OPOUDJIS.

Nick Nicholas, an Australian who describes himself as a business analyst and linguist, commented on a recent post, and I made the mistake of clicking on the URL his name linked to, which turned out to be opɯdʒɯlɯklɑr (“opoudjis his blog / τὸ τοῦ ὁπουτζοῦ ἱστολόγιον”), and I’ve spent the entire morning investigating his writings rather than working. The latest post, on the computer used to compile the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, was interesting, but when I scrolled down to “Nick Nicholas”, I was really hooked. He starts out talking about surnames (“Crete switched to a new patronymic suffix en masse, -akis, in the mid-19th century…. But there’s not many -akis‘s before 1800. The Who’s Who of Cretan Renaissance Literature … reads: Sachlikis, Della Porta, Choumnos, Falier, Picatorio, Bregadin, Sklavos, Achelis, Cornaro, Chortatzis, Troglio, Foscolo, Bugnali“), then focuses in on Cyprus, where his family is from:

The dominant pattern in Cyprus is for surnames to be archaic genitives of proper names—making them straight patronymics. And people would switch their patronymics to surnames… my grandfather went by ο Νικολής του Πούτρου in the village. “Boutros’s Nick”… But Boutros’s Nick was not written down as Boutros’s Nick. He was written down as Nicholas of Mark-the-Pilgrim, Νικόλαος Χατζημάρκου (or Χ″μάρκου, because Χατζη- was a damnably frequent surname prefix, and people would save themselves the penstrokes when they could). And when he was Englished, he was Englished as Nicolaos Hadjimarcou.
As an Englishing, “Hadjimarcou” tells you stuff, which is why I took the <dj> across in opoudjis. It tells you that he was a Cypriot, so he pronounced the prefix as /xadʒi/, the way it came across from Arabic hajji via Turkish haci, and not as the alveolar Hatzi- of the mainland.

From there he moves on to the next generation’s switch to “Nicholas” on arrival in Australia (a translation of the patronymic Nikolaou), and the way Greeks in Greece have dealt with it. And the post before that was on the “reminiscences from 1964 of an Egyptian colleague of Cavafy at his desk job in the Irrigation Dept, Alexandria, who was his underling and succeeded him when Cavafy retired”: apparently the great poet would “sneak in late, pretend to be massively busy by strategic placement of papers, occasionally shut the door and gesticulate writing poetry” and “only knew enough Arabic to tell his servant to buy him chickens for dinner”: “The commenters to the blog post are floored, not that Cavafy barely spoke Arabic mid-colonialism, but that neither did the Greeks of Alexandria in 1964. (It was only the second time the interviewer had ever set foot in an Egyptian’s house.)” And his post Death of the Library as I knew it linked to Pape-Benseler, Wörterbuch der griechischen Eigennamen, 3rd ed. 1911 (warning: 96 MB download from the linked page, but if you’re into Greek proper names, how can you resist?).
And then I discovered his language blog! The most recent posts constitute a fascinating discussion of the validity of using monotonic type for Early Modern Greek texts (he acknowledges that the arguments against it are more emotional/traditional than rational, but he still doesn’t like it; from one of the posts, I learned about Ioannis Kakridis, who in 1941 “was denounced by the faculty of the University of Athens for republishing a lecture in the monotonic system, which led to the so-called ‘Trial of Accents’ and his suspension and later dismissal from the university”); before that there’s a post Placenames of Kievan Rus’ that caught my attention for obvious reasons. It starts off with this bravura paragraph:

A culture confident in itself (or arrogant, same thing) will assimilate foreign place names and personal names, bending them to its language. Thus did Kshayarsha become Xerxes, and Shoshenq, Sesonchosis. Thus did Svyatoslav become Sphentísthlavos, and Dagobert Takoúpertos, and Saint-Gilles Isangéles. Thus did Hujr become Ógaros, and Ma’di Karib Badichárimos, and Kormisosh Kormésios. Thus, in late reassertion of confidence, did the clerks call Newton Néfton, and Darwin Dharvínos and Descartes (via Latin) Kartésios (and France Ghallía instead of Frántza, and England Anglía instead of Ingiltéra); while Makriyannis, no less confident on behalf of the people, call Armansberg Armaspéris, de Rigny Dernýs, and Washington Vásikhton.

A discussion of Byzantine versions of foreign names leads to “my fun and games decoding Russian placenames last night”:

I was hoovering up by inspection the proper names of the registry of documents of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, an edition of various legal texts held by the patriarchate. Lots of these documents involve property and jurisdiction issues close to home; but a few documents involve setting up shop for the Orthodox Church in Russia in the 14th century….
What complicates things even further is that many of the old bishoprics are in the borderlands of modern Poland and the former Soviet Union, regions with a complicated history. The history of the towns once covered by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania has been written in Lithuanian, and Polish, and German, and Russian, and Ukrainian, and Byelorussian, and Yiddish. … And those cities have changed names many a time—including 1945, and 1990. As if it wasn’t bad enough that the words are Grecified Russian to start with, their current names are Byelorussian or Polish that look different again.
I think I’ve worked out the lot, but some of them took some chasing, a lot of blank staring at the Wikipedia map of Kievan Rus’, and some inventive Googling…

The most mysterious one was Novogradopoulion, and no, it’s not any of the various Novgorods; read his post for the exciting answer. And in the comment thread, Νίκος Σαραντάκος provides this great anecdote:

Another bit of toponymic mess in the same book. Somewhere, Rhoides mentions the extra-thin (αραχνοΰφαντα) garments of Ceos. When Kalokyris translated the book in modern Greek, he rendered this as Cos, which is not the same island, obviously. But there’s a twist: Rhoides had copied Gibbon, and it seems that Gibbon (according to the footnotes in my edition) had misread Cos for Ceos, so two wrongs made one right after all!

In short, this sucker’s going on the sidebar.

Comments

  1. Oh, no. I wish I hadn’t read this. There goes my productivity for the day.

  2. John Emerson says:

    Mr. Nicholas’s American name would be “Nick the Greek”, of course, of whom I knew two while in college, distinguished as Fascist Nick the Greek and Communist Nick the Greek. .
    I always have wondered how “Hygelac” became “Chlochilaicus”. Even if “ch” stands for both “h” and “g”, where does the first “l” come from?
    Apparently Scandinavians in the nineteenth century had a lot of freedom in changing their names. They could use the one-generation patronymic, or they could convert it to a surname (as most immigrants to America seem to have done), or they could choose another name entirely (which often seemed to be the name of a farmstead, or maybe a village, but also could be Latinate in the case of the educated).
    The aviator Charles Lindbergh’s paternal grandfather, August Lindbergh, was named Ole Manson in Sweden; his Swedish sons changed their names to Lindbergh before he did. Link.
    My knowledge of Scandinavian practice is sketchy, so correction and elaboration are welcome. (There was a scandal in Manson-Lindbergh’s story but I don’t think that the name change was because of that; the evidence seems to be that he had been framed by political enemies and that he had nothing to be ashamed of.)

  3. John Emerson says:

    Mr. Nicholas’s American name would be “Nick the Greek”, of course, of whom I knew two while in college, distinguished as Fascist Nick the Greek and Communist Nick the Greek. .
    I always have wondered how “Hygelac” became “Chlochilaicus”. Even if “ch” stands for both “h” and “g”, where does the first “l” come from?
    Apparently Scandinavians in the nineteenth century had a lot of freedom in changing their names. They could use the one-generation patronymic, or they could convert it to a surname (as most immigrants to America seem to have done), or they could choose another name entirely (which often seemed to be the name of a farmstead, or maybe a village, but also could be Latinate in the case of the educated).
    The aviator Charles Lindbergh’s paternal grandfather, August Lindbergh, was named Ole Manson in Sweden; his Swedish sons changed their names to Lindbergh before he did. Link.
    My knowledge of Scandinavian practice is sketchy, so correction and elaboration are welcome. (There was a scandal in Manson-Lindbergh’s story but I don’t think that the name change was because of that; the evidence seems to be that he had been framed by political enemies and that he had nothing to be ashamed of.)

  4. Nicholas Waller says:

    I have a Greek friend born in Alexandria about 1964 and he doesn’t speak Arabic even though his mother is Syrian. Their first in-family language was French, followed by Greek.

  5. There was also (and still is) quite a considerable Alexandrian Italian community. The poets Marinetti and Ungaretti were Alexandrians. According to Wiki the younger members of the community are Catholic but bilingual in Arabic and Italian.
    Given Alexandria’s and place in the world history, it would be unusual for there not to be permanent communities of Greeks, Italians, Jews, Armenians, etc., so if the Greek community has dwindled, that’s a bad sign.

  6. There was also (and still is) quite a considerable Alexandrian Italian community. The poets Marinetti and Ungaretti were Alexandrians. According to Wiki the younger members of the community are Catholic but bilingual in Arabic and Italian.
    Given Alexandria’s and place in the world history, it would be unusual for there not to be permanent communities of Greeks, Italians, Jews, Armenians, etc., so if the Greek community has dwindled, that’s a bad sign.

  7. John, where have you been the last half century? Those foreign communities were forced out under Nasser.

  8. See here and here for more.

  9. Latinate Scandinavian names generally belong to descendants of priests.

  10. Generally dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Sometimes scholars or clerks.
    And by Scandinavian I mean Swedish, I’ve no idea if it’s true elsewhere.

  11. Didn’t know this, from the Linneaus wiki entry:
    “Only for registration purposes, for example when registering at a university, did one need a registered family name. In the academic world, Latin was the language of choice in those times.
    When Linnaeus’ father went to the University of Lund, he coined himself a Latin surname: Linnaeus. He called himself Linnaeus after the family property Linnagård, Linnagård (Linden farm) referring to the large linden (lime) tree[4] the family’s warden tree on the property (linn being archaic Swedish for linden).”

  12. michael farris says:

    This is all fine and good, but the question still remains: Can he place my Welsh accent?

  13. That’s what your dentist is for.

  14. michael farris says:

    If hat is done with his frivolous welsh dentist jokes, then I’ll try to be more serious and mention what I’ve never understood about polytonic Greek.
    Okay, I fully understand the usefulness of marking one kind of ‘breathing’ showing where most other European languages would have an orthographic (if unspoken) ‘h’ as in Ellas – Hellas, yper – hyper.
    What I have _never_ understood is why there’s any need to mark every single word that begins with a vowel. Mark the initial ‘h’ and leave the rest alone. It’s far more economic and elegant.
    I’ll note in passing I have similar issues with traditional marking of vowels in Arabic (either not enough or too, too much) but that is, as they say, another topic.
    I’ll just add in closing that my experience with Tunisian Arabic in field methods this academic year (mostly fun and interesting for all the (many, many) difficulties) has made me really appreciate the traditional Arabic ‘hell with it, no vowels!’ approach to writing.

  15. According to Wiki, the Italians are still there.

  16. According to Wiki, the Italians are still there.

  17. marie-lucie says:

    If the Greek alphabet derives from the Phoenician as tradition says, then there were no vowel-initial words in the original, but there were letters for several glottal or pharyngeal sounds. Greek must have adopted not only a symbol for [h] but a symbol for the “softest” of the Phoenician glotto-pharyngeal sounds. The glottal stop existed in Old English as well as in current German, contrasting with [h]: the OE alliterative verse using consonant repetition also includes “all vowels” as repeaters, something which makes no sense unless these vowels are understood as preceded by an unwritten but audible glottal stop. Could this have been the case also in “Proto-Greek”?

  18. Um, *blush*. You know, I actually had hit a wall last night about what the point of my Greek linguistics blog was. I guess now I have an answer! (You’ll also notice not a lot of Klingon or Lojban or Esperanto on the blogs. I’m not abjuring that part of my life, but I’m not really there anymore…)
    Wherefore I say in embarrassment, mine host, if you do now find my comment in Sarantakos’ blog, complaining about your “tl;dr” about my Greek Unicode pages—know that I wasn’t complaining about you, but about the awkwardness of putting lots of information on a website in a readable form. It is an awkward layout though, I confess…
    Somehow /xloxilakos/ sounds more sensible for Hygelac than /xoxilakos/ too. An obvious explanation is interference from chloro-, chloe, etc, and wanting to avoid two voiceless fricatives in a row. (Grassman’s Law no longer applied by then, but it did mean roots in Greek with two voiceless fricatives in a row were still few enough for /xoxilakos/ to look odd.) Counterexample: one of the villages near my ancestral village in Crete (I’m from there too) is Khokhlakiés.
    Why both smooth and rough breathing? It’s not a proto-Greek story, and it is indeed pedantic. The original sign was the rough one; the smooth counterpart got added later—likely by the time /h/ was already dead. Little bit on that here.

  19. Noetica says:

    Great work, Nick! I was especially pleased to see the Early Modern Greek material. Though that’s not something I know a lot about, I can see the value. I’ll look through it all when I have free time. (Somehow I managed to put in a good day’s editing despite the barrage of linguistic distractions, unlike some of the λωτοφάγοι round here.)
    We must catch up in Melbourne sometime, yes?

  20. I’m not a λωτοφάγοs. Can’t get hold of them.

  21. Noetica says:

    Tell me about it, Qrủŋ. We’re fixing to tweak immigration policy to boost the intake, down south. Enough lounging around here at the LH Saloon, though.

  22. Carol Sandstrom says:

    John, the story I heard in my family about surnames was that the Swedish conscription system, confronted with many soldiers having only patronymics, assigned surnames. Upon leaving the service (or deserting!) you might change to a new surname, or return to your patronymic. Wikipedia’s article on the Swedish allotment system adds some details I hadn’t heard:
    From the 1680s (army) and early 18th century (navy), all soldiers in a given company were required to have a unique name, to make it easier to give specific orders. This could be problematic when several soldiers had the same name (being usually from rural background, they generally had just a patronymic, and such were often very common, e.g. Andersson, Eriksson, Olsson or Persson), giving rise to the Swedish soldier names. When a soldier appeared before the military scribe, he was given a soldier’s name (often, a rote’s new soldier received his predecessor’s name), which he kept during his service. Those surnames also tended to become hereditary, as the soldier often retained it when he was pensioned or left the service, and his children were also registered under it in census lists and church books—this is the origin of many present-day Swedish surnames. The name was usually short, consisting of only one syllable—to make it easy and rapid to say. The names could be taken from a trait, such as the surname Stolt (“Proud”) or from military terms, such as Svärd (“Sword”), but were often related to the rote.
    In fact “Stolt” was the very name assigned to my great-great-grandfather, but he renamed himself.

  23. My father was Australian and my daughter wants us to move to Australia (having watched an Australian soap opera about horses). I’m only postponing the move until we find a proper Welsh-speaking dentist in NSW.

  24. So in Communist Sweden, names have been assigned by the government for generations? Wait till I tell my Republican friends.

  25. So in Communist Sweden, names have been assigned by the government for generations? Wait till I tell my Republican friends.

  26. Face it, you don’t have any Republican friends.

  27. I suppose wives and husbands are assigned by the government too.

  28. I suppose wives and husbands are assigned by the government too.

  29. I wish not, Corona. Family, even.

  30. I wish not, Corona. Family, even.

  31. Husbands and wives is California, not Sweden.

  32. So in Sweden they draft you, give you a new name, and marry you to another draftee who also has been given a new name? “Strong and Brave, you two guys are married for the duration.” It just gets worse and worse.

  33. So in Sweden they draft you, give you a new name, and marry you to another draftee who also has been given a new name? “Strong and Brave, you two guys are married for the duration.” It just gets worse and worse.

  34. Noetica says:

    … a proper Welsh-speaking dentist in NSW
    You’ll have to bring your own. Scarce as lotus-eaters.
    Nick N and Noetica have exchanged emails. But it occurs to me to raise publicly once more a certain question that might interest him, given the themes of his site.
    There is Unicode for all the Greek you could want – or not want, if you’re a monotonicist. Even ᾧ is available as a single entity. But I raised this here, in 2007:

    Editing in Wikipedia I wanted to supply a polytonic transcription for Greek χρῶμα. I could do χρωματικός without any problem: khrōmatikós. But I could not find a way to combine diacriticals for χρῶμα, and had to resort to a monotonic form: khrṓma. Is there a polytonic Unicode transription for ῶ, or is this one of the lacunae?

    It turned out then that there was no single entity to do the job, and combining entities doesn’t always work. Yet some writers on language (like Nicholas Ostler in Empires of the Word) do represent ῶ in transcription. There is ỗ; but there should also be o + ˉ + ˜, to fit with standard transcription régimes like Ostler’s (see his p. 227). The problem also occurs with ῆ.
    Not being a Unicode specialist, I was wondering if there had been any recent developments on this front. Anyone?

  35. interesting, the Swedish family names, our family names, which were our old tribal names, were all abolished during the soc times
    now people readopt their family names, though many people don’t know for sure their family names if their grandparents couldn’t save the family scripts
    but anyway, i read news articles in English, NYT, AP and the articles always say that we go by one name, it’s so demeaning
    even if a reporter is a Mongolian, still the article has that sentence i don’t understand why it’s required to write that, some kind of strange discriminating media policy
    my family name for example is Ukhaasai, it means wise mind, i’m pretty proud of it, but it’s English pronunciation would sound as if someone wishes me to die, so i changed its English transliteration to Huasai, which is some kind of palm tree, use it just like my pen-name
    in the official papers it gets written of course as it sounds

  36. i don’t understand why it’s required to write that, some kind of strange discriminating media policy
    It’s not discrimination, it’s just explaining why people are only referred to by one name when the reader is used to seeing them introduced with two (“John Doe” followed by “Mr. Doe”). It’s not just used for Mongolians but for any nationality where many people only go by a single name; Indonesians and Afghans, for example.

  37. still i find the practice of that as you say ‘explaining’ demeaning and discriminating, just ask the person who is getting interviewed and the person will tell his/her full name, both the last and the first names, for sure

  38. Some of them don’t have first and last names. They only use one name. That’s the whole point.

  39. I was wondering if there had been any recent developments on this front.
    I don’t think so. Also See Mark Liberman’s complaints here and here, the latter inspired by Nick Nicholas’s Greek Unicode page on the old TLG site.

  40. and Huasai is pronounced close to how it sounds in my language, that’s why
    forgot to mention

  41. can’t say about other nationals, but we have first and last names, that’s my point

  42. @ MMcM : what he said, and because I ideologically agree with Unicode on this (having the IT perspective on it), I was taken aback that Liberman and others citing me in support of the opposite ideology. But no, Unicode will not yield on this.
    Though the move to include emoji in Unicode is not a million miles from what Liberman complained about, and led to a month of flaming on the Unicode mailing list. I agreed with that flaming, but it looks like a done deal…

  43. marie-lucie says:

    read: Naming is different in different cultures and parts of the world. Distinguishing “first” and “last” names is not universal, and which one comes first (family, or “given” name) is also different. A full Russian name is not just first and last but also the patronymic in the middle. A full Icelandic name is only a given name and a patronymic, and that was the custom in other Scandinavian countries too (see above about Swedish names). Arabic names cannot be divided into “first” and “last” either, and many people are known by more than one name (their “first” name [often plus names of male ancestors] and/or a word about their town of origin or some other word, which is not legally fixed like a Western “last name”). In ancient times there were other conventions too: most famous people of antiquity are known by just one name: Aesop, Aristotle, Socrates, and many others. So there is no shame about being known by just one name: many modern celebrities do that too (Cher, Beyoncé, Madonna, Prince, Sting, Eminem, etc).
    Articles which say that So-and-So only goes by only one name are not “demeaning”, it is just that in the West people are so used to seeing two names (or more) that they would wonder why a person’s “full name” is not given (for example, it could be because many people being interviewed about a “sensitive” topic don’t want their last name published as it would identify them to other readers and to the police).

  44. and i say we have two names and even three names if to include the old family names, is it that difficult to understand, name your domestic animals single names, your horse or dog
    and ‘explain’ their names, but not people of other nationalities
    self correcting typos i like though, thanks

  45. and i say we have two names and even three names if to include the old family names, is it that difficult to understand
    So you’re claiming that every single publication that says particular Mongolians only use one name is lying? (It’s not just the Times.) I’m sorry, but I think you’re overgeneralizing from your own experience, and far too touchy as well (“horse or dog”??).
    and ‘explain’ their names, but not people of other nationalities
    Did you miss the part where I said “It’s not just used for Mongolians but for any nationality where many people only go by a single name; Indonesians and Afghans, for example”? Try not to be so paranoid.

  46. far too touchy as well (“horse or dog”??).
    yes, it sounds like that mentioning only single names and i am not exaggerrating how it sounds to me and my compatriots
    just try to project the practice of that naming to yourself, how it would sound to you if you were called like that
    So you’re claiming that every single publication that says particular Mongolians only use one name is lying? (It’s not just the Times.)

    that’s why i wondered whether it is some accepted media policy, if they are not lying
    Did you miss the part where I said
    i said i don’t know about other nationalities, so you miss that too

  47. I have lived most of my adult life in foreign counties, though never with such a difference as the one between NY and Mongolia. I get demeaning and patronizing remarks too. People don’t know they are doing it and don’t intend to do it, but it is still very irritating.

  48. It is not demeaning or patronizing to point out that people only use one name. Between the choices of assuming 1) “Saintsogt, a national police spokesman who, like many Mongolians, goes by one name” is a lie by Ganbat Namjil Sangarav, the author of the piece, or 2) read is exaggerating, I vote for the second.
    how it sounds to me and my compatriots
    You speak only for yourself, not your compatriots.

  49. without pointing out that he goes by one name the person called Saintsogt surely has his family name, he was not materialized out of nothing
    it’s another thing that our customs don’t encourage to call our ancestral names in vain and we use often very short honorific names to acknowledge one’s respect
    and i’m not sure why Ganbat Namjil Sangarav would mention that his compatriot goes by one name when he himself has three names, perhaps his editor told him to write that? how strange
    i think i’m qualified enough to talk on behalf of my compatriots, whenever i tell my friends and coworkers about this kind of articles they agree with me
    so about single naming i object strongly to be called that and won’t change my mind i’m afraid however you people try to explain
    this is just so that people won’t lecture me again on this topic, thanks

  50. just to illustrate three names structure, Chingis Khaan’s name is Bordjigin Esugein Temuujin, Chingis Khaan is his title, Taichiud is his tribe
    similarly, all Mongolians had three names the family name part of which was forced to be abolished after the revolution, now people readopt their old family names
    if you read Swedish family names and how they were assigned or Russian family names picked up during iirc the XVII century
    Chaadaev,a famous writer and Pushkin’s friend’s family name is from Chagadain, it is not different from our old family names
    hope, this was helpful to understand why i object to that sentence always included in English language news articles and i read it only in English media, not Russian or Japanese, for some reason

  51. marie-lucie says:

    i’m not sure why Ganbat Namjil Sangarav would mention that his compatriot goes by one name when he himself has three names, perhaps his editor told him to write that?
    Perhaps you could write to Ganbat Namjil Sangarac himself and ask him? Apparently no one told GNS to use only one name, or two, for himself.

  52. marie-lucie says:

    p.s. sorry for the typo, of course I meant Sangarav.

  53. Perhaps you could write to Ganbat Namjil Sangarac himself and ask him? Apparently no one told GNS to use only one name, or two, for himself.
    if he only wrote that once, i would have written to him and asked perhaps
    but it appears in every English article on Mongolia i read, so it’s some kind of strange policy dictated now i understand by English language requirements which is o so clarifying everything for their readers at expense of the subjects of the article demeaning them, they the poor readers could be so lost without understanding why Mr. or Mrs. is not written before single names of the people being interviewed
    i’m puzzled too why

  54. Is Hada a nom de guerre?

  55. I used Google Translate to view this. Not very fun, that site.
    Click here for food dehydrator info.

  56. marie-lucie says:

    In most newspaper articles nowadays, it is quite rare to see Mr, Mrs. or Ms. written in front of people’s names, whether they are interviewed or only mentioned.
    I doubt that there is a “one name” policy just for Mongolia, as there are parts of the world where using just one name is normal (and that is explained in newspaper articles about them), or was before recent Western influence. And “Western” does not mean that “the West” has always used two official names: for instance, Queen Elizabeth or Pope Benedict are not known officially by any last names, and neither were the numerous monarchs or popes who preceded them. Quite often you see an article on the Pope referring to him as just “Benedict”, and nobody protests that he is being treated like a dog or horse.

  57. AP style is to use full name and title first and then just last name. NYT style is to add Mr. / etc. on those subsequent uses.

  58. marie-lucie says:

    The article written by Ganbat Namjil Sangarav does not only mention Saintsorg but also “President Enkhbayar Nambaryn” and “rival Democratic Party candidate Elbegdorj Tsahia.” Only one out these four Mongolians is said to “go by one name”.

  59. NYT style does indeed seem to obligate one to explain deviations from their norm:
    “Peri, who uses one name” (Afghan Nov 24, 2001)
    “Purwanto, who goes by one name … Saryona, who goes by one name.” (Indonesians Jan 5, 2006)
    “Kyky, Unik and Dimitri, go by one name” (Haitians Sep 21, 2003)

  60. marie-lucie says:

    MMcM, you are right that usage differs among newspapers, but the NYT seems quite conservative in this respect, and many others do not bother with Mr etc.

  61. and i’m not sure why Ganbat Namjil Sangarav would mention that his compatriot goes by one name when he himself has three names
    You are not thinking clearly. The fact that he himself has three names makes it all the more reasonable that he would explain that another Mongolian only uses one. There is nothing demeaning about that explanation, it is all in your head. If it were not explained, people would wonder “why is only one name mentioned?” This way, they understand.
    And once more, since you seem not to be listening: It is not only Mongols. See MMcM’s comment just above.

  62. Likewise artists who choose to do this must be explained:
    “Christo, who uses only one name” (Bulgarian-born Jun 20, 1975)
    “She [Madonna] only uses one name” (American Jun 7, 1985)
    “Miralda, … who uses one name” (Spanish Jan 31, 1990)
    “Yuriko dropped Amemiya, her family name” (American-born Japanese May 16, 2004)
    “Wyland, … who uses one name” (American Oct 15, 2006)

  63. those artists chose to name themselves so, it’s their will, great
    our people have and use their full names
    single names and nicknames are for family and friends usage, if a stranger would call one’s single name only, one would find it offensive and say i’m not your kin and if one trusted you and allowed to call his/her one name it’s not a reason to demean them in the print for that
    if it’s official paper and newspaper it’s only polite to write people’s full names imo
    you seem not to be listening
    i won’t, i said so, not to be impolite, and why i won’t i wrote all my reasons
    so, case’s closed, for me, thanks for engaging into this discussion, i won’t respond to this anymore

  64. I suppose wives and husbands are assigned by the government too.

    Yes.
    Denmark had patronymics for anyone but nobility until the mid-nineteenth century. (I used to know this by heart, but I’ven’t dabbled in genealogy for … at least five years, sorry.) I believe reform was originally introduced by Struensee but … obvious reasons that didn’t take.
    By the time names were fixed there was a lot variation. Some got stuck with their proper patronymic, but others got the patronymic of their father – sometimes even within the same set of children. A few got both (this is supposedly particularly common on the island of Langeland).
    Aside: a local news anchor – Sandi Hansen Jensen – has such a name, but it turns out that it’s modern in origin. She’s born Hansen and married a Jensen and they combined them to ‘mock’ some of the at some point terribly popular doublebarreled names (zu-Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburgh, von Pheil und Klein Elguth, Dorph-Juel-Wind-Fries are few more traditional examples – misspelled).
    And others again adopted a familyname. My own was given to use by the pastor and taken from out farm – if I’m ever to publish, I think I’ll go by “John Beesbog” (or I might use “Gry Skrædder” after this adorable Glaswegian girl I had – another – silly crush on). Actually, we got the family name as well as the patronymic Knudsen from my great-great-grandfather Knud Sørensen.
    Frozen patronymics are still the most common surnames, and changing them is encouraged. Taking a new name has become less restrictive. For instance you can freely take any name used by you great-grandparents. And any name borne by more than (I think) a thousand people can be used freely – it used to be that familynames could be protected. We’re currently less than a hundred Beesbogs, so it’s no big deal for me.
    Changing a given name is free (or used to be, but I think it was abused by numerologists – fekkin’ woomeisters). Changing a familyname cost something like DKK 500 but that may have been changed recently as well (it should be obvious by now that I do not engage in any of that fancy research-schmesearch that’s par for the course in the this salonc).
    Latinate names were generally taken by people going to uni, so not only clerics and the like, but also sons of the up-and-coming. href=”http://www.ugle.dk/hoejt_fra_traets_groenne_top.html”>Faber and Fabricius are not uncommon. I think I’ve mentioned Pontoppidan before.
    Holberg mocked these half-studied, pretentious sons of good, common-sense people a lot. The students in Erasmus Montanus ( Rasmus Berg) and the francophiles in Jean de France ( Jens Frandsen).
    During a rather boring session in the reactor in Grenoble I managed to google up a nice latinification of Beesbog, but I forget what it was. Palus Apidis, perhaps. Palusapidis?

  65. marie-lucie says:

    I suppose that taking Latin names dates from the time when university teaching and writing was in Latin, and Latin was the pan-Europeanl language of science and philosophy, so it was more convenient if one’s name had a Latin form to begin with. Most first names in Christian countries would already have had a Latin form, and if the only “last” name one had was “X’s son”, it would have been better to adopt another one.
    Is Iceland the only country to have not only “X’s son” but “X’s daughter”, or was that ever widespread elsewhere?

  66. No, the -daughter was used in Denmark as well. My g-g-g-father’s sister was Mette Marie Sørensdatter. Their father Søren Jensen, their mother Kirsten Larsdatter.

  67. Something like the Scandinavian system was in use in the Netherlands in the 17th c. In the male line of my Dutch grandfather’s ancestors Harm Lux’s son is Gerrit Harmson (IIRC). “Lux” is from the Scottish “Lucas”, an immigrant. Later the family became Hospers, around 1700-1750 I think, a name of unknown origin.

  68. Something like the Scandinavian system was in use in the Netherlands in the 17th c. In the male line of my Dutch grandfather’s ancestors Harm Lux’s son is Gerrit Harmson (IIRC). “Lux” is from the Scottish “Lucas”, an immigrant. Later the family became Hospers, around 1700-1750 I think, a name of unknown origin.

  69. marie-lucie says:

    Sili: Very interesting about “daughter”. Still patriarchal, but with a difference. It must correspond to Russian Petrovna, etc.

  70. A very few people were actually named after their mothers if their father was unknown – obviously a great shame.
    There’s a slight catch though – the name “Anesen/Anesøn” – from Sønderjylland – looks like it’s derived from “Ane” (variation on Anne), but if in fact from “Anes” and lokal variant of Anders (std. Danish variant of Andreas).

  71. marie-lucie says:

    In the old days in France, the child of an unmarried mother would have the mother’s first name as a last name – probably because the mother’s last name would have been her own father’s, and it was not to be passed on except through the male line as validated by legal marriage. These names are very common in the Antilles (French West Indies), where interracial relationships were common but not often legally recognized.

  72. Still talking of great danes and I guess everyone has heard about his false nose, but does anyone know how Tycho Brahe died? He was asked to a dinner with the (presumably Danish) King. It was bad manners to get up and go to the loo until the King did the same. So Tycho sat there bursting to go, until his bladder literally did burst. Apparently he contracted blood poisoning.
    My wife told me that, so it’s probably true. I don’t know where she heard it. It was verified by Kepler, too.

  73. marie-lucie says:

    There are more details and alternative explanations in the Wikipedia under Tycho Brahe. It says that an autopsy (?) will be performed in 2009. Perhaps he had a condition which was unrecognized at the time (like so many others), and the fatal dinner just made things worse.

  74. Nope, not the Danish king. He’d pretty much become persona non grata with Christian IV long before his death (too arrogant for his own good – no doubt that contributed to his loss of face).
    He died in Prague as I recall.

  75. Yes, I suppose it was Ferdinand II, in Prague. Typical bloody Hapsburg behavior.

  76. It’s true that Wiki offers alternative possibilities for his unexpected death. Given the choice of believing either an anonymous Wiki writer who could be anybody or Johannes Kepler & my wife, I’ll stick with the correct version.

  77. Kepler was from Linz. Guess who’s also from Linz*. I wonder if they’re related.
    *ɔ,ıʌouɐɾɹɐɯ pıʌɐp

  78. marie-lucie says:

    The general tradition of never anticipating the emperor’s physiological activities must have lasted a long time: I read that at the court of Franz Joseph (the last emperor) in Vienna, there used to be huge banquets presided by the emperor, and no one was supposed to eat unless the emperor himself was eating, so only the people seated within a short distance of him were able to eat normally. Those who found themselves at the low end of the enormously long table wouldn’t even have been served by the end of the emperor’s meal, so if they knew this would happen when invited to the palace they would first go out together and have a good meal, then come to the banquet and continue to socialize with the other “unfed”, without feeling hungry.

  79. As well as PDQ’s Symphony #36.

  80. As well as PDQ’s Symphony #36.

  81. Having thought about it on and off all day, I don’t see where the Symphony 36 comes in — if indeed there is one (I can’t find one).

  82. I too am confused, but so much about PDQ Bach is confusing I just let it go.

  83. marie-lucie says:

    But what does “as well as” refer to, JE? You are not usually *quite* so cryptic.

  84. Well, uhm, Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 is also from Linz.

  85. Thank God for M. JE would have left us to twist in the wind, stewing in our own juice.

  86. While holding a hot potato.

  87. Noetica says:

    Well, uhm, Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 is also from Linz.
    And a stirring, sterling effort it is, M. So much so that there is no genuine No. 37 to cap it (turns out to be mostly Michael Haydn’s work, that one), and we skip to No. 38, the Prague Symphony. These numbers mean little, in fact. They are conventional tags that persist because most of us cannot remember Köchel numbers.
    As for PDQ Bach, that is a conventional tag appled to Peter Schickele, who is of independent interest to me as having composed a quartet for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano. See discussion of works for that combination here at Languagehat (though there is more to add, and something to correct, if anyone is vaguely interested).

  88. I was obviously not aware of the symphony by this “Mozart” person. But now I am!

  89. I was obviously not aware of the symphony by this “Mozart” person. But now I am!

  90. These numbers mean little, in fact. They are conventional tags that persist because most of us cannot remember Köchel numbers.
    Yes, in fact it irritates me that radio announcers persist in identifying pieces by those meaningless numbers. Use the K numbers, which while arbitrary are universally acknowledged (like NGC numbers), or give the key, which is intrinsic to the work. But other designators are even worse: do we still have to hear about the “Elvira Madigan concerto” decades after everyone’s forgotten the movie?

  91. I don’t think K numbers are arbitrary, even when wrong he tried to make them chronological.

  92. I don’t think K numbers are arbitrary, even when wrong he tried to make them chronological.

  93. Right, I shouldn’t have said “arbitrary,” but a more appropriate adjective doesn’t spring to mind. They’re based on chronology, of course, but they feel arbitrary, because they’re large and hard to remember.

  94. The BBC Radio 3 gives Köchel(?) numbers regularly – as I recall. I think they’re less likely to give Bachwerkverzeignung numbers, though.

  95. they’re large and hard to remember
    At least the good ones are.

  96. The indifferent ones aren’t that hard to remember.

  97. Noetica says:

    They’re based on chronology, of course, but they feel arbitrary, because they’re large and hard to remember.
    That’s right enough, I think. But I’ll say more:
    If the numbers were truly arbitrary that would be a nominal scale: the numbers would have no significance qua numbers, but serve merely as unique labels. The actual K numbers assume an ordinal scale: the higher the number, the later the composition. If they also indicated duration between compositions, so that a range of numbers is not allocated because nothing was composed over a certain stretch of time, with unused numbers ticking over at the rate of one per day, say, that would be an interval scale. Finally, if the ratios of the numbers were meaningful, perhaps so that Mozart composed K. 2n when he was twice as old as when he composed K. n, that’s a ratio scale.
    See Wikipedia, Level of Measurement, which shows that some of this is contested. I myself would supplement it in at least this way: we could distinguish also enumerative scale: like nominal scale but with the explicit extra constraint that n items are (each uniquely) labelled using only the integers 1–n.

  98. David Marjanović says:

    Greek must have adopted not only a symbol for [h] but a symbol for the “softest” of the Phoenician glotto-pharyngeal sounds.

    Yes, but that is A…

    Kepler was from Linz. Guess who’s also from Linz*. I wonder if they’re related.

    Highly improbable. For example, I don’t seem to have many, if any, ancestors in Linz 100 years ago. Wels, yes, but that’s not the same.
    My maternal grandfather came from Graz and ultimately from a series of woodcutters who can somehow be traced to what is now the Czech Republic, and beyond that almost certainly to Poland (the surname is Rossoll), but no records survive.

  99. marie-lucie says:

    Greek must have adopted not only a symbol for [h] but a symbol for the “softest” of the Phoenician glotto-pharyngeal sounds. – Yes, but that is A…
    I am not sure where I read very recently that the “smooth breathing” (in French esprit doux) was apparently introduced fairly late into Greek writing – perhaps because there was a felt need to differentiate the [h] from its absence? but the [h] was only indicated by a diacritic, it did not have a letter of its own, so perhaps it was felt that an initial vowel without an [h] before it needed a diacritic also? There must have been a practical reason for introducing this redundant mark.

  100. As long as Greek had /h/ (and pitch accent), the diacritics weren’t necessary or useful: if you knew Greek, you simply knew when /h/ was pronounced and when not, and which accent appeared on which syllable. It is when Greek lost /h/ and pitch accent, but continued to make distinctions based on them, especially in poetry, that the marks became essential: Greek writers could no longer appeal to their implicit knowledge of the language to supply the needed information.
    In such circumstances, the diacritic system was readily extended from the places where it was really needed to universal application. Every stressed syllable wound up with a pitch accent mark, even in cases where the Classical pitch could be readily reconstructed (in particular, grave was never strictly necessary); every initial vowel was duly marked for aspiration or its absence.

  101. marie-lucie says:

    JC, thank you for your enlightening remarks.

  102. (the surname is Rossoll), but no records survive
    Have you tried looking in cookbooks?

  103. David Marjanović says:

    in particular, grave was never strictly necessary

    Any news on how it was pronounced, BTW? Wikipedia basically says there’s not even a guess available.

    Have you tried looking in cookbooks?

    Nah. I’ll just pretend to know I’m related to Copernicus. :o)

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