In Indian passports the surname is shown first.
In telephone directories the surname is used for collation. In North Indian states the surname is placed after given names where it exists. In parts of south India, surname is placed before personal name and in most cases it is only shown as an initial for example 'S. In English and other languages like Spanish—although the usual order of names is "first middle last"—for the purpose of cataloging in libraries and in citing the names of authors in scholarly papers, the order is changed to "last, first middle," with the last and first names separated by a comma, and items are alphabetized by the last name.
While the use of given names to identify individuals is attested in the oldest historical records, the advent of surnames is a relatively recent phenomenon. A four-year study led by the University of the West of England , which concluded in , analysed sources dating from the 11th to the 19th century to explain the origins of the surnames in the British Isles.
The findings have been published in the Oxford English Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland , with project leader, Professor Richard Coates calling the study "more detailed and accurate" than those before. He elaborated on the origins; "Some surnames have origins that are occupational — obvious examples are Smith and Baker. Other names can be linked to a place, for example Hill or Green , which relates to a village green. Surnames which are 'patronymic' are those which originally enshrined the father's name — such as Jackson , or Jenkinson. There are also names where the origin describes the original bearer such as Brown, Short , or Thin — though Short may in fact be an ironic 'nickname' surname for a tall person.
By , most English and some Scottish people used surnames, but many Scottish and Welsh people did not adopt surnames until the 17th century, or later. Henry VIII ruled — ordered that marital births be recorded under the surname of the father. See Maiden and married names. The first known instance in the United States of a woman insisting on the use of her birth name was that of Lucy Stone in ; and there has been a general increase in the rate of women using their birth name. This has gone through periods of flux, however, and the s saw a decline in the percentage of name retention among women.
Many cultures have used and continue to use additional descriptive terms in identifying individuals. These terms may indicate personal attributes, location of origin, occupation, parentage, patronage, adoption, or clan affiliation. These descriptors often developed into fixed clan identifications that in turn became family names as we know them today. His administration standardised the naming system in order to facilitate census-taking, and the use of census information. Originally, Chinese surnames were derived matrilineally, although by the time of the Shang dynasty to BCE they had become patrilineal.
Chinese women do not change their names upon marriage. They can be referred to either as their full birth names or as their husband's surname plus the word for wife. In the past, women's given name were often not publicly known and women were referred in official documents by their family name plus the character "Shi" and when married by their husband's surname, their birth surname, and the character "Shi".
In Japan , family names were uncommon except among the aristocracy until the 19th century. In Ancient Greece, during some periods, formal identification commonly included place of origin. In none of these cases, though, were these names considered essential parts of the person's name, nor were they explicitly inherited in the manner that is common in many cultures today. In the Roman Empire, the bestowal and use of clan and family names waxed and waned with changes in the various subcultures of the realm.
See Roman naming conventions. The nomen, which was the gens name, was inherited much like last names are, but their purposes were quite different. In later Europe, last names were developed to distinguish between individuals. The nomen were to identify group kinship. The praenomen was the "forename" and was originally used like a first name today. In later times, praenomen became less useful for distinguishing individuals as it was often passed down for males along with the nomen like an entire culture where "John Smith, Jr. Around this time, [ when? It became usual that one of these cognomen was inherited, but as the praenomen and nomen became more rigidly used and less useful for identifying individuals, additional personal cognomen were more often used, to the point that the first the praenomen and then the nomen fell out of use entirely.
With the gradual influence of Greek and Christian culture throughout the Empire, Christian religious names were sometimes put in front of traditional cognomen, but eventually, people reverted to single names. By the time of the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century, family names were uncommon in the Eastern Roman Empire.
In Western Europe, where Germanic culture dominated the aristocracy, family names were almost non-existent. They would not significantly reappear again in Eastern Roman society until the 10th century, apparently influenced by the familial affiliations of the Armenian military aristocracy. The practice of using family names spread through the Eastern Roman Empire and gradually into Western Europe, although it was not until the modern era that family names came to be explicitly inherited as they are today.
In Ireland, the use of surnames has a very old history. Ireland was the first country in Europe to use fixed surnames [ citation needed ]. In England, the introduction of family names is generally attributed to the preparation of the Domesday Book in , [ citation needed ] following the Norman conquest. Evidence indicates that surnames were first adopted among the feudal nobility and gentry, and slowly spread to other parts of society.
Some of the early Norman nobility who arrived in England during the Norman conquest differentiated themselves by affixing 'de' of before the name of their village in France. This is what is known as a territorial surname, a consequence of feudal landownership. In medieval times in France, such a name indicated lordship, or ownership, of the village.
Some early Norman nobles in England chose [ citation needed ] to drop the French derivations and call themselves instead after their new English holdings. Surnames were uncommon prior to the 12th century, and still somewhat rare into the 13th; most European surnames were originally occupational or locational, and served to distinguish one person from another if they happened to live near one another e. This still happens, in some communities where a surname is particularly common.
In the Middle Ages, when a man from a lower-status family married an only daughter from a higher-status family, he would often adopt the wife's family name. It is rare but not unknown for an English-speaking man to take his wife's family name, whether for personal reasons or as a matter of tradition such as among matrilineal Canadian aboriginal groups, such as the Haida and Gitxsan ; it is exceedingly rare but does occur in the United States, where a married couple may choose an entirely new last name by going through a legal change of name. As an alternative, both spouses may adopt a double-barrelled name.
A spouse may also opt to use their birth name as a middle name. Some couples keep their own last names but give their children hyphenated or combined surnames. In medieval Spain , a patronymic system was used. Over time, many of these patronymics became family names and are some of the most common names in the Spanish-speaking world. Other sources of surnames are personal appearance or habit, e. Delgado "thin" and Moreno "dark" ; occupations, e. Molinero "miller" , Zapatero "shoe-maker" and Guerrero "warrior" ; and geographic location or ethnicity, e.
During the modern era, many cultures around the world adopted family names, particularly for administrative reasons, especially during the age of European expansion and particularly since Notable examples include the Netherlands — , Japan s , Thailand , and Turkey Nonetheless, their use is not universal: Icelanders, Tibetans, Burmese, Javanese, and many people groups in East Africa do not use family names. Family names sometimes change or are replaced by non-family-name surnames under political pressure to avoid persecution.
The United States followed the naming customs and practices of English common law and traditions until recent [ when? Beginning in the latter half of the 20th century, traditional naming practices, writes one commentator, were recognized as "com[ing] into conflict with current sensitivities about children's and women's rights". The law in this area continues to evolve today mainly in the context of paternity and custody actions.
FAMILY NAME’s tracks
Upon marriage to a woman, men in the United States can easily change their surnames to that of their wives, or adopt a combination of both names with the federal government, through the Social Security Administration. Men may face difficulty doing so on the state level in some states.
- FAMILY NAME | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary.
- Passage et clandestin (MON PETIT EDITE) (French Edition).
- Extraño suceso en río Lobos (Spanish Edition);
In some places, civil rights lawsuits or constitutional amendments changed the law so that men could also easily change their married names e. In , the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women "CEDAW" , which declared in effect that women and men, and specifically wife and husband, shall have the same rights to choose a "family name", as well as a profession and an occupation.
In France, until 1 January , children were required by law to take the surname of their father. Article of the French Civil code now permits parents to give their children the family name of either their father, mother, or a hyphenation of both — although no more than two names can be hyphenated. In cases of disagreement, the father's name applies. The European Community has been active in eliminating gender discrimination.
Several cases concerning discrimination in family names have reached the courts. Burghartz v. Switzerland challenged the lack of an option for husbands to add the wife's surname to his surname, which they had chosen as the family name, when this option was available for women. Switzerland challenged a prohibition on foreign men married to Swiss women keeping their surname if this option was provided in their national law, an option available to women. Turkey challenged prohibitions on women using their surname as the family name, an option only available to men. Only a fraction of surnames in English-speaking countries around the world come from Britain.
With a few exceptions, Europe's languages are cognate , so most European surnames have a common etymological origin. Some surnames are monogenetic derived from one family at a specific place and time ; others are polygenetic coined independently at different places and times. Basil Cottle classifies European surnames under four broad categories, depending on their origin: given name patronymics , occupational name, local name toponymics , and nickname. Other name etymologists use a fuller classification, but these four types underlie them.
These are the oldest and most common type of surname. Multiple surnames may be derived from a single given name: e. The Icelandic system, formerly used in much of Scandinavia, does not use family names. A person's last name indicates the first name of their father patronymic or in some cases mother matronymic. Patronymic name conventions are similar in some other nations, including Malaysia see Malaysian name and other Muslim countries, among most people of the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala unlike another Indian state Andhra Pradesh , where ancestral origin village names have become surnames for the people , in Mongolia and in the Scottish Gaelic personal naming system.
In Russia and Bulgaria , both patronymic and family name are obligatory parts of one's full name: e. A similar system is used in Greece. In Ethiopia and Eritrea , a child adopts the given name of one of their parents, usually the father, as a pseudo-surname. For example, Abraham Mesfin's father's first name would have been Mesfin, while Abraham Mesfin's child might be called "Netsanet Abraham".
Very rarely do children adopt their mother's given name, who in any case would retain their "pseudo-surname". As part of Hebrew patronymic names , Ben is followed by the father's name, e. Bar- , "son of" in Aramaic , is used likewise, e. Meir Bar-Ilan. There is a wide range of family name affixes with a patronymic function. Some are prefixes e. Occupational names include such simple examples as Smith for a smith , Miller for a miller , Farmer for tax farmers or sometimes farmers , Thatcher for a thatcher , Shepherd for a shepherd , Potter for a potter , and so on, as well as non-English ones, such as the German Eisenhauer iron hewer , later Anglicized in America as Eisenhower or Schneider tailor — or, as in English, Schmidt smith.
There are also more complicated names based on occupational titles. In England it was common for servants to take a modified version of their employer's occupation or first name as their last name, [ according to whom? For instance, the surname Vickers is thought to have arisen as an occupational name adopted by the servant of a vicar,  while Roberts could have been adopted by either the son or the servant of a man named Robert.
A subset of occupational names in English are names thought to be derived from the medieval mystery plays. The participants would often play the same roles for life, passing the part down to their oldest sons. Names derived from this may include King , Lord and Virgin. The original meaning of names based on medieval occupations may no longer be obvious in modern English so the surnames Cooper , Chandler , and Cutler come from the occupations of making barrels, candles, and cutlery, respectively.
Location toponymic, habitation names derive from the inhabited location associated with the person given that name. Such locations can be any type of settlement, such as: homesteads, farms, enclosures, villages, hamlets, strongholds or cottages. One element of a habitation name may describe the type of settlement. Examples of Old English elements are frequently found in the second element of habitational names.
The habitative elements in such names can differ in meaning, according to different periods, different locations, or with being used with certain other elements.
This is thought to be due to the tendency in Europe during the Middle Ages for migration to chiefly be from smaller communities to the cities and the need for new arrivals to choose a defining surname. Surnames derived from country names are also found in English, such as "England", "Wales", "Spain".
Dictionary of American Family Names - Oxford Reference
Arabic names sometimes contain surnames that denote the city of origin. This component of the name is called a nisbah. This is the broadest class of surnames, encompassing many types of origin. The rarer occupational names are sometimes restricted in their distribution, as are other names that possibly originated with only one or two families. For example, the Arkwrights makers of arks or chests are from Lancashire, the Crappers croppers and Frobishers furbishers or cleaners of armour are from Yorkshire, and the Dymonds dairymen are from Devon.
On the other hand, some distinctive names were influenced by more prolific occupational names, and names that started out as Goldsmith , Combsmith or Smithson may have become simply Smith. Occupational names will differ in frequency in certain areas for several reasons. The geography of a district may favour one or more specific industries such as stone-masonry, thatching or fishing and the distribution of Mason , Thatcher and Fisher will reflect this.
The more prolific 12th- to 14th-century building skills are represented by Wright , Slater , Leadbeater , Carpenter and Plummer. With no real brick industry during this period the surname Brick or Bricker does not exist - Brickman derives from the Norse 'brigg' meaning bridge. Similarly with names derived from military occupations, there are no names from firearms, only those derived from the weaponry and occupations around in these early centuries.
And from the church we have Pope , Bishop , Monk and Abbott. However, these are most likely to have been nicknames rather than actual occupations, as with King. Or possibly they originated from performers in the Mystery or other religious plays. Sometimes a nickname became a hereditary surname.
Names such as Fox , from the crafty animal, or White , perhaps from the hair or complexion, are widespread. However, the pronounced regional distribution of names such as Nice in Essex or Wildgoose in Derbyshire suggests single family origins. In some cases, nicknames are from Norman-French words, such as Papillon dainty or inconsistent, from butterfly or Foljambe deformed leg. Names deriving from plants and animals are almost certainly nicknames - such as Catt , Sparrow and Oak - but may also be location names or even occupations. But most nicknames come from colour, complexion or form - names such as Armstrong and Strongitharm , Heavyside , Quickly , Slowman , Smallman , Fairfax and Blunt fair-haired.
Other examples of nicknames derive from personal or moral qualities, for example Good , Goodchild , Thoroughgood , Allgood , Toogood and Goodenough. Other examples are Joly , Jolibois and Joliffe , or Kennard royal-brave. And some - such as Puttock greedy or Coe jackdaw - show contempt or ridicule. The surname Blake may seem fairly straightforward but there are two derivations.
Firstly as a variation of Black , a descriptive name for someone of dark appearance, and secondly originating as the Old English word, blac meaning wan or fair - two completely opposite meanings. In Wiltshire, the surname Black is not a common one, greatly outnumbered by Blake. Many baptismal or Christian names have become surnames without any change. A son may have acquired his surname by adding -s or -son to his father's name. The first method was favoured in the south of England and in the western border counties where the practice was later copied by the Welsh , while the second was preferred in the northern half of England and lowland Scotland, and was a late development.
Occasionally, -son was added to a mother's names, as in Mallinson and Tillotson - both from Matilda. The son of William might therefore end up with the surname Williams or Williamson. The small pool of personal names meant that pet forms and shortened versions were commonly used, and that many of these nicknames became surnames. Some were rhyming forms, such as Dobson , Hobson and Robson based on the pet form of Robert. Others were pet forms with -kin, -cock or -ot added. News Politics Entertainment Communities.
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