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A personal name or full name is the set of names by which an individual is known and that can be recited as a , with the understanding that, taken together, they all relate to that one individual. In many cultures, the term is synonymous with the or of the individual. The academic study of personal names is called .

In , nearly all individuals possess at least one (also known as a first name, forename, or Christian name), together with a (also known as a last name or family name)—respectively, the Thomas and Jefferson in —the latter to indicate that the individual belongs to a family, a tribe, or a clan. Where there are two or more given names, typically only one (in English-speaking cultures usually the first) is used in normal speech.

Another naming convention that is used mainly in the and in different other areas across Africa and Asia is connecting the person's given name with a chain of names, starting with the name of the person's father and then the father's father and so on, usually ending with the family name (tribe or clan name). However, the legal full name of a person usually contains the first three names with the family name at the end, to limit the name in government-issued ID. Also note that the wife's name does not change after marriage, and it follows the naming convention described above.

Some cultures, including Western ones, also add (or once added) or . For instance, as a middle name as with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (whose father's given name was Ilya), or as a last name as with Björk Guðmundsdóttir (whose father was named Guðmundur) or Heiðar Helguson (whose mother was named Helga). Similar concepts are present in cultures.

However, in some areas of the world, many people are known by a single name, and so are said to be mononymous. Still other cultures lack the concept of specific, fixed names designating people, either individually or collectively. Certain isolated tribes, such as the Machiguenga of the Amazon, do not use personal names.

A person's full name usually identifies that person for legal and administrative purposes, although it may not be the name by which the person is commonly known; some people use only a portion of their full name, or are known by titles, nicknames, or other formal or informal designations.

It is nearly universal for people to have names; the Convention on the Rights of the Child declares that a child has the right to a name from birth. Text of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989 entry into force 2 September 1990, in accordance with article 49, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.


Structure
Common components of names given at birth include:
  • Personal name: The (or in some cultures) can precede a (as in some European cultures), or it can come after the family name (as in some East Asian cultures), or be used without a family name.
  • : A surname based on the given name of the father.
  • : A surname based on the given name of the mother.
  • : A name used by all members of a family. In , surnames gradually came into common use beginning in the 3rd century BC (having been common only among the nobility before that). In some areas of East Asia (e.g. Vietnam and Korea), surnames developed in the next several centuries, while in other areas (like Japan), surnames did not become prevalent until the 19th century. In , after the loss of the Roman system, the common use of family names started quite early in some areas ( in the 13th century, and in the 16th century), but it often did not happen until much later in areas that used a patronymic naming custom, such as the countries, , and some areas of , as well as and . The compulsory use of surnames varied greatly. France required a priest to write surnames in baptismal records in 1539 (but did not require surnames for Jews, who usually used , until 1808). On the other hand, surnames were not compulsory in the Scandinavian countries until the 19th or 20th century (1923) in , and still for its native inhabitants. In , and most Latin American countries, two surnames are used, one being the father's family name and the other being the mother's family name. Whereas Spain used to put the father's family name before the mother's family name, Portugal and Brazil keep the inverse order but use the father's family name as the principal one. A Portuguese man named António de Oliveira Guterres would therefore be known commonly as António Guterres. In Spain, though, the second surname is frequently used if the first one is too common to allow an easy identification. For example, Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is often called . In most of the cultures of the Middle East and South Asia, surnames were not generally used until European influence took hold in the 19th century.
  • In many families, single or multiple are simply alternative names, names honoring an ancestor or relative, or, for married women, sometimes their maiden names. In some traditions, however, the roles of the first and middle given names are reversed, with the first given name being used to honor a family member and the middle name being used as the usual method to address someone informally. Many families choose a 's name as their child's middle name or this can be left until the child's confirmation when they choose a saint's name for themselves. Cultures that use or will often give middle names to distinguish between two similarly named people: e.g., Einar Karl Stefánsson and Einar Guðmundur Stefánsson. This is especially done in Iceland (as shown in example) where people are known and referred to almost exclusively by their given name/s.

Some people (called anonyms) choose to be , that is, to hide their true names, for fear of governmental prosecution or social ridicule of their works or actions. Another method to disguise one's identity is to employ a .

For some people, their name is a single word, known as a . This can be true from birth, or occur later in life. For example, Teller, of the magician duo Penn and Teller, was named Raymond Joseph Teller at birth, but changed his name both legally and socially to be simply "Teller". In some official government documents, such as his driver's license, his given name is listed as NFN, an acronym for "no first name".

The believe that the souls of the are one, so they traditionally refer to the junior namesakes, not just by the names ( atiq), but also by title, which applies across gender and generation without implications of disrespect or seniority. In , someone's name is considered intimately connected with his fate, and adding a name (e.g. on the sickbed) may avert a particular danger. Among it is also considered bad luck to take the name of a living ancestor, as the Angel of Death may mistake the younger person for his namesake (although there is no such custom among ). Jews may also have a Jewish name for intra-community use and use a different name when engaging with the world.

Chinese children are called diminutive or pejorative names to make them appear worthless to evil spirits. They receive a definitive name as they grow up. and receive .

In some Polynesian cultures, the name of a deceased chief becomes . If he is named after a common object or concept, a different word has to be used for it.

Depending on national convention, additional given names (and sometimes ) are considered part of the name.


Feudal names
The , , and of Europe traditionally have many names, including phrases for the lands that they own. The French developed the method of putting the term by which the person is referred in letters. It is this habit which transferred to names of the Far East, as seen below. An example is that of Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch Gilbert du Motier, who is known as the Marquis de Lafayette. Notice that he possessed the lands both of Motier and Lafayette.

The bare place name was used formerly to refer to the person who owned it, rather than the land itself (the word "Gloucester" in "What will Gloucester do?" meant the Duke of Gloucester). As a development, the bare name of a ship in the meant its captain (e.g., "Cressy didn't learn from Aboukir") while the name with an article referred to the ship (e.g., "The Cressy is foundering").


Naming conventions
A personal naming system, or anthroponymic system, is a system describing the choice of personal name in a certain society. Personal names consists of one more parts, such as , and . Personal naming systems are studied within the field of .

In contemporary Western societies (except for , , and sometimes , depending on the occasion), the most common naming convention is that a person must have a , which is usually gender-specific, followed by the parents' . Some given names are bespoke, but most are repeated from earlier generations in the same culture. Many are drawn from mythology, some of which span multiple language areas. This has resulted in related names in different languages (e.g. George, Georg, ), which might be translated or might be maintained as immutable proper nouns.

In earlier times, Scandinavian countries followed patronymic naming, with people effectively called "X's son/daughter"; this is now the case only in and was recently re-introduced as an option in the . It is legally possible in Finland as people of Icelandic ethnic naming are specifically named in the name law. When people of this name convert to standards of other cultures, the phrase is often condensed into one word, creating last names like Jacobsen (Jacob's Son). In (now part of Pakistan) "Children are named as soon as born. The infant is given to the mother to suckle, while a wise woman rapidly recites the family ancestral names; the name pronounced at the instant the baby begins to feed is that by which it is thereafter known." [2] Encyclopedia Britannica, George Scott Robertson

There is a range of personal naming systems:

  • Binomial systems: apart for given name, people are described by their surnames, which they obtain from one of their parents. Most modern European personal naming systems, such as and , are of this type.
  • Patronymic systems: apart for given name, people are described by their , that is given names (not surnames) of parents or other ancestors. Such systems were in wide us throughout Europe in the first millenium C.E., but were replaced by binomial systems. is still patronymic.
  • More complex systems like , consisting of (son's name), given name, patronymic and one or two bynames.

Different cultures have different conventions for personal names. This is a list of articles about particular cultures' naming conventions.


Name order


Western name order
The order given name, family name is commonly known as the Western order and is usually used in most countries and in countries that have cultures predominantly influenced by Western Europe (e.g. and , , , and , , and the ).

Within alphabetic lists and catalogs, however, the family name is generally put first, with the given name(s) following, separated from it by a (e.g. Smith, John), representing the "lexical name order". This convention is followed by most Western libraries, as well as on many administrative forms.


Eastern name order
The order family name, given name is commonly known as the Eastern order and is primarily used in (for example in , , , , and ), as well as in and North-Eastern parts of India, but also in , located in Central Europe. It is common in popular use also in and , but also in , , , and possibly because of the influence of the bureaucratic use of putting the family name before the given name.

When East Asian names are into the , some people prefer to convert them to the Western order, while others leave them in the Eastern order but write the family name in . To avoid confusion, some always write a family name in capital letters, especially when writing for an international audience. This habit is commonly used in the international language . In Hungarian, the Eastern order of Japanese names is officially kept and Hungarian transliteration is used (e.g. Mijazaki Hajao), but Western name order is also sometimes used with English transliteration (e.g. Hayao Miyazaki).

Chinese people, except for those traveling or living outside of China and areas influenced by China, rarely reverse their Chinese language names to the western naming order (given name, then family name), but some may have non-Chinese given names which may use a different order. Western publications usually preserve the Chinese naming order, with the family name first, followed by the given name. In regard to Japanese names, most foreign publications reverse the names of modern individuals, and most Japanese reverse their own names when creating materials for foreign consumption.Terry, Edith. How Asia Got Rich: Japan, China and the Asian Miracle. M.E. Sharpe, 2002. 632. Retrieved from on August 7, 2011. , . In popular journalism publications, western order is used for Japanese names.Saeki, Shizuka. "First Name Terms." . June 2001. Volume 47, No. 543. p. 35.

Japanese names of contemporary individuals and Hungarian names are usually "switched" when individuals who have such names are mentioned in media in Western countries; for example, Koizumi Jun'ichirō is known as Junichiro Koizumi in English, and Puskás Ferenc is known as Ferenc Puskás. But Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese names are usually left in East Asian order; for instance, Máo Zédōng is known as in English.

Names of Japanese or Chinese sportspeople generally follow the above conventions. For Japanese examples, see instead of Suzuki Ichirō (although he is widely known simply as "Ichiro" in both Japan and North America), or instead of Nakata Hidetoshi. As for Chinese sportspeople, Yáo Míng is and Liú Xiáng is Liu Xiang in the West.

Names of Korean sportspeople may be rendered in East Asian or Western order in Western countries, apparently depending on the sport. For example, names of Korean footballers and are usually left in East Asian order (e.g. , , , , ). players' names are usually changed to Western order; for example Park Chan-Ho is referred to in the West as . ' names are also typically switched to Western order; the female golfer Pak Se-ri is known in the West as . Confusion can be avoided by noticing that in all the above cases, the words linked by a hyphen are the given name.

use two names - a Mordvin name and a Russian name. The Mordvin name is written in the Eastern name order. Usually, the Mordvin surname is the same as the Russian surname, for example Sharonon Sandra (Russian: Alexander Sharonov), but it can be different at times, for example (Russian: Vladimir Romashkin).

Mongolians use the Eastern naming order (patronymic followed by given name), which is also used there when rendering the names of other East Asians and Hungarians. Russian and other Western names, however, are still written in Western order.


Non-human personal names
Apart from the Linnaean taxonomy, some humans give individual non-human animals and plants names, usually of endearment.


Names of pets
Pet names often reflect the owner's view of the animal, and their expectations they have for their companion. The complete idiot's guide to pet psychic communication, Debbie McGillivray, Eve Adamson, Alpha Books, 2004, , Adopting a Pet For Dummies Page 10, By Eve Adamson It has been argued that giving names allows researchers to view their pets as different from unnamed laboratory animals with which they work. Proper names and the social construction of biography: The negative case of laboratory animals, Mary T. Phillips, Qualitative Sociology, Volume 17, Number 2, SpringerLink

The name given to a pet may refer to its appearance The Best Pet Name Book Ever!, Chapter 1, By Wayne Bryant Eldridge or personality, The Best Pet Name Book Ever!, Chapter 2, By Wayne Bryant Eldridge or be chosen for , The Best Pet Name Book Ever!, Chapter 4, By Wayne Bryant Eldridge or in honor of a favorite . What celebrity would you name your pet after?, by Margaret Lyons, Sep 28 2009, Entertainment Weekly

Many pet owners give human names to their pets. This has been shown to reflect the owner having a human-like relationship with the pet. The Best Pet Name Book Ever!, Chapter 3, By Wayne Bryant Eldridge

In some cultures, or sporting are sometimes given names similar to human names. Other cultures, such as the , give animals nonhuman names because it would be seen as offensive and disrespectful to the person of the same name.


Dolphin names for each other
A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences claims that humans are not the only animals that use personal names. Researchers from the University of North Carolina Wilmington studying bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota Bay, Florida, found that the dolphins had names for each other. A dolphin chooses its name as an infant. Dolphins Name Themselves, By Bjorn Carey, posted: 8 May 2006, livescience.com


See also
  • , name at birth
  • and Kushim, candidates for earliest known recorded personal name
  • List of adjectival and demonymic forms of place names
  • List of most popular given names
  • Lists of most common surnames
  • Married and maiden names
  • Mononymous person
  • Name-letter effect
  • Personally identifiable information
  • Ancient Greek personal names


Notes

Further reading


External links

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