Names, words by which particular objects are indicated. Names of persons were originally usually of a single word, as in the Hebrew genealogies, Terah, Levi, Aaron. The same is true of the earlier names in Egypt, Syria, Persia, Greece, and Italy, and in the Celtic and Germanic nations. All names were originally significant. Among the Hebrews the name given a child originated in some circumstance of its birth, or expressed some religious sentiment; as Jacob, the supplanter; Samuel, God hath hearkened. Sometimes a new name was taken upon some important change in life, as Abraham for Abram. The Greeks bore a single name given the tenth day after birth by the father, and expressing generally some admirable quality; as Pherecrates, strength-bringer; Sophron, wise. The Roman names were in their origin less dignified than those of the SGreeks. Some were derived from ordinary employments, as Porcius, swineherd; some from personal peculiarities, as Naso, long-jaosed. Many of the Celtic and Teutonic jnames were derived from "God," as Gottfried, Godwin; others from spirits or elves, as Elfric, elf king. - The Jews after accumulating a considerable stock of names began to repeat them, and in the New Testament we find few new names.
Among the later Greeks the eldest son generally bore the name of his paternal grandfather, and the confusion arising from the repetition of the same name was relieved by appending the father's name, either simply or turned into a patronymic, the occupation, the place of birth, or a nickname. This did not however amount to a regular system of surnames. The Romans had a very complete system of nomenclature. The commonwealth was divided into clans called gentes, each of which was subdivided into families. Thus in the gens Cornelia were included the families of the Scipiones, Lentuli, Cethegi, Dolabellae, Cinnas, Sullae, and others. Each citizen bore three names, viz.: the pramomen, which marked the individual; the nomen, which marked the gens; and the cognomen, which marked the family. Thus Publius Cornelius Scipio belonged to the Cornelian gens and the family of the Scipiones, while Publius was his individual, or what we now call Christian name. Sometimes a fourth name, or agnomen, was given, generally in honor of some military success; as Publius Cornelius Scipio Africa-nus, and Laelius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus, his brother.
The agnomen, being a distinction of honor, was carefully preserved by the children, and a decree of the senate granted to the elder Drusus the title Germanicus, and also to his posterity. The praenoruen, like all given names, was commonly indicated by an initial; but the Roman initial indicated one name invariably: C. always meant Caius; M., Marcus. Cneius was indicated by Cn. There were only about 30 recognized praenomens. In common intercourse the praenomen and cognomen were used without the nomen, as C. Caesar for C. Julius Caesar. - The ruder populations of northern Europe continued to use a single name. There were few surnames in England before the Norman invasion, although some appear in the Saxon records. Many influences united to introduce them. Names once significant lost their meaning and were repeated in memory of those who had borne them; and as many persons bore the same name, some further distinction became necessary. As Christianity prevailed it displaced the old heathen names by names from the Bible; new names were taken in baptism, and sometimes whole companies were baptized, to save trouble, with the same name. Many surnames appear in Domesday Book, but it was not at first common to transmit the surname from father to son.
In the middle of the 12th century it was thought essential that persons of rank should bear a surname. Robert of Gloucester says that in the reign of Henry I. a lady objected to marrying a natural son of that king because he had no surname, upon which the monarch gave him the surname of Fitz-Roy, jfrfe being a corruption of Jils, son; the Russian vitcli, as in Petrovitch, Ivanovitch, has the same value. After the reformation in England the introduction of parish registers contributed to give permanence to surnames. Yet in the beginning of the 18th century many families in Yorkshire had none, and it is said that even now few Staffordshire miners bear their fathers' names, but are known by some personal sobriquet. Sons took their fathers' names first in the modified form of patronymics; thus, Priamides, son of Priam. Heraclides meant not only a son of Hercules, but a descendant. During the middle ages the Jews formed surnames with the Hebrew ben or Arabic ibn, meaning son, as Solomon ben Ga-birol, and Abraham ibn Ezra. Among the Saxons we find in A. D. 804 Egbert Edgaring, ing denoting descent; and to this origin are attributed such names as Browning, Dering, Whiting. In Wales the surnominal adjunct ap was used in the same sense, as David ap Howell; and even in the 17th century combinations were carried up through several generations, so that a man carried his pedigree in his name, as Evan ap Griffith ap David ap Jenkin ap Hugh ap Morgan ap Owen. Sometimes, instead of any patronymic syllable, the father's name was taken in the possessive case, as Griffith William's, or as now written Williams; to which origin may be traced many names ending in s.
The prefix mac was used in a similar manner by the Gaelic inhabitants of Scotland and Ireland. The Irish also used for the same purpose oy or o, signifying grandson, as O'Hara, O'Sullivan. The use of fitz, son, has already been mentioned; while the word "son" added to the father's name gave rise to a great number of names, as Adamson, Johnson. Subsequently convenience dropped the patronymic syllable, or prevented its repetition, and the father's name was taken without alteration as a surname. Thus many originally Christian names have become surnames. The general European system by which the son inherits the father's name still has its exceptions. The present royal family of England has never adopted an unchangeable surname. The same thing is true of many other distinguished houses, as those of Saxe, Nassau, Bourbon, and Orleans. In Spain the wife does not change her surname on marriage, and the son calls himself by the names of both parents, connecting them with the conjunction y, and, as Pi y Margall, or chooses either of them alone. Surnames, having been first an individual distinction, were retained by the children for the sake of retaining the honor which they marked. That which was originally a mark of rank was soon imitated and became general.
The use of hereditary surnames was established in England by the middle of the 14th century, the system being consolidated by a statute of Henry V. requiring that the name and description of the party should be exactly set forth in any writ or indenture. It was formerly usual in England to obtain a special act of parliament to authorize a change of name, and subsequently to obtain a royal license; but legal authorities have decided that there is nothing in the law to prevent any one from changing his name as he may choose. - The origin and signification of surnames can be traced in very many cases, although some meanings have become obscure, being derived from words now obsolete. Many are local. To this class belong most English names beginning with the French de which retain the name of the old home in Normandy; such names as Burgoyne, from Burgundy; Attemoor, from at and moor; Byfield; Underbill; Barrow, a hill; Applegate, from garth, an orchard. With these should be classed names from the signs of houses, as Thomas at the Dolphin, Will at the Bull, George at the Whitehorse, etc., afterward becoming hereditary, and dropping for convenience the connecting words. Such names as Lyon, Hawke, Raven, and Heron are either local like the above, or have been taken from devices on shields.
Many names originated in office or occupation. In Domesday Book occur Guilielmus Oamerarius (William the Chamberlain) and Radulphus Venator (Rodolph the Hunter). The most notable name of occupation is Smith, from the Anglo-Saxon smitan, to smite, and originally of much wider meaning than now, including wheelwrights, carpenters, masons, and smiters in general. The "Saxon Chronicle" speaks of "mighty war smiths who overcame the Welsh." Many names of this class have the Anglo-Saxon feminine termination, as Baxter or Bagster, the feminine of baker; Webster, of Webber or weaver. It is said that the trade of weaving has been carried on by a Sussex family named Webb since the 13th or 14th century. Spencer is from dispensator or steward; Grosvenor from gros veneur, grand huntsman. The termination ward indicates a keeper, as Durward, doorkeeper; Hayward or Hereward, keeper of the town cattle; Woodward, forest keeper. Various personal characteristics often gave origin to names; as Paulus, little; Calvus, bald; White, Black, Brown, Gray; Read, Reed, or Reid, old spellings of red; Lightfoot; Duff, Welsh for black; Vaughan, little; Gough, red. The names of the ancient Saxon population of England were nearly all descriptive of some quality of mind or body.
Thus Edward is truth-keeper; Edmund, truth-mouth; Alfred, all-peace. Some names have become great favorites, and some much used at particular periods have afterward become very unusual; as Patience, Prudence, Faithful, Thankful. There are only about 53 Christian names of men that can be used without appearance of singularity, of which 32 are taken from the Bible. The number of surnames now extant in England is about 40,000. In Scotland there are fewer in proportion to the population, certain names being remarkably frequent in particular localities, from the clansmen having taken the name of their chief. - See Salvcrte, Essai Ids-torique et philosophique sur les noms (Paris, 1824; English translation, London, 1862); Lower, "English Surnames" (London, 1842); Pott, Die Personennamen (Leipsic, 1853); and Ferguson, "English Surnames" (London, 1858), Patronymica Britannica (1860), and "The Teutonic Name System " (1864).
Names (anc. Condi'cicnum), a city of France, capital of the department of Loire-Inferieure, on the right bank of the Loire, at its junction with the Erdre, 210 m. TV. S. TV. of Paris; pop. in 1872, 118,517. The old town TV. of the Erdre was walled until the end of the 17th century. In the new quarter the houses are handsomely built of white stone; although the streets are narrow. There are however some fine boulevards, and the quays extending for nearly 2 m. along the Loire and Erdre formerly composed a famous promenade, lined with trees, which have been sacrificed to the railway. The cathedral of St. Pierre, built in the 15th century, is unsightly externally, the towers scarcely rising above the roof, but has a finely sculptured triple portal, and contains the mausoleum of the last duke of Brittany and his duchess. The castle is an irregular Gothic pile flanked with round towers. Its chapel was used as a powder magazine, and was blown up in 1800, destroying much of the building. In this castle Henry IV. signed the edict of Nantes, April 13, 1598, which secured liberty of religion to the French Protestants, until its revocation by Louis XIV., Oct. 22, 1685. In 1654 it was the prison of the cardinal de Retz. Most of the kings of France from Charles VIII. have resided in it at some time.
The museum contains more than 1,000 paintings and 300 sculptures. The building docks are of great extent, and one fourth of the trading vessels of France are built at Nantes. The most important industry is sugar refining, and there are considerable cotton and woollen manufactories. The town communicates by canal with Brest. It has a large foreign and internal trade, and much wheat and Hour is exported to England. - Nantes was the stronghold of the ancient Nannetes. In the middle ages it was the capital of the duchy of Brittany. It was three times taken by the Normans and nearly ruined. During the English wars in France it fell repeatedly into the hands of the opposite parties. During the revolution, it was unsuccessfully besieged by the Vendean army in 1793, and subsequently was the scene of the noyades and " republican marriages." (See Carrier).
Nantes Castle and Cathedral.