A name is used to identify something to an outsider. They have the ability to identify both a single object and a collection or category of things, either on their own or in connection to other objects. The thing a name refers to is known as its referent. A person's personal name helps to identify them, though not always in a special way. Although the phrase also has a philosophical connotation, the name of a particular entity is commonly referred to as having a proper name when it contains just one word. Other nouns are occasionally referred to by their "common names" or "generic names." A person, place, or object can be given a name. For instance, parents can name their kids, while scientists can name elements.
An established set of rules for naming objects is known as a naming convention. It may be defined and agreed upon, or it may just be universally accepted.
Parents could follow a naming tradition while naming their children. The order of some people's birth names is their choice. A generation name-a two-syllable given name that is the same for close siblings-is typical in various East Asian societies. It is typical in many cultures for the boy to be given his father's or grandfather's name. The eldest son receives the family name in place of his given name in several African societies, such as in Cameroon. In certain cultures, the location of birth or residency is mentioned in the name. Roman naming customs serve as a social class indicator.
Important naming conventions consist of the following:
Scientific fields often use systematic names for a number of objects, including products. An example of a car with a binomial name, maker, model, and year of manufacture is a 2007 Chevrolet Corvette. The "decoration level" or "trim line" of the car may also have a name; for example, Cadillac Escalade EXT Platinum is named after the valuable metal. To denote the next generation, computer names frequently include rising digits. The naming practice for courses at schools is often the subject area's abbreviation followed by a number in ascending order of difficulty.
Some numbers, such as those on bank accounts, government-issued IDs, credit cards, and other items, are not completely random; they follow a framework and convention. Almost all organizations that assign names or numbers create these IDs according to some norm. There is a convention used internally for everything from phone numbers to space shuttle flight numbers.
Each individual's unique handwritten name is their signature. A personal name is a name that is used to identify someone personally. In many cultures, it is common for someone to have a personal name (sometimes known as a given name or first name) and a surname. Two surnames, one from each parent, are inherited by some people. The given name normally comes before the surname in most of Europe and the Americas; however, the reverse is true in Hungary and some regions of Asia. In some cultures, it is usual for women who are married to take on their husband's last name.
Patronyms, in which a person bases a portion of their given name on their father's, is a common practice in many countries. In certain countries, it is less common practice to base a portion of a person's name upon their mother's given name. In many East Asian traditions, given names are often accompanied by a generation name, which is a syllable that siblings and cousins from the same generation share.
Many people also use middle names as a third identifier. Middle names can be selected for a variety of personal reasons, such as denoting relationships, maintaining maiden names before marriage (a common practice in the U.S.), and continuing family names. The use of middle names has its roots in the elite classes of ancient Rome, where it was typical for people to possess a praenomen (a personal name), nomen (a family name, though not exactly used in the same way as middle names today), and cognomen (a name designating a particular characteristic or a particular branch of a person's family). The use of middle names eventually declined, but in the nineteenth century, it was once again common throughout Europe.
A person's first, middle, and last names are not the only names they might have; they can also have titles, aliases, or nicknames. Nicknames are informal names that people are addressed by their friends or family members ("Chris" may be used as a pet name of the personal name "Christopher"). A person may decide to use an alias or fictitious name in place of their real name in order to protect or conceal their identity. Also, certain individuals may have titles that indicate their rank within a corporation or profession.