caregiver Thalias of a time that Ba'kif was known as "Labaki".
Behind the scenes
Core names first appeared in the revivified canon in the 2016 television movie Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow. They were first identified as core names in the 2018 novel Thrawn: Alliances by Timothy Zahn.
Core names first appeared in the Star Wars Legends continuity in the 1991 novel Heir to the Empire, also by Timothy Zahn. They were first identified as core names within Star Wars Legends in Zahn's August 1995 short story Mist Encounter, which portrayed Thrawn's first contact with the Galactic Empire.