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early comment[edit]

The last paragraph sounds somewhat Americo-centric.

"Immigration" to where?? Surely not all immigration does this...

I would change it myself, but am unsure of the facts relating to historical patterns of immigration to the USA

  • I agree and have changed it -- 12:53, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

ibn, bin in Arabic[edit]

Aren't bin and ibn used as patronyms in Arabic? SDC 23:55, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

Thank you for your appreciation :) (my talk page)

Yes, its the same word, just diffrent prenuciasions :)

Best regards!

--Striver 18:03, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

  • Abu = Abi.
  • Umm = Ummi = Mother of
  • Abul = Abu al
  • Father of Amr = Abu Amr = Abu al-Amr = Abul Amr
  • Many times "al-" is put in the name.
  • Umar son of Khattab = Umar ibn Khattab = Umar ibn al-Khattab

  • Bint = Binte = daughter of

  • If a man is named "ibn mother", it implies the father is unknown, a great insult.

--Striver 18:33, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Do you have any documentation to support this? Mwahcysl (talk) 19:12, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

ben, +bar in Jewish names; -bat?[edit]

No mention of Bar- as a patronymic prefix? See: Hebrew_names#Names_of_Aramaic_origin. Also, though it's a nice idea for gender balance, I'm sceptical about the historical accuracy of Bat- as a patronymic... in any case, by definition, wouldn't that have to a matronymic? --HailFire 20:04, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Re: "Bar" -- You have a point, but it is not currently used among Jews. I do suppose that it is currently used among those who speak Aramaic today, because "bar" is mentioned under Aramaic in the "Middle East" section of this article. --Keeves 20:22, 26 July 2006 (UTC)
Re: "Bat" -- Not a matronymic: "Bat" means "daughter of", and is followed by her father's name, not her mother's name. And the historical accuracy is 100%; that's how ketubot have always been written. --Keeves 20:22, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Confusion about Scandinavian surnames[edit]

Many ..... Scandinavian surnames originate from patronymics, e.g. .... Carlsson (son of Carl, e.g. Erik Carlsson)..... Other Norse cultures formerly used patronyms, but have since switched to the more Judeo-Christian style of passing the father's last name to the children (and wife) as their own.

This wording seems to point to two different phenomena. But actually it is the exactly same phenomenon, described in two different ways. --Troels Nybo 15:05, 2 December 2005 (UTC)

No it's not, it means if the father's last name were Fisk, his children (and possibly wife) would then inherit the last name Fisk. The first part means if his name were Carl Jenssen, then his children would be named Boy Carlssen, but as it states this is not really done anymore (not often outside of Iceland I guess) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:59, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Welsh surnames[edit]

I think there's some complexity to this issue that isn't hinted at in the article. I found this [1]. To quote....

In the traditional Welsh system, a son would link his father’s name to his own using the word ‘ap’ or ‘ab’ (which comes from the Welsh word ‘mab’, meaning son). ‘Ap’ was used in front of consonants (eg. Madog ap Tudur) an ‘ab’ in front of vowels (eg. Rhodri ab Owain). To show your lineage therefore you would link together a long list of names. One of the most remarkable examples comes from a Welsh debtor in the 18th Century, who signed his bankruptcy papers “Sion ap William ap Sion ap William ap Sion ap Dafydd ap Ithel Fychan ap Cynrig ap Robert ap Iorwerth ap Rhyrid ap Iorwerth ap Madoc ap Ednawain Bendew, called after the English fashion John Jones”. This genealogist included 13 generations in one name!
After the Act of Union, the Welsh gradually adopted a single surname, partly due to pressure from the authorities to conform, and also because fashions and habits changed. The tendency developed to take the father or grandfather’s name as a settled surname, so Dafydd ap Ifan ap Gwilym would become known as David Evan or David William. In time, because of the English fashion of putting an ‘s’ on the end (denoting ownership) the surname would become Evans or Williams.

I think this is relevant but I'm not sure - does anyone else think this is useful? -- 14:04, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Yes, very important. There is also a problem with the idea that Howell is Irish. The Welsh is Hywel. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:41, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Contradiction about Danish - son, sen or søn? dotter or datter?[edit]

This article says:

In Scandinavian languages, the patronymic was formed by using the ending -son (later -sen in Danish) to indicate "son of", and -dotter (Icelandic -dóttir) for "daughter of".

While Icelandic name says:

the Danish government announced that beginning in April 2006, patronymic names would again be allowed, using — "-søn" (or "-datter") as the suffix.

What is correct?--Amir E. Aharoni 11:48, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

1) In 1828, a law was introduced, which said that all children should have either 1) the father's first name followed by -sen or 2) the father's surname. All children should have the same surname, and the chosen name was that family's future surname. This is more loose in modern time though. (-sen being used for men and women, and -daughter names only seen in Faeroese, Greenlandic and Icelandic names).
2) Well, as tells, a committee was set. At the end of the section Udvalgets overvejelser om patronymnavne (The committee's considerations regarding patronymics), it reads:
"Udvalget finder derfor, at der bør være adgang til at tage et patronymnavn med endelsen -søn eller -datter."
Literal translation: "Therefore, the committee finds that there should be access to take a patronym-name with the ending -son or -daughter."
(Source for these two parts: [2])
Based on this, I find it likely, that a desicion similar to the mentioned has been made. However, I have not been able to find any decisive evidence (from a simple search on the Danish Google, that is). I hope this makes sense. /AB-me (chit-chat) 09:10, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
If the question is just which of -son/-søn/-sen and dotter/datter/dóttir is correct, then in Danish it would be -søn and -sen (søn means literally son, sen is a "flattening" used in the end of names) and -datter (literally means daughter). The same is correct in Norwegian, to the best of my knowledge. -son and -dotter is Swedish although I'm not sure dotter is spelled correctly. I can't say anything about the other Scandinavian languages (Icelandic, Faroese, etc.) In Denmark, surnames ending in -sen are by far the most common (e.g. Hansen, Petersen, Sørensen), the -datter is rarely if ever seen in older names. TH 10:50, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
In Iceland, the invariable form seems to be dottir. And since I have never corresponded with an Icelandic woman who did not use the dottir suffix, I don't see how the text can say that it is "less common" than the male equivalent, so I am changing it in the article. AVGbuff 15:15, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
My two cents - AVGbuff is entirely right, apart from the spelling - it is dóttir. Dottir is a compromise to the ASCII 7bit alphabet. The reason the datter/dotter/dóttir suffix didn't migrate to other languages/cultures is that most cultures use the surname of the father in the household, and the patronymic suffix for men is always son/sen/søn Eggertm (talk) 16:18, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

David Ben-Gurion[edit]

David Ben-Gurion is often cited as an example of the Hebrew "Ben-" patronymic, but it is actually not true. As easily seen in the article about him, his father's name was Avigdor. The source of the name "Ben-Gurion" is simply that it was similar to "Grün". I'd like to delete this example from the article, and I hope to think of a better example to put in its place. --Keeves 20:34, 24 July 2006 (UTC)


The talk page for matronymic says that that article was to be merged with this one, as of March 2005. The fact that it hasn't yet says something about its state of neglect. There should be some discussion of matronyms, either in this article or that one, if it remains, but I'll have to leave the details to people who know something about them. Msr657 11:03, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Slavic languages[edit]

In most Slavic languages, male and female children have different surnames - for example, Ivan Petrovich Pavlov wouldn't be called Pavlova, but Anna Pavlova wouldn't be called Pavlov (imagine if the dessert were named pavlov and not pavlova :). Is that patronymic or is it just on of those times where you'd give your kids different surnames? 04:52, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

This is the difference between male and female form of surname. Garret Beaumain 18:03, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes. Surname Pavlov has adjective derrivation (means "of Pavel"), and adjectives in Russian language have gender declension (masculine/feminine/neuter). Pay attention, that there are not only adjective derrivation for russian surnames, and some of them may have not difference for male and female, for example, Abramovich or Sedykh. Kap677 (talk) 15:15, 21 December 2013 (UTC)
Such surnames are derived from patronyms by losing the second suffix -ich. In pre-XX century Russia a patronym could be pronounced without -ich to underline belonging to lower, non-aristocratic social group, mostly peasantry, or sometimes sarcastically and arrogantly. E.g. in Turgenev's Fathers And Sons, Bazarov, when asked about his first name and patronym, replies "Evgeniy Vasiliev", though he is a gentleman.

So, for instance, in Czech, the -ová ending on female last names has nothing to do with patronymics? Maybe this should be clarified with a see also Czech names or something.

The most popular slavic surnames are ov/ova, ski/ska, ich(ic), and in/ina why the in the article only appear ic?

The article claims "In Russia, the patronymic is an official part of the name, used in all official documents, and when addressing somebody both formally and among friends." In fact, the use among friends is comparatively rare and usually bears humorous (or ironic) connotation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:48, 22 March 2016 (UTC)

Tsarinas named Feodorovna[edit]

Can some Russian expert explain the significance of the apparent patronymic Feodorovna which was given to several tsarinas of Russia on their marriage and conversion to Orthodoxy, even though their fathers were not named Feodor. According to the disambiguation pages for Alexandra Feodorovna and Maria Feodorovna, this name was given to TWO tsarinas named Alexandra, most famously the last tsarina whose father's name was Louis, and TWO named Maria, including the second-last tsarina whose father was King Christian IX of Denmark. Why were all four of these tsarinas given the patronymic Feodorovna which seems to imply daughter of Feodor? Who was Feodor?? Dirac66 (talk) 20:24, 5 May 2008 (UTC) Dirac66 (talk) 02:12, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

This question has now been answered at Talk:Tsaritsa by RossF18. Dirac66 (talk) 16:43, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for that!Mariah-Yulia (talk) 16:47, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
In the honor of Theotokos Fyodorovskaya. For example, the patronymic of Eudoxia Lopukhina was changed on Feodorovna from Illarionova on the same reason. (rus:Евдокия_Лопухина, chapter "Биография", 1 paragraph, last phrase)Kap677 (talk) 14:55, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

Turkish -oglu? Armenian -ian/-yan?[edit]

Does the common Turkish name ending -oglu indicate a patronymic name? What about the Armenian -ian or -yan? Dirac66 (talk) 03:33, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, the -oglu at the end of a Turkish name indicates "son of." Also, I believe the Armenian section of this article is downright wrong. Patronomics were widely employed in Armenian surnames well before any kind of Russian influence. "Yan" or "ian" is a genitive form which is added onto the first name of a male ancestor. If your father is Bedros, your surname could be Bedrosian. An older form of this can be seen in the ending "uni," which was used as a Patronomic ending, usually for royal families. I have never heard of anyone adding the simple "i" / "ee" to their last name (which is the genitive form in Modern Western and Eastern Armenian) to form a Patronomic. I've never edited a wikipedia article before though... does anyone want to correct this?

Category:Human names[edit]

Contesting a recent revert. This doesn't belong in Category:Surnames (note the plural, for "instance of"), as this is not a surname itself. This doesn't belong in Category:Naming conventions, as this is not a formal standard of some kind.

Rather, it belongs in Category:Names, the parent of both. (It's the actual given and surnames there that need to be moved into appropriate branch categories. I'll work on it.)
--William Allen Simpson (talk) 00:04, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Instead, created Category:Human names to gather all these specific definitions.
--William Allen Simpson (talk) 00:31, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

It does belong in Category:Surnames: as well, as patronyms are the origin of many modern surnames and have very often evolved into the latter form.Dodger (talk) 01:51, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

What about English?[edit]

How about Johnson or Richardson and so on0?Chrisrus (talk) 00:18, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Those were originally patronymics, of course. But English is already mentioned in the article (with Wilson as an example). --Zundark (talk) 17:37, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, you are right. But other languages get whole sections. Chrisrus (talk) 17:41, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I find it a bit odd that England doesn't get a section. Presumably we used patronymics at some point? (talk) 19:33, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

This makes my blood boil, there are loads of Surnames originating in England used in other countries and they don't get a saying, everyone thinks Thompson is of Scottish origin WRONG Gaelic doesn't use the word son in a patronymic surname they are as the article says Mac, Mc, and O, Thompson is old English origin for son of tom, English patronymic surnames are everywhere such as Harrison, Johnson as about Richardson as above, Nelson, Anderson, simpson, hewson and so on109.154.13.131 (talk) 16:08, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

Father unknown[edit]

What do they do in Iceland, for example, if the father is unknown? Readers of this article want to know. Chrisrus (talk) 15:27, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Some Icelanders have matronyms. If the father is unknown, then I suppose the child is (or atleast can be) named after the mother.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 08:17, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
In Russia, for example, in such case a mother has right to give her child any patronymic she likes Kap677 (talk) 14:44, 21 December 2013 (UTC)

-ski, -sky Polish patronymics?[edit]

I just read an article that said -ski was a Polish patronymic:

"-ski, -sky: A Polish surname suffix, often written in German as -sky; thus, Kaminsky, Loschitzky. Frequently used with a patronymic to denote “son of’; thus, Adamski, Jakubsky, Janski." (German (Eastern Pommern) variations on that are -ske, -zke, and -schke.)

Does anybody know if that is correct? Thanks

Source: Internal Dialectical Clues in German Surnames by Theola Walden Baker —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:22, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

According to Wikipedia's article Polish name, it is not a patronymic. It seems to be a surname suffix with no particular meaning. It could be added to a name, a place, an occupation, for example. Robina Fox (talk) 19:40, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Turkic > Turkish[edit]

I renamed the heading "Turkic" to "Turkish": this section apparently deals only with the Turkish language in Turkey, not the much more heterogeneous Turkic languages -- I have no clue about the patronymic practices of the many non-Turkish groups of Turkic peoples and I think that more detailed information would be needed for a blanket "Turkic" heading. (talk) 15:20, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Irish - Surnames Confused With Patronymics[edit]

A comment. The section on Ireland does not address the continued used of patronymics in the Irish language. It only discusses the genisis of surnames via use of prepositions that convey lineage patronymically. It is correct to note that the Irish "Mac" in the surname McBride is patronymic in derivation, but other patronymics are still used in Irish-speaking Ireland. Example is the suffix "-ín" - a boy named Pádraig who is the son of Seán is sometimes called "Pádraig Sheánín" ("Sean's Patrick") without the surname. Unlike the surnames of patronymic derivation, this is an actual living use of an actual patronym, and should be actually included. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:02, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Family Names vs. Last Names[edit]

The term "Family Names" is defined in this article precisely because of this long-standing confusion in the article. In Iceland, Family Names are rare (and I thought there used to be a cite for this. Perhaps in the main article?) - patronymics are used as last names. The terminology in the edited sentence IS correct. EBY (talk) 21:04, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for reverting my edit:
I misread. It was actually right before, but could maybe be misunderstood as I did. I'll see if I can rephrase it to be absoultely clear. comp.arch (talk) 23:27, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Lack of sources[edit]

Per Alatari's argument that anything unsourced for over 6 months should be deleted - that would mean about 90% of current article - thus this article may soon be severely reduced. Kirin13 (talk) 20:02, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

This is very likely. The original editors were lax in their sourcing. Also, some of this is dubious and likely WP:OR Alatari (talk) 20:04, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
I'll move the citation needed request from December into each section and they can be removed as each is fixed. Some paragraphs are dubious and supposedly sourced in their child article but I found that is not the case. There are no sources for much of this information at all. Alatari (talk) 20:07, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Welsh section[edit]

Map[edit] -- (talk) 17:14, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Patronymic surname[edit]

Both articles appear to be discussing the same topic. Patronymic surname discusses Welsh surnames arbitrarily, which could be incorporated under Patronymic#Welsh_and_Cornish. --Animalparty-- (talk) 03:42, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

I think it would make more sense to merge the articles under the heading of Patronymic surname, since that's the main topic of this article; other uses of the term patronymic could be treated in a subsection, or remain under this heading. P Aculeius (talk) 15:52, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
Disagree with "[surnames being] the main topic of this article". Plenty of the countries have a patronymic name separate from the surname. For example, in many Eastern European countries, a full name consists of [given name][patronymic][surname]. The patronymic is not equivalent to an English middle name - it's a separate type of name. In many of these countries, the patronymic is legally required. The person may also have a separate patronymic surname which is unrelated to their patronymic. To define patronymics as a type of surname is a one-sided view of the world. My suggestion is either Patronymic surname should be merged into Patronymic article or the Patronymic article should exclude surnames. Kirin13 (talk) 16:19, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
In that case, patronymic surname needs to remain a separate article. It's a distinct topic that doesn't fit under this article (which is quite long enough), and should only be discussed briefly; a more detailed discussion of the development and use of patronymic surnames should occur under that article. Just because it's related and needs to be developed much more than it is now doesn't mean that it should be merged into this article. P Aculeius (talk) 17:22, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
Oppose merge. However clean separation in both articles must be done. Staszek Lem (talk) 18:54, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Chaves / Chávez[edit]

I don't know about the Spanish surname Chávez, but it is wrong to say Portuguese surname Chaves comes from the plural of chave (key). Chaves is a toponym, referring to the town of the same name; but although the town's coat of arms displays two keys (it's a canting coat of arms), the town's name does not derive from the plural of chave! Chaves derived phonetically (not semantically) from Latin Flaviae, because in Roman times the town was named Aquae Flaviae (i.e., Flavius' Baths). With time, as people changed from Latin to Proto-Portuguese, the pronunciation changed (fl -> ch was a common phonetic evolution); as it often occurs, the evolution of the word was such that a new, totally unrelated, meaningful word appeared: Chaves (keys). (The same happened with Leon: from Legio = Legion to Leon = Lion.) Gazilion (talk) 12:33, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Redundancy to Patronymic surname[edit]

It seems this article and the article Patronymic surname says the same. Alberich21 (talk) 22:23, 13 June 2015 (UTC)

Finnish-language patronymics[edit]

I've moved the (now cited and updated) information on Finnish language patronymics from the section concerning Scandinavian-language patronymics to an independent one; this is for the sake of consistency, seeing most of the categories on this page containing information on European patronymics are linguistic ones, and the Finnish language is not associated with the Scandinavian languages. Pohjannaula (talk) 12:10, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I propose that Naming conventions in Ethiopia and Eritrea (previously titled Habesha name) be merged into Patronymic#Ethiopia and Eritrea. I think that the content in the source article can easily be explained in the context of Patronymic, and the Patronymic article is of a reasonable size that the merging of the source will not cause any problems as far as article size or undue weight is concerned. I don't think we need to merge the example because Patronymic already explains how this works. Gyrofrog (talk) 15:24, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

It's interesting to know that they have a similar system, e.g. not family names, as in the Icelandic name (just read at their page). I kind of like having a separate page for Icelandic names.. (and it's a longer page), but should this be proposed and done on a case by case basis? I wouldn't oppose a merge, at least for them :) comp.arch (talk) 15:46, 9 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. And, yes, it should be case-by-case, per WP:SUMMARY style. We should only split out tightly topical articles on subjects like this when (as with Icelandic, but not Habesha) we have sufficient material to develop a proper article on it.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  22:42, 21 August 2016 (UTC)

Resolving conflicts between Suffix (name), Post-nominal letters, and Patronymic[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere

Please see Talk:Suffix (name)#Rename and reorganize as a CONCEPTDAB page for discussion of converting that page to WP:SUMMARY style, at a better name. The proposal there also makes several specific improvement suggestions regarding the present article.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  22:43, 21 August 2016 (UTC)