Questions tagged [names]

Questions related to the history of terms used for identification, for people, places, things, concepts, times or ages, events, professions, systems, sciences, or any other real or imaginary items which have been or can be identified with identifying terminology.

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53 views

Was Vespucci born as Amerigo?

In a youtube video, it is stated that Vespucci's original first name was "Alberto". The name by which he is popularly known, "Amerigo", was only assigned to him after reaching the ...
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202 views

What was the Tang Dynasty definition of imperial 嫡子?

The distinction between 嫡子 and 庶子 was supposedly crucial in struggles for the Chinese imperial throne. It is often repeated (example) that only sons of the Empress were considered 嫡子。And yet in the ...
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What is the oldest recorded cat name?

Since the definition of cat falls under the name Felidae I will specify my question to the domesticated cat (Felis catus). These days almost all domesticated cats have a name given to them by their ...
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Was the name 'Valerie' used during the Regency Era (1811-1836)?

I am working on a novel that takes place in England during the Regency Era (1811-1836, the era right before the Victorian Era). I was wondering if you know if the name 'Valerie' or 'Valeria' existed ...
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What group is identified by the term “Egyptians” in the Flushing Remonstrance?

I am reading about the Flushing Remonstrance and its significance in the history of freedom of religion in the United States. An article by the Social Science Research Council indicates it was ...
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Was “Street” more common than the abbreviated “St.” in pre-1910 American newspapers?

As a hobby I like to research buildings and other structures around where I live, and part of that entails searching old newspaper archives. Generally this is in California. Since I am not looking at ...
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How and when did the word “nuclear” replace the word “atomic”?

In the early "Atomic Age", nuclear technology was generally termed "atomic" in English. There was "A-bomb", "atomic reactor" and "Atomic Energy Commission&...
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383 views

Did pirates call themselves pirates?

History is inevitably written by the victors, and while the golden age of piracy and pirates have been romanticised in recent years it is still clearly framed as villainous. Modern piracy is not ...
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What was the real name of Bishop Contumeliosus of Riez?

History has recorded the name of an allegedly badly-behaved bishop of Riez as Bishop "Contumeliosus of Riez" (he was later absolved of his accusations). Now, Contumeliosus is definitely not the real ...
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1answer
83 views

Was the pigment minium (lead oxide) named after the river Minus in Iberia?

I am doing a project on paint pigments. An obvious part of the introduction is the origins of the various pigment names. I read in Wikipedia that: "During the Roman Empire, the term minium could ...
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Why did many Hellenic or Hellenized names in antiquity end in -bazos or -dates?

Ancient names ending with bazos (or bazus), eg megabazos(great-x), Artabazos (again great-x), Pharnabazos. And Dates (Mithradates, Tiridates). I know Mithra was a deity, what does the second half of ...
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Why did Peter the Great name Saint Petersburg, Russia with a foreign styled name?

When Peter the Great of Russia established Saint Petersburg he originally called it Sankt-Pieter-Burch (Сан(к)т-Питер-Бурхъ) in Dutch manner. Later, under apparent German influence it was changed to ...
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What is the first recorded dog name?

Dogs have an age-old relationship with humans, and nowadays almost all dogs have a name given to them. In Homer's Odyssey (8th century BCE), upon Odysseus' return, his beloved dog Argos is the only ...
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224 views

Why did the English name of “Pacific Ocean” stick if it has been known by many cultures since ancient times? [closed]

As far as I understand, the largest ocean on Earth is know worldwide as the Pacific Ocean, a name given by Ferdinand Magellan in 1519. However, it is surprising to me that such a name stuck given that ...
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Were surname upgrades a well known practice in the Spanish Empire?

People everywhere have names, and some seek to change their name. Spanish speaking people in particular generally have two surnames, paternal and maternal, in that order. Whether the maternal one ...
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Which is more correct, Carlos I or Carlos V?

I asked this in the Spanish StackExchange and they send me here. One very well known emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) is known as Charles V (or in Spanish: Carlos V), but it is also known as ...
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What is the longest name chain?

I’m talking about when a family names a son after their father, and that son names a son after himself, and so on. For example, the King Louis’ (although they weren’t always a son, but they were ...
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Which culture used no personal names?

The blog post Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names – With Examples claims that: There was an isolated culture in which no one had names – they referred to everyone in relative terms, such ...
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308 views

How common are the following activities historically? [closed]

In present day India the ruling party has started to rename the cities by claiming to take them to their origins. It has been discussed here, here and here. Primarily the cities with Muslim Names for ...
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What is/was the correct pronunciation of Byzantine? [closed]

When I first came across the Byzantine Empire in books I assumed that it was pronounced as it was spelled (i.e. bih-zan-tin or baɪ zən tɪn in IPA). However I have since heard many people, including ...
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When did the Roman Empire fall according to contemporaries?

The Roman Empire divided itself into two parts, the Eastern Roman Empire headquartered in Constantinople and the Western Roman Empire headquartered in Rome. The city of Rome itself fell in the year ...
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What is meaning of 4 letter abbreviations in Roman names like Titus Flavius T. f. T. n. Sabinus?

I am reading about Titus Flavius Sabinus (consul AD 47) and cannot find meaning of T. f. T. n. in his full name as written in Wikipedia, "Titus Flavius T. f. T. n. Sabinus." All I have found is a ...
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How popular was the name Imhotep?

How popular was the name Imhotep in Ancient Egypt, and what other great personages bore this name? His name is said to mean "the one who comes in peace", and there are similar names like Amenhotep, ...
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359 views

Why is Papadopoulos such a common surname in Greece?

Papadopoulos is the most common Greek surname. It means "son of a priest". The female version is Papadopoulou. I wonder why. As far as I know, priests don't marry and are celibate, meaning they can'...
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Is there any idea of why Cao Cao's parents would give him a nearly identical name to the family name?

I've been doing a lot of reading up about the Three Kingdoms era of China, and Cao Cao stuck out to me as an interesting name. After some research I found that the words in Chinese are different, and ...
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Why is the name “Tecumseh” used for US Navy ships?

It is common practice to name warships after historical heroes of a nation. The US Navy had four vessel named USS Tecumseh Two of them were tugboats, but the other two were a then-cutting-edge ...
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327 views

Why are there so many Hungarian family names that have a pejorative tone? [closed]

I've never thought about this much since I grew up with it, but my wife is a foreigner and she thinks Hungarian family names are the weirdest thing ever. Common family names include (the Hungarian ...
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Why is North-Korean communist leader Kim Il-sung called Kim Ir Sen in some languages?

Looking on Wikipedia I see that in many of the languages of the former communist countries, namely East European, the North Korean leader Kim Il Sung (or Song) (1912-1994) is called Kim Ir Sen. (I am ...
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948 views

What is known about the origins of the “western given-name-first-surname-last system”?

I refer to the custom or "system" of having one's given name first and family name/surname last. I believe this is widely used in the west, with the exception of Hungary (and perhaps a few other ...
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Why does Hungary not follow the “usual Western naming system”? [closed]

In the "usual western system" (I'm not sure if there's a more formal name for this), we have given names first, then family names last. In contrast, in the "eastern system", the order is reversed. ...
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280 views

Was the Apostle the first Peter?

Is there an attested use of the Greek word "petros" (meaning 'stone') as a given name, before it was given to Peter the Apostle? Note: The name Jesus gave to Peter was most likely 'Kepha,' since ...
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Were the names in Les Miserables ever common?

Victor Hugo used a variety of unusual names in Les Miserables. Lets look at some of the major characters. Jean (Valjean) - One of the historically most common masculine surnames Javert Cosette - Her ...
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Why is Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf often refered to by his given name “Conrad”?

I am reading various books and material about the Great War, and in the vast majority of cases, important figures are always referred to by their family names. I.e. Clemenceau, Pointcarré, von ...
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What is the difference between the Nobel Banquet and the Nobel Anniversary Dinner?

On December 10, 1945, the Nobel Banquet took place in Sweden and the "5th Annual Nobel Anniversary Dinner" took place in New York City. I understand that the Nobel Prizes are always presented in ...
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449 views

Male Persian names in the Sasanian Empire

I am writing a short story about two non-noble men traveling through the Lut desert from Herat (back in the time called Harēv) to the city of Kerman (Back in the time called Veh-Ardashir - not to be ...
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What was the Hundred Years' War called at the time?

Similar to this question — What was the Seven Years War called at first? — but for yet a different war. According to Wikipedia, the Hundred Years' War is divided by historians into three smaller "...
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Giving a child to Thor

In Chapter 7 of Eyrbyggja saga we are told how Thorolf, the first gođi of Thorsness pledged his chield to Thor: Thorolf Most-beard married in his old age, and had to wife her who is called Unn; ...
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Why are doughnuts toroidal?

I study maths and torii come up a bit, and same goes for physics with tokamak fusion reactors, for instance. In popular science talks, sometimes people say "torus" but most people are familiar with ...
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1answer
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Where is or was the place called Apapis?

I've been trying to find out more about the origins of my rare surname Apap (from Gozo in Malta) and have been reading about its origin through military men with the surname De Apapis. The first ...
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What type of name did the common Mayans use?

We know that most of the lord (ajaw) used to have names related to the sun, the earth or important animals. See for example the rulers of Copan. Do we have any idea if it was the same for every ...
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what is the history of naming newborn in different community? [closed]

Did every tribe or community in history named their newborn babies from time immemorial? Was it a cultural tradition to every community on earth?
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What was Captain Vozdvit's real name?

The Russian-American Company and the Russian Imperial Navy, deeply connected shipbuilding and seafaring organizations, both employed lots of foreign captains. In Richard A. Pierce's translation, K.T. ...
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In what period were signature rubrics used?

A rubric is a flourish embellishing a signature; it's both decorative and a security feature. At least with regard to European languages, signatures are still used but rubrics were, as far as I can ...
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Was “The war to end all wars” viewed as cynically during WW1 as it is today?

I was watching Wonder Woman and noticed that it had been shifted from her typical origin story of being found by a WW2 fighter pilot to being found by a WW1 spy. Chris Pine called WW1 the war to end ...
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How were foreign names written in runes?

Are there any example of runic writing of a foreign name? Maybe journals or histories from famous warriors, travelers or foes? If so, how they do it with the runes? Basically I'm trying to find ...
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Why did Constantius Chlorus decide to become a Flavius?

I have noticed that virtually all Roman emperors after Constantine were called Flavius Something. A quick lookup in wikipedia confirms this and even more: During the later period of the Empire, the ...
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2answers
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What is the difference between Anatolia and Asia Minor?

Is there a strict geographical definition on those names from a historian's point of view? Are there differences between the geographic definition e.g. is upper Mesopotamia included/excluded? I have ...
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Why were so very similar names chosen for the European Council and Council of the European Union?

There are two official EU institutions which have very similar names but do very different things: The European Council, which is a strategic body comprised of the heads of state or government of the ...
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Why did the term “Byzantine Empire” enter common usage instead of “Eastern Roman Empire” or “Roman Empire”

Why did the term "Byzantine Empire" enter common usage instead of "Eastern Roman Empire" or "Roman Empire"? (or Imperium Graecorum?) Wikipedia says that the term Byzantine wasn't used until 1557, and ...
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1answer
320 views

History of eponymous cities

Alexander the Great founded many Alexandrias. Following his example, the Diadochi and the Epigoni did the same: Antigonia, Demetria, Lysimachia, Seleucia, Antiochia, Cassandreia... This trend seems ...