A name is a term used for identification.
Names can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing,
either uniquely, or within a given context. The entity identified by a
name is called its referent. A personal name identifies, not
necessarily uniquely, a specific individual human. The name of a
specific entity is sometimes called a proper name (although that term
has a philosophical meaning also) and is, when consisting of only one
word, a proper noun. Other nouns are sometimes called "common names"
or (obsolete) "general names". A name can be given to a person, place,
or thing; for example, parents can give their child a name or a
scientist can give an element a name.
Caution must be exercised when translating, for there are ways that
one language may prefer one type of name over another. For example,
the French sometimes refer to
Aristotle as "le Stagirite" from one
spelling of his place of birth, and English speakers often refer to
Shakespeare as "The Bard", recognizing him as a paragon writer of the
2 In religious thought
2.1 Biblical names
2.2 Talmudic attitudes
3 Names of names
4 Naming convention
Name used by animals
6 See also
8 Further reading
9 External links
The word "name" comes from
Old English nama; cognate with Old High
German (OHG) namo,
Sanskrit नामन् (nāman),
Greek ὄνομα (onoma), and Persian نام (nâm), from the
Proto-Indo-European (PIE) *h₁nómn̥. Perhaps connected to
non-Indo-European terms such as Tamil நாமம் (namam) and
In religious thought
The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a
worldwide view of the subject. You may improve this article, discuss
the issue on the talk page, or create a new article, as appropriate.
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Further information: Names of God
In the ancient world, particularly in the ancient near-east (Israel,
Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia) names were thought to be extremely
powerful and act, in some ways, as a separate manifestation of a
person or deity. This viewpoint is responsible both for the
reluctance to use the proper name of
God in Hebrew writing or speech,
as well as the common understanding in ancient magic that magical
rituals had to be carried out "in [someone's] name". By invoking a god
or spirit by name, one was thought to be able to summon that spirit's
power for some kind of miracle or magic (see Luke 9:49, in which the
disciples claim to have seen a man driving out demons using the name
of Jesus). This understanding passed into later religious tradition,
for example the stipulation in Catholic exorcism that the demon cannot
be expelled until the exorcist has forced it to give up its name, at
which point the name may be used in a stern command which will drive
the demon away.
Main article: List of biblical names
In the Old Testament, the names of individuals are meaningful, and a
change of name indicates a change of status. For example, the
Abram and his wife Sarai were renamed "Abraham" and "Sarah"
at the institution of the
Abrahamic covenant (Genesis 17:4, 17:15).
Simon was renamed Peter when he was given the Keys to Heaven. This is
recounted in the
Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew chapter 16, which according to
Roman Catholic teaching was when
Jesus promised to
Saint Peter the
power to take binding actions.
Throughout the Bible, characters are given names at birth that reflect
something of significance or describe the course of their lives. For
Solomon meant peace, and the king with that
name was the first whose reign was without war.
Likewise, Joseph named his firstborn son Manasseh (Hebrew: "causing to
forget")(Genesis 41:51); when Joseph also said, "“
God has made me
forget all my troubles and everyone in my father's family.”
Biblical Jewish people did not have surnames which were passed from
generation to generation. However, they were typically known as the
child of their father. For example: דוד בן ישי (
Yishay) meaning, David, son of
Jesse (1 Samuel 17:12,58).
Talmud maintains that names exert a mystical influence
over their bearers, and a change of name is one of four actions that
can avert an evil heavenly decree, that would lead to punishment after
one's death. Rabbinical commentators differ as to
whether the name's influence is metaphysical, connecting a person to
their soul, or bio-socio-psychological, where the connection affects
his personality, appearance and social capacities. The
states that all those who descend to
Gehenna will rise in the time of
Messiah. However, there are three exceptions, one of which is he who
calls another by a derisive nickname.
Names of names
Names of names
Name of a...
Name of name
Body of water
Resident(s) of a locality
Author writing under an assumed name
Pen name or pseudonym
Item named after a person
For's own naming conventions see:Article titles
A naming convention is an attempt to systematize names in a field so
they unambiguously convey similar information in a similar manner.
Several major naming conventions include:
In astronomy, planetary nomenclature
In classics, Roman naming conventions
In computer programming, identifier naming conventions
In computer networking, computer naming schemes
In the sciences, systematic names for a variety of things
Naming conventions are useful in many aspects of everyday life,
enabling the casual user to understand larger structures.
Street names within a city may follow a naming convention; some
In Manhattan, roads that cross the island from east to west are called
"Streets". Those that run the length of the island (north–south) are
called "Avenues". Most of Manhattan's streets and avenues are
numbered, with "1st Street" being near the southern end of the island,
and "219th Street" being near the northern end, while "1st Avenue" is
near the eastern edge of the island and "12th Avenue" near the western
In Ontario, numbered concession roads are east–west whereas "lines"
are north–south routes.
San Francisco at least three series of parallel streets are
alphabetically named, e.g. Irving, Judah, Kirkham, Lawton, Moraga,
Noriega, Ortega, Pacheco, Quintara, Rivera, Santiago, Taraval, Ulloa,
The same tendency is seen in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston,
Massachusetts, where Arlington Street is followed by roads to the west
running parallel to it and named Berkeley, Clarendon, Dartmouth,
Exeter, Fairfield, Gloucester, and Hereford.
In Washington, DC, East Capitol Street runs east–west through the
Capitol. East–west streets moving away from Capitol Street toward
both the south (toward the Potomac River) and the north are lettered
A, B, C,..., omitting J to avoid confusion on street signs and
addresses, but after these are exhausted to the north, the streets are
named with simple words in alphabetical order, omitting a few letters
such as "x". The first cycle of names consists all of one-syllable
words; then followed by a cycle of two-syllable words; then followed
by a cycle of three-syllable words, and before these are exhausted,
Maryland is reached. (Washington has north-south streets that are
numbered, increasing to either side of North Capitol which likewise
runs through the Capitol.) Suffixes (NE, SW, etc.) are used to
distinguish between (up to four) duplicate addresses. For example, 140
D Street SW, to indicate the 140 D Street location southwest of the
In Montgomery, Alabama, the old major avenues are named for the
Presidents of the United States, in their order of entering office,
omitting John Quincy Adams. Hence, these streets are Washington Ave.,
Adams Ave., Jefferson Ave., Madison Ave., Monroe Ave., Jackson Ave.
In Brampton, Ontario, different sections of town all have streets
starting with the same letter and the alphabetical order reflects
In Phoenix, Arizona, roads east of Central Avenue are termed streets,
while those west are avenues. A similar system applies in Nashville,
Tennessee, but only to the numbered avenues and streets, west and east
Cumberland River respectively, all of which run roughly
Large corporate, university, or government campuses may follow a
naming convention for rooms within the buildings to help orient
tenants and visitors. Otherwise, rooms may be numbered in some kind of
a rational scheme.
Parents may follow a naming convention when selecting names for their
children. Some have chosen alphabetical names by birth order. In some
East Asian cultures, it is common for one syllable in a two-syllable
given name to be a generation name which is the same for immediate
siblings. In many cultures it is common for the son to be named after
the father or a grandfather. In certain African cultures, such as in
Cameroon, the eldest son gets the family name for his given name.
In other cultures, the name may include the place of residence, or the
place of birth. The
Roman naming convention
Roman naming convention denotes social rank.
Products may follow a naming convention. Automobiles typically have a
binomial name, a "make" (manufacturer) and a "model", in addition to a
model year, such as a 2007 Chevrolet Corvette. Sometimes there is a
name for the car's "decoration level" or "trim line" as well: e.g.,
Cadillac Escalade EXT
Cadillac Escalade EXT Platinum, after the precious metal. Computers
often have increasing numbers in their names to signify the next
Courses at schools typically follow a naming convention: an
abbreviation for the subject area and then a number ordered by
increasing level of difficulty.
Many numbers (e.g. bank accounts, government IDs, credit cards, etc.)
are not random but have an internal structure and convention.
Virtually all organizations that assign names or numbers will follow
some convention in generating these identifiers. Airline flight
numbers, space shuttle flight numbers, even phone numbers all have an
Main article: Brand
Developing a name for a brand or product is heavily influenced by
marketing research and strategy to be appealing and marketable. The
brand name is often a neologism or pseudoword, such as
Kodak or Sony.
Name used by animals
The use of personal names is not unique to humans. Dolphins and
green-rumped parrotlets also use symbolic names, as has been shown by
recent research. Individual dolphins have distinctive whistles, to
which they will respond even when there is no other information to
clarify which dolphin is being referred to.
Personal name - names of people
Anthroponymy - the study of personal names
List of adjectival forms of place names
Onomastics - the study of proper names
Popular cat names
^ ὄνομα Archived 2011-06-05 at the Wayback Machine., Henry
George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Archived from the original on
2008-09-28. Retrieved 2008-09-20. ; The asterisk before a word
indicates that it is a hypothetical construction, not an attested
^ "Egyptian Religion", E. A. Wallis Budge", Arkana 1987 edition,
^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, para 881: "The episcopal college
and its head, the Pope" Archived 2010-09-06 at the Wayback Machine.
^ The Routledge Companion to the Christian Church by Gerard Mannion
and Lewis S. Mudge (Jan 30, 2008) ISBN 0415374200 page 235
Name Themselves With Whistles, Study Says". National
Geographic News. May 8, 2006. Archived from the original on November
"Names" by Sam Cumming, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP), a
philosophical dissertation on the syntax and semantics of names
Matthews, Elaine; Hornblower, Simon; Fraser, Peter Marshall, Greek
Personal Names: Their Value as Evidence, Proceedings of the British
Academy (104), Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-19-726216-3
Name and Form - from Sacred Texts Buddhism
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Name
Wikimedia Commons has media related to names.
Lexicon of Greek Personal Names, Oxford (over 35,000 published names)
Behind The Name, The etymology of first names
Name Tradition In The Christian Culture
Kate Monk's Onomastikon Names over the world throughout the history
What is a Name?
"Name". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.
Logic in computer science
Philosophy of logic
Analytic and synthetic propositions
A priori and a posteriori
Necessity and sufficiency
Rules of inference
Personal names by culture
Saint Thomas Christian names
Ancient Tamil country