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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.

23
votes
2answers
3k views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
298 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
172 views

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. ...
4
votes
0answers
125 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
795 views

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 ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
101 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
810 views

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 "...
5
votes
1answer
176 views

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; ...
10
votes
1answer
421 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
158 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
211 views

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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
72 views

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?
4
votes
1answer
90 views

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. ...
3
votes
0answers
269 views

When were signature rubrics called for?

A rubric is a flourish embellishing a signature; it's both decorative and a security feature. Today, signatures are still used, but rubrics seem to have gone out of style. Who used the rubrics?
7
votes
1answer
356 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
262 views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
336 views

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 ...
3
votes
0answers
119 views

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 ...
21
votes
1answer
994 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
230 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
992 views

Historically, was the War of 1812 ever called by another name?

In the wildly popular Youtube chanel Crash Course, the narrator states that the War of 1812 bears that title only because of the historians' "great imagination" and mentions three humorous names that ...
7
votes
2answers
325 views

Confusion re the naming of Roman freedman

I have just been reading this which is admittedly very old, and there is a statement which has me totally confused. ... the master might disregard the regular form and give the freedman any name ...
2
votes
2answers
312 views

How do numbered names work in history?

How do numbered names work, e.g. the "II" in William II? How come there are several people named William II? How come William II is also William III and William IV? What is the official name of this ...
3
votes
1answer
587 views

Why is it called the War of Knives?

I recently learned about the War of Knives, but one thing I haven't been able to figure out is why its actually called the War of Knives. The war happened well after guns were in popular use, and both ...
5
votes
0answers
309 views

When was the name of the Mexican war changed to Mexican-American war?

I learned recently (by having an answer marked wrong in Pub Quiz) that the conflict which was called the Mexican War when I was in school is now called the Mexican-American War. My question: When, ...
4
votes
4answers
488 views

Is the name of “Diocletian” just a coincidence?

Ok, so apparently the splitting of Rome into two sections was the fault of a guy named "Diocletian". His first order was to split the empire into two. Is it just a coincidence that his name begins ...
5
votes
2answers
208 views

What was the name of the father of Mesha, king of Moab?

In English translations of the Mesha Stele, the opening words are "I am Mesha son of Chemosh-melekh, king of Moab the Dibonite". However, the truth is that the actual text of the Stele (rendered in ...
3
votes
2answers
304 views

Why is Matgenus, king of Tyre, sometimes called Mattan?

In Josephus' Against Apion (1:18) he writes in the name of Menander the Ephesian that Matgenus was one of the Tyrian kings, but I have seen other sources (like Wikipedia, et al.) refer to this king as ...
3
votes
4answers
414 views

Is there an historical name, or an example “character” from history, that encompases a sycophant?

I'm trying to see if there's a noun for a type of person that exemplifies a sycophant, and particular if there's a good example of such a person from history. In Lord of The Rings, Gruma Wormtongue ...
10
votes
4answers
844 views

When did people stop translating their names when moving from one country to another?

I was interested in the process of people changing their names from one language to another. Most monarchs have a different given name in different languages. However, this phenomenon also applied to ...
9
votes
4answers
874 views

Why was William III of England referred to as the British-Batavian Nassau?

While reading through the book Medallic illustrations of the history of Great Britain and Ireland to the death of George II vol. I, I came across this interesting description. My question is why ...
2
votes
1answer
444 views

Two ships named “Mary Celeste” — concidence or not?

I know about the famous Mary Celeste ship which was found with no one on board in 1872. Sank in 1885. Let's nickname it "the Ghost ship". Today, while watching some National Geographic movie about ...
3
votes
0answers
294 views

Was the name “War of the League of Augsburg” or “War of the Grand Alliance” used within the Alliance?

The recent question "Has anyone ever named a war after their own country or faction?" led me to mention that The War of the Grand Alliance (also known as "The War of the League of Augsburg" or "The ...
12
votes
7answers
6k views

What happened to all the notable Roman families?

What happened to the numerous (patrician) families of Rome? Like the Gens Julia for example. There are no ancestors today leading back to them like for example the famous Medici family from ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

How were Chinese Dynasties named?

What were the rules or conventions for choosing the name of a new dynasty chosen? Was there a single method for naming all of the Chinese dynasties?
4
votes
2answers
583 views

Why was Anne of Austria so called?

She was a Spanish princess by birth. So why is she called "of Austria"? Is it because her mother was an Austrian princess? But presumably, it should be the person's place of birth that gives them ...