Aliens with one name vs. aliens with two names

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by t_smitts, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. t_smitts

    t_smitts Captain Captain

    Jun 11, 2005
    They always always been consistent on who falls in which camp, but my assumption is as follows:

    (P..S. I'm not bothering with listing "aliens of the week")

    1 name:
    -Son'a / Ba'ku

    2 names:
    -Humans (duh!)
    -Bajorans (family name, then given name)
    -Trill (In joined Trill, symbiont's name replaces host's family name)

    Now this is just my opinion and there are exceptions (M'Kota R'Cho for the Klingons. Alidar Jarok and Telek R'Mor, among others, for Romulans. Par Lenor for Ferengi. Spock's supposed "unrponouncable" last name for Vulcans) But the majority of individuals from a species point to one, I'm inclined to believe that one.

    I'd also point out that some, like Thy'lek Shran, are from split second data screens that are sometimes dubious. I'd further point out that some may not be a first and last name, but simply one name with two words (like the surname "Van Gogh").

    A few races I'm on the fence about: Some of the Xindi may have one or the other, for instance. We've only had one named Tholian and Gorn in canon, so that's not enough to rule one way or the other, IMHO. The Kazon, I think are kind of vague, with the earning of names and all.

    What do you think?
  2. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Jan 20, 2007
    inside teacake
    Vulcans have more than one name, it's just the surname is unpronouncable by humans.

    It's entirely possible that seemingly single name races have names that are never used to address them but are known by their own people to designate cast or ramily.
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    The Pocket novels of recent years have established fuller naming conventions for Andorians, and Tellarites (in fact, I happen to be the one who came up with the Tellarite naming pattern now used in the books, or at least the prototype for it). The '80s novels established fuller names for Klingons (in John M. Ford's The Final Reflection and Romulans (in Diane Duane's Rihannsu novels), but those naming patterns aren't generally used in tie-ins anymore. But you still do see Romulans in the novels with two names. The current Praetor in the novel continuity is Gell Kamemor, and the books have given the Romulan Commander from "The Enterprise Incident" the name Liviana Charvanek.

    Canon has established that a Klingon's full name includes a patronymic/house designator, such as "Worf, Son of Mogh." (Although since he was adopted, his full legal name should be Worf Rozhenko.) I sometimes wonder if "Sarek, child of Skon, child of Solkar" is a translation of the full Vulcan family name.
  4. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Nov 22, 2001
    Saint Louis, Missouri, USA
    It could be a case that in some alien cultures, the family name is considered sacred or that it's simply more common to just use the given name (especially if the full name is very long).
  5. Captain Rob

    Captain Rob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Mar 9, 2010
    I thought Spock's first name was Carl?
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    According to Dorothy Fontana, Spock's first name is Harold.
  7. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 20, 2009
    Worf Moghovich?

    Adopted children don't alway take the family name of their adopted parents, or keep it in adulthood. One of my cousins, who was adopted into the family at age nine, asked to be able to keep the last name of Sanchez out of respect for her late father. It's her legal name.

  8. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

    Jul 28, 2008
    Clinton, OH
  9. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

    Sep 15, 2006
    Italy, EU
    Beside, there are people (I mean real people, humans) with only one name, three, or four.
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 20, 2009
    I have four.
  11. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

    Sep 15, 2006
    Italy, EU
    Good for you.
  12. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

    Sep 28, 2005
    This makes sense. Even here on Earth we have names similar to this. Katie O'Claire is literally Katie from the town of Claire (iirc), and the Mc or Mac in names literally means "Son of", so Ronald McDonald is Ronald, son of Donald.
  13. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    Alexander was named by his mother, and I'm guessing she was following human naming conventions since she didn't particularly care about Klingon tradition.

    About Romulan names: The character of Valdore (who appeared in ENT) is, in the novels, given the full name of Valdore i'Kaleh tr'Ihaimehn. Perhaps Romulans follow naming conventions similar to those used in certain Spanish speaking countries, in which a person uses both their mother and father's last names? (for example, the ex-Yankee Bernie Williams, his full name is Bernabé Williams Figueroa)

    As for the Jem'Hadar: I heard that Jem'Hadar names are assigned by their First who is the commander of their unit. Is this true? I swear I read that in some novel.
  14. -Brett-

    -Brett- Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 22, 2001
    Not entirely true. Off the top of my head, there's Alidar Jarok (not to be confused with the poster here). Senator Cretak was referred to as "Kimura" or something to that effect, it's been forever since I've seen that episode. From context, it sounded like a given name.

    I think Romulans have naming conventions similar to humans, we just rarely get on a first name basis with any of them.
  15. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 24, 2012
    So here's the thing I always found interesting about human last names.

    Traditionally, most family's just take the father's last name for the children and wife.

    Doesn't that seem kind of antiquated? Imagine what if humans went by a different route way back in the past and it followed onto today.

    Imagine if the children had both parents first name as their last names but with a hyphen seperating the two parents name?

    It would be a unqiue way of naming and have a consistant way of passing down family heritage.
  16. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

    Nov 22, 2012
    Melakon's grave
    Or more. As in, Siddig El Tahir El Fadil El Siddig Abderahman Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Karim El Mahdi.
  17. t_smitts

    t_smitts Captain Captain

    Jun 11, 2005
    I guess that'll depend on what books, if any, that one considers canon.

    Did you read my initial post?

    I think we should also remember that Earth has many different cultures and naming customs. For some of the above species, if they hail from a certain region of their world, they might be two-named, while most of the rest are one-named.

    In general, however, I still personally lean towards the requirement that not just one or two, but several individuals (if not most) mentioned from a species must have two names to consider that a two-named species.
  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Aug 26, 2003
    Yes, let's not forget our very human examples of "nonstandard" usage: Geordi LaForge and Tasha Yar.

    Apparently, it is culturally appropriate and even desirable to refer to these individuals as "Geordi" or "Tasha" rather than "LaForge" or "Yar" in most contexts, including the ones where others are called "Riker" or "Doctor Crusher" or "Commander Troi".

    In terms of today, Geordi would be Geordi because he has too many second, third, eleventh or surnames to fit in a standard application form or the back of one's volleyball playing shirt. It's a "Latin" custom to use the first given name in official context today.

    In turn, Tasha would be Tasha because it's the polite form of address in modern Russian to use one's given name in its full form, with or without patronymic and definitely without surname; to use the short form of the given name is less formal but still more respectful than using the surname without a title. And it's possible that Tasha is the full form of the officer's name, rather than a shortening of Natasha or Anastasiya, considering this is the future.

    When Will is Will, this is simply informal, that is, less formal than when Tasha is Tasha. That is, supposing that Tasha is Tasha's full given name. And I can see why Tasha wouldn't want to use a patronymic. Just saying Yar would be considered rather rude, actually, while Lieutenant Yar would be acceptable but formal close to the point of rudeness in many contexts.

    Apparently, Starfleet does ask its officers for personal-cultural preferences in this respect...

    Timo Saloniemi
  19. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    Great Britain

    If we take one example a male and female marrying, there is nothing to say that the male can't adopt the females surname as the family name. Though more often than not it is the males family name which is adopted.

    Similary a double-barrelled name combining the two surnames could be adopted.
  20. Ro_Laren

    Ro_Laren Commodore Commodore

    Dec 12, 2004
    The Badlands
    In what episode or movie did they say that?