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175 votes

What is the first recorded dog name?

A hunting dog (tesem) named Akbaru is depicted in the tomb of the Fourth Dynasty pharaoh Khufu (died c. 2566 BC). There is a stone relief dated to circa 2400 BC from the Fifth Dynasty showing a dog ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
107 votes

Which culture used no personal names?

This would seem to be a piece of folklore. Anthropologists have not found a single society which does not use personal names in some form; they are a human universal. However, the forms that ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
87 votes

When did the Roman Empire fall according to contemporaries?

Most people at the time did not think the Roman Empire had fallen -- it's only from five hundred or a thousand years later that we can conclude that it did. Both points of view are reasonable. What ...
Mark Olson's user avatar
  • 7,461
71 votes

Where does the name 'D-Day' come from?

D-Day and H-Hour are generic terms for the beginning of an operation when one does not yet know the date and time of the operation. Thereafter planners refer to the days following the start of the ...
Schwern's user avatar
  • 54.8k
56 votes

Why did Peter the Great name Saint Petersburg, Russia with a foreign styled name?

The whole point of the reign of Peter the Great was to "modernize" (westernize) Russia. Per the wikipedia article, "Peter implemented sweeping reforms aimed at modernizing Russia.[10] Heavily ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 104k
51 votes

How and when did the word "nuclear" replace the word "atomic"?

At least regarding when, we can see with Google Books Ngrams. First let's look at "atomic energy" vs. "nuclear energy": In the 1940s, both terms were in use, but "atomic ...
Brian Z's user avatar
  • 18.7k
43 votes

Did all the the -stan sovereign state names appear synchronously?

The Persian suffix stān is much older than any of the “stans” in modern Central Asia. It goes back to proto-Indo-Iranian as represented by Sanskrit sthāna- “standing place” (already in the Rigveda) ...
fdb's user avatar
  • 9,756
39 votes

Did enslaved persons take their owner's surnames?

TL;DR is that it looks like that's true. There's an open question about this issue specifically relating to New York on our Genealogy sister site. However, the only answer there (from a moderator, ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 118k
32 votes

What is meaning of 4 letter abbreviations in Roman names like Titus Flavius T. f. T. n. Sabinus?

It stands for "Titi filius Titi nepos", meaning "son of Titus and grandson of Titus" (filius and nepos mean son and grandson, respectively). This is because the consul Titus Flavius Sabinus was the ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.4k
28 votes

What is the oldest recorded cat name?

The Guinness Book of World Records says: The first known cat with a name was called Nedjem meaning 'sweet' or 'pleasant' and dates from the reign of Thutmose III (1479-1425 BC). This is also ...
Brian Z's user avatar
  • 18.7k
27 votes

What is the earliest recorded female name in history?

This is likely to be difficult to pin down with any certainty due to the difficulty in providing anything other than approximate dates. However, the logical place to start looking is with those ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
26 votes

Was the name 'Valerie' used during the Regency Era (1811-1836)?

The names Valeria and Valerie were not in common use in Britain during the Georgian era, but they were certainly known by some via Saint Valerie of Limoges and also because Valerie (in particular) was ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
25 votes

What was the Hundred Years' War called at the time?

19th CENTURY HISTORIANS The term Hundred Years' War originated in the early 19th century. The Hundred Years War has become the established name for the Anglo-French conflicts that happened ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
24 votes

Why is Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf often refered to by his given name "Conrad"?

"Conrad" is not a given name. "Conrad" is his first surname. Franz is his given name, along with Xaver Josef. Full name: Franz Xaver Josef Graf Conrad von Hötzendorf ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.8k
24 votes

Did all the the -stan sovereign state names appear synchronously?

No, the terms are not all contemporary. Afghanistan is recorded in the 13th century; some of the others appear to date to the 20th century. Pakistan is 1933, the others probably date from either the ...
MCW's user avatar
  • 32.3k
23 votes

What is the first recorded dog name?

Somebody has compiled info about Roman dogs, mostly literary (Ovid) but also a few real ones, although sources for 'real' dogs may be questionable.
Luiz's user avatar
  • 4,100
20 votes

Why did the term "Byzantine Empire" enter common usage instead of "Eastern Roman Empire" or "Roman Empire"

Warren Treadgold, one of the most eminent scholars on the Byzantine Empire puts it simply as follows: Modern historians have called this empire "Byzantine" because it was ruled not from Rome but ...
Notaras's user avatar
  • 3,935
20 votes

Why is the name "Tecumseh" used for US Navy ships?

While Tecumseh was an enemy of the US while alive, his name was well known. The first ship named after him was a Canonicus-class monitor during the Civil War, some 50 years after Tecumseh's death. The ...
Jon Custer's user avatar
  • 2,506
20 votes

What is the first recorded dog name?

Long before well known Cerberus from Greek mythology the Mesopotamian goddess Bau, later named Gula, is depicted with a dog's head: Bau seems originally to have been goddess of the dog; as ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
19 votes

Why is North-Korean communist leader Kim Il-sung called Kim Ir Sen in some languages?

The Korean language has a different set of phonemes compared to most Indo-European languages. Phonemes are individual sounds that are distinguished in pronunciation and used to differentiate words. ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 472
17 votes

Why didn't a noble family change their last name from a kind of duck to something more prestigious?

Actually, the answer is a bit confusing. The name was apparently originally a 'normal' one before one of Nikolai's ancestors added the 'Gogol' bit. A Reference Guide to Russian Literature tells us: ...
CDR's user avatar
  • 987
16 votes

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

William III was a member of the House of Nassau and, as the Prince of Orange a pre-eminent Dutch leader. In 1672 he became a Stadtholder in the Dutch Republic. Following the Glorious Revolution in ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.4k
16 votes

Is there any idea of why Cao Cao's parents would give him a nearly identical name to the family name?

I’m thinking I should rephrase my comment above as an answer. I believe the correct answer would be “they didn’t”, and that’s why. While the surname and name of Cao Cao almost match in modern ...
Alexander Z.'s user avatar
15 votes

Why were so many female members of Hapsburg family named Maria something?

Because they are Catholic. No other reason. Doesn't matter if you are a boy or girl. It's very common practise to give children many baptismal names, including Maria. To both girls and boys. Perhaps ...
Jos's user avatar
  • 20.9k
14 votes

What is the longest name chain?

Short answer: The longest chain of the same personal name used from father to son from generation to generation that I know of seems to be at least 22 generations according to my sources. Long ...
MAGolding's user avatar
  • 19.1k
14 votes

Where does the name 'D-Day' come from?

According to the US Army's Center of Military History (CMH), D-Day is a general military planning term for the day that some operation will start, and the 'D' simply stands for day. This is why the ...
Giter's user avatar
  • 4,004
13 votes

Why are doughnuts toroidal?

An article from the Smithsonian magazine titled "The History of the Doughnut" also states that Captain Hanson Gregory invented the toroidal doughnut. The reason for the invention seems less clear. The ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.3k
12 votes

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

You are conflating many different things, some of which still happen regularly: Transliteration is still necessary, and it happens a lot, often with differences from one country to the next (cf. ...
Relaxed's user avatar
  • 2,208

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